Students are right to oppose campus visit by PLA soldiers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 May, 2015, 6:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 15 May, 2015, 6:02pm

I refer to the report ("Students 'ignorant' for blocking PLA visit", May 9) about the students' union at Chinese University being condemned by mainland newspaper Global Times.

It seems that some alumni and students had strongly objected to a planned visit by 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers.

When we analyse this event, we can see clearly that PLA troops are increasingly being asked to play a highly political role in Hong Kong. They are obviously trying to escape condemnation for the role that the PLA played in Tiananmen Square over 25 years ago. But soldiers are not qualified or entitled to be political agents since their very being is linked to violence and destruction.

Many young people and students were killed in that incident, so it is understandable that Hong Kong students should be fearful of any PLA activities in our city.

Throughout Chinese history, there has been tension and anger between learned people and armed forces. Every Chinese citizen remembers the first emperor, a fierce warrior who "burned the books and buried the scholars".

Soldiers were not honourable people but rather sources of fear and apprehension.

Persons of honour and learned people abhor violence and the war-related injustices which lead people to violence. But military men live for violence since it vindicates their existence. War gives soldiers a chance for "glory" and a page in history. Military men love parades with tanks and missiles - the more, the better.

But in some countries the tide is changing. For example, in the United States, many universities have discontinued Reserve Officers' Training Corps programmes, because their faculties opposed the indoctrination of students towards military careers and war planning. Many secondary schools also correctly reject soldiers' visits.

We should support scholars and students who work for peace and the reduction of the crude military ethos throughout the world.

A patriot is not one who kills others to show love of country. The true patriot is one who helps his or her nation to embrace peace, since armed force only leads to more hatred.

Let us hope that Hong Kong and mainland youths work together for world justice and international harmony.

Jason Kuylein, Stanley