Letters to the Editor, November 16, 2016
Worried about US relations with China
Many people in the US and around the world were very surprised by the result of last week’s presidential election. Nobody predicted Donald Trump would gain so many votes in swing states, including Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina and Florida.
The impact of Trump’s victory will be felt not just in America but globally, and this was evident by the way stock markets in Asia responded to the result, with drops and a lot of money going into safe investments like gold.
His impending presidency raises questions about his relationship with China, as during the election campaign, he accused Beijing of being a currency manipulator.
I think many were disappointed by the result, because of their concerns about how Trump will perform as president. While he is a successful businessman, he lacks political experience.
During the election campaign, he was denounced for some of the comments he made and there are fears that America will now enter a period of political instability.
On the positive side, Trump has promised to create a lot more jobs for Americans and if he makes good on his pledge, we will see a drop in the unemployment rate. However, I am concerned about how he will perform on the international stage and a possible deterioration in relations between the US and China.
I hope he will behave in the manner that is expected of the president of the United States.
Mario Man Yuk-kin, Po Lam
Some voters prejudiced against women
There have been large protests in the US since Donald Trump’s election victory.
Some citizens had said during the campaign they would emigrate if he won and since the result, people have been asking how it happened.
I think part of the reason is that there is still resistance by some individuals to vote for a woman. Donald Trump has no political experience. By contrast, Hillary Clinton is very experienced and part of the political establishment.
However, there are still some who argue that a man will be a better president than a woman. This traditional way of thinking blinded them to the actual political programmes of the respective candidates.
Trump also won because of the electoral college system, although he lost the popular vote.
I think that is why so many citizens are angry, that more people nationally voted for Clinton, but because of the electoral colleges, Trump won.
Another reason so many Americans have joined these protests is because of Trump’s derogatory comments about women, minorities and migrants. They fear that as president, Trump will not bring in laws to give them greater protection.
It will take some time before we see a fully democratic electoral system in the US.
Yau Ying-hei, Yau Yat Chuen
Trump’s 45pc trade tariff is impractical
President Xi Jinping (習近平) phoned President-elect Donald Trump and emphasised the importance of maintaining good relations between the two countries (“Xi Jinping tells Donald Trump cooperation is the only choice for China and the US”, November 14).
I agree that the only option for Trump is for the United States to work with China.
During the US election campaign, Trump pledged to slap a 45 per cent tariff on imported Chinese goods, but it will be impossible to implement such a policy.
These nations have the two largest economies in the world. Anything they do can have global implications.
While there may be times when they are in competition with each other, they will also need to cooperate.
Cheap goods from China can ease inflationary pressure and this will be important as Trump seeks to restructure the country’s industrial infrastructure. In this regard, America’s trade relationship with China will be important.
This is why Trump’s threatened 45 per cent trade tariff on imported goods from China is impractical.
It would damage the relationship between the two countries, hurt their economies and have a negative effect on markets worldwide.
Jenny Kwok, Hang Hau
Playgrounds have lost their appeal in city
Fewer children are now spending time in playgrounds in Hong Kong.
When I was small, I used to go to the playground after school every day. I loved the swings and would spend at least an hour on them. As I grew older and no longer used them, I noticed numbers dwindling compared to when I was a child.
I think one reason for this is that Hong Kong has become more prosperous and children have a lot of options when it comes to how to enjoy their free time. Now, many of them use their mobile phones a lot.
Studying pressure in primary schools is also a factor. Even children as young as six have a lot of homework to do after school and so they do not make it to the playground even at weekends.
Some parents may feel a playground is dangerous and would rather their children used their spare time to read books or learn a musical instrument.
I think it would be good for children to get out of their homes and spend time in playgrounds, but I agree with those who say they must be made more interesting (“‘Game plan needed for ‘boring’ playgrounds”, November 7).
Also, very young primary school pupils should not given so much homework. Let them have a childhood.
Antonia Lam, Kowloon Tong
Competitive society brings a lot of pressure
Students and workers face a lot of pressure in Hong Kong, because our society is now so competitive.
With students, it is academic pressure and for employees, it is the stress caused by their work environment and it can lead to depression.
Schools can help ease these problems by organising fun days when youngsters can let off steam by playing games and taking part in sports.
People spend long hours in offices and face fierce competition if they want to get a promotion. Firms should hold social events and meetings, during which staff can talk and share any problems that they have.
Different stakeholders in society need to focus on these problems and try to help students and workers find the right work/life balance.
Chong Yuen-ting, Cheung Sha Wan
Little appetite for ecotourism in Hong Kong
There have been calls for the government to invest in ecotourism, but I do not agree.
Increased development of country parks with more facilities for tourists could damage the environment. Protecting ecosystems and the habitats of wildlife should be the priority.
Also, a successful ecotourism programme requires highly-trained tour guides with a lot of knowledge about the animals and plants that can be found in the country parks. Without the right kind of training, these tour groups would be likely to fail.
I am also not convinced there is sufficient demand for ecotourism from the type of visitors who like to come to Hong Kong. Given the disadvantages, I do not think the government should develop ecotourism.
It is better to spend the money protecting the country parks.
Sharon Cheng, Yau Yat Chuen