Letters to the Editor, August 22, 2017
Talks with North Korea still best option
I agree with Daniel Yip Tsz-ho’s letter about the missile tests that have been undertaken by North Korea and are supported by the country’s leader Kim Jong-un (“Leaders rightly worried about dangerous Kim”, August 14).
Political leaders in the region and elsewhere, including the US, should take the threats from Pyongyang seriously.
North Korea’s missile tests and its nuclear weapons programme should be seen as dangerous. But, it does not help for America to say that China and other countries are not doing enough to deal effectively with North Korea.
Beijing has realistic concerns. If it cut off all help to its ally with much tougher sanctions, and the regime and economy in North Korea collapsed, there would be chaos and China would have to deal with a flood of refugees crossing the border. Washington has put more pressure on Beijing, but it must be realistic. It calls on the North to suspend its ballistic missile programme, and yet continues to hold joint military exercises with South Korea.
Instead of talking about possible conflict, all nations with an interest in the issues on the Korean peninsula need to try to talk and cooperate. After all, strength comes through unity. It is surely in the interests not just of China and the US, but also countries like Japan and Russia, for North Korea to cease its nuclear weapons programme.
All interested leaders must continue to seek a genuine dialogue with North Korea. It is only through negotiations that Kim can be persuaded to curtail the weapons strategy. What is needed is to reach a consensus and for a long-lasting peace treaty to be signed. If this happens, then food aid and energy could be supplied to North Korea to help its citizens.
Tougher sanctions should be seen as a last resort. North Korea already has a lot of conventional weapons.
If it used them, there could be massive loss of life and serious economic losses.
Oleta Chan, Fo Tan
Uniforms can help curb cyberbullies
Some youngsters object to wearing school uniforms, but I think they create a feeling of unity among students.
Whether it is a school or a sports team, the uniform helps to create a feeling of being together, united by a common purpose. It helps to engender loyalty and encourages young people to try their best.
Also, teenagers can feel very self-conscious about the clothes they wear to school if they can choose their own clothes. For example, there could be problems for young people on low incomes. Some students can be very competitive and try to outperform their peers with what they wear. These problems will simply not exist if everyone wears the same uniform.
It will put less financial pressure on parents and provides less ammunition to bullies, especially cyberbullies.
Having the same uniform for everyone helps students to have a sense of belonging to their school. I do not see any problem with schools having a rule about the wearing of uniforms.
Holden Cheng, Tseung Kwan O
Gamers have to train hard like athletes
Hong Kong held its first e-sports festival earlier this month and it put the spotlight on an activity that is becoming increasingly popular globally and on the debate about whether this activity should actually be classed as a sport.
I hope the festival changed the attitudes of citizens, especially parents, and helped them realise that this is a sport. I have no doubt about the economic benefits to the city of promoting e-sports.
E-sports can bring financial benefits, for example, to marketing firms and to gamers, as more local youngsters take up e-sports as a full-time job. As I said, computer gaming should be recognised as a bona fide sport. Just like other athletes, professional gamers have to undergo intensive training if they want to succeed.
Of course, it is too early to speculate on the longevity of e-sports and if some day it could become accepted as an event in the Olympic Games.
Obviously, it could be difficult as gamers and e-sports would be regarded in a different way from sports that have been part of the Olympics for more than a century. But, from the point of view of Hong Kong, it can help with the government’s efforts to develop the technology sector.
We still have a long way to go in that sector, compared to some other cities. For example, there have been comments about the need to expand e-payment options for citizens.
Matthew Mak Chung-leung, Hung Hom
Immigration set-up makes perfect sense
Some Hongkongers are concerned about the co-location arrangements (with mainland and Hong Kong immigration and customs officers) at the West Kowloon terminus of the high-speed rail link to the mainland. They see it as a further erosion of “one country, two systems”.
There are already similar arrangements between countries such as the US and Canada.
I cannot see that this poses a threat to the Basic Law. It is a system that will make for an easier, stress-free travelling experience. And let us not forget that Hong Kong and the mainland are part of the same country.
Kenneth Lam Ka-lok, Tseung Kwan O