If colonial Hong Kong had muzzled free speech, where would China’s revolutions be?
I disagree with your columnist Graeme Maxton’s argument that Hong Kong independence should not be discussed at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (“Why Hong Kong independence should not be discussed at the FCC under the banner of freedom of speech”, August 8).
Maxton’s limits on freedom of speech are too narrow. Freedom of speech should allow for the expression of views you dislike or disagree with, as long as that speech does not endanger people or incite violence. By no stretch of the imagination can the talk at the FCC by separatist politician Andy Chan Ho-tin lead to violence or endanger lives.
Both Maxton and former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying say Chan should not be allowed to speak at the FCC on the grounds that there are limits to free speech. Can you imagine if Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republican Chinese Revolution of 1911, had been banned by the British colonial government of Hong Kong from speaking in the city due to objections from the Qing court in Beijing?
If the colonial authorities of Hong Kong had muzzled Sun’s call for revolution, the Chinese revolutions of 1911 and 1949 might never have succeeded. To this day, Sun is revered in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and mainland China.
Toh Han Shih, Happy Valley