Why Victor Mallet and others should not try to cast Hong Kong or Chinese in Western mould
Victor Mallet has brought his English conditioning to Hong Kong and sought to imprint it on the local population, whereas it very clearly belongs in England with his fellow-thinking colleagues (“Backlash as Hong Kong denies visa renewal for Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet”, October 5). He writes for English-speaking readers in a way that is familiar to them.
People with short memories forget how Englishness was not adopted by the bulk of the Hong Kong population in colonial times. It has only been since the recovery of Chinese sovereignty that some people, particularly young people, have embraced it.
We have been here before. For many years The Guardian put Tom Phillips in Beijing as its correspondent although he was clearly unhappy, as his writings appeared to reflect. Finally, officials ceased inviting him to events and his employer relocated him.
Journalists should remember that there are many ways to skin a cat, and trying to force people to emulate them is not the best way. Look closely at the political mess the West is in today – is that really something to be envied and copied?
We have a democratic camp in the Legislative Council whose main function has become to prevent Hong Kong dealing with the many problems the territory faces. They come into the chamber with their big character posters, sometimes wearing costumes, throwing things around and looking just like the brawling individuals in the Taiwan legislature from where, it is said, they get their orders. I, for one, don’t want to see that here. Cannot Hong Kong do things for itself? Do we need to copy others?
Roger B Houghton, Mui Wo