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Tourists view the Taipei 101 skyscraper, a landmark in Taiwan, in January 2017. Photo: Xinhua

LettersBeijing can afford to adopt a peaceful and patient approach to Taiwan

  • Readers discuss Beijing’s strategy with regard to Taiwan, Hong Kong protesters overseas, opening the Fanling golf course to the public, and the Teletubbies statue controversy
Righteous condemnation of the injustice of the “unequal treaties” that were imposed on China in the 19th century by foreign powers, who at the time had bigger and better weapons than the Chinese, has become widespread among Chinese leaders. To be sure, the gunboat diplomacy of the 19th century was unfair and brutish, essentially saying “do what we want or we will use our ship’s cannons to kill your people and destroy your cities”.
However, Beijing’s current approach to Taiwan seems to unwisely ignore the opportunity to resolve matters peacefully through diplomatic negotiations. China has had amazing accomplishments in nation-building, resulting in a powerful economy that is likely to soon become the world’s largest. It is certainly possible for Beijing to engage with Taiwan and discover terms on which the matter can be resolved peacefully and voluntarily.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as Taiwan poses no imminent threat to mainland China. What matters is how the latter will go down in history and what its choice of resolution will mean for its future relationship with the rest of the world. China can emerge as a major world leader, or a major threat to peace and prosperity.

Tom Cook, Florida

Those who left Hong Kong don’t speak for the city

I cannot agree more with the letter, “Protests abroad by HK migrants need to stop” ( June 14). Those who have chosen to leave Hong Kong of their own accord are unwisely making fools of themselves abroad when they stage protests.

These so-called freedom fighters chanted some slogans, waved some amateurish banners and displayed some lame props, then largely packed up when the police arrived. It is their choice to find their kind of liberty and entitlement elsewhere.

I don’t need these people to cry foul and do Hong Kong further damage abroad. How many of these migrants relay to their adopted homeland the real situation we are all in? We hear stories of migrants feeling isolated, helpless and miserable because they struggle to mingle with the locals and adapt to the new culture. Those who have come to the rude awakening that the grass isn’t really greener on the other side regret leaving Hong Kong too hastily. They are now mired in a Catch-22 situation.

I don’t need them to fight for what I have not lost. I don’t feel deprived of freedom of speech or movement, or hindered in my choice of relaxation and entertainment. I don’t feel the least threat walking on the streets at any time of the day or night, and if I don’t like President Xi Jinping or his team or things in China, I can express myself freely among friends as long as there is no ill intention of sedition or malicious attempts to commit particular crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign organisations.

C. Choi, Tai Tam

A public course in Fanling would delight golf fans

Your correspondent in “If Fanling golf course cannot be built on, then let’s make it a true public facility for all to use” ( June 8) thinks outside the box. The Kau Sai Chau public golf course is located on an isolated island in Sai Kung, where bookings always seem to be full, and the counters every day are packed with walk-in golfers, including myself.

The number of golf fans is increasing in Hong Kong. Being out amid verdant nature invigorates one’s health and feeds one’s addiction to the sport. Golfers can forget their hectic lives for a short while.

The Hong Kong Golf Club’s driving range in Fanling is open to the public in the evening but demand is high. I don’t think those who want the golf course to be sacrificed for housing reflect the views of most Hongkongers. I completely agree with the suggestion that the golf course be opened fully to the public.

Furthermore, Hong Kong Island should contribute more to the city’s public housing needs, especially the areas near the South Island MTR route.

Edmond Pang, Fanling

Children must be shielded from media scrutiny

I would like to respond to the article, “How parents can help their children deal with the stress of unwanted media attention – experts’ best tips” ( May 27).
Last month, one of the hottest topics of discussion was a child who accidentally bumped into a Teletubbies statue in a shop. Some people thought the child or parents should have been more careful. Others felt that given how easily the statue broke, it should not have been placed in such an accessible area.

However, few may have realised the effect of their comments on the child’s mental health. Becoming the focus of media attention can be a source of great pressure to anyone, but particularly to children. In your report, a psychotherapist pointed out that wrongfully accusing a child of an action can create mistrust.

I hope this incident will prompt parents to reflect on how they deal with their children when they cause accidental damage. While it’s important to correct children if they have done something wrong, parents should refrain from being too accusatory.

Many people, including children, are struggling with their mental health since the start of the pandemic. If a child has their face splashed across the media or becomes the subject of a meme, the mental burden might be hard to bear. Parents should do their best to protect children from the media glare.

Priscilla Yuen, Tseung Kwan O