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The stock code for Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing on an employee’s vest at Hong Kong Stock Exchange in Hong Kong on July 13. Now a global financial hub, Hong Kong has proved to be adaptable and successful. Photo: Bloomberg

LettersHong Kong can carry on without American advice, thank you very much

  • Readers discuss the outgoing US consul general’s thoughts on Hong Kong, the importance of identification of child migrants, and a positive step in Israel-Saudi Arabia ties
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As a young boy growing up in Austria, I learned to admire the US for its enormous cars, and its culture and civilisation. Capitalism was the buzzword at the time and its way of governing appeared superior to everything else. The spiel about democracy was promoted much later.

Isn’t it worrying that a representative of capitalism, the outgoing US consul general in Hong Kong Hanscom Smith, is so concerned about the well-being of Hong Kong? Should he not watch in mischief Hong Kong going down the drain as a business and financial centre, thus making New York even stronger?

We have all watched the US being concerned and trying to be helpful in quite a few countries in the past decades; Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya would be just three examples out of too many. And when looking at the results of its involvement, one doesn’t see the necessity for it to help Hong Kong now.

We in Hong Kong have proved to be adaptable and successful in the past. Simply let us continue on our path, without interference and well-meant good advice. Don’t we have the right to be governed in an “inferior” way (when considered from a US point of view)?

We wish you a good trip back to your country. Hopefully you can take along a few innovative, fruitful thoughts from Hong Kong.

Roland Guettler, Lai Chi Kok

Mo Farah trafficking case wouldn’t happen in Hong Kong

We must be grateful that here in Hong Kong, thanks to an efficient immigration department and the identity card system, it is extremely unlikely that any children who were trafficked, as Sir Mo Farah allegedly was, could live here undetected (“Olympic star Mo Farah reveals he was taken to UK illegally using another child’s name”, July 12). The trauma of having to hide his true identity to go to school, get a passport, go to the Olympics and even get a knighthood can only be imagined.

Retired UK judge Baroness Butler-Sloss was interviewed on the BBC Today programme on July 14 on the subject of child trafficking. She was extremely concerned about child asylum seekers fleeing France across the English Channel to the safety of the United Kingdom, in particular those from Afghanistan and elsewhere, some of whom “have moustaches and … beards”.

Unless they had documentation proving their age, the baroness warned, there was a danger these children would be mistaken as adults and “sent to Rwanda”. I had to look at the calendar to check it was not April 1.

But the baroness worries needlessly. The authorities in the UK tend to err on the side of caution in such matters. Which may or may not reassure parents of primary school-age daughters who find themselves in class seated next to a pupil with a deep voice and a beard.

B.J. Carroll, Aberdeen

Biden’s trip raises hopes for Israel-Saudi Arabia ties

We refer to US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia (“Biden ends trip with US-Saudi relations on the mend but few other wins”, July 17).

As a Jewish organisation that has long engaged with Saudis and others in the region, we see the opening of Saudi airspace to flights to and from Israel as a very positive step.


Israel has shown itself to be not just ready but eager for peace with its Arab neighbours, establishing full diplomatic relations with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco. As Iranian extremists continue to relentlessly threaten Israelis and Arabs alike, we hope that full ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia will follow.

Unencumbered cooperation between all the people of the region would prove a blessing for Israelis of all backgrounds, but no less for their Arab neighbours.

Seth J. Riklin, president, Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO, David J. Michaels, director of UN and intercommunal affairs, B’nai B’rith International