Saturday, 26 December 2015

I do hope the South China Morning Post continues its fearless reporting of China, under its new ownership

Letter to the South China Morning Post:
I agree with Tung Chee-hwa that Hong Kong youth should visit China more often to understand this vast country. (Op-ed, 15 December)
Like Mr Tung, I've been lucky enough to have witnessed China's meteoric rise since the beginning in 1976, when I first studied in Beijing. Since then I have visited every province in China. Like Mr Tung, I have seen at first hand the benefits that China's opening has had on ordinary citizens, now part of a growing middle class. 
But Mr Tung fails to note any of the downsides to this Great Leap Forward. Yes, he mentions corruption and pollution but these are "approved" criticism. What about the unmentionables?  The stifling of free speech, quixotic implementation of the rule of law, lax building codes that lead to disasters like the recent one in Shenzhen, hegemonic moves in the South China Seas. None of these is mentioned by Mr Tung.
Under its new ownership, I do hope that the South China Morning Post (the English language "paper of record for Asia" according to the BBC), will continue to cover these important issues and not become a resting place for puff pieces like Mr Tung's.
 Yours, etc