A Chinese-American Writes to the Hong Kong SAR Security Bureau to Express Opposition to Article 23 Legislation
December 9, 2002
Security Bureau (Attn: AS(F)2, F Division),
6th Floor, East Wing,
Central Government Offices,
Lower Albert Road, Central,
Dear Security Secretary Regina Ip:
I'm writing to you to express my unequivocal opposition to the Article 23 legislation.
I am a Chinese-American. I have many relatives living in Hong Kong. I have always been concerned about Hong Kong's glory and prosperity. What has disappointed me and others is the Hong Kong government's proposal to enact Article 23 of the Basic Law. If Article 23 is passed, Hong Kong will be no different from Mainland China.
A broad overview of the Chinese Party's 50 years of reign shows a history of making people suffer: from the land reforms, joint state-private ownership, and the depriving landowners and capitalists of their properties, to the Anti-Rightist Campaign aimed at enforcing the discipline of intellectuals in 1957, the Cultural Revolution aimed at purging intellectuals, people in literary and art circles, as well as government officials from different levels, and the current persecution of Falun Gong, with concomitant torturing and abuse of common people. Thinking about all of these really makes me shudder.
Freedom and democracy are the cornerstones that ensure Hong Kong's prosperity and have made Hong Kong a center for world finance and trade. Unfortunately, since Hong Kong's return to Mainland China, freedom and democracy have not been fully protected. Consequently, Hong Kong's economy has not improved and on the contrary, has declined. The Hang Seng Index fell from 17,000 before the handover to 10,000 after. The real estate value has dropped almost 50%, and the rate of unemployment has risen to 7.4%, a new high in Hong Kong's history. Currently the number of unemployed people is as high as 250,000 people. One third of the families are suffering in poverty. Many white-collar workers have become poor. Under such adverse economic circumstances, if Article 23 were passed into law, it would undoubtedly spell disaster for Hong Kong's economy.
If the Hong Kong government bends itself to Jiang's dictatorship and uses autocracy to replace freedom and democracy, then Hong Kong, the "Pearl of the East," will really go into decline. The effects will extend well beyond this generation. Would there be any faith in the totalitarian central government that promised the world that the "One country, Two systems" policy would not change for 50 years, and then broke its promise in only five years? I hope that for the sake of Hong Kong's common people, for your own and Hong Kong's future, and for China's future, Ms. Ip, please think twice before taking action.