Leading figures from 18 nations worldwide write to the Chief Executive of the Territory: "Hong Kong is a great world city, a major international financial and trading centre, and an important gateway to China and the rest of Asia. It would be a tragedy if it loses this role and gains a reputation for repression”. The local executive responds quickly: "Untruthful facts, foreigners must not meddle in our internal affairs".
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Hong Kong "Hong Kong is a great world city, a major international financial and trading centre, and an important gateway to China and the rest of Asia. It would be a tragedy if it loses this role and gains a reputation for repression". It is the sense of an open letter addressed to the Chief Executive of the Territory, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and signed by 40 leading figures from 18 nations of the world.
Signatories include Burmese Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, head of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences; the former spokesman for the British House of Commons, John Bercow; former South Korean human rights ambassador Lee Jung-hoon; former All India Catholic Union president John Dayal and many others.
The letter poses a series of questions to the Chief Executive about the police's brutal attitude towards demonstrators who - for months now - have been calling for democratic reforms and an end to mainland China's repression. They write: "It is our hope that you choose a path of constructive and meaningful reform which makes reconciliation and healing possible."
The appeal notes, "while nothing justifies violence, it is clear that those protesters who have resorted to violence have acted in desperation and frustration, borne of your government’s refusal to listen to their real fears, understood by many around the world, for more than six months. Their fears are not just for themselves right now, but for their future and for the lives of unborn children who will count Hong Kong as home after 2047 [year of the full return of the Territory under the control of Beijing]".
The government of the former British colony responded swiftly to the appeal. A spokesman for the Lam said that "foreign politicians or organizations should not interfere in any way with Hong Kong's internal affairs. We are very concerned because the facts contained in the letter are wrong and lead to wrong conclusions. The government must reject them. "