DATELINE: HONG KONG


There a lot of things the media do not understand in the West. . .Just because in Hong Kong, Asia is not taking Western democracy wholesale, they think it is wrong. : Robert Chua.
Introduction: Robert Chua is Chief Executive of CE TV, an Asian based satellite television station. He is currently producing a "positive" television documentary of the Hong Kong handover, which will be sold to Chinese state Television. The following text is his address to the "Advance Hong Kong" meeting called at the Furama Hotel on 28.4.97.
When I travel around the world, being a Chinese issue, it [the handover] should be a celebration for us. But not one single person has ever congratulated me to say, 'Congratulations, Hong Kong will be back to China. It will be a big nation, one point two billion.' Not one person will congratulate us. People always ask, 'What is going on? Will Hong Kong be OK?' Always there are these negative questions are being asked all the time. I feel very concerned about this. There is a lot of negative bias in the media reporting. I own a television station. I find that many of the media would rather play negative things and ignore the attractive things. Especially on television, they like to see people protesting on the streets. One instance of a one sided story was when the Chief Executive was elected. All you could see was Emily Lau lying in the street. There was no mention of people who fully supported it. The report was one sided. That is very wrong. It is the wrong message. This is only a small minority who is opposing the Chief Executive. People should ask themselves what about Chris Patten. He was not elected. He was appointed by the Queen of England and Hong Kong had no say in it. So nobody brought that up anyway.

There a lot of things the media do not understand in the West. There are two kinds of democracy. This one is Asian style democracy. Just because in Hong Kong, Asia is not taking Western democracy wholesale, they think it is wrong. This is the problem. What about Singapore? Singapore is in great form. It is an Asian democracy. Malaysia is in great form. Nobody thinks about that. What about China? If China is compared to Russia, look how it is progressing. Very well.

Everybody wants freedom. The media is misusing the freedom they are getting. They are not reporting truthfully. What we need is a well balanced picture. But we are not getting that. We should inform the media in the West and ask them to ask more questions to find out what we have here. Let them talk to the people in the streets.

I just asked a taxi driver and he said, 'No problem'. The majority are happy with what is going on.

I have been to China since April 1979. I have seen China change and I am very confident that China will give us the freedom it has promised and Hong Kong will be part of one country, two systems. I have seen China change over the years. Now in Shanghai, they have talk shows and people are allowed to express themselves on the radio, complaining about various things in government, facilities and so on. They are changing. So they are wrong when they say China has no freedom at all.

Alan Knight

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