Letter: A chance missed in Hong Kong

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Sir: We may well feel melancholy over the proceedings in Hong Kong. Much British bad faith has been involved.

As a member of the British Army, I arrived in Hong Kong in 1946, in time to see the Japanese war memorial blown up. Hong Kong was then something of a slag heap. The British routinely treated the Chinese as an inferior race, but that inferior race set about rebuilding their splendid island and their trade. It became the most amazing futuristic city on the globe.

The British government would not give the Hong Kongers British passports. They might have wished to come and live in our chilly island. But what a chance was missed. We should have leased those energetic people the Isle of Wight for 99 years. In just 10 years' time, we would have had a mighty new Hong Kong off the south coast of England.