Letter: Chinese farewell to Britain

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The Independent Online
Sir: In the final instalment of Larry Feign's brilliant comic strip The World of Lily Wong (1 July) it is suggested that the Hong Kong Chinese ought to be grateful to Britain because they would other wise be back in China "knee-deep in buffalo shit".

Considering the circumstances of Britain's capture of Hong Kong - starting two wars with China for attempting to put an end to the biggest drugs racket in world history - it should come as no surprise there are those Chinese who feel a little less than gratitude.

True, without Britain Hong Kong would not exist, but it isn't a case of Britain civilising six million Chinese. The Chinese have the oldest surviving civilisation anywhere on earth, already highly sophisticated while most Europeans were living in primitive tribal communities. The paper and ink which the reader holds in their hand at this moment are the result of Chinese innovation.

This same pioneering spirit backfired on the Chinese when they invented gunpowder, which Britain later used to blow away any opposition in the South China Sea, and the magnetic compass which was to guide the British fleet to China's coast.


Banwell, Somerset