CHAPTER ELEVEN Conclusion & Recommendations
So there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, plus the studies of experts like my friend and colleague Ven-hwei Lo of National Chengchi University in Taipei and the work of Messrs. Bueno de Mesquita, Newman and Rabushka in California, various other surveys plus the weight of informed honest opinion all showing there is an ongoing decline of freedom of the press--a suffocation of press freedoms if you will--in Hong Kong.
It is a syndrome that is continuing day by day. It is not getting any better; it is getting worse.
Slow suffocation continues.
The diabolical thing is that to the casual business or tourism visitor to Hong Kong, the process is virtually invisible. It is only after being on the scene for a period, looking under the right rocks, investigating the pressure points, that the lack of press freedom becomes so obvious and its portent so damaging.
The people in the trenches, like the members of the Hong Kong Journalists Association deserve special credit for their courage in keeping this crucial issue alive
For Americans, Nancy Bernkopf Tucker puts Hong Kong in unique historical perspective:
"American opposition to the continued British occupation of Hong Kong as a colony after the end of the Second World War serves as an ironic backdrop to the growth of American involvement in the territory thereafter. Franklin Roosevelt had insisted during the course of the war that the phenomenon of colonialism would have to end and promised Madame Chiang Kai-shek that Hong Kong would be restored to Chinese control. However, the combination of Prime Minister Winston Churchill's obduracy on the subject and the Chinese civil war invalidated such guarantees, and British troops retrieved the colony without resistance. Almost immediately, Washington discovered that having London in charge conferred significant economic and political benefits on American merchants, soldiers and spies." (1)
Even some American diplomats, in the 1960s, came to think in terms of Hong Kong as "an American colony" rather than a "British colony."