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Losing the plot in Hong Kong

In 1992 Chris Patten abandoned the policy of co-operation with China over Hong Kong established by foreign office officials. Percy Cradock, who negotiated the original 1984 agreement with China, describes the subsequent mistakes which he believes have left Hong Kong's 6m people worse off

By Percy Cradock   April 1997

Hong kong returns to China this year and most people in Britain remain very hazy about what has been happening. On the day itself there will no doubt be sadness, nostalgia, and understandable worries about the future of the colony’s 6m inhabitants. But there will probably also be a comforting feeling that the British government has done all that it could. True, in the last stretch there has been a quarrel with China and Chris Patten’s reforms have been snuffed out. But then the Chinese would do that, would they not? The picture presented in the press is likely to…

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