China raises pressure on 'creators of chaos'
Sunday 12 December 1993
China's Foreign Minister, Qian Qichen, said that 'if there can no longer be co-operation, we cannot sit idly by while there is chaos in Hong Kong'. He was addressing the closing session of the Preparatory Working Committee (PWC) of mainland officials and appointed Hong Kong individuals tasked by Peking with preparing for the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. The PWC could replace any legislature unilaterally put in place by the British with one sanctioned by the Chinese.
The three-day meeting concluded in the comfortable surroundings of the Diaoyutiai Guest House complex in west Peking. The venue had been changed because the Prime Minister, Li Peng, had decided to address the session.
China is keen to boost the standing of the PWC, which is expected to emerge as a 'shadow' government that can be used to undermine Hong Kong's government in the last years of colonial rule.
The PWC, in a statement, said that Britain had 'deliberately sabotaged' Sino-British negotiations by publishing a bill on Friday that would put in place some basic proposals for the next local and parliamentary elections in Hong Kong, including fixing the voting age at 18 and opting for a one-vote, single-seat constituency electoral system.
The PWC said these measures, which have cross-party support in the colony, would 'artificially create chaos'. On Wednesday the Hong Kong government is due formally to table the bill in the colony's parliament, the Legislative Council (Legco), a move that Peking has said will mark the end of negotiations. Mr Qian's speech seemed designed to create maximum concern in Hong Kong while still trying to present China as the reasonable party in the dispute. China's tactics appear to be to try to emasculate the British administration in the run-up to 1997 without threatening the economy of the colony and thereby alienating Hong Kong public opinion. Even yesterday, the rhetoric avoided specific threats. On Friday the local Hong Kong Hang Seng stock market index breached the 10,000 mark for the first time, despite Sino-British relations being at a low-point.
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Kim Jong-un proves 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...