China tests British patience

The fifth round of negotiations on Hong Kong between Britain and China finished yesterday in Peking with no indication that, after nearly two months of talks, the two sides have yet had any substantial discussions about arrangements for the 1994 and 1995 elections in the colony, Teresa Poole reports from Hong Kong. Chris Patten, the Governor, is to fly to London at the end of the month for a meeting with John Major, amid clear signs that Britain is losing patience with China at the slow progress of talks over political reform. By announcing Mr Patten's visit, Britain has signalled to China that it wants to see the start of serious negotiations in the sixth round of talks, from Wednesday to Friday of next week.