Peking rejects HK speculation

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HONG KONG (Reuter) - China yesterday dismissed speculation of a compromise over the democratic reform proposals of Chris Patten, Hong Kong's Governor, vowing to reject even any watered-down package produced by the colony's legislature.

Mr Patten expressed hope this week that Peking would accept the verdict of the Legislative Council on reform later this year. His comments triggered a brief stock market rally. But a senior Chinese official repeated Peking's hard line that anything which did not conform to the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitution after it returns to China, in 1997, was out of the question.