Peking sends mixed signals

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

PEKING (Reuter) - China is offering mixed signals on Hong Kong, with Li Peng, the Prime Minister, toning down angry rhetoric against Governor Chris Patten's reform plans but the People's Daily raking up old grievances against Britain over the infamous Opium Wars. Chinese sources in Hong Kong on Thursday said Britain and China would hold talks in Peking on arrangements for elections in the British in 1995.

Mr Li, in a meeting with Hong Kong business leaders, said problems on the handover should be resolved through consultation between Britain and China. But the People's Daily, mouthpiece of the Communist Party, raked up the history of British aggression against China in a lengthy commentary.