Letter: Patten to blame for Peking move

Share
Related Topics
Sir: What is truly "stomach-turning", to use Governor Chris Patten's phrase, is the ease with which he can use the press to pillory Peking and exonerate himself for the replacement next July of the sitting Hong Kong Legislative Council by an appointed interim chamber ("Patten lashes `sick' plan for Hong Kong", 21 December). The Chinese authorities' description of their action as "necessary, reasonable and justified" is apt.

It is necessary because, consequent on Mr Patten's actions, the constituency basis on which the council was elected in 1995 did not conform with the constitution Peking, with Britain's co-operation, had drawn up for Hong Kong when it reverts to China. China insistently warned before the Patten "reforms" were implemented that they meant the sitting council would have to be stood down at midnight on 30 June 1997 - an entirely unwelcome step imposed on Peking by Mr Patten,

It is reasonable because the government of post-transition Hong Kong will need a legislature and because instant elections would overload a new administration. Therefore a nominated body is needed to serve until a new council can be elected in 1998 on the constituency basis agreed between Britain and China before Mr Patten's appointment.

It is justified because the reforms Mr Patten introduced in 1993 were a gerrymander, unilaterally changing the agreed constituency basis for the 1995 elections so as to strengthen the electoral chances of the anti- Peking party. Peking had agreed to the steady, progressive democratisation of the Hong Kong polity, but Mr Patten, defying China's objections, fast- forwarded that process - and what Peking is now doing is switching to "rewind".

NEVILLE MAXWELL

Oxford

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal  

What is 4Chan? And why does it threaten women like Emma Watson?

Memphis Barker
Chuka Umunna was elected MP for Streatham in 2010  

Could flirty Chuka Umunna be worth a punt for Labour’s top job?

Matthew Norman
Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world