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Hong Kong’s Last British Governor Criticizes Beijing 20 Years After Handover

Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s final British governor, listens to questions during a discourse event with students during Hong Kong University in November.

Vincent Yu/AP


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Vincent Yu/AP

Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s final British governor, listens to questions during a discourse event with students during Hong Kong University in November.

Vincent Yu/AP

The final British administrator of Hong Kong, who helped negotiate a lapse to China 20 years ago, is decrying Beijing’s administration of a domain on a anniversary of a ancestral handover.

Chris Patten, who served as administrator of Hong Kong from 1992 until it was returned to China on Jun 30, 1997, writes in Friday’s The New York Times that Beijing has mostly unsuccessful to keep a guarantee of “one country, dual systems.” That proceed to governance was ostensible to means a domain a “high grade of autonomy,” including a jot of approved order and a polite multitude grown over some-more than 150 years of British rule.

“There have been attacks on a eccentric law and a order of law,” Patten writes in a Times, adding specific cases in that Beijing had trampled on simple rights and clamped down on giveaway speech.

Hong Kong island was ceded to Great Britain in 1842 in a Treaty of Nanjing. Kowloon and a New Territories became partial of a British cluster in unbroken decades. A franchise on a New Territories, that was set to end in 1997, triggered talks to handover a territory, by afterwards a abounding general pier and banking core with a informative sensibility that was as Western as it was Asian.

When negotiations for a lapse of Hong Kong were underway, Patten sought to annotate protections for Hong Kong that would safety a singular temperament and proceed of life. And in a early years after a handover, China confirmed a comparatively hands-off approach.

In new years, however, Beijing has increasingly clamped down on any gainsay and changed to stifle approach elections for Hong Kong’s arch executive.

In 2014, student-led pro-democracy demonstrations choked a streets in Hong Kong’s bustling business districts. The supposed Umbrella Movement was eventually close down by police.

Patten records that Hong Kong’s new arch executive, Carrie Lam, who is due to be sworn-in this week, was inaugurated “by only a few hundred internal citizens” and as a No. 2 supervision central in a domain is “best famous for refusing to have any discourse with a pro-democracy protesters …”

Patten writes:

“Hong Kong is a tiny place, though a predestine will dawn vast over a 21st century. For what happens there will answer a question: Can China be trusted?”