Hong Kong governor refuses to help interim legislature
Patten, successor 'agree to disagree'
December 23, 1996
Web posted at: 12:05 p.m. EST (1705 GMT)
HONG KONG (CNN) -- Hong Kong's colonial governor Chris
Patten on Monday refused a request by future leader Tung
Chee-hwa to support the interim legislature China will
install in the territory when the British depart next year.
In their first meeting since Tung was named chief executive
by a China-organized committee 12 days ago, the two men
"agreed to disagree," a spokesman for Patten said.
Remarks from future Hong Kong chief Tung Chee-hwa and outgoing Governor Chris Patten
(320K/29 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
After their 90-minute talk, both Patten and Tung stressed
their desire to cooperate. But Tung said Patten flatly
refused to help the new legislature before the transfer of
sovereignty to China on July 1.
Patten and Tung met against a backdrop of angry
recriminations between Britain and China.
Over the weekend, with Tung's full support, China defied
British objections and appointed a pro-Beijing provisional
legislature for Hong Kong.
Patten: 'I won't cooperate'
The interim assembly was designed by China to replace the
current one elected under Patten's democratic reforms and
without Beijing's consent.
It would sit from July 1 until a new legislature can be
created via elections.
But Patten's refusal to cooperate raises the prospect of two
rival legislatures. The governor told CNN he would not help
dismantle a democratic institution the people of Hong Kong
City University of Hong King political scientist Ming Sing
predicts Beijing will try to use the provisional legislature
to undo democratic reforms. (264K/24 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Meanwhile, China on Monday warned Britain not to "cause fresh
troubles" in the last six months of its rule over Hong Kong.
The relationship between Patten and Tung will play a
significant role in shaping events in the months before the
But of far greater importance is the fact that Patten is on
the way out, meaning the balance of power in Hong Kong
already is shifting towards Tung.
Hong Kong Bureau Chief Mike Chinoy and
Reuters contributed to this report.
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.