What Deal?

London and Beijing bicker over how democratic Hong Kong should be

HONG KONG'S GOVERNOR, CHRIS PATTEN, HAS learned that he does not have to go to China to be snubbed. A week after his chilly sojourn in Beijing, Patten was stood up by a retired Chinese official who abruptly bowed out of a long- standing luncheon appointment at Government House. Meanwhile, pro-Beijing newspapers in the colony kept up their fusillade of ad hominem attacks on Patten, joined even by moderate members of Hong Kong's skittish business community.

The latest spat concerns Beijing's insistence that Patten's proposals to give Hong Kong people a greater voice in choosing their legislators contravene "secret" agreements with...

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