Unsettling Remarks

Beijing's anti-democracy attacks finally shake the Hong Kong markets

AN OMINOUS WARNING FROM THE HIGHEST-RANKING Chinese official yet to speak out against Governor Chris Patten's democratic reforms finally sent Hong Kong's key barometer of confidence, the heretofore spook-proof stock market, plummeting nearly 8%. From London, where Patten coincidentally got a ringing endorsement from his friend Prime Minister John Major, Zhu Rongji, the otherwise reform-minded Vice Premier and likely successor to hard-line Premier Li Peng, said the plans violate the bedrock 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration preserving Hong Kong's capitalist ways after the 1997 hand over. He added darkly, "People ask whether we have to stick to the Joint Declaration, or whether...

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