Hong Kong Chief Faces Skeptical Washington

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WASHINGTON: China's Hong Kong chief C.H. Tung's roadshow to convince global partners it's business is usual in the former British Colony has drawn no applause from politicians here, and is likely to make little headway with President Clinton Friday. TIME White House correspondent. Jef McAllister notes that Tung's plan to cut the number of eligible Hong Kong voters from 2.7 million constituents to 180,000 representatives of "functional constituencies" was sharply criticized by Sen. Jesse Helms as "undemocratic" and "unacceptable." McAllister predicts "Tung will have an equally difficult meeting with President Clinton."

TIME Washington correspondent Dean Fischer observes that Tung has yet to be tested on the toughest takeover issues, such as anticipated press scrutiny of Premier Li Peng or China's crucial 15th Communist Party Congress. "He hasn't had to confront a real choice on an issue that would help Beijing and hurt the people of Hong Kong," says Fischer.