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iemoirs of Sze-yuen Qhung 

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Year 2001 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

IVIulticultural Canada; University of Toronto Libraries 

Hong Kong s Journey to 
Reunifica Hon 

Memoirs of Sze-yuen Chung 
Sze-yuen Chung 

Canada-Hong Kong Resource Centre 

1 Spadina Cresccnl, Rm. Ill • Toronlo, Canada • M5S lAl 

The ('liinese I ni>crsitv Press 

Hoiifi Kon$s Journey to Reunification — 
Memoirs of Ss:-e-yuen CJiung 

By Sze-yuen Chung 

© Sze-yuen Chunji. 2001 

All rights reserved. No part of" this pubhcation may 
be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any 
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, 
recording, or any information storage and retriexal 
system, without permission in writing from the author. 

ISBN 962-996-002-8 (Cascbound) 
962-996-020-6 (Paperback ) 


The Chinese University of Hong Kong 
Fax: +852 2603 6692 
Fax: +852 2603 7355 
E-mail: hk 
Web-site : w^vw. chineseupress .com 

Printed in Hong Kong 

To the People of Hong Kong 


List of Illustrations xii 

Foreword x\'ii 

Acknowledgements xix 

Abbreviations xxi 

(Chapter 1 Early Reflections 1 

My First 24 Years 1 

Early Eduaition 1 

Dangerous Advoituix' 3 
My Time ( )utside Hong Kong 7 

Work ill Free Chiiui 7 

English Sojotnii 10 
Post-war I'^ra ot Hong Kong 13 

hulusiridl Rcvolutitm 13 

My liusituss (Uirccr IS 

lic0utiinLi <>/ I'lihlic Service 21 

"Pereniiidl TcDiponiry Leiiisldior" JJ 

(Chapter 2 Sino-Britisli Negotiations 25 

The Inception 25 

IIohl: Home's Fumre <>)i ihe Ai^ctidn 25 


LcctdiiiLi the Executive (Joiiucil J3 

UMEL(X) Dehdted the 1W7 Question J5 

The Chinese hivit(<ti())i ,V^ 

Arrivcil of Ecbwtird Youde 43 

The Open Eoriim 49 

Advisit}^ TJuitcher 51 

A Lady s Place 53 
The Stalemate 56 

The Fiist Encounter 56 

Truth Unveiled 58 

A Place at the Table 60 

Battle for Hearts and Minds 63 

No Time Table for Talks 67 

The Breakthrough and Breakdown 69 

The Councillors ' Rage 70 

The Fii'st Concession 72 

Target: Allen Lee 74 

Britain Caved-in 75 
The liable 76 

UMELCO s New Strategy 76 

The Lobo Motion 78 

Proclamation of British Exit 81 

British Sensitivity 83 

Hostile British Reception 86 

Fuj'ious at Sir Geoffrey Howe 88 

Public Support for the UMELCO 90 

Discriminatory Nationality Act 92 

Readying for Beijing 95 

Hard Talk with the Supreme Leader 97 

Craft of Sto ry Telli ng 1 04 

QS=r Tin :i*=c 


Public Support for the Beijing Trip 107 
The Joint Liaison Group 109 
Political Gambit 111 
Agreement Became Decla ra tion 1 13 
EXCO 's Final Mission to Lonchm 114 
Dunn's Embarrassment 116 
False Alarm 117 
The Hand Shake llcS 

The Commendation US 

A Minor Rebuff 1 2 1 

UMELCO's Reaction to the Declaration 122 

On the Plane with Thatcher 12S 

The Highest Knighthood 130 

Preventing Sabotage 132 

The Grand Finale 135 

Chapter 3 The Lon^ Transition \M 

Iloncyiiioon Period K^7 

The Three-act PUiy 137 

Secret Meetings icitli Xu 139 

Sir Edzivard's Death — An Omen 14() 

Sir EdiJDard's \7.s/on 14S 

Myth of the I 'ST Cost Overnoi 154 

Basic Laze Conundrum 1 5S 

Democracy in (ics[(i(io)i l(y3 

Another Chinese hiviiohon KuS 
Period ot' Distrust 1 70 

The Shock from ridnonmen 170 

Seeds of ( 'onfroiuoiion 17(> 

The rhird (!hi)usc Ini-iuuion ITS 

<:^ ix ^. 


Airport Turhulcucc 1S2 
Birth oj'thc Lihcnil I'drty 189 
I'eriod of ( 'ontrontatioii \^)2 

I\ittcti Realigned the Executive douticil 192 

I\itten's Political Refonii 195 

Aiuito)}}\' of II l)isj)ute 204 

A Blessi)}^ in Disguise 207 

Patten Sirce(l/ro)n His Waterloo 210 

Prelitninary Working ('ot)})nittee 215 

Little Tricks 219 

Biitish Enmity -icith the PW(J 221 

Executive-leil Governtnent 223 

Reckless Driviyig 22S 

Victims of the Sino-British Dispute 233 

Chapter 4 The Hong Kong SAR 237 

The Preparation 237 

Provisional Legislative (j>uncil 237 

The Guessing Game 241 

Binnps a7}cl Ruts on the Road 244 

Vanguard of the I long Kong SAR 250 

Support for Tung Chee-hiva 257 

Democracy and the Civil Service 262 
The Ceremonies 26(S 

Einal LLnirs of the British Rule 268 

The Sovereignty Retur-n 271 

Einal British Retreat 279 

Eounding of the Hong Kong SAR 280 

The Ma 1 1 da rin Hi i rdle 28 7 

Nezv Era. Xezv Honours 289 


The Threshold 293 

The I'ur(i(li<4}}i Shin J'JJ 

The hiitidl Experience 297 
The Future 302 

Puny Politics 302 

Executive Council Refoj'm 305 

SAR's Economic Eutnre 311 

Appendixes 317 

1. Chronology of Exents 319 

2. List of ('liinese Names with Their EngHsh 
i-A|iii\alents 325 

3. Biography of the Author 329 

ilkistration Oedits ^^?> 

hidex 335 

:arr Xt :^s 


Chapter 1 

1. 1 The author and his v\itc at the Diploinatie C^orps Ball, 

1<>74 8 

1.2 The author w ith his faniih' and relatixes at the 
University of Sheffield, 19cS5 12 

1.3 The authors son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons, 

1995 19 

1.4 The industrial eomplex of Sonea Industries Ltd., 1966 20 

C^hapter 2 

2.1 Sir Sik-nin (Miau leading the Hong Kong Trade Mission 

to the European Economic Community, in Italy, 1963 26 

2.2 The author with Sir Y. K. Kan, 1978 33 

2.3 The LTMELCO and Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington 
during his visit, 1981 38 

2.4 The UMELCO and Lord Privy Seal Humphrey Atkins 
during his visit, 1982 40 

2.5 The author with Sir Y. K. Kan, Mr. T. K. Ann and 

others in Japan, 1978 42 

2.6 The Swearing-in Ceremony for Governor Sir Edward 
Youde, 1982 46 

2.7 The LTMELCO Delegation with Prime Minister Thatcher 

at 10 Downing, 1982 54 

2.8 The UMELCO and Prime Minister Thatcher during 

her visit, 1982 57 

2.9 The first LIMEXCO Mission to London at Lancaster 

House, 1983 68 

i*t Xll 4*^ 

List of Illustrations 

2.10 Mr. Roger Loho addressins; the Legislative Council, 19(S2 79 

2.11 The UMELGO and Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe 
during his visit, 1984 82 

2.12 The second UMELGO Delegation to London, 1984 89 

2.13 The author meeting Ghairman Deng Xiaoping in 

Beijing, 1984 99 

2.14 The press briefing after the UMELGO Delegation to 
Beijing, 1984 103 

2.15 The UMELGO Delegation to Beijing, in front of the 
Temple of Heaven , 1 984 1 08 

2.16 The Hong Kong Executive Council, 1984 115 

2.17 The author with Dr. Allen Lee at the Summer Palace, 
Beijing, 1984 119 

2.18 The Hong Kong Delegation attending the 35th 
National Day (Celebration in Beijing, on the Great 

Wall of China, 1984 120 

2.19 The third UMELGO Delegation witli rrimc .Minister 
Thatcher in London, 1984 124 

2.20 CioNcrnor Voudc meeting the Japanese Prime Minister 

in Tokyo, 1984 126 

2.21 The Sino-IJritish .loint Declaration Signing (IcrcmonN" 

in Beijing, 1984 127 

2.22 The Chinese Icatlcrs with the I long Kong Delegation 

in Beijing, 1984 129 

2.23 Prime Minister Thatcher ndthcssing the Lcgislatixe 
Council, 19,S4 130 

2.24 The l-arcwcll i'.irtv to niriik the cnti of the L\chisi\e 
AppointmciU System lor tlic Legislative Council, 

P)S5 134 

;*^ xiii -t^ 

List of llltistnttious 

(chapter 3 

3. 1 The rMEL(J( ) dinner lor Direetor Xu .lintuii ot tlie 

Xinhua News A;^eney, I loiiL" Koni;, \*^)H5 140 

3.2 The author speakini; at the l)ra;L;on lioat Festixal 

Dinner in London, 1*AS6 143 

3.v'^ Tlie i'lmeral proeession of tlie hite (iovernor ^bude, 

1986 147 

3.4 The Ilon.a Kon^ Polytechnic, 10.S6 150 

3.5 The 15th Annixersary of the City University of Hong 

Kong, 1999 152 

3.6 The Hong Kong Uni\'ersity of Science & Technology, 

1995 153 

3.7 A bird's-eye view of the Hong Kong University of 

Science & Technology, 2()()() 156 

3.8 The Swearing-in Ceremony for Governor Sir David 
Wilson, 1987 160 

3.9 The Hong Kong Executive Council, 1987 165 

3.10 A rally held in May 1989 at Statue Square in support 

of the student nio\'enient in Beijing 171 

3.11 Visit of the Business and Professionals Federation of 

Hong Kong to Beijing, 1993 179 

3.12 The Hong Kong International Airport, 1998 183 

3.13 Celebration of the 4th Anni\'ersary of the Liberal 

Party, 1998 190 

3.14 Governor Patten's Open Forum for his political 

package, 1992 197 

3.15 The author addressing the 2nd plenary' session of the 
Preliminary Working Committee in Beijing, 1993 208 

3.16 The author accepting the PWC Appointment 

Certificate from the NPC Chairman, 1993 216 

List (if Illuscrucions 

3.17 The Budget Expert Subgroup of the Sino-British Joint 

Liaison Group, 1997 230 

Chapter 4 

4.1 The End-of-Term Dinner of the Bro\'isional Legislative 
Council, 1998 241 

4.2 The Chinese leaders and members of the Hong Kong 

SAR Preparatory (Committee, 1996 252 

4.3 Meeting of the Selection Committee Group of the 
Preparatory Committee in Beijing, 1996 256 

4.4 The Conxenors of all the Sub-( Committees of the 
Preparatory Committee and members of the 
Secretariat, 1997 263 

4.5 The new wing of the ('onxention and Exhibition 

Centre at night, 1997 270 

4.6 The Soxereignty Return ('eremony on 1 Jul\' 

1997 274 

4.7 People gathering at Time Sc|uare for the sovereignty 
transfer eoutu-clown on 30 ,lune 1997 277 

4.S i'eople gathering in a eoninniiiit\" centre watching the 

so\'ereignt\' transfer on 1 .Inly 1997 278 

4.9 The Establishment (Ceremoin of the Hong Kong S.\R 

on 1 .Inly I'>97 2M 

4.10 The Swearing-in Ccremon>' for members of tlie Hong 

Kong SAK K.xecutive Conncil. l'V>7 2s3 

4.1 1 The IIKSAK Chief E.\eeuti\e. .Mr Tung Chee-hwa. 

shook hands with the antiior. the l-.\eeuti\e (ionncil 

(ionxciior. .liter the Sw e;iiing-in ( !ei\'inon\' on 

1 .hilv l')'>7 2S4 

0^ .W :^ 

/,).sf of llliistntiinus 

4.12 (Chinese lenders and members ot' the exeeiitixe, 
legislatixe and Jiidieial branehes ot the llKSiVR, 
1 July 1W7 286 

4.1v^ The First (Irand Baiihinia Medal I'resentation 

(Ceremony on 2 July ]')')! 290 

4.14 The author and his friends at the (iovernment House 

after reeeivin^ the GBM Award on 2 July ]')')7 292 

4.15 President Jiansi Zemin presented his calligraphy seroll 
"Hong Kong Faces a Better Future" to the HKlSAR, 
receixed by the HKSAR Chief Executive, Mr. Tung 
Chee-hwa, 1997 295 

4.16 The HKSAR Chief Executive, Mr. Tung Chee-hwa, 
addressing at his first press conference, 1997 304 

4.17 The Hong Kong SAR Executive Council, 1997 306 

4.18 The Unofficial Members of the Hong Kong SAR 
Executive Council at Tiananmen, 1999 308 

4.19 Happy retirement card for the author from members 

of the mass media, 1999 310 

4.20 The BPF Forum on Hong Kong SARs Economic 

Future, 1999 312 


The Hong Kong Special Administrati\'e Region Front endpaper 
Hong Kong in Its Regional Setting Back endpaper 

ca^ XVI 3*t 


I am not one who indul;t>es in nostalgia or needs to justify myselt to 
the past, vvhieh anyway is for historians to assess and record. I 
therefore did not plan to write my memoirs at first, but my friends 
and associates goaded me into the traxaii. They stressed that I am 
probably the only natixe son of Hong Kong who has been closely 
and actix'cly in\'ol\cd in the whole process of Hong Kong's rctiu'ning 
to (Ihina. Furthermore, facts as far as they can be ascertained should 
be prcscr\'ed, lest myths will substitute for truth, which is not 
unconnnon in matters of state and politics. 

1 conceded to their entreaty and the story contained in my 
memoirs belongs to the w hole eommiuiit\- for w hich I scr\cd in w hat 
I gathered to be the jniblic's best interests. I am pii\\- to a lot of 
information from all the three parties concerned — Hong Kong, ( ihina 
and Britain. 

Memory is \ery selecti\e and porous. The iniiui is like a sicxe, 
which as time goes by tlrains the fliiitl Awd Icaxcs bchinti residues 
that arc gcncrall\' cham;itic. I'or ahnost half a centiirx I |">articii">ate(.l 
in the atiministration of Hong I\oiig. first w hen it was a l>iitish colony 
and then as a Special .\tlininistrati\c Kcgion of ( Ihiiia. .\!an\ decisions 
taken in which I had a jiait passeil aiul the lietails about these, once 
so griiiping, are inostK' forgotten now but there was one stretch, 
the tweiUN' \ears between l*>7'> aiul P>''*' wIkii I finalK letireil from 
polities, whii,-li has r(.'niaini.'d \ i\ iii iKcaiisi.' tlu' impli>.-at ions troin 


that time — the Siii()-15ritisli iietiotiations aiul then the transition 
from the Ihitish eolonial rule to a hi,i;h-de;L;ree ot' aiitononn' under 
China — eontinue to re\erberate. 

My testament eentres mainly in those two tleeades of trials 
and trii")ulations throuiih whieh (]hina and Ihitain, and also ilonj; 
Koul; iietween them, ehani^ed for the better, (^hina has eome out of 
isolation, persisted with its eeonomic reforms, erased the shame of 
the Opiimi Wars, and shaken the world. Britain has finally shehed 
its imperial past, relinquished its r(jle as an aloof island nation that 
has to be a beaeon for other peoples it onee ruled, and come to 
terms with its status as a member of the ^^reater European 
Community. Iloni; Kong has also been exoKing, exen though the 
process is not complete, as it attempts to be at onee (Chinese and 
cosmopolitan, proud of its ancient heritage and confident of its future. 

All along, others and myself who wanted to achiexe a Just and 
practical solution to the Hong Kong conimdrimi did so with one 
dominant objectixe — to cater for the dignity and sovereignty of 
China, the grace of the United Kingdom, and the aspirations of Hong 
Kong. Somehow, through the doubts and agonies, we ha\'e now 
accomplished more or less all oiu" aims and we can face our own 
consciences and sleep well at night. 

Others who endured similar experiences as I did may not see 
the happenings exactly as I do today. This is not because our 
conflicting reflections are faulty but rather because we ine\'itably 
tint our eyes with our own ideals. Two persons, lying side by side in 
the meadow and gazing at the floating clouds, may discern \'astly 
different configurations. I never claim to be authoritative but I do 
assert my recollections are authentic. 1 shall say no more as I let my 
memory speak. 

Sze-yuen CHLTNG 
HonH Kono, May 2001 

Q#c XV Hi ^d?t 


The author wishes to thank lioth Dr. Stexen K.L. Poon and 
partieularly Dr. Allen P.F. Lee wholeheartedly for their information. 
ad\'ice and assistance throiii^hout the whole proeess of drattiny and 
production of the memoirs. Dr. Lee was a member of the Hong Kong 
Legislative Council uninterrupted for twenty years from 107S to 1*^)98 
and its Senior Member from 198(S to 1992. He was also a member of 
the Executi\'e Council from 19(S5 to 1992, and thus has been closely 
invoh'cd in the whole proeess of reimification. 

(irateful thanks also go to Mr. Wong \'an-lung, a barrister, for 
reading and gi\ing professional ad\ice on the Lnglish and Chinese 
manuscripts, and to Mrs. Esther Wong for checking both the scripts. 

The author is indebtetl to both Mr. l)ernard l-Ong and .Miss 
Siring \a for their able assistance in preparing respecti\ely the Lnglish 
and (Ihinese drafts. 

Some of the jihotographs were taken from the publications of 
the UMKL(X) Office, the I long Kong Cioxernnient and the llon<; Konu 
SAK ( loxernnient. anti the author u ishes to express his api">reciation 
for their permission to tlo so. 


BDTG British Dependent Territory (Mtizen 

I5L(]C F>asic Law (^onsultatixe (Committee 

BLDG liasie Law Drafting ('ommittee 

BN(0) British National ( ( )\erseas ) 

BPF Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong 

CE Chief Fxeeutive of the IIKSAR 

CFG (Central Peoples (io\'ernment 

(]PP(]G ('hinese People's I'olitieal (]onsultati\'e (^onferenee 

EXCO Fxeeiiti\'e (^oimeii 

GDP (iross doinestie prodiiet 

IIRfBGG Hong Kong/Japan Business Co-operation Connnittee 

IIKMAG 1 long Kong 6n: Maeao Affairs ( )ffiee 

IIMG Her Majesty's (loxernnieiit 

.IL(i Sino-British Joint Liaison Group 

.IP .histiee of the Peaee 

LECC^O Legislati\e Couneil 

Ml^ Member of I'arlianieiit 

NP(] National People's ( longress 

i*(; Preparator\' ( lominittee for the I IKSAK 

PLA Peoples l.iheiat ion Ann\' 

PL( ; Pro\ isiona! Legislali\ e ( louneil 

l'l\(] IV(i|ile,s l\(.piiMie ot ( iliiiia 

P\\'( ] l'reliininar\ Working ( ioinniiltee of the I't ! 


RHIvIG Royal IIonM Kong Jockey Club 

SAR Special Aclniinistratix'e Rciiion 

SG Selection Connnittcc for the First Government of the 

Ilonii Koni5 SAR 
TDG Trade Development ('onneil 

UMELGO Unofficial Members of the Executive and Legislative 

UMEXGO Unofficial Members of the Executive Council 

UMLEGGO Unofficial Members of the Legislative Gouncil 
UST L'niversity of Science and Technology 

XNA Xinhua News Agency 

qifT XXll z^^ 


er 1 

Early Reflections 

My First 24 Years 

Early Education 

The Hong Kong of my yonth was harsher \et more genteel than the 
one in which I Hve now. Back then when 1 first made sense of my 
surroundings, the city was a httle known eoh)nial outpost of 
sulitropieal languor. This is liard to eoneeixe toda\' in its incessant, 
modern hustle of world fame. What passed for the heart of the 
ei\ ilization was a mixture of market place and business centre, in 
which two races, the (Ihincsc and the expatriate IWitish, coexisted 
hut did not too often commingle, except as an absolute necessity. 
( )ne grouji pla\cd cricket, in bowler hats untlcr the mid-da\' sun. a 
game lasting days totalK' incomprehensible to the (Ihincsc. The other 
in tiun enjoxed a distincth' different culture, especialh" the noisy 
Cantonese opera. Thc\' toleratetl each other b\' not ha\ ing much to 
tlo with each other — a nnitually suitable arrangement. 

I grown u|i in such a woikl. The main stor>' I am going to 
tell cosers rougliK' the last twent\' of ui\- nearly fift\' years of public 
ser\ice. lUit befoie doin^ that let me now st.iil ;it the beginninu ol 
m\- life. 1 boin in No\embei- 1'>1 7 on (he I long Kong Island, then 
dubbeil "Xietoria" .\1\ father arrixetl in lloug Kong from his na(i\e 
Foshan ('.ounty, (iuangdong I'lovince, in his Nouuudaxs. 1 am the 

Ilonii Konii's .tourney tn Hcxinificiitiitn 

eldest ehild of his tliird wit'e and the tit'th of his eii^ht sons. He was a 
metal merehant, mainly doini; imports. 1 also had three sisters. Some 
of my sibliniis 1 have never seen. 

I eould not remember there was any kinderj^arten in those 
days. Like others, I attended a Cdiinese sehool for my six years 
primary edueation. This was followed by eight years (started from 
Glass 8 mo\'ing up to (]lass 1 ) seeondary education in Angle-Chinese 
schools using English as the medium of instruction. Many teachers 
were expatriates, mainly from Britain. 

I was quite actixe in extra-curricular actixitics during my teens 
— a member of the St. John's Ambulance and a qualified lifesaver 
from the Royal Society for Life Saving. I played soccer, basketball, 
ping-pong (table tennis) and tennis, but \'olleyball was my faxourite 
sport and I represented my school, St. Pauls College, to win inter- 
school championship. In those days there were nine players (not 
six as today) on each side making a formation of 3 by 3. The players 
were not required to rotate and shorter persons like myself normally 
were acting as defenders positioned at the last row of the formation. 
There will be more about this in a later section. 

After matriculating from St. Pauls College in 1936, I went to 
study at St. John s L^niversity in Shanghai, with the intention of 
continuing my education in the LI.S.A. after my first degree. A novel 
about an engineer who helped to dex'clop the infrastructure of China 
and to raise the living standard of his people inspired me. So I longed 
to be an engineer and, for that reason, I enrolled in the engineering 
faculty. A year later, during my summer xacation in Hong Kong, the 
Japanese army inxaded Shanghai and cut me off from St. John's. I 
then sought and obtained admission to the Uni\ersity of I long Kong. 

In those pre-war days, the L^niNcrsity of Hong Kong was 
providing a 6-year course for medicine and 4-year courses in arts, 

Early Reflections 

science and en^ineerin;^ disciplines. It had a student population of 
about 400 with an enrolment of approximately 80 students in the 
engineering taculty. 

Three of us in the third year of the Unixersity dexised a unique 
way of gaining real-world experience by puttini; in a total capital of 
a few thousand I long Kong dollars to establish and operate a small 
machine shop at High Street near the rni\ersity. I took oxerall charge 
of this experimental operation. 

hi May 1941, at the age of 23, after winning all the academic 
awards and prizes axailablc, I graduated in engineering with first 
class honours, the only one to haxe done so in the whole faculty for 
that year. A month after ni>- graduation. Mr. K. (><)ck, the (ieneral 
Manager of the Kowloon Whampoa Ship>ard in Ilunghom, hired 
me as an assistant engineer working in the machine shops at a 
monthly salar\' of 200 Hong Kong dollars. At that time the expatriates 
from Britain dominated the engineering profession in Hong Kong 
and the whole enterprise of a few thousand people emploNcd but 
two (Chinese professionals. The other (Ihinese was working in the 
design office. 

Danficrous . Ulventure 

l>aek in those innocent times of 1*M1. in retrospect, not many of us 
ivUcw how precarious iiong Kong's situation was. The insularit\' of 
the (]()l()n\' blinded us to the urgenex'. to tiie storm looming. Ten 
\ears earlier .la|i;m liaii sei/etl .Manehuria and four \ears earlier its 
Imjierial .\rm\ iiad pusiied south, .sp;irking ;i full-scale iiuasiou of 
an a heath- st rife-slrieken ami torn ( liiua proper, ilong Kong seemed 
sale to the man\- who lieiuded tlKinsebes that the .lapaiiese wouki 
not challenge the British with their iuxineible Koval Na\\ The 

:ar J 

Il(i))ii KouLi's .Jdiirucy to Rcuuificdtion 

Americ.'in President, Franklin Roosexelt, ealled <S Deeember 1941 
(Western I^aeitie Time) "Tlie Day that will li\'e in Intamy" when the 
Japanese raided Pearl Ilarhonr in Hawaii. 

The aggressor had mastermind the blitz not just for those 
islands out in the middle Paeifie Oeean, but also for the one on 
whieh 1 was li\ing. Japanese Mitsubishi "Zero" airplanes on that 
Monday morning tlew sorties against Hong Kong, whose defence was 
porous and perfunctory, even though the defenders — ethnic 
Chinese, Indians, Britons, iVustralians and Canadians — were brave. 
The garrison just could not cope with the bombing and the strafing 
by a force that had total air superiority and control of the sea-lanes. 
I remember seeing the streaks of tracer shells light up the sky and 
hearing the constant staccato of machine guns as well as the thud, 
thud, thud of ordnance being dropped and the rattle of explosion 
getting nearer and nearer. I had joined the Auxiliary Transport 
Services and was dispatched by the ci\'il defence to the Wanchai 
Vocational School to take charge of its motor car repair section. We 
knew wJiatever we were doing could not stall the Japanese army. 
After 17 days of resistance the British eventually surrendered on 
Christmas Day 1941. 

The Japanese, once they had settled in, marshalled the people 
to work to aid their war effort. The Authorities were drafting many 
workers back to the Kowloon Whampoa Shipyard to fix and refit 
Japanese warships. I did not want any part, however tiny and 
involuntary, in the Japanese design on the rest of Asia. So early in 
1942, I slipped out of Hong Kong for "neutral" Macao. The then 
fascist Portuguese, like the Spaniards, did not join either the Axis or 
the Allies, ensuring that not only their territories were spared but 
also their overseas domains. Macao was the exit route for many from 
Hong Kong, some of whom w^ould eventually trek up to free China's 

Early Reflections 

wartime capital Chongqing in Sichuan I'roxincc, in the formidable 
Yangtze gorges. The Japanese also had a policy of making the cntn,' 
into Hong Kong impossible l)ut the exit to Macao easy so as to case 
their food supplies. Thus I left my hometown with little difficulty 
yet a lot of anxiety about rclati\cs and friends trapped under 
occupation. In Macao, I billeted with the family of Cheung Yung- 
hing, a young lady of grace I had been dating in Hong Kong. 

Yung-hing had been my confidante before the War. She had 
enrolled at Lingnan l"ni\ersity, which had decamped from (iuang- 
zhou to the University of Hong Kong to escape the occupation. Yung- 
hing was not just my lo\'c, she was my solace and, in 1942. my 
opportunity for freedom; and it was in tranquil Macao, w ith the world 
in arms, that 1 proposed to her We got engaged when all else seemed 
bleak or desperate and planned to flee to the Mainland, far to the 
north, to Jiangxi Pro\incc. 

At the University of Hong Kong, Tsang Wah-shing was one of 
my engineering lecturers. As the Japanese headed south, he went 
north to offer his serxice to the proxincial goxernment, whicii put 
him in charge of a machine faetorx- in the outskirts of Taihe, the 
wartime eapital of Jiangxi ProNince. We were able to eonnnunieate 
and he lu'ged me to join him in Jiangxi and eontrilnite to the national 
defence, llonouretl ant! elated, I wanted to go at once but siuidenh' 
realized that I iiad to take witii me the liooks. manuals and jiapers 
relatetl to the Jo! i of a ehief maehine designer. With ( Jiina at war. it 
was not possilije to ol>tain these inxahiable xolumes. Those I hat! 
abandoned in lloni; I\ong in m\ haste to gel out would now ha\e to 
be retriexeil. 

Now I was siuUlenK' presenteil with a unique pretiieameni of 
ha\ing to sneak baek for the books and also for a \isit with \\\y 
relatives attain for one last time — autl perhajvs icalb lor the last 

Hoiifi Koufi's Journey la KLinii/iccition 

time, (iointi h;icl\ would he niiieh haixlcr tor the .Inpaiiese were wary 
of agents and salioteurs w ho, when eaught, would he. if in luek, 
summarily exeeuted with a swish of the samiu'ai sword and, if not, 
tortin-ed for days hefore deeapitation. With the i)ra\ad() of xouth, I 
was determined to retiun to Iloni; Kont; and so hired a motorized 
junk in Maeao for the trip — or folly. The hoatman eheeked me o\'er 
and told me I would stiek out heeause I was too pale. lie iniied me to 
tan myself for a eouple of weeks so that I eould pose as a fisherman 
who had strayed into Hong Kong. 

We set sail \'ery early in the morning on a teen-foot x'essel in 
choppy waters for the 35-mile \ oyage across the swelling South China 
Sea. The boat bobbed away from Macao in reasonably fine weather 
and for much of the day 1 leaned against the gunwale, my head at 
times no more than about sexen inches from the wa\es, and 
periodically retched. Whilst my stomach turned, and my head too, I 
was fortunate since I did not encounter any marine patrol. The junk 
docked at Aberdeen, a fishing village on the southwest end of the 
Hong Kong Island, at about se\'cn in the exening and in calmer waters 
that belied my inner anxiety. I clambered ashore, still seasick and 
jittery, and, after composing myself, boarded a bus for my home on 
Pok Fu Lam Road near my alma mater, the Uni\'ersity of Hong Kong. 
I thought I was safe and dry but I was wrong, almost dead wrong. 

Recuperated from my xoyage, and staying in Hong Kong for 
several days, I sorted and packed the precious consignment into 
two trunks. These were to be delixered along with me to the Hong 
Kong and Macao Terminal for the ferry Fakit7\yii((7i for the return 
trip, which I reckoned should be a much easier excursion. A 
companion and I, lugging the contraband, took the route along Pok 
Fu Lam Road towards Queen s Road West in Sai Ying Pun district 
through a Japanese checkpoint, a routine inconvenience. These 

^aJT 6 ^2?r 

Early Reflections 

sentries made spot eheeks usuallw Tliis time, though, the Japanese 
soldiers stopped and ordered us to ^et into their sentry box. We 
cold-sweated, quiverin;^ all oxer, hut yet had to hide our trepidation. 
We knew it the Japanese had searched the two trunks plus their 
contents, we would lie in peril. After waitinj^ and shi\crins> in the 
sentry for about ten minutes, with our lives in the balance, we were 
told to Icaxe. llaxing cheated death, and not ninehin^, we ^adly left 
and boarded the vessel for Macao en route for Taihe in Jiangxi 

My Time Outside Hong Kong 

Work in Free Chinu 

Not many people know that the Chinese Government of Chianj^ Kai- 
shek had entrusted me with managin;^ an electric power plain cum 
water works that had been handed ox'er h\ the Japanese after the 
War. The work I had i^erformed at tlie plant from 1945 to l'>4() and 
also in other earlier assignments in China from 1942 could have 
changed my life. 

ShortK" after arrixing in Jianiixi in earh' 1942. I aec|uainted 
myself with the lailie machine factor)' and discoxered it desperately 
needetl help. I contacted m\- foinier schoolmates at the Iniversity 
of llonij Koni; as well as ni\' fellow meehanies of Kow loon Whampoa 
Shipyaril antl im|iloiei.l them to eome and continue their work away 
from the Japanese occupation anil for national leilemption They 
responded piomptK' anti positi\el\\ coinini; to free ( Jiina at s;ra\ e 
risks to do what lhe\' eould for theii" countr\". 

Later in l'^42. after joinini; the Taihe lactor\'. I m.nrieii my 
betrothetl who hati j^one throuLih so nuieh with me .\fler the sim|">le 

■^1^ 7 ■^: 

Ihnifi K<))i<i's .Journey to Rciiui/icdtion 

wedding, I was tasked with establishing another niaehine faetory 
and liee()niin,i4 its general manager. At the same time, I also leetured 
as a part-time assoeiate professor at the ('hian,i4 Kai-shek Unix'ersity 
(a \arsity that subset|iiently transplanted to Taiwan dining the later 
(]i\'il War). One of the other important jobs I did was to design for 
the National Tea Corporation a faetory in Hunan I'roxinee for making 
tea brieks for export to Russia. In l'M4, in the last desperate push 
into Free (]hina, the forees of Dai Nippon poinded into Jiangxi as the 

Plate 1.1 The authm mul Ins -ici/c (U ilic Diplomatic Cor/xs Ball. 1974. 

-;^=r » Q#r 

Early Rc/lcccions 

resistance retreated. 1 Joined the exodns and, npon reaehiiii; a small 
town near Xin;[»qiio, worked at a new 1\' opened machine lactcjry 
making textile eqnipment. 

Then in i\u;^iist 1^M5, nearly tour years after the . Japanese 
shattered my world in Iloni; Koni;, the war in the I'aeitic ended and 
a new age dawned. The proxineiai goxernment ot .Hangxi took back 
from the Japanese the electric power plant cum water works in the 
city of Nanehang, the capital of .liangxi, and nominated me as its 
plant manager. At that time the proxincial goxernor was Xiong Shihui 
and his Minister for Works was llu C^hiazhao, whose son, W'cimin, 
had been m>' faxoiuMtc student at the (Ihiang Kai-slick Tnixersity 
and we were x'cry close. The connection coidd proxe fortuitous 
because Gov'ernor Xiong and Minister llu were destined for more 
important postings for the post-war reconstruction of China. 

Near the end of 1946, Xiong at tlie order of ( Icnerahssimo 
(Tiiang assimied connnand of the three northeastern [iro\ iiiccs of 
Ileilongjiang, .lilin and Liaoning, which constitute Mancliuria. The 
(ioN'crnment in Nanjing transferred Xiong, one of the most comixtent 
officials of the period, to goxern Manchuria because it was the lniii 
of (Hiina's heavy industries, most of wliich were dexclojicd by the 
.lapanese tluring their occupation since 1*'.M. llu Weiniin sought 
me out to say that his father would be tiausfcrrcd along with Xiong 
to the Northeast aiul asked me to Join them there. I lis earnest rei|uest 
prcsciUetl me with a dilenuna. I could relocate to .Manchuria out of 
jiatriotic dut\' and also an oppoiiunitx for inomotion. I consulted 
m\' wite, the soiucc ol coin|ioi"t and the compass of m\' life ■Where 
should we hcail, to the north or the south'"' She softb toKI \^^c how 
homesick and weary she had bcL-ome in her wandeiiuus wuh me 
during the past fi\e \ears. I li.ul led Ik r fait her aiul faithei' aw.iy 
h"om her t'auul\- She would staiiil by Ikm' husband wiihoul demur. 

Ilniii^ KdiiLl's .lotiitiL'Y to Hctiniticdtion 

\vlierc\cr he \entiired for that was the fate of women in her time 
and heeaiise of her dexotion to me. Xonetlieless. she eoiild not 
disguise her anguish and the tliou^ht of beini; so far from lier fond 
Ilong Koni; and Maeao. This was one reason, and a \ery eompelhnji; 
one, for my not goini; north. 

1 had done a m\riad of jobs, all rec|iiired by the exi.^t-'ney of 
war, and yet I was not highly qualified on paper in the more 
eompetitixe ei\ilian life. I had only one baehelor s degree before the 
Japanese in\asion of Hong Kong. Though I had li\ed through a lot 
and seen seenes I had wanted to forget, I was still relatixely young at 
29 and ought to further my formal edueation. This 1 was resolved to 
do, to learn more and to get aeeustomed to the world beyond the 
Far East. I was just as determined to come baek after my foreign 
sojourn to ser\'e Iloug Kong and the Chinese nation. So at the end of 
1946, I resigned from my job in (^hina and retinned to Hong Kong. 
Later in life, when I looked baek on my days in China, had I accepted 
the offer to Manchuria in 1946, I knew my whole life would have 
been vastly different from the course I had subsequently taken in 
my hometown. 

English Sojourn 

One of my university schoolmates, Lai King-sung, who had worked 
with me in Jiangxi came baek to Hong Kong earlier than I did. His 
family was running the World Light Manufactoiy producing hurricane 
lanterns mainly for export to Africa. These lanterns are kerosene 
lamps resistant to rain and wind and ideal for outdoors. Business 
was booming and hence the Lai family wanted to expand producti(^n 
and employed me as the Chief Engineer on a monthly salary of a 
thousand Hong Kong dollars, a handsome sum for at that time a 

Early Reflectiou.s 

female worker's daily \vat;e was about three dollars. For the next two 
years I worked at the taetory while applyins4 for a seholarship to 
study oxerseas. The British (loiineil e\entiiall\' ajt»reed to endow me 
with a researeh fellowship and 1 would go to the United I\ingdom in 
the late summer of I'MS. 

But before I sailed for Britain, 1 returned to the (Chinese Main- 
land again, this time to iShanghai for a national xolleyball tournament 
as the \'iee-Captain of the Hong Kong team. My elassmate of St. 
Paul's, Ip Vuk-lam, now the Permanent Honorary President of the 
Chinese Chamber of ('ommeree, was the Team Manager. In 1^>4S, 
the Kuomintang Goxernment, as one of its last aets on the Mainland, 
organized a National Sports Meet in Shanghai. At that time there 
were already eommereial air passenger flights between Hong Kong 
and Shanghai. Our Hong Kong team won the national ehampionship, 
and with the tropin' in hand, rushed baek to Hong Kong as the 
CJommunists elosed in. 

A few weeks later, I was pumped and primed for the \ on age to 
FCngland. The journey lasted exaetly 2S days through the South China 
Sea, the Indian ()eean, the Suez Canal, the Metiiterranean, and 
finalh', the Atlantie on a grand sweep of the l^mpire. ( )n board the 
oeean liner SS (auiCoii heading for the Ivnglish port of Tilbur\' near 
honilon, I looked forward to seeing the outside workl. ( )ne of the 
most memorable parts of the od\sse\" took me tlow n thiougii the 
Strait of Malaeea, past .\iala\a, Singapoie. the Palk Strait separating 
then ( leylon ( now named Sri l.anka ) aiul hulia. The shi|"> eontinued 
towai\ls the Western I lemispheie. ihrough the Sue/ Canal, the 
Mediterranean Sea. and onwarti sailinLi around (libraltai" iiUo the 
Atlantie ( )eean. ( )nl\- then, as ;i sealarei . had I ;i glimi-ise of the British 
hoklings ;nul an inklinu of tJK' seale of the british domain, w hieh 
ineliuled .ill the ke\' i>oris in tJK' in.iiitiine trade route. Ihuinu those 


llonii Konii's Jourttcy to RLUtti/ictitiott 

four weeks the slow lioat eonduetetl numerous port enlls tor 
passen,t>ers and proxisions. I, like other pilgrims, made the most of 
the shore \isits to explore the di\'erse realm. 

Upon arri\al I spent a week in Manehester to take a 
familiarization eoiuse run by the British ('ouneil and then moxed to 
Sheffield, where 1 enrolled myself in Sheffield Unixersity's 
Engineering Faculty as a doctorate degree student, imder the 
illustrious Professor II. W. Sxxift, an authority in cold xxorking of 
metals. After settling doxxn in my research xxork in about six months, 
I sent for my xvife to join me in England. She gave birth in 1950 to 
my second daughter, Dora, in Sheffield, fix'c years after Lily had 
been born in China. 

After txvo years of intensive research xvork, I xvas axvarded a 
Doctor of Philosophy degree in engineering and continued to xvork 
at the University as a Research Felloxv. I published about six or sexen 

Plate 1.2 The author -with hisfaiiiily unci rchicivcs at the I'ui-versity of 
Sheffield. 1985. 

Qs?r 12 ^^^ 

Early Reflections 

papers within a year, an output considered prolitie. One of these 
papers — on "deep drawinj^ of metals" — won the Whitworth Prize 
of the histitution of Meehanieal Engineers in London in 1952 when 
I was already baek in lions; Konj;. A large British eompany, (IKX. 
offered me a senior research officer post with an attracti\e annual 
salary of nearly a thousand liritish Pounds ( 1IK1)U),()()() ). thus 
opening up a research career for me in the United Kingdom. Britain 
the country, after my three years there, was no longer as alien as it 
had been at first sight. Beyond Sheffield lay the much more in\iting 
Manchester and London, where P>ritish culture was again flowering. 
I once more consulted my wife, Vung-hing, whose lodestar was fixed 
to Hong Kong and Macao. Also as a British Council Research Scholar 
I had moral commitments to Hong Kong. So, at the end of 1951 , we, 
all three of us, packed otir belongings and, like \agaiionds. shipped 
off — this time homeward bound. 

Post-war Era of Ilong Kong 
Industrial Revolution 

The three years that I was awa\' again from m\' native cit\" were a 
period of uphca\al. The ( lonnnunists in 1949 had trounced the 
Kuomintang and pushctl it across into laiwan. Some fearcti that the 
Rvd Arm\- would also thi\c llic P)ritisli to the sea. wliicli would lia\c 
been easy, but instead the situation slabili/cti w illi the t '.hiiicsc ui>t 
crossing the border, not e\en causing ;in\' nuisance. 

1 was in l-aiglautl when tiK' ( !onnnunis(s mopped up the (U 
the ojiposition on iIk' .M.iinland. and in ( )etobei 1''4'' jiroclaimed 
the Peoples l\e|Miblie in Tiananmen Sipiare The tiiumph ol one 
force meant of course the deleal of another as luMuln.ds ot tbous.iiuls 

lloiiLi Kooi^'s .lounuy Co l\cttititic'iti(»i 

of refuj^ees entcrcel Ilons^ Koni^, rc\crsini4 tlic traffic of eii;ht years 
a4o when many from the eity hatl i^one north to eseape oeeupation 
and pri\'ations. These asyhun seekers would transform Honj^ Kong, 
e\en though at the time many dreaded that they would he a hm'den, 
not a hoon. 

Here I wish to digress and discuss hrietlx' Hong Kong's past. 
The territory coxering ahout l.OOO sciiiare kilometres, reclaimed 
land incliKled, had for centin'ies smxixed as an <)hscin"e corner of 
China, so remote that it was only cm-sorily goxerned hy out of 
favour officials sent from the capital. Suiisequently pirates, fugitives 
and e\'en a deposed Simg Dynasty emperor sought refuge in Hong 

Prime AHnister Lord Palmerson, who had ordered the taking 
of Hong Kong Ishmd for Queen \Tctoria, dismissed the place as a 
harren rock with hardly a house on it, a rather apt description, which 
did not earn him the gratitude of Her Majesty. The Royal Navy in 
1841 attacked China in the first of the tw o Opium Wars and, haxing 
defeated the completely antiquated enemy, imposed on the 
vanquished the Treaty of Nanking, in which the Hong Kong Island 
was ceded in perpetuity. The victor was not content with so modest 
a prize and chafed for more — and more meant a mainland 
appendage. This was accomplished in 1860 hy the Second Opiimi 
War, a campaign that forced the Chinese to surrender the southern 
portion of the Kowioon Peninsida, also in perpetuity luider the 
Convention of Peking. In 1898 the British further succeeded in 
wresting the rest of the Kowioon Peninsula and the New Territories 
(comprising 92 per cent of the total land area of the territory) from 
China under the (Convention of 1898 for a 99-year lease from 1 July 
1898 to provide lebensrauni to the Island. 

The Japanese from Christmas day 1941 until their luicon- 

Q#r 14 ^.ifs 

Eurly Reflections 

ditional surrender of (S August 1*M5 eoiitrolled and ravaged Hong 
Kong. In September, more than a month after the Victor\' over Japan 
Day, the British retook the ('olony and prepared for the return of 
the Governor, Sir Mark Yoimg. By then (Ihina was too eonsumed in 
its (nvn internecine war to bother with the detail of historx' tliat was 
Hong Kong. Four years later the (lonimunists likewise did not tiiink 
the timing was right to snatch Hong Kong back from the British for 
they were too busy consolidating their grip on the .Mainland, 
menacing their ri\'al on Taiwan, and \\atching warih' the dcxelop- 
ments on the Korean peninsula. At that time the British Foreign and 
(Colonial Office had ad\'iscd in V)49 the Prime Minister not to fight 
for Hong Kong. The (io\crnincnt in London, assessing the xolatilc 
situation inside China, reasoned that it would be futile for the British 
to defend. The colonial forces were rcad>' to gi\c in if the battle- 
hardened Communists swooped down from (iuangzhou. 

For a centiu'y since the British took Hong Kong in 1S41, the 
territory had sur\'i\'cd as an entrepot, a role rendered obsolete when 
the .lajiancsc in\aded. I'or three years and eight months of the 
occupation. Hong Kong turnctl into a cit\- of insonniia with the 
economy stalled and the people eking out a most meagre subsistence. 
After the War the cit\' stirred back to life like a beast from hibernation. 
I'Aery \'ear for the next fi\e after liberation, the value of imports auti 
exports e.xpandetl 40 per cent. In l'> b» Hong Kong had a foreign 
traile worth IIKSl.T billion (then I'SS.^Od million) autl in l'',"^! the 
talb' was IIKS"'..^ billion. Back then the llonu Kong intlustrie.s were 
insignificant and onl\' fiom iIk' niiil- I'^.^Os onward tlid manufacturing 
start to dc\ clop. 

( 111 ina Joined in I he Korean War in I *'.^(), causing the I'nited 
Nations to impose sanctions against it .\s a result Houli Kongs 
burgeoning foreign ti.ule collapsed, losing one-third of the maiket 

i«^ 15 -^^ 

Il(i)ifi Konfi's Journey lo Rciuufication 

within three years. As it" the sudden reeession was not depressing 
enough, the territory had to aeeonimodate the ex(^dus from the 
Mainland as the (iowrnnient there started to nationahze industries, 
confiseate assets, and end the i^raee period for eapitaUsts. hi a bat of 
the eye, the population had inereased from two to 2.6 million, just 
when the eeonomy was shrinkini; and when soeial ser\iees were 
sparse. Suddenly shanties mushroomed on the hillsides and tens of 
thousands seramhled for odd jobs and alms. 

Not all who streamed into Hon;" Konj^ were paupers. Some of 
the refugees had eome from Shanghai, once the most urbane of places 
in Asia, and scores of them had broui^ht along not just wealth but 
also the spirit of enterprise. Before they fled, some had redirected 
their most modern equipment, ordered from the West after the War, 
to Hong Kong for safekeeping. Once secure in the territory and certain 
there were no immediate possibiUty of their return to Shanghai, 
these exiled factory owners restarted their textile business in the 
adopted city. The textile industry concentrated in Tsuen Wan, in 
the southwestern New Territories. With their commercial acumen, 
modern equipment and cheap labour, they helped the export- 
oriented textile industry flourished. Not only did they change and 
charge the economy; they also set moral examples for other denizens 
of the city. The territory began to prosper. 

Rumours spread that the British had in the early 1950s sent 
feelers to gauge the Chinese attitude towards I long Kong. Sensing 
the Mainland Goxernment was in no hurry to settle the issue, the 
British relayed the assurances to the businessmen who, with the 
impetus, invested even more in the territory and sustained the boom. 
Ilong Kong's exports surged from the late 195()s through the 1960s 
and into the 1970s, altogether a very heady time. Hong Kong had 
gone through its industrial revolution and manufacturing became 

Q!?n J 6 ^^^ 

Early Reflections 

the economic mainstay. Inclustiialists dixersitied their productions, 
venturing into new products such as plastics, toys, enamelled wares, 
shoes, wigs, Vi^U consumer electronics, etc., caterin;^ to and adjusting 
for whatever the j^lobal market wanted. By 1*)7.^ Hong Kong had 
graduated into one of the main light industrial centres with labour- 
intensive manufacttuMng accounting for nearly a third of the gros,s 
domestic product ((iI)F) and employing more than half of the labour 
force. People were li\'ing better with the (il)P per capita reaching 
HK;S1(), ()()() (i;SDl,6()()). The export-oriented manufacturing con- 
tinued to prosper and llong Kong's GDF* per capita had greatly 
improved to IIlvS3(),()(H) (USD6,()()()) in ]<><S() and IIKS5(),()(H) in 1985. 

The bonanza did not only benefit the employers but also their 
employees, whose wages rose along with their productix it\' and skills. 
For ex'cry dollar Hong Kong earned 60 cents went into the pocket of 
the working man or woman. The rise in income was registered with 
the rise of lixing standards and expectations. l)ack in 1953. after the 
B(ixing I)a\- fire in Shek Kip Mei shantytown, the ( loxernmeiit 
initiated the puiilie housing programme for some of the tens of 
thousands of scjuatters. The emollient scheme took the hardest edge 
off Hong Kong life and gradualh- acconnnodated more and more 
people who no longer worried about not haxiug a roof o\ei' their 
heads. llowe\ei" flims\' the first batch of public tenements was, a 
home was a sweet home. The ( loxeinment also became more 
enlightenetl; sensing it had to pro\itle other social ser\ices. such as 
luiixeisal healthcare, niaiulatory and free eelucatioii and modest 
benefits for the elderl\-. 

Some families no longer h;id to fret about the dail\' necessities, 
a \er\' liberating feeling. These people. imlnKil with the work ethics 
plus the creetl ol selt-relianee. eonid begin to sa\e aucl in\est. .\ 
middle class emergeil to go with a \oi\ lesilii^'iit woikinu class. These 

:^ 17 ^ 

Iloiiii /\"'i.i;s Jonnicy to Hciniiticdtid)! 

were the forees thnt spurretl on the propertx' market aiul also 
innovation and aciaptabiUty — all told a winning eonibination tor a 
plaee that had onee been barren. 

My Business Career 

1 eame baek to lions; Konii at the end of 1^)51 from Ens^land with a 
newly aecjiiired doetorate decree in engineering and assimied my 
previous job with the World Light Manufaetory as its (]hief Engineer 
and later Deputy (ieneral Manager. But the Afriean eeonomy had 
deteriorated, diminishing the market for hurricane lanterns and 
eausing the World Light to suspend operation. I then started my 
own engineering consulting business in 1953 to assist investors to 
start their own factories. I \vas on a roll and over the next three 
years helped launch four factories, one each for glass bottle making, 
for cold storage, for cotton baling and for flashlights. The last was 
for a rich and elderly refugee from Shanghai, Mr. Y. K. Song, who 
put his name to the company, in which I had a modest share. The 
factory was located in To Kwa W'an, Ilunghom, on the Kowloon 
Peninsula and employed a British patented process of mine. The place 
just hummed along with the modern, semi-automatic machineiy. 

Within a short period Songs flashlights, or what the British 
call "torches", became popular, particularly in the LTnited States, 
whose buyers raved about their low cost, high style and reliability. 
The largest customer for Song was the world famous American 
Eveready, which in 1956 offered to in\'est in the company. The capital 
injection would allow Song to expand and to shine his light on many 
more consumers. But Song had his doubts, afraid the Americans 
would ex'cntually take over his beloved enterprise. Eventually the 
pioneer relented and offered to sell out to the Americans who would 

^-S=r 18 Q#s 

Early Kcflcctums 

only accept it" I packed in my own consiiltiiii; business and took 
charge of the company as its (ieneral Manager. I did after some initial 
hesitation and that proved a turnin,:^ point for my business career. 
The year, 1956, also proved memorable for my wife and me as we 
eventually had ourselves a son, (lilbert, on oiu- tiiird attempt. 

The Song sul^sidiary of E\'eready continued to prosper, 
becoming the leading light of 1 long Kong industry. Kntcring the 1 960s 
the company luidcrwent a major transformation by constructing a 
ten-storey factory cum office building on a 3(),()()() scjuarc feet site at 
San Po Kong, a new industrial town near the Kai Tak hitcrnational 

I'Idlt.- I ..i riic tdiiliiii's sini. ildiiiihui-ni-ld-ic iiiiil Cicii i^ninilsitns. /''''5. 

:t^ 19 ^^ 

IIoiil; KoiiLi's .Idunicy la l\cuui/ic<itiiiii 

Airport. Soiii* also ,'icc|iiirctl a new itlciitit>' toiio with the new address 
— Sonea Indnstries Limited. I beeanie tlie K.\eeiiti\e ('hairnian of 
the Board whilst a retmned engineer trained in tlie I'.S., (Ihan 'loii- 
snen, sneeeetled ine as the Manai;inii Direetor. The eonijiany 
nourished exer more in tlie l*>7()s by ereetinj; more and newer 
premises and expanding to beeome the world's largest flashlight 
mamifaetmer, employini; nearly 5,()()() workers and with prodiiets 
exporting to about one hmidred eoimtries. 

My career's shift from enj^ineering to management was not 
to be the final change. Sonca won industrial kudos and also the 
attention of the Colonial Government, which reckoned that it had 
to draw locals into its confidence if it were to administrate the 
territory well. \\'ithout my trying, the Administration tapped me for 
public scrx'ice. 

PIdte 1.4 The iDilustrinl comjilcx of S(»}cci hidiistncs LtiL. J'>66. 

:^r 20 i^^o 

Ilurly Rcjlcctiunti 

Beginning of Public Service 

I had nc\er enj!4a;[5ed in textile business hut it was that trade whieh 
led me into toin^ decades of public service. When the transplanted 
industrialists from Shanghai moxed to Ilong Kong, some quickly set 
the looms spinning and the fabrics tlowing to the global market. Our 
city's foray into the textile trade worried the British and the American 
workers. The British, under tremendous imion pressinx- and imder 
the sway of the Labour Government, led the way with restrictions 
on textile imports from Hong Kong, one of its "dependent ox'crseas 
territories". The then Hong Kong Go\'ernor, Sir .Vlexander Grantham, 
went to London to lobby but failed to budge the then Foreign and 
Colonial Office. In those days governors were l)ritish oxerscas ci\il 
servants appointed by, and answerable to the Foreign and Colonial 
Office, and had no power to bargain with the British (ioxcrnment 
on behalf of a colony. 

At that time the Hong Kong manufacturers were not organized 
and had no representati\'e of their own to defend their interests. 
The glaring omission prompted Sir Alexander in 1*>57 in a siKcch to 
the manufactiuers to urge them to establish a jiropcr industrial 
association to argue their own case. Such a confederation, indeiieu- 
deiU of the go\erinnent, should not differentiate, nor discriminate 
against, \arious creeds ant! races, and shouki emliraee all factories, 
large ami small, of all trades and nationalities. It should be able to 
speak with one united voice for the whole iiulustiA . With leadershii">, 
the textile maiuilaeturers could then lorcefulb' ueuotiale with aiul 
cogcuth' explain Ilong Kong's situation to the liritish .uul .\merit.MU 
Aiuhorities. The succeeding ( loxernor. Sir Uobert likK'k. in the 
follow ing >ear depuli/eil the Senior ( iliiiiese Nkinber of I he Fxecuti\e 
(louneil. Sir Sik-nin ( '.hati, to Ik ;ul .1 Woikini- I'aitw ol w hii^-h I was 


//odi; /u))ii;'s .hiunicy to Rcuititicdlioti 

nlso a iiienibcr, to fouiul the proposed "l-'cclcrntion". This niaiulatc 
woukl iii\<)l\c me in publie lite tor more than 40 years luitil my 
retirement in 1^)99. 

Two years later, in 1 *>()(), the Federation of" Iloni; Kons; Indus- 
tries was established by statute with Sir SiU-nin as its (Chairman, 
Colonel Douglas Claque (later Sir) as Mee-CHiairman, Mrs. Susan 
^'uen as Seeretary (leneral, and me as a memiier ot' the (ioxerninj; 
(]oiuieil. The Federation durini; its first tew years implemented 
se\eral key initiatives to fin-ther the dexelopment of industries, and 
one of these was the founding of the Hong Kong Trade I)e\'elopment 
Council in 1966. Governor Sir Daxid Treneh appointed Sir Sik-nin 
as the Councils first Chairman and I succeeded him as (Chairman of 
the Federation. By then I had become a "Provisional" Legislative 
Councillor who was neither an official nor a mandarin and had also 
been drafted into a battery of government committees. The Governor 
inserted me, like a wedge, into the Hong Kong Goxernment Trade 
.and Industry Advisory Board, Hong Kong Telephone Advisory 
Committee, Hong Kong Aviation Advisory Board, Hong Kong 
Government Radiation Board, Working Committee on Productivity, 
Justice of the Peace, etc. Suddenly from relative obscurity I had 
achie\'ed public prominence. On the roller coaster I had absolutely 
no idea that the ride would last four decades and span two 

""Perennial Temporary Legislator '^ 

In the 1960s I had a nickname the "Perennial Temporaiy Legislator", 
a contradiction in term, an oxymoron, but it was apt when I first 
assumed the sobriquet. 

After the War the British, with their empire dwindling, had to 

j^ 22 4ifr 

Early Reflections 

find postinj^s for rcdunclnnt oxerscas cixil ser\ants (justed from 
colonies that had aehiexed independence, llon;^ Kong became a 
catchment basin for these displaced officers. Man\- of them liad been 
stationed in Africa and Malaysia and were far too youn^ to retire. 
The then Financial iSecretar\' (later (Colonial, then renamed (>hief 
Secretary) Sir Philip lladdon-C^axe had ser\'ed in East Africa. Sir 
l)a\'id Akers-.lones, later the (]hicf Secretary and Acting; (jO\'ernor 
during the mid-19(S()s, was from Malaysia. What this meant was a 
breed of expatriate mandarins had arri\cd with scant knowledge of 
local customs and dialects. They need a lot more assistance from 
the nati\es. 

For all these years, until 1 9S5. 1 long Kong had operated under 
a unique system of rule by consultation and consensus. Elections 
were limited to the Urban C'oimcil, w Inch dealt with onh' sanitary 
and cultural affairs, and more recently District l)oards. which arc 
basically advisory bodies on local district affairs. For the 
administration of Hong Kong, the (ioxcrnor appointed the F.\ecuti\e 
('oimcil (10X(]()), or the (Cabinet, whose members athised him And 
were entrusted with certain political and pulilic relations duties. 
EX(X) members tended to be prominent memliers of the comnuinity 
and conglomerates. The ( loNcrnor also appointed indixiduals to the 
Legislatixe (loimcil (iJv(l(]()) who deiiatetl and enacted tile draft 
laws as well as \etted the Innlget and ajiproNcd e.xiK'iulitiuc. 

Since those Whitehall ap|i( )in t ees, the (lONcrnor and his 
mand.nins tlid not reall\' know who were suitable for the sensitixe 
office, the>' int lodiieeti a sxsteni for testing the candidates, a sort 
of probation. When a siibstanti\e nieniher wouKi be .ibseiU for a 
week or more, a tenipor;ir\ member wouKI be a|>poiiUed to fill the 
place. Whene\er the ( lo\ernor h;nl a \;ieane\ in tlie I.F( 1( K ) or \:\( A > 
atter a substanti\e member h.ui eom|ileted his term and was not 


Ilotiii KouL^'s Journey to Kciiiiifiviiliou 

re-appoiiitccl tor wlmtcvcr rcjison, he would select a replaeeinent 
from a list ot" temporaries to fill the \aeaney. 

in April 1'>C)5 1 was surprised to reeeixe a letter from (loxeruor 
Sir l)a\id Trench inxitin.i; me to temporarily fill in a LKCKX) vacancy 
for a few weeks. Subsequently I was called to sub in the LECiCO on 
and off for a stretch of over three years, prompting the then Financial 
Secretary, Sir .lohn (^owpcrthwaite, to dub me the "perennial 
temporary legislator". 

This breed of temporary le.i^islators went extinct, like 
dinosaurs, in the mid-197()s and that of temporary Executive 
Councillors in the mid-19S()s. 

^f^ 24 iS=r 

Cfiavter 2 

SinO'British Negotiations 

The Inception 

Hong Kong's Future on the Agenda 

Today, the Chinese flag flutters over I long Kong where the l^nion 
Jack once did. The change, and all it entails, is the residt of the 
Sino-British .loint Declaration which upholds this society's \\a\ of 
lite ;ind which epitomizes the iiest in co-operation between the onee 
hostile nations. To this day nian>' still argue w hethcr the British or 
the Chinese had first raised the issue of Hong Kong's destiny. Most 
probabK-, though, the Hong Kong (Chinese, myself among them, had 
considered the question of 1 *>*->? before .'iinoiie else. 

The person most aware ;ibout the beginning of the process 
was the former ( loxernor. Sir (later Lortl) .\lurr;i>' MacI.ehose. I was, 
without my trying, the (Ihinese in the (loion)- most i<now ledi;eal->le 
about w hat actuaib' transpireil hom the iieginning of the negotiations 
through the transition to the establishment ot (lie Special .Xilministia- 
ti\e Kegion (SAK). I nuist stum|i up the pieces in my possession to 
help readers assemiile together the Jiiisaw. 

Sir Sik-nin ( !liaii was tiie iintlis|->nti.'il leader of the ethnic 
(Chinese connnnnil\ between l'',^() ami !'*<)(• Ik' was (he Senior 
(Miinese Nkanber ot the b-.\ecnl i\ e ("ouneil. the i;o\ernoi s inner 
sanetum. In those tla\s, all ('hines*.' inendKMs ot not onl\' the 

Iloiifi Ko)i»s .lomitcy to Rcuiii/icdiioii 


Plate 2. 1 Sir Sik-nin Chan /c(«/;)i,i; the lloiiii Koiifi Tmde Mission to the 
Enroj^can Evoixoinic CominiDiitw in Italy. 1963. 

Executi\'c hut also the Legislative Council were hilled as representa- 
tives of the Chinese people. This was quite ohvious since Ilong Kong 
was under British rule and all senior officials were hailed from the 
United Kingdom and not familiar with the suhjects for whom they 
made policy decisions. Ilis position was supreme in the Chinese 

The Government adeptly chose the credihle Sir Sik-nin in 1958 
to head the Working Party of the aforementioned Federation of Hong 
Kong Industries, and to chair the organization when it was formally 
chartered two years later. In 1966 he became the top man of the 
embryonic Trade Development Council (TDC) and the Management 
Association. \Vlien TDC was finally hatched the Governor naturally 
passed the responsibility for it to the banker who, howex'er, by TDC's 
convention, could not preside simultaneously over the Federation 

QiJt 26 -;*t 

Sitio-British .Ve^ofiafion.s 

of Industries. Sir Sik-nin, thereby, /^rneioiisly heqiieatlied to me his 
post at the Federation ot hidustries just as the politieal and eeonomie 
climate was overheating. 

The Red Guard zealots had run wild in \^)()7, inflaming passions 
not only on the Mainland but also aeross the border. The ("ultural 
Kex'olution first spilled over into Macao and then spread to Hong 
Kong in May. The protests escalated into skirmishes between 
demonstrators and the police and the skirmishes flared into riots. 
The mayhem got so out of control that a mob thronged Upper Albert 
Road and besieged the goxcrnor's mansion called (iovernment House, 
a building conxerted into a xirtual fortress a quarter century earlier 
by the Japanese army, (iox'crnor Sir l)a\id Trench was confined in 
the residence during the worst of the unrest. About three weeks 
later the street action subsided, superseded by a terrorist bombing 
campaign which killed a few innocent children and alienated some 
of the leftists' s>nipathizcrs. 

Some of the people, especially professionals and businessmen, 
started an exodus out of Hong Kong. The tidal wa\c of inuuigration 
continued for a while. What little trust they had in the ('hincse 
( ioxernment cxajioratcd and tlissipated like the teargas that the police 
had fired at the rioters. The most nerxous of them figured Hong 
Kong's future was dicex' and would noi risk it. This became a part of 
the familiar pattern of confidence falling and people c|uitting. 

Sir Sik-nin assembled. (Inouuli the I- etierat ions Seeretary- 
(icncral Susan Vueii. ;i number ol imlustrialists. such as .\nn Tse- 
kai. .lames W'u. (ihuang (Ihung-wen and nuself to form a special 
group. We met about once e\er\' eouple ot monlhs at the penthouse 
of Sir Sik-nin's Honi.; i\ong ( Chinese IJank lieat.K|uarters where we 
pouilereil the tuiuiL' ot lloui; Kom;. il there was to be an\ \\ hen the 
prescient six or se\en ot us began coiuluetiuLi oiu e<»nela\es. we 

i^ 27 '^^ 

lloiiLi Kdiiii's .loiinuy to Kcuuificdtion 

reckonctl the cruncli time was still tlirec decades a\\a\' in 1 '->*>?. The 
seers amon.i; lis eonsolecl eaeh other that, to (Hiina, the Taiwan 
c|iiestion was much more pressing. The I'eopie's Repiihlie would 
smx'ly resohe that tani^ied issue before it taekled the less indent 
matter of Hon^ Kons; at leisure. So woes passed, worries too. 
Comforted by our own delusions we disbanded our talk shop in 1969 
as both the economy and the confidence that imderpinned it 
recovered. This conclusion was later proxcn wroni', dead wron;^. 

Over the next few years no one thou;[»ht much about the Hong 
Kong conundrum. The state of denial continued imtil the middle of 
the 197()s. 1 was ah'cady then a legislator, having been confirmed by 
the then Governor, Sir Daxid Trench, in 1968 and no longer "tem- 
porary". Four years kiter in 1972 the new (io\'ernor, Sir (ktter Lord) 
Murray MacLchose, additionally promoted me to the Executive 
Council and made me in 1974 the Senior Member of the Legislative 

As Hong Kong settled into pcacefid dcxclopmcnt, C^hina 
underwent dynastic changes. Premier Zhou Enlai, the moderate in 
the (jovernment, died in January 1976 of cancer. The country went 
into mourning. Before the grief for Zhou had waned, Mao Zedong 
passed away in September. The heir apparent llua Guofeng rose to 
power and fell from it two years later. Meanwhile the Government 
arrested "the Gang of Foiu"" conspirators blamed for the (^ultin'al 
Revolution s excesses and the Communist Party redeemed Deng 
Xiaoping for the second time. The National People s Congress (NPC) 
in February 197cS endorsed Deng's proposed economic reforms and 
opening up to the outside world. 

Back in the Colony the property market boomed. Banks were 
beginning to be concerned about their mortgages, which typically 
had to be paid off between ten to twenty years, the majority being 

q4?r 28 Aifo 

Sinu-British Xegutiutions 

fifteen. The lords of the liouses of usury caleulated that if they were 
to ratify new loans from 1982 onward, these would be due by 1997. 
This was the apoealyptie year when parts of the "leased" Kowloon 
and all of the New Territories nii^ht ha\'e to be returned to (]hina 
according to the Convention of 1S98. Banks would be imprudent to 
lend and indeed companies, particularly the capital-intensixe electric 
power stations, would be reluctant to invest until they coidd clear 
away the uncertainties. 

\\1icn the Unofficial Members of the Executive and Lciiislativc 
Councils (UMELCO) heard about the financial sectors disc|uict. they 
discussed the concerned amon,i> themselves and reflected the 
anxieties to the (loxcrnor. Sir Yuet-keim.i* Kan and 1, as the Senior 
Member of the respective EX(]() and LECC^O. worked closely and 
now with an edge to oiu- conunon purpose. The immediacy of the 
Councillors' reaction to the spectre of 1997 was also not siu-prisinii. 
considering so many of these office holders came from the liankiuii 
and business connnunity. 

i'olitics and economics affect each otlier and dissolve into each 
other nuich as salt and water do. (iovernor Sir Miurav' was keenly 
sensitive to that, which was why he in 1*>77 ai")poiiUed the Financial 
Secrctar\', Sir IMiilip I ladtlon-Clavc, to head an Atlv isory Committee 
on Diversification to explore llonU Konys prospects, lie was 
speeifieall\' interested in imdeistauilinU the dxuamics of Chinas 
reforms, the end of isolation, the ail\ aiuaiies of its am|">le land and 
alumdant labour, and how ihese factors mi^ht tempt local industries 
to migrate north This (lonimiitee. a hiuh-powei' think tank, 
compriseil I loni; Koni; <\- ShanUhai liankinii ( lorporation s ( Mi.iirman 
Michael Santlber<; (later l.oixl). .lanlines" taipan haviil Newbi«;uinu. 
F((r luislcrn F.conomic Rcvicic's ctlitor I'erek l>:i\ ies. prominent 
businessmen ;iiul iiulnstri.ilisls .\i\\\ i'sL-i\ai. Ouo-wei (later Sir). 

:^ 29 ^^ 

Notify Kong's .lounuy to Rcunificdtion 

Li F()()k-\V(), Jiimcs Wu, Ngai Shiu-kit and others. All told the crew 
luimbcrcd 14. I also bclon;t^cd to this brain trust, and few of us, 
particularly Derek Davies, mooted the 1997 issue with the Chairman 
Sir Philip. 

The Governor planned to xisit Beijing in March 1979, the first 
ever incumbent Cjovernor to do this. He would bring along Sir Yuet- 
keung Kan as the Senior Member of the EXCO and political advisor, 
and the future governor, Dax'id Wilson (later Lord). They brought 
back from the (Chinese capital assurances from Deng, most distinctly 
the emotive, if vague, appeal from the supreme leader to the people 
of Hong Kong "to put their hearts at ease". Not one informed source 
came up with a full account of what had been discussed in Beijing at 
the time. We, at the LTVIELGO, nagged Sir Yuet-keung about this for 
years but he would not break his vow of silence. 

The press only pieced together a plausible story from nmiours 
circulating among the community. Through these grapevines w^e 
learned how Sir Murray wished to propose to the Chinese a plan. 
The scheme involved both sides papering over the issue of 1997 and 
the Hong Kong Administration selUng land in parts of the "leased" 
Kowloon and the New Territories in terms of 13-year lease as if the 
deadline did not exist. The British Government, however, objected 
to such a suggestion, which Sir Yuet-keung also opposed on the 
ground that China would rebuff the Governor and, thereby, panic 
investors. Sir Murray subsequently decided he would only broach 
the subject if he felt the meeting with Deng was cordial. 

The atmosphere of the talk was genial enough for Sir Murray 
to introduce the subject. The Governor hinted to Deng that his 
Government and China should both evade the 1997 question to let 
land transactions carry on as usual. The Chinese leader was not 
psychologically prepared for such a blunt approach and answ^ered 

s#5 30 q^o 

Sino-British Xegotiudons 

that he would rather raze Hong Kon;^ to the ;^roiind than delay taking 
back lost territory. Deng, however, was eonciliatory, suggesting to 
Sir Murray to return to the territory and to tell the business people 
they "can rest their hearts at ease". 

So it was a few words on which Hong Kong was supposed to 
rest its future. For a while that promise sufficed to prop up the market, 
both stock and real estate, but such a foundation was tlimsy and 
many people continued to have doubts on the story. 

All these years I too was puzzled by this stoiy until one da\' in 
May 198v3, when I was in London attending a New Fellows Dinner of 
the Royal Academy of P3ngineering and to receixe an Honorary 
Fellowship from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. I had lunch 
with Lord MacLchose alone on 4 NLay and one of the subjects touched 
upon was his \-isit to Beijing in March 1^79. 1 asked him aiiout who 
actually first raised the 1997 issue dining his meeting with Deng. He 
replied that it was Deng who first raised it. He however added that 
prior to his trip he did relay to the (Chinese Authorities that he would 
mention to Deng his proposal of selling land in the leased territories 
with Iv^-year lease as if there were no 1997 deadline. l>ut before he 
had an opportunit>' to do that, Deng spelt out the (Ihinese position 
of taking back Hong Kong not later than 1*>*>7. When .\lacl. chose 
asked Deng how he should sa\' to the jniblie on his retiun to the 
(lolony, Deng then suggestetl that he tell the people "to put their 
hearts at ease". 

Back in Hong Kong. Sir Philip and his think tank dehed not 
only into the economic woiries stennniui; tVom llie issue ol l'>'>7 
bin also their politit^'al iinpliL-ai ioiis llo\\L'\i.r. iIk' ^urus lelt the 
subject was lar too sensiti\e and agieeti to di.'.il with the topic in a 
separate secret letter The .\d\ isor\ (ionuuittee wrote; ' TIk' effects 
of the lack ot eei taiiux .iIk nil I li )n^ Kougs longer term tuluie (.'oiuinue 

^ 31 ^ 

Houii Koiiii's .loiinicy fo Rcuni/iviUioii 

to be t'elt within tlic economy. As the economy mo\es iij") market, 
and the capital element in the final cost ot its otitptit increases, 
intliistries will increasingly need recourse to longer-term tinance. 
The nneertainty abotit Iloni; Kong's Ioniser-term future could well 
mean that banks become less willinti to imdertake loni;-term loans 
and in\'estors become less willing to in\x'st in projects which otter 
only long term rcttirns. Thus tinccrtainty will impede the 
dix'crsifieation of the economy and inhibit its growth rate." 

The Advisory Committee's assessment was that a single, witic 
phrase "to put their hearts at ease" from Deng could not sustain 
confidence and the economic de\'clopment that hinged on it. They 
further said in their secret letter: "In essence, therefore, we would 
wish to place on record oiu' \'iew that Hong Kong's future develop- 
ment, particularly in terms of economic growth, is boinid to be 
seriously hampered, sooner or later, should there be continuing 
uncertainty as to its political future." They beliex'cd that there was a 
growing body of opinion that at that time it was an opportune moment 
for both Britain and China to begin preliminary negotiations on the 
subject of sovereignty, because the complicated issue could not be 
settled in haste. The longer the delay the more perplexed and vexed 
people would be. 

The Advisory Committee on 18 January 19S() submitted to 
the Governor their 4-page secret letter, signed by the (Chairman, 
the Financial Secretary, and all its 14 members, namely, Ann Tse- 
kai, Li Fook-wo, M. Sandberg, Lee Quo-wei, Ngai Shiu-kit, James 
\Xu, D. Davies, D. Newbigging, Chen Shou-lum, Leslie Gordon, Keith 
Legg, myself, and the two senior government officials, the Secretary 
for Economic Senices and the Secretaiy for Commerce and Industiy. 

Upon receiving the secret letter. Sir Murray on 30 January 
1980 sent a curt reply of only two sentences: "I am obliged for your 

Qsfp 32 ^!*o XcfiotiuCions 

letter of IcStli J.iiui.'iry si/^ned by nienibers ot the Adxison' Committee. 
I have noted its contents." 

Le(tdin^ the Executive (jouncil 

I passed the mandate as the Senior Member of the Lei;islati\e (^oiineil 
to Oswald (^heimi; (later Sir) in September 1*>>7S to dexote more 
time to my Kxeeiitixe ('oimeil jiostini". A year and a half later, in 
early 1*>S(), (ioxernor Sir Mnrray told me Sir \'net-kenni;"s term as 
the Senior Member of the Kxeenti\'e (]ouneil would not expire until 
August but he had insisted to adxanee his retirement to Mareli. Sir 
Murray then asked me to take o\'er from Sir ^'uet-keun^ in August 
because Sir Sidney (lordon, then second in rank, would serxe as the 
Senior Member during the inter\'eninii period before he too would 
retire in Ausiust. 

I'hilc J- riic iiullior li'illl Sii )' l\ l\,itl. /'T.S. 

i^ 33 vi^f 

lloni- Kimti's Journey to RcunificcitUm 

I felt honoured, somewhat astonished, and hesitated ahout 
accepting this sudden ajipointnient heeaiise Sir Vuet-keunii"s hasty 
departure had to be motixated in' what he knew and I did not. (loukl 
his premature departine been eaused by the eon\eri;enee of two 
de\'ek)pments, the British Nationality Aet and the futiu'e of Hong 
KongV Were these two issues so disheartening to himV lie did not let 
on but I could guess. 

The United Kingdom was in the throe of debating the 
Nationality Aet, the end result, and aim, of whieh was to reseind the 
birthright of British passport holders to li\e in that eountry. The 
people in the territory, already agitated by that motion, would be 
further worried as they eontemplated the 1997 cjuestion, a double 
blow about whieh they were powerless. 

I realized that were 1 to sueeeed Sir Yuet-keung I would be 
simultaneously confronted with those two volatile and related issues. 
Expatriate mandarins, with assistance from the Legislati\e and 
Executi\'e Councils, ran the colony, despite the "localization" policy 
that had been launched nominally in the 196()s. Even the Senior 
Unofficial Member of the Executixe Council was a non-Chinese until 
the 197()s. Some of these mandarins were thoroughly professional 
but their commitment to I long Kong was suspected, perhaps tenuous, 
since the majority of them eventualh' retired to the United I^ngdom 
or Australia. Many in the colony, with their li\'es and assets at stake, 
could not trust these cixil serxants to empathize with their plight or 
to defend their interests. The go\'ernor, as an outsider, was no 
exception. Those with no long-term plans for themsehes in Hong 
Kong were charged with making long-term plans for others who had. 
This struck many as dubious, if not somewhat absurd. 

I had been, in 1980, a full legislator for a dozen years and an 
Executive Coinicillor for eight. The duty for representing the local 

yf^ 34 ^^^ 

Siiio- British S'egotiations 

Chinese to the highest eehelon tell with a tliiid on my shoulders. I 
understood that it was my role to mediate between the ^oxerning 
and the ^o\'erned, as well as to reeoncile conflicting interests, which 
might, and did, arise. I had confidence that 1 could exercise the 
judgement to do right for both sides and for m\- o\\ n conscience. 
From the moment I accepted the challenge m\' life and the destiny 
of Hong Kong were fused. 

UMELCO Debated the 1997 Question 

The Unofficial Members of the Executive and Legislative Coimcils, 
together given the initials UMELCO, had played a distinct role 
throughout the time of the British and (Chinese negotiations over 
Hong Kong. From \cry earl\- on, w c members had first the inclination. 
then an initiati\c, to inform and inxoKe the people in the proceedings 
the best we could. This acti\ist approach offended some x'ested and 
national interests, but tiiat was the only course open to us if we 
were to win the puiilic trust and execute oiu' duties. 

K\er since I became the Senior Member of the Kxccutixc 
(Council in August I'^SO. mau\' indi\iduals antl groups had expressed 
to mc tlicir concerns and asked me to conxcy these to Her .Majesty's 
(ioxernmcut. The lloui; Koni; ( )'r\eis, a eatlre of liberal intellec- 
tuals, and the Keform ( Hub, an embryonic political part\". were among 
those that xolunteercil opinions. I eonipileil these submitted \iews 
autl turned them into an issue lor the r.\!FL( !( ) to consider. 

The UMKI.( K ) back then timet ionetl as tW( > hah es of one entit\', 
a spirit ot co-operation hard to im.iLiine now in a more ilix itieil eom- 
munit\'. The chiefs of the assentblics, one called the Senior Member 
ol the l"-.\eeuti\e ('.otuieil and the other the Senior .Membei of t he 
Legislalixe (iouneil. e\eili.d eonsiilei abk' iiUlueiiee. <>tliers in the 


Ilonii l\<iii!^'s .Iniirncy to Rcuiiiticcdidn 

chambers heeded their \ie\vs and toi^ether they helped tlie (ioxern- 
nient shape, ari>ue and inipleiiient poheies. Sinee the (jO\'ern<)r 
appointed all legislators and Exeeiitive (^ouneillors, he also relied 
on them to edueate him about a soeiety he hardly knew and eonneet 
him with a people he iiad only the most siipert'ieial contacts. The 
arrangement chimed alont; until the early l'>*>()s when the consensus 
was broken, which is another story tor a later chapter. 

EarHer on the UMELGO recognized the two positive de\'elop- 
ments on the Mainland which had great rclcxancc for the 1997 issue. 
First, we belic\'ed the (Chinese economic reforms were irrexocable, 
marked by the opening up of society, a hberalizing economy, and 
the founding of the first Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen near 
Hong Kong and based, in part, on the Hong Kong model. What we 
were witnessing was, we thought, the beginning of a long, persistent 
process that would transform China and the reforms were the first 
step. These changes were largely internal, driven by the dynamics 
of a modernizing nation. 

Second, China had been sending thousands of young scholars 
and engineers to the West for further training. We felt that these 
indixiduals would be exposed to the cultures of North America and 
Western Europe. They would return not only with engineering and 
scientific knowledge but also an appetite for political, social and 
cultural experiments. The impact of their home-coming, and the 
senior positions they would ultimately hold, should modify the 
characteristics of a community not yet broken totally free from its 
feudal bonds. 

These two were our interpretation of events on the Mainland. 
We also figured someone as sage as Chairman Deng understood the 
consequences of his economic reforms which he was willing to risk, 
because he could not allow the country to lag any further behind 

~:a^ 36 ;aft 

Sino-liritish Xe^otiatious 

during his watch. What lie liad set in motion was an c\'olution from 
which there was no turning back and Hong Kong would benefit from 

Shortly after 1 became the Senior Member ot the Kxeeuti\e 
Council, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, \isited 
Beijing. On his way back to London, he paused in Hong Kong in 
March 19S1 to meet with the UMELCO. We got news that China had 
initiated the discussicMi oi the 1997 question with the Foreign 
Secretary, and Carrington would seek oiu" opinions to help prepare 
for the tough negotiations ahead. 

Many pundits in the territory also looked for signs, for shifts 
of the \'ane to judge which way the wind was blowing. They, like 
ourselves, detected a telltale tTutter from the gauge when on 3(^ 
September 1981, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 
National People's Congress, '\c Jianying, in an intcn'iew with Xinhua 
News Agency (XNA) re\'ealed a plan for the peaceful reunification 
with Taiwan. Marshal Ye, re\cred as one of the rc\ olutions "sc\cn 
inmiortals", proposed a nine-point programme for the reunion. 
Among these points were two w hieli we considered had relc\ ance 
for Hong Kong: 

( 1 ) After the coimtry is reunified, Taiw an can enjo>' a high 
degree of autononu' as a special administratix c region 
and it can retain its own aimed forces. The ("entral 
( lONcrnmcnt will not interfere with local affairs on Taiwan. 

(2) Taiwan's cunent socio-economic sxstem will remain 
imehanged, so will its wa\' of life anti its eeononiie and 
cultural lelation.s with foreign countries. There will be no 
cncroaehnKiit on the jiropiietarx' rights and lawful right 
ot inheritance o\er prixate projieilw housiuL;. land aiul 
enterpiises. or on lorei^n iinestnieiUs. 

:^ .17 ^^ 

^«?C JS O-fC 

Sino-liritisli S'egotiations 

Humphrey Atkins (later Sir), tlie British Lord Pri\y Seal, 
visited Beijing in .January 1982 and on his return trip dropped in 
on the UMELGO. He diselosed that he had met Premier Zhao 
Ziyang and \'iee Premier .li Pengfei, and diseussed the Hong 
Kong issue. He emphasized at the outset that it was the (Hiinese 
who had raised the issue of 1997, not he. He nonetheless figured 
that the Chinese Government had yet to reveal an\' elear direetion 
or set of criteria to the talks. He also believed that the Chinese had 
not yet deeided how they should proceed. The Chinese had also 
told him that they would in due course talk to \arious circles in 
Hong Kong and would preserxe the interests of in\estors in Hong 

Our English guest and we concluded our meeting with the 
shared impression that China wanted to settle the issue w itli the 
British and was waiting for the right occasion. 

The Chinese Invitation 

\ery few people would e\er associate m\" name with the Chinese 
People's Political Consultntixe Conference (CPPC(') of the People's 
Kepublic of (lliina. 1 now wish to rcxcal the connection. l-^arl\' in 
1982, 1 reccixed a letter from Xinhua News Agenc>" in\ iting me to 
join the Consultati\e Conference, an adxisory cntitN comprising 
prixate citizens. ISeforc .Uil\' 1*>*>7, Xinhua was ihc dc tacfo Chinese 
embassy in I long Kong. The honour tliat ( Ihina had w ishcd to bestow- 
on me was considerable, imt it also preseiHctl ;i dilennn.i for me 
since 1 was alreatb' the Senior .Member of the colonial l-.\ecuti\e 
Council ;inil had .iccess to (he top secrets on the tlii'> ic sp.ining 
sessions between the two eouiuries b\en though, so \:\\ . the IWitish 
ami the (Ihinese coiuacts been ;is einsor\ as these bail been 


z^ 40 :^ 

Siiio-Bricish Xcfiotiacions 

cordial, the two parties to the parley were teehnieally achersaries. 
and it would be unwise ot nie to accept a rather awkward appointment. 

In those days the Senior Member ot the Kxeeuti\e (^oimcil 
was .generally regarded as the "leader ot the llonj; Kom; (Ihinese 
eonnnunity '. Precedinii me in that capacity were Sir Sik-nin ('hau. 
Sir (]ho-yiu Kwan, and Sir Yiiet-keunii Kan. They likewise acted as 
emissaries between the (]hinese public and the British Administra- 
tion, who in their own styles stro\e to ser\c the community. The 
negotiations not only pitted ('hina and l^ritain of today against each 
other but also raised the spectre of antipathy long ago, about which 
emotions remained heated. I could not in clear conscience be both 
trusted by the British and relied on by the (Chinese, who would both 
exentually doubt my loyalty. 

At that time I also sen'cd on other public bodies. One of these 
was the Hong Kong-.Iapan Business C^o-operation ('ommittee 
(IIIUBCC) which was sponsored by the Trade De\elopment C Council 
to promote trade with Japan. Sir ^'uet-keung Kan w ho ehairetl the 
TDG also chaired the IIIvJBCX'. Both Ann Tse-kai anti 1 were members 
of this (lommittee. .\nn chaired the (Communications Sub-(]ommittee 
aiul 1 headed the Industrial Sub-Committee. The 1IKJB(](] and its 
.Japanese counterpart, the .lapan-llong Kong Business Co-operation 
(iommittee, took turns to host annual joint meetings in lloui; Kong 
and Tokyo. 

In l'"ebruar\' I'^SJ, we all L;atlieied at Tokxo for the annual 
e\en( ami 1 arrangetl a meeting among the three of us in the hotel 
room. 1 told m\' colleagues that .Xinhua had e.xteuiletl an in\ itation 
to me to join the CIMH IC. lioth Sir \'iiet-keuui; and .\iui said the\- too 
had reeeixetl similar imitations I then expounded m\ earlier 
thoughts and saiil that if I were to accept the C Chinese ofter 1 would 
beti.iN' British eonlitlencL' and tlK\ would not trust me an\ more 


Ilonii Ao/iL's .loiniicv fo Rciniit'icdtum 

I'liitv 2.5 The author icith Sir Y. K. luui. Mr. T. K. Aim and otiier.s 
i)} .la]xin, 197S. 

since conflicts of roles and interest were not just probable but 
ine\'itable. Equally the Chinese would not trust me. I then concluded 
that 1 would decline the invitation. Sir Yuet-keung confessed that 
since he had retired from the Executive Council in 19(S(), he had 
disavowed any interest in politics and would not meddle in the 
question of Ilon^ Kong's future. lie would not assist the Chinese and 
would, therefore, turn down the offer. This was to Sir Yuet-keung 
the decent exit. 

We then provided Ann with an analysis of his position. The 
industrialist and Chinese scholar had already retired from the 
Legislative and Executive Councils, and later also from the 
chairmanship of the TDC. He was, however, still engaged in public 
affairs and was xery knowledgeable about the operations of the Hong 
Kong Government. He could, and would, contribute his insights to 

5:?S 42 i^3 

Sino- British NcflotiatUms 

the (Chinese cause. Ann ri^reeel and aeeepted tlie appcMiitnient. and 
later became the \'ice-(]hairman of the CPPGG, a post graded in the 
Chinese protocol as one of the leaders of the (io\ernment. During 
all these years he had contributed much to the successful transition. 

A year later, Qi Fen*^, the Xinhua Deputy Director, and Lai 
King-sunsi, my iini\crsity cohort w ho beyan working for the agency 
when his membership in the (lonmiimist Party was exposed, in\ ited 
me to Innch at the Furama Hotel on 2^ March PAS3. Thc\' maundered 
on a ran^e of subjects but what they were ea.i»er to know was whether 
1 would be willing to join the CPPCC. They related a messaiie from 
Liao Ghen^zhi, Head of the Ilong Kong and Macao Affairs Office 
(IIKMi\0) of the State ('oinicil, that Liao appreciated the work 1 was 
doing for Hong Kong and in particular my authoritati\ c rctlcction of 
the views and wishes of the Hong Kong people. The jiair also said 
Liao was fully aware of my position at the time that might preclude 
me fnjm accepting the in\itation. 

Qi and Lai apparently knew I had declined the offer a \"car ago 
but stressed the inxitation woukl remain open to me indefinitely, 
for which 1 was \ery touched. This entreaty, I bcliexe, meant the 
(Ihinesc (loxernment tlid not hold ;in\' grudge against me or had e\er 
doubted nn- connnitment to Hong Kong, autl thus to my eountr\ too. 

Arrival of Edward Youde 

The Near 1'>S2 marked a shift in llritish attitude that was even 
tangiiile to us eight time /ones awa\' from London. The .\rgentina 
militar\- iu\atletl the lalklautls ;nui hoisted a flag that hail not been 
down for 1.^0 \ears o\er that South .\tiantie isl.nul. populated b\ 
several tho\isan(.l shepheitls. The brilish up to then resii;ued 
themselxes to a seat a( the table of l\nroiK'. the F.mpiie a ilistaut 


Ilotiii KonLi's JoitruLy fo Rcuiii/icddon 

memory. Ikit the Argentine attaek iiahanizetl the whole nation. 
Thatcher, whose popularity was sinking, seized the ehanee t<)r;^lory. 
The whole country rallied arotmd the Union Jack. The swift, decisi\'e 
retaking of Fort Stanley suddenly swung the United Kingdom from 
acceptance of its decline to a new surge of confidence. Thatcher, 
the first woman Prime Minister of Britain, was now getting into stride. 
The "Iron Lady" began to wonder why she had to accept the advice 
of the Foreign Office Sinologists and diplomats who so far had 
cautioned against riling up the Chinese over Hong Kong. The "Iron 
Lady" had by then forged a "special relationship" or "partnership" 
with the American President, Ronald Reagan, who shared her 
doctrinaire loathing for Communist rule. All this background was 
an important backdrop to the British and Chinese negotiations. 

Britain retired Sir Murray as Lord MacLehose to Scotland. His 
replacement was the Welshman Sir Edward Youde who, like Lord 
MacLehose, spoke fluent Putonghua and admired Chinese culture 
as well as loved peppery Sichuan cuisine. He and Lady Pamela were 
models of propriety and their humility moved us in the colony. The 
career C'hina specialist had had four stints on the Mainland, the last 
term of duty was between 1974 and 197(S when he was the British 
Ambassador in Beijing. Whilst posted in the capital he made a few 
trips to Hong Kong and had met members of both the Executive and 
Legislative Councils. He was no stranger to us but yet we did not 
really know him until he was sent here to govern — and not just to 
govern but to do it after the exit of a very popular Lord MacLehose, 
the reformer. 

The Youdes' affection for China was as genuine as it was 
infectious. They had travelled extensively throughout the Mainland 
to get acquainted not only with the landscape, but also the diverse 
people of the country with a quarter of humanity and also that share 

Sino-liriiish Negotiations 

of global problems. lie also read (Ibinese a\iclly, not only literature 
but also the newspapers so that he would understand the thou^^hts 
and of the populaee on the \eri4e of ehange. He had ser\'ed 
in New York and Washington too but his more influential posting 
had definitely been in (^hina. Before eoming to Hong Kong as the 
(jo\'ernor. Sir Pxhvard had been the Foreign Office's Chief (Merk. 
This meant he had aeeess to all the sensiti\e documents, including 
those pertaining to Hong Kong. 

Long before Sir Edward's arri\'al the Unofficial Members of 
the Executixe and Legislatixc (councils had conducted a series of 
meetings on the 1997 issue. We welcomed him to the (Jolonx- and to 
the debate of the issue, hoping he would add his expertise, insight 
and special knowledge to the deliberations. Prior to his arriwal I had 
sent to him in London a copy of my welcoming speech for his 
inaugural ceremony, in which the 1997 issue was raised. The purjoose 
was to prepare him for a substantive reply at the cercmonN'. He did 
not respond and 1 interpreted that he had no objection to what I w as 
going to say. 

The Chief Secretary, Sir I'hilip Iladdon-caxc, and I led the 
inaugural ceremony for Sir Edward on 2(1 .May 1*>N2. As jijanned 1 
took the occasion to address the issue of Hong Kong's tlestiny and 
said, intL-r (did, 

"Your c.\celicne\' will lia\c iiianx jireoccupa t ions in tlic 
administration of iloiig i\ong i>ut 1 hope you. Sir. will agree witii 
nie tiial the first prioiitx must i)e the tjuestiou ot the tuture of 
I long isoiig. w hieli is of sue! 1 eoueeru to us all. ( )ur eont iiuied 
eeouoniie pi"ospLrit\' ami social sl.iliilitx arc \eiy much dLi>eiKkut 
on the eoufitieuee wc the people ot lloiiii Ivong and our overseas 
Iradiuu pailners \\:\w in the louii-teini tuluie ot lloiiu Kong. To 
maintain eontiik iieL-, i( is neeessai\ the luluie of llonsi 

^^^ 45 •^: 

//(>»!£,' /\o/ii>'s .lourucy to RciDti/icdtioii 

Kong be satisfactorily resolved as soon as possible. It is iiiexitable 
that yon. Sir, as the Governor ot' Hong KonjLJ, will pla\' an imjiortant 
role in sneh a resolntion. In yonr endeaxoms in this regard Vom- 
Exeellenee can be assnred ot'om" wholehearted snpport." 

The Governor, just sworn in, replied in a prepared speech 
which in part read: 

"For this [resolution] to be achieved Hong Kong will need 
confidence in its future. It is not surprising, given the circum- 
stances of the lease that this issue should now be raised. 
I believe that there are sound grounds for confidence and that 

Plate 2.6 The S-ii:cca-i)ii>-iii Cerxnuotiv tor Goveniur SirEiiiciml Yoiule. 1982. 

Q*r 46 -^ 

Sino-Bricish Negotiations 

the omens are good. The commitment of Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment to Hong Kong and the interests of its people remains firm. 
The relationship with the People's Republic of China on which so 
much depends has ne\er been more cordial. If there is an issue 
to be addressed, there is also in addressing it. a common recogni- 
tion of the \ital importance of the continued prospcrit\' and 
stability of this Territory and a common w ish to prcscr\c them. 
In consequence 1 see good reason w by confidence should remain 

His public answer to oiu^ ciucr\- firmly put the isstie of Hong 
Kong's future on the top of his agenda. A month and a half after that 
ceremony. ^) .luly to be exact. Sir Kdward called the UMKLC]() to a 
special meeting to discuss about the Prime Ministers \isit to China in 
September on the issue of so\'ereignty. We expressed oiu" \ic\\ that it 
was not \iablc for the island and the southern peninsula to stand alone 
as a colony if the northern peninsula and the New Territories were to 
be rcttimed to CJiina in accordance w ith the Con\'ention of 1S98. Unless 
the United Kingdom could get an extension on the lease of the land, 
which constituted more than *>0 jicr cent of the colony's total landmass. 
it would lia\c to hand the whole region back to China. 

The r.\IKL( ]( ) referred to the tlebate of the 1 louse of ( lonunons 
on 1.^ .iune of that Near in which the Parliament insisted that the 
Island hati been ceded to Pritain forexer and the Colonx" should 
contiinie on its own minus its hinterland. This conclusion was to us 
elearb t.nieiful. .\t (hat time there were riunoius which reckoned. 
pro\()cati\ el\- we thought, how liritain siiould insist that the treaties, 
whether iinei|iial or not, were xaliil ;nul China should be held to 
them Thus the \ iews of the ( lonunons and I long Kong (.iiftered .uul 
the r.\!lJ.( ;( ) (.lit rust etl their opinions to Sir lulw ard to be con\ e\ ed 
to the liritish capital 


//oni; Kong's .loiinicy fo liciiiiijicdiion 

A week after the session, Sir Edward a^ain eonxened another 
UMELCO meeting on U) .Inly, sayini; he had already eonx'eyed their 
thoughts to London, and that eight days later, on 22 July, he would 
tra\'el there himself to relay and reaffirm the message in person. We 
emphasized onee again that the territory as a whole was not 
economieally divisible. What we should reasonably seek was some 
sort of arrangement in whieh ('hina woidd allow the British to 
eontinue governing Hong Kong as a caretaker administration whilst 
recognizing that its ownership belonged to the People's Republic. 
This should be the deal that the British could put on the diplomatic 
table once negotiations with (]hina began. The UMELCO felt that 
such a stance was the best way for preserving confidence, prosperity 
and stability as well as meeting the views and wishes of the great 
majority of Ilong Kong people at that time. 

hi fact, the realists in Hong Kong had long understood that 
there was no possibility of Hong Kong becoming independent, which 
was the usual course of "de-colonization". Back in 1972 when the 
People's Republic of China took its seat in the United Nations, one 
of its first acts was to delete the names of Hong Kong and Macao 
from the UN's list of colonies. China, while not wishing to harp on 
the wrongs of the past done to the nation, was practical and deferred 
the taking back of Hong Kong and Macao. The People's Republic 
would be patient in dealing with those two lost territories but it 
would never countenance independence. iVt that time the British 
Conservative Government of Edward Heath did not object and, 
consequently, continued sending the colonial officers to run the 
territory and to discourage any move towards independence. 

Sir Edward went to and returned from London, bearing the 
message. He assembled the UMELCO on 6 August to brief us on 
what had transpired during his trip. He said he had, as reported, 

lk>^ 48 5*5 

Sino-liritish Xcgotiutions 

met the Prime Minister who was ebuUient abcnit xisitin^ Beijin;^ in 
September to discuss Hong Kong's future. He also suggested that a 
small UMELCO delegation should go to London to diseuss with the 
Prime Ahnister her strategy tor tiie C^hina \'isit. 

During the meeting, the UMELCO unanim(Hisl>- proposed that 
the GoN'ernor should be a member of the British Delegation for the 
negotiation with (]hina and that he should also accompany the Prime 
Minister to Beijing and participate in the talks on Hong Kong's future. 

The Open Foriitn 

The Unofficial Members of the Lxccutix'c and Legislatixe Councils 
initially wanted to form a small and specialized group to monitor 
opinions and formulate a strategy to deal with the U>*->7 issue, by 
then a public obsession. lUit, alas, the group could not be kept small 
since exery (Councillor wanted to join, and a group so big could not 
be called small, so everybody settled for regular meetings among us 
and also with the (loxcrnor. At that time, no one was elected and we 
therefore could not claim to "rciircscnt" but merely "reflect" the 
public \'iew's, e\en tliougli more often than not we got the society's 
pulse just about right. 

From the moment of Sir lulward's inauguration in Ma\' 1*^S2, 
many more groups — besides the U.\II"d,('( ) one — clamoured to get 
iiUo the act. The welter of opinions eoiiKi be liinipetl I'ouLihK' into 
fixe broad categories, ranging from the practicabk' lo the wishful, if 
not daft. These were, as corUaineil in an 1 MI'.I.C !( ) pajtcr eonipiled 
b>' the .\ssistant Secrctarx' (leneial, .losejih Wong (noxx Secretary 
fordixil Serxice), in .\ugust l'>N2: 

( 1 ) file sldliis (pit) ;is Biitish contiiuies to rule lloni; Kong 
(proponents: iIk' economist IaIxx ;ii il ( !heii and l.iw kcluier 

•■^ 49 .^ 

Ihmfi Kong's ,l(>ur))cy fo l\cuttitic(iti(i)t 

Peter Wesley-Smith of' the rni\'ersity of I long Kong, and 
the Hong Kong Prospeet histitnte). 

(2) liritain eontinues to rule Hong Kong bnt reeognizes 
(Chinese sovereignty (proponents: the Hong Kong Reform 
(Miib; (Mare HoUingworth and Dr. .lohn Voimg of the 
Unix'ersity of Hong Kong). 

(3) Joint (Chinese and British administration (proponents: 
Diek Lee, a friend of the (Chinese Oovernment, and Dr. 
Y. S. Cheng of the Chinese University of Hong Kong). 

(4) China extends to Hong Kong the status of a Special 
Administrati\'e Region under Artiele ?>\ which is being 
enshrined into the Chinese Constitution (proponents: 
i\ndre\v Wong of the Chinese Unixersity of Hong Kong. At 
that time, people generally thought the pro\'ision was 
actually designed for Taiwan. President Jiang Zemin 
confirmed the suspicion at a ceremony commemorating 
the first anni\'ersary of the Macao SAR in December 2000). 

(5) China and Britain sign a treaty of friendship that extends 
the Hong Kong lease by 30 years (proponents: some 
indi\'iduals made publicly on 16 August). 

The UMELCO analysed these five general viewpoints and 
beliex'cd the majority favoured the first one, the stcitiis qua. 

At the same time, three comprchensixe opinion surs^eys were 
conducted, one by the Reform Club, one by the Baptist College (later 
University), and one by the Hong Kong Observers. Their findings 

( 1 ) The Reform Club commissioned Survey Research Hong 
Kong Ltd. to conduct during March 1982 by telephone a 
poll of 1,000 respondents aged 20 years and over. Some 

c^ 50 ;^ 

Canada-Hoiig Kong Resource Centre 

1 Spadina Crescent, Ilin. Ill • Toronto, Couada • M5S lAl Sino-BritLsh Xc^otiatUms 

93 per cent of the intcniewed subjects scni^ht the stcitiis 
quo of eontinual British administration; 

(2) The Baptist Collei^e conducted its own postal opinion 
survey in May 19(S2. This one polled 545 or;^anizations 
employini; more than 1 ()(),()()() people. It was found that 
85 per cent of the oriianizations wished for the l^ritish 
administration status (fuo for 30 to 50 years, even if the 
sovereignty were to retiuMi to (^hina; 

(3) The Hong Kong Observers commissioned also Sur\ey 
Research Hong Kong Ltd. to conduct during May and June 
1982 by the face-to-face method a poll of 1,000 persons, 
aged 15-60 years. The result was that 87 per cent of the 
respondents faxoured the status cjuo of continual British 

l)Ut not just one side waged the public opinion war. The 
(Ihincsc (iox'crnmcnt also started to exercise its "united tront" 
strategy by inxiting groups and indix idiials in I long Kong to traxcl to 
Beijing to meet with the national leaders and discuss the future of 
i long Kong. 

Advisinf* Thatcher 

barb' in Scptcnii>cr 1*>S2. the Inofficial .Members of the l!.\cciiti\ e 
and bcgislatixe ( lonncils ilecided to liaxc fi\c delegates to accompany 
Sir l-Alward to London to con\c\ piibhc opinions to and discuss tiie 
stratcgx' with the I'riinc .Minister. I was one of thein The otiicrs 
wcic Lcgisiatixc ( lonncii Senior .\knibcr Kogci" i.ol^o ( later Sir) w iio 
took o\er from (iswaUl (Jiemig in SeptenilKT 1"'SI. Baidv ot Last 
Asia (Ihairman l.i lools-wo. Swiie exeeiuixe L\dia Ihnin (later 
IJaroness). aiui liong Konu Teleitbone nnion leader (Mian Kam-ehuen. 

^ 51 :^ 

Houii Kotifi's .lounicy to Rcuniticitiion 

It was Sir Edward who sut^gestcd the names and our colleagues 
imaniniously endorsed the list. 

The Governor and tlie t'i\e of us on (S September went to 
the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downinii Street for a working 
lunch that lasted for more than two hoius. Thatcher was then at 
the apex of her power, tlushed with confidence from the Falklands 
victory and her public popularity. Accompanying her were the 
Foreign Secretary Francis Pym (later Sir), his deputy Alan Donald 
(later Sir and Ambassador to Beijing in 198(S), and two private 

We gave Thatcher a comprehensix'e account of the majority's 
views and aspirations. I, as the leader of the UMELGO delegation, 
specifically said since many residents of the territory had been 
refugees or their children, they were averse to Communist mle. Hong 
Kong was essentially a land of two separate statuses, one on the 
island and the southern peninsula was granted to Britain forever 
and the other was leased. We also recognized that the whole of Hong 
Kong was economically indivisible. I said our community had 
undertaken three major independent opinion surveys in which S5 
to 90 per cent of the respondents (both indixiduals and organizations) 
wished for as little change as possible beyond 1997 under the British 
administration, but would accept Chinese sovereignty if that was 

We felt that a generation of pragmatic leaders had emerged in 
China whose priority was the economic development of their 
country. Over the past few years China had opened up to the world. 
The country needed Hong Kong as its conduit to foreign technology 
and capital. Since the British and Chinese were on friendly terms, it 
was opportune to have Sino-British talks on the future of Hong Kong. 
We believed China was keen to preserve the \'itality of the territory 

jf#^ 52 ^^^D 

Sinn- British Negotiations 

beyond 1997 but mi^ht not at tlie moment know how best to do it. 
The ultimate solution must be aeeeptable politieally both within 
and outside China as well as be able to sustain eonfidenee in and 
prosperity and stability of Hon;^ Kon^. It would take time and 
the British should be patient and prudent for itself and for Hong 

In conclusion, we expressed the hope that diuinii her \isit to 
Beijing later in the month, the Prime Minister could reach ai;recment 
with the Chinese Government to commence official talks on I long 
Kong's future. We also made the point that it would be essential to 
demonstrate, whilst the talks were |[^oing on, that progress was being 
made in order to maintain confidence in Hong Kong. 

Our impression was that the Prime Minister grasped the issue 
fully. She assured us that she would fully relay our \iews and uphold 
our interests. She imderstood the importance of our confidence as 
well as the early need for a solution. She howexer reali/cd the 
sensiti\'ity of the matter for the (Chinese as well as the ideological 
differences between her ( loxcriuncnt and theirs. She then a\'owcd 
her moral obligation for the people of Hong Kong. 

We in the tielegation at tile time were not nai\e nor in denial. 
We know China would cxentually reco\er Hong Kong but we were 
also pla\'ing for time — s;iy 20 or .^0 years — when the countr\' had 
progressed enough eeonomiealh' to make the reunion more 
acceptable. I'hat, in gist, was the rMl^LC()"s iiasie position, whether 
or not it was Pritains. 

.\ Lddys Place 

()ur first \isi( lo l.oiuloii in .Sc|i(enibei 1'>S2 followed ihe usual 
protocol, wliieli is iIk' lliilisli me especially gocul ;H, in\esting 

^!^ 53 ^ 

lloitf^ A'oH^'k .Iniinicy to RciuiiJ'icdiion 

SO nnich in tlicir ritual of state. \\c, ii\'c nnotficial Members of tlie 
Executive and Le^slative (^oiineils, deseeiulecl on the l^ritish capital 
and were letl by the ( loxernor Sir Kdward 'i'oude. l)efore the session 
with the Prime Minister on (S Septemlier at 10 Downini^ Street, we 
x'isited various Parliamentary Ministers and Whitehall officials who 
had dealings with lIon,s4 Kon,i» to show onr appreciation. We also 
thought we were t|iiitc egalitarian and gallant as we insisted that Sir 
Edward walked ahead and then ushered Lydia Dunn, the only lady 
in the delegation, to be second in line rather to proceed according 
to seniority. "Lady first" was our motto. Dunn, howcxer, thought we 
men were courteous to a fault and suddenly wanted us to keep serial 
ranks. All this reshuffling occurred within a minute or two whilst we 
were walking towards 10 Downing. 

Plate 2. 7 The I 'MELCO Delegation -iznth Prime Minister Tluitelier at 
10 Do-zzmiuii, 1982. 

^ 54 ^ Xcgociations 

Our ^roLip tollowcd Sir l-klward into the Prime Minister's 
Georgian residence. We, linini; up strietly according to the protocol, 
went up tlic stairs tor the (Cabinet Meetin.g Room. The ot't'icial 
photographer then arranged us for a historic pictiu-e, one of those 
stilted shot that would proudly adorn many mantles. Jostling tor a 
shot also was a legion of television camera crews. In the ensuing 
media melee, we all got into a Jumble, standing this direction and 
that for the photo call. By the time e\'ery one settled into place, the 
Prime Minister was in the middle according to design, with the 
GoN'crnor to her right and nnself to her left. Roger Lobo, whose 
name in Portuguese means "wolf", had by then sidletl along with 
(]han Kam-chuen fiu-thcr to the right of Sir ILdward, while Li Fook- 
wo and Dimn had planted themsehes to my left, almost fading out 
of the picture frame. 

Thatcher, ever the perfectionist, suddenly bolted from the 
formation and went to her left end of the ensemble. To Li. she said, 
"Vou should respect the lady and not let iier (nodding at Dunn) stand 
at the end". Thatcher then abruptK', w itiiout giving a chance for Li 
to react and with a sw ish of her hand, guided Dunn b\- the elbow to 
the spot between Li antl nn'self. Li blusiied naturally autl was 
staggered, not knowing how to react to the rebuke. 

Whilst the Prime .Minister was chiding Li for his manners, the 
television klieg lights were beaming and the press photogi aphers 
were buzzing antl jostling for ;nigles. The tlin ,iiul (he eonunotion 
just nniffled what the Prime .Minister saiil to the confused I'..\ecuti\ e 
(Councillor. Li's friends, watching the tele\ision in Hong Kong, 
subseciuenth' asketl him about bis encounter with the "Iron Lad\ ". 
ol whom his impression was \i\iil. if not also li\ id The Lrilisli have 
a knack tor pnllini; p^oi^le either at ease or in (heir place. Li l-'ook- 
wo learned that fiisl hand. 


IIoul; KoHLi's .loiirucy to Rcutii/iviiiion 

The Stalemate 

The First Encounter 

The British Prime AHnister called on Beijing in late September 19S2. 
She hroui^ht alonii a full retinue of Foreign Ministry ( )ffieials, Franeis 
Pym, Sir Fdward, Sir l'ere>' Clradoek, Alan Donald and a host of 
others. E\'erybody at the time properly identified Zhao Ziyans^ as 
the Premier of C'hina, someone of equal standing to Thatcher. 
E\eryone also erroneously referred to Dcnii Xiaoping as the "(^Ihair- 
man", a title that more or less died with Mao Zedong. 

So on a crisp, hazy afternoon the Right Honourable Msitor 
left the colossal Great Hall of the People after the historic talk with 
Deng. She tripped on her way down the steps and would ha\'e toppled 
over if not for an alert officers steady hand. Her stimible screened 
in all Hong Kong televisions, rattled some people, including myself, 
who feared her slippage suggested the meeting with Deng did not go 

On 24 September before lea\'ing Beijing the British and 
Chinese issued a joint statement that read: 

"Today the two leaders of the two countries held far-reaching 
talks in a friendly atmosphere on the future of Hong Kong. Both 
leaders made clear their respectixe positions on this subject. They 
agreed to enter into talks through diplomatic channels following 
the visit with the common aim of maintaining the stability and 
prosperity of Hong Kong." 

Having arrived in Hong Kong, Thatcher on 27 September 
attended a meeting with the UMELCO to brief us on her \isit to 
Beijing. The Prime Minister claimed she had spelt out, and achie\ed, 

=i?r 56 q^o 

^ 57 j^ 

//o/ii,' KoiiLi's .loiinicy i<> l\cuiil/ir(iti(iti 

two olijectiN'cs in licr exploratory discussions with tlic (Ihincse 
(iox'crnment. The first was to ha\'e both countries ai^rced on main- 
taining the prosperitN' and stabiht\' of Iloni; Koni;. 'i'he second was 
that both (loNcrnnients wotild conmicncc diplomatic talks to resoKc 
difficult issues. 

The Prime Minister opined that the (Miinese leaders did not 
fully appreciate the importance of the rule of law and a free society 
to the stability and prosperity of I long Kon;^;. She uri^cd us, therefore, 
to enlighten the (Chinese leaders on these attribtites through our 
own channels. 

At the end of oin- session with the Prime Minister we laid down 
two proposals. The first was that Sir Edward Youde would be a major 
figure on the British team who, as oiu" Go\'ernor, had access to the 
view^s of the commtmity and enjoyed public trust. The second was 
that the British Government should report publicly on the progress 
in the negotiations to calm the people s ner\'es and ax'oid rtmiours 
flying around. 

We then bade her farewell, not aw^are that she had pur- 
posely omitted to tell us crucial matters in her talks with Deng. 

Ti'uth Unveiled 

Two weeks after Thatcher's \isit to Beijing the Siiudny Observer of 
London on 10 October 1982 published a startling expose under the 
by-line of Arthur Gavshon. The journalist in the article of the heading 
"Blueprint for I long Kong Rule", quoting Chinese diplomatic sources, 
disclosed that the Chinese Goxcrnment had laid down fi\'c broad 
principles as the core of Beijing's position in negotiations with Britain 
over Hong Kong. These were, as published: 

'^^r 58 

Sino-British Xefiotiations 

"(1) A rcasscition of C^hinese s<)verei;^nty oxer all the territories 
comprising the colony's 410 square miles; 

(2) Establishment of the colony as a fully autonomous district 
under a regime chosen by the I long Kong people, possessing 
its own internal seciuity forces and with rights to dexelop 
direct commercial links with the outside world. Foreign 
affairs would be subject to Pekings control; 

(3) Replacement of the IJritish (io\ernor by a Chinese national 
who would be elected with powers to build up an administra- 
tion that could incorporate British as well as local personnel 
settled in Hong Kong; 

(4) Establishment of an international free trade area ti>' Hong 
Konjt^ port and its jircscnt l)ritish-rini environs on the 
mainland. Within that area foreigners and (Chinese alike 
woidd be free to iiuest in safety, with projicr rights 
guaranteed luider (Ihinesc law; 

(5) Prescrxation in- (Hiina of the rights to interxene, as the 
soxcreign poxxer, if a situation of extreme abnormality xxerc 
to dexelop. Abnormaiitx' xxould include any attempts b\' 
l")e()ple in Hong Kong to secede from Peking's authoritx- or 
anx' foreign nnlitarx- intrusion." 

The joiu'nalist also xxrote that txxo xxccks ago, Hcng Xiaoping 
and his fclloxx leaders had presented tiiis set of principles to Thatcher 
timing her xisit to l'>eijing. 'Hie rejiort clainietl: "PublicK — as xxcll 
as prixatcK' — Mrs. Thatcher has displaxeil little enthusiasm lor 
Peking's proposals. She has had, iioxxexer, no option bin to agree to 
discuss them." 

At that time. I xxas in l.oiuiou represeiilinU the tcnitorx lor 

i*^ 59 ^ 

lliinii Konii's .Idiiriicy in l\viiiiltic<tlinti 

the opening ceremony of the Ilon,i> Koni; II.ill in the IWitish (Common- 
wealth Exhibition, and saw the newspaper artiele. I inunethately 
went to see the Assistant Under-Seeretar\' of State, Alan Donald, at 
the Foreii^n Office. He had been an attache to Beijin;^and two weeks 
earlier had accompanied Thatcher to the meeting with Dcnji^. Donald 
and I were old acquaintances, but when 1 asked him about the truth 
of the 06.serrer story he was e\'asive. 

1 retinned to IIoni> Kon,i» rather in ani;er and contacted the 
Go\'ernor who had also been on the mission to Beijini; with the l^rime 
Minister. Sir Edward did not reply to my query for he had his own 
orders from Thatcher to stay mum. Later I assumed that Sir Edward 
had then written to London to con\ey the LTMELGO's grievance. 

Naturally I reported the situation to my unofficial colleagues 
in both the Executi\e and Legislatix'c Councils. We all felt angry 
about it and decided to follow up the matter with the (jO\'ernor until 
the truth was know n. \W were wondering how we could go on co- 
operating with London when so early in the negotiations over Hong 
Kong it had kept us in the dark or, as in the Chinese slang, "inside a 
drum". If Britain could not trust us and would not show us its hand, 
it could not expect us, the UMELGO, to go along in blind faith. 

A Place at the Table 

The Unofficial Members of the Executi\e and Legislative Councils 
pressed Sir Edward to clarify or confirm the press report but in \'ain. 
The British Minister of State, Lord Belstead, himself not a career ci\'il 
ser\'ant but a political appointee, xisited Hong Kong and on 7 December 
1982 met with the members of the Executive Council. Belstead at the 
meeting told us that the Prime Minister had heard three broad 
propositions from the Chinese side during her last \isit to Beijing: 

Q*r 60 ^^^ 

Sino-British S'efiociations 

(1) China would regain both soverei;^nty and administration 
over Hong Kong in 1^^97 or earUer. 

(2) China would establish a special administratixe region in 
Hong Kong to be run b)- the people of the territory. 

(3) China would not aeeept another gox'ernment rimning 
Hong Kong. 

The Unofficial Members of the Executive Council were \ery 
upset, criticizing the British (Jroxernment for keeping the truth from 
us and noting that had it not been for the Observers report we might 
have never known the full story. We felt that if the British treated us 
with such apparent disdain, then there was no way for us to help the 
United Kingdom form any negotiating strategy. 

We stressed that the 1997 issue was a life or death one for the 
people of Hong Kong and we should accompany the British delegation 
to Beijing for consultation during the talks concerning our fate. The 
meeting with Belstead was tense, as members pointed to the 
precedent in which the members of the Hong Kong Textile Ad\isory 
Board had accompanied the Hong Kong Goxernment delegation 
during negotiations of textile agreements with other go\ernmeiUs. 
Belstead soothed us somewhat b\- promising to refer oiu- retiuest to 
the Prime .Minister anti to bring back her answer soon. 1 mentioned 
to the .Minister that i would lie in hontlon between 17 and 2S 
December and would like to meet him there, if rec|uired. 

Whilst in London, I reeeixed a message in\iting me to meet 
Thatcher on 20 December at 10 I downing Street. 1 )uriiig the audience 
with the Prime .Minister alone. I expressed tile protonnil (.lisma\' ot 
my colleagues at not being taken into her eonfitlenee more than two 
months after her trip to i'>eijing. In m\ pee\ e I saiil to the Prime 
Minister that if the Pritish ( "io\ eminent did not trust the I'noffieial 

li^ 61 -:^- 

llim^ Koiifl's .hmniL'Y fo Rcuni/icdtion 

Members of the Exeevitive Couneil, then we eould not assist the 
United Kini;dom in forging a strategy for the negotiations and we 
would forfeit our role. Thatcher admitted that she had not divulged 
the whole eontent of her talks with the (Chinese because the 
disclosure might have panicked the people of Hong Kong. 

I retorted that all eight of us in the Executive Couneil had 
been appointed by the Governor in part for our willingness to keep 
secret. I reiterated that the 1997 issue was vital to the people of 
Hong Kong whose views we could reflect to the British. If her 
government still could not trust, consult and inform us, some, 
including myself, might have to resign. I said what 1 said was with 
the blessing of my unofficial colleagues of the Executive Council. In 
fact, our tactic of absolute candour was half out of pee\'e and half 
out of the desire to sway Thatcher. 

Seeing the Prime Minister was composed, I asked her to let 
some of us go with the British team to Beijing for the negotiations, 
yes, much as the textile advisors had accompanied the Hong Kong 
Government delegation in the textile quota talks. I also emphasized 
that not one official member (that is, ci\il servant) of the Executive 
Council was Chinese who could understand the needs and sensitivi- 
ties of the local population even if he had a reading comprehension 
of the language. 

Back in Hong Kong, I received a letter from Lord Belstead 
dated 13 January- 1983, revealing that the Prime Minister had agreed 
to our demands for co-operation between her Government and the 
Executive Council for input into a strategy for the talks and for full 
disclosure. But according to Belstead, the British Government had 
reservations about our direct involvement with the negotiating team, 
hinting that China might object. 

Later the British misgiving was proven right. The Chinese 

Sino-British Negotiations 

resolutely refused a \isa for the Direetor of the Ilon^ Kong Ci(Aern- 
ment Information Serxices, Peter Tsao, to escort the Governor to 
the Beijing negotiations. We know, from the Tsao episode, our ehanee 
of taking any direct part in the talks was slim to nil as we let the 
matter drop. 

Battle for Hearts and Minds 

After the Thatcher visit in September 19(S2 (]hina began waging a 
"united front" campaign for the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong 
people. The Chinese hoped to win us o\er with their sincerity and 
hospitality. This explained the extraordinary publicity they generated 
for their inxitations to Beijing of delegations from the Trade l)e\elop- 
ment Coimcil and the Hong Kong Manufacturers Association. 

Some of us were suri^riscd that China had targeted in Xo\ ember 
1982 the relatix'cly obsciue Hong Kong Manufacturers Association 
rather than the better known, to us. Hong Kong Chinese Manufacturers 
Association. The shrewd among us figured the Chinese side had 
confused the two organizations because their names were so similar. 

The then Hong Kong and .Macao Affairs Office Director, Liao 
Ghengzhi, greeted the Association delegation comprising M) 
representatixes from a do/en trades. ;uid led In their (lliairman. 
Wong Kam, on 20 Xoxeuiber \^)S2 at the (ireat Hall of the Teoplc. 
Liao, speaking in ( lantonese. reiterateil the foiu- broad priucipks for 
reunification which, to repeat, were: 

(1) ( Ihina would recoNcr I lonu Konu ill l*>*>7; 

(2) ( lliiua would cusluiiic into its ( iousti tut ion the preroiiatixe 
ot lioug Kong to form a Special .\tlmiuist i at i\ e Keuiou 
(S.\l\ ) in w liic'li iliL' people of I li >ng Kong woukl run their 
own lenitoiA in (heir own wa\; 

:^r- f>3 -^r 

IIdiil: A'oNijs Journey fo Rcuuiticdlitm 

(3) (Hiina would respect Iloiii; K()n;[''s existing way of life, 
personal freedom, and status as a free port and an inter- 
national finaneial eentre; 

(4) ( Hiina wonld allow Hong Koni; to preserxe its emrent laws, 
e\'en though the territory's litigants eoiild not appeal to 
the Pri\y (Council in London, and the decision of its high 
eom't wonld be final. 

After the Association came the Trade Development Council, 
led by Sir Yuet-keung Kan, whose delegates went to Beijing and 
Shanghai, ostensibly to discuss trade and commerce between the 
Mainland and Ilong Kong. The group met the C'hinese Communist 
Party General Secretary, Xi Zhongxun, who repeated more or less 
what Liao had said to the Manufacturers Association. 

Those sessions set a pattern. Xinhua News Agency in early 
1983 invited the legislator, Allen Lee, to pick and lead a group of 
young professionals to Beijing. Lee was born in Shandong Province 
and fled to Ilong Kong in his teens. He went for his unixersity 
education in the Ignited States, studying engineering at the University 
of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and then returned to the territory to 
become the manager of a large American electronic factory. He was, 
in 19S3, only 42, a young industrialist who, fi\e years earlier, had 
filled a \'aeaney in the Legislati\'e Council from w hieh I had boned 
out as the Senior Member. Because our backgrounds were similar to 
some extent, the media quipped that he was my chosen heir. 

The delegation of young professionals led by Lee comprised 
some present and future important personages. They included the 
legislators, Stephen Cheong and Selina Chow, both, along with Lee, 
were to found the Co-operati\'e Resource Centre in 1992. The Centre 
was dcN'cloped to become the Liberal Party in 1994. Others were 

s^ 64 :<^ 

Sino-British Xc^ociutious 

barristers, Martin Lee (later the first and only (Ihairman ot the 
Demoeratie Party), and Andrew Li (the first ( Ihiet .histiee ot' the 
SAR in 1*^97). They were joined In- an arehiteet. Ldward IIo (later a 
legislator), a Medieal (loimeil member. Dr. Xataliis Yuen, the Far 
Easten} Economic Rcvieic journalist, Mary Lee, Wing On Banks 
Dr. Philip Kwok and Albert Kwok, phis tinaneier Leung Kvvok-kwong 
and merehant (Christopher Leong. 

Before leaxing tor l)eijing, the\' spent months eompiling a 
compendium ot eonmientaries and essays, whieh was more or less a 
sort ot position paper to be submitted to the (Chinese leaders. The 
purpose was to impress on the (Chinese leaders the graxity ot the 
confidence crisis in Hong Kong and to explain their proposal of a 
"buffer" solution. \Miat did they mean b\- "buffer"'r On the last page 
of their paper, it stated: 

"The two systems (between the Mainland and liong Kong) at 
present are vastly different in many areas. We l^elieve there is a 
need to narrow these differences. We hope that through cordial 
British and (Chinese relations, we may continue develop Ilong 
Kong's economy and society and, at the same time, tind a solution 
acceptable to both sides. The best method tow.inls aehie\ ing 
aim is to extentl the current 14-year transition period so that we 
ma\' clear awa\' the shadow of 1*>'>7." 

What the \'oung jtrofcssionals sought a "buffer' b\' 
extentl ing the 1 4-ycar transition period ( P'S,^ to 1''*'7 ) of coiuiiuial 
P»ritish ailministration to gi\c time for the .Mainland ami Ilong Kong 
economics anil societies to become closer in their de\elopineiUs 
bclorc reimitication took place. 

Lee in Ma\ I''S,^ led the tielcgatcs to I'cijinL; where they met 
the ( Com nui nisi P;iit\- ( ieiieral Secretar>-. Xi /hongxun. in a session 
that last longer than three hours .iiul in w hieh much of the time 


Ilonfi Kono's .lourucy to Kciniiticdtiou 

devoted to explaining the position paper. The talk was eordlai hut 
the Chinese side refused to heliex'e that there was a eonfidence crisis 
in Hong Kong and insisted that it was another British plot to prolong 
their hold on the eolony. The (Chinese side also rejeeted the "hut'fer" 
proposal. Not niueh was aeeomplished despite the earnestness of 
everyone inxohed. 

On the last night before the delegation was to return to the 
territory the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs 
Office, Li Hou, and the Secretary General, Lu Ping, went to the hotel 
where the delegates were staying. They asked Lee and his deputy 
Stephen Gheong privately to delete the last of the 14 pages of the 
position paper dealing with the "buffer" proposal prior to publication. 
After some haggling Lee and Gheong eventually agreed. 

The Ghinese Government did not target the ethnic Ghinese 
of Hong Kong only in its campaign for hearts and minds. The Mainland 
officials also trained their charm offensive on the top executives 
and owners of British conglomerates in the colony, such as the Swire 
brothers John and Adrian as well as Henry Keswick of Jardine and 
Matheson. Ambassador Ke Hua on 18 January 1983 in\'ited British 
businessmen to kmch in the Ghinese Embassy in London to brief 
them on the Ghinese position in the talks on Hong Kong. The message 
was similar to what had been told to the Trade De^'elopment Gouncil 
and the Hong Kong Manufacturers Association. 

The Ghinese Gox'ernment was by then on the propaganda blitz. 
Xinhua Deputy Director, Qi Feng, and his colleague Lai King-sung 
(a fellow university alumnus as aforesaid) invited me to lunch at the 
Furama Hotel on 23 March 1983. They said Ghina would enshrine 
into its Constitution Hong Kong's unique governance after 1997, 
specifically with the proviso that the laws would remain unchanged 
and there would be "Hong Kong people running Hong Kong". Since 

Qi^ 66 ^i^ Xc^ociationti 

at tlic time most ci\il sonants were already ethnie Cliinese residents 
of Hong Kong who were running the territory', a more apt description 
should be "running Hong Kong the Hong Kong way" after 1997. 

I told Qi and Lai how the people in Hong Kong were vexed and 
perplexed by the (Chinese (jONernment's fiekle policies and attitudes 
over the years. Just putting Hong Kong's current systems into the 
('hinese Constitution was not sufficient to gain the confidence and 
trust of the I long Kong people. I requested them to convey the public s 
profoimd worries to the Chinese leaders. 

No Time Table for Talks 

The British and Chinese Go\ernments had issued a statement on 
Hong Kong in September 19(S2, agreeing to negotiate. Hut by now 
half a year had elapsed without any talk starting at all. In the 
meantime "microphone diplomacy" had blared away w ith both sides 
presenting their cases through their favoured media. The Chinese 
wanted to resohe the questions of soxereignty and administration 
at once before thc\' were willing to discuss the futiux' after 1997. 
The liritishs stance was just the opposite. 

The UMP2LC() reckoned the most important concern was 
achie\ing guarantees for prosperit\-, stabilit\-, and libcrt\". Tiic people 
of Hong Kong were in no position to l\irgain with the Chinese 
Authorities and had to rei\' on the liritisli ( lo\ ernment to bid their 
case. If the I'nited Kingdom were to suiixiuiei' Hong Kong uneoiuli- 
tionalh'. that eountr\- wouki ha\e no othei" chips to pia\" in the game 
ot tlipjomatie poker. \\V. llieretore. snpi">oited the llritish stiateg\' to 
seenre an ai langenient that eoiiKl liiiK put people's hearts at ease 
prior to eoneeiling so\ ereigntx'. 

Most Hong Kong resitleiits were realistic. What they waiUed 

^^r 67 •■^' 

Iloiiii Kami's JouniLV la Rcuni/icdliou 

Piute J. 9 Tlic/irst I 'MEX(J(J Mission to London at Lancaster House, 1983. 

and expected from the United Kingdom was not much more than a 
treaty with China, that would huy enough time for the pohtics on 
the ^h^inhuld to stabihze and the economy to improxe to make 
inex'itable reunification not only desirable but also feasible. 

The British were preparing for their summer national elections 
during the spring of 1983 and, e\'en though the Tories were leading 
in the opinion polls, the outcome was not certain. The Chinese 
Government, we helie\'ed, felt it was not appropriate to talk about 
Hong Kong with the British until the other side's political situation 
was crystal clear. 

The Prime Minister in March 1983 nonetheless wrote to 
Premier Zhao Ziyang, suggesting that if Britain and China could reach 
an understanding on securing the prosperity, stability and liberty of 
Hong Kong, then her Government would recommend to Parliament 
to endorse returning the territory to China. The letter implied that 

3^ 68 ^,^ 

Sino-liritish Xciiotiations 

now there was a way to end the impasse and resohe the Hong Kong 
issue to mutual satisfaetion. 

The Breakthrough and Breakdown 

The Consenatixe Party won the ]*AS3 summer eleetion l')y a landslide 
and the British onee again was tirml\- imder the helm of Nhu'garet 
Thateher. ilaxing reeei\'ed her letter in Mareh to Premier Zhao, the 
(Hiinese felt that negotiations with Britain eould eonunenee for how 
to maintain the stability, prosperity and liberty of Hong Kong after 

The Hong Kong Governor, Sir Edward "\'oude, joined the 
British team as a senior member, but the Prime Minister rebuffed the 
attempt of the ITMKL(]() for the UMEX(X) to aeeomp.iny Sir Edward 
and the rest of the eontingent to Beijing, mueh to our disappointment. 

The negotiators of the two Governments began the first round 
of negotiations in Beijing from 12 to 13 .luly and at the eonelusion 
they issued a joint statement proelaiming the talks "useful and 

l)Ut the elim.'ite for the talks deterioratetl thereafter. At the 
vnd of the seeond round, liekl on 25 and 2(i .hil\\ tliex' eould oub' 
portrax' their session as ha\ ing been "useful", whieh sounded 
ominous. The eontingents met t\\ iee again — on 2 to ,^ .Xugust and 
22 to 2,^ September — and axoidetl using an\" adjeeti\e. wliieh 
signalled imiieiiding faihue. 

The iiegot iai ions olniously hit a snag. (!liiua iiUen.silied its 
jiroiiaganda war. I long Kon^s eoufiilenee inelteil and tlie free-tloating 
eiu"rene\' eontiniied to sink. TIk' loeal was woiili S7.'' to the 
( Ireeubaek on W) S^jit ember anil ikpreeiated to S'>..^ to the .\meriean 
unit a little o\er a week later, a tall of 2(> pei' eeiH 

J*^ 69 ^ 

Mono Koiifi's JintniLV to RuimifwatUm 

Another barometer of the pubUe mood, the Hang Seng Index 
ofstoek priees, Hkewise pkimmeted hy 150 points, bottoming out at 
780 points, the nadir in 1983. On "Black Saturday", 24 September, 
consumers began panic buying and hoarding, emptying supermarket 
sheh-es of staples. The pandemonium marked one of the grimmest 
periods in the territory. 

Relief, or at least reprieve, came from the Ilong Kong 
Government which decided to peg the Hong Kong dollar at S 7. 8 to 
the U.S. currency on 17 October 1983, but these measures were 
palliatives because the only cure remained the satisfactory deal 
between Britain and China on Hong Kong. 

The Councillors' Rage 

Just when people were distressed by the lack of any concord on 
their future, Edward Heath visited Deng Xiaoping in Beijing. The 
former British Prime Minister, and arch nemesis of Thatcher who 
had ousted him in a Conservative Party coup, then dropped in on 
Hong Kong and the UMELCO hosted a working dinner for him at the 
Swire House headquarters at 7 p.m. on 12 September 1983. The 
arrangement was to have a sit-down discussion prior to the banquet. 
Heath started the discussion by advising the UAIELCO strongly 
to accept the Chinese proposition of the Hong Kong people ruling 
Hong Kong. He then told us that Deng had wished to resolve the 
Hong Kong question by no later than September 1984, two years 
after he and Thatcher had broached the issue. This, if I remember 
correctly, was the first time we heard of a deadline and we were 
flustered and concerned. Heath added that the Chinese would take 
unilateral action to regain Hong Kong in 1997 unless the British 
agreed to a settlement. 

Q!?C 70 ^^ 

Sino-British Xc^otiations 

The members were shoeked at the iihimatum and told the 
guest that many people in Hong Kong had had bad experienees w ith 
the Communist Party they now fenently distrusted. Heath responded 
by saying nobody eould guarantee the future and no one eould ensure 
China would honoiu' any agreement on Hong Kong. He adxised the 
Hong Kong people to be realistie. 

Someone then asked Heath what might happen if Deng died. 
The veteran British Tory replied nonehalantly that e\ery eountry 
had to eope with the problem of sueeession and so would Hong Kong, 
whieh, after all, had already learned to li\e with eonuniuiism as a 

Before the party for Heath, we had earlier met to antieipatc 
what the former Prime Nhnister might say. We had figured that he 
would beha\'e in eharaeter and speak fondly of, if not also for. the 
Chinese Goxernment, with which he had rapport. 1 was worried that 
some of my more obstreperous colleagues, partieularh- fier\- Selina 
(]how, would bicker with an equally feisty Heath. Selina did, and 
Heath was rather annoyed. 

At the vnd of the discussion 1, as the host, in a sunuuing uj") 
speech, said what the former Prime .Minister had toltl us had 
eon\inced us of the persuasixe power of the ( Ihinese leatler w ho had 
ob\iousl\- impressed him. ( )nce 1 uttered that 1 ieatli blew up. (Iiiiiking 
I had snideK' t|uestioned his integrit\'. and ilemandetl that 1 apologize. 
I did aiul trietl to soothe him but he was iniplaeaiije. In a huff he saiil 
he wouUI not sta\' for ilimiei' anti wouki not elianuc his niiutl despite 
m\" plea. 

Heath, his laee beet-red. then tloiineed out with his two aitles 
in tow. We had asked him to wait toi us to .inange tor an official 
limousine to whisk liini back to the (io\ernnient House, but he 
tieeliiieil e\ en that bit of eourtes\ anil, instead, bailed a taxi. I then 

^ 7\ -^ 

Iloiifi Korifi's .lounicy to Roiuificdtioii 

imnicdiatcly phoned and reported tlie ineident to the (loxernor. Sir 
Kdward, who was inexpressixe. The next da>' the newspapers played 
up the joust and e\'er sinee then the breaeh between Heath and lis 
eoiild not be healed. 

The First Concession 

Britain and China had gone through four wear\^ rounds of negotiations 
without any tangible progress. The stalemate triggered a confidence 
crisis in September 19(S3. The o\'erwhelming sense of despair 
prompted the Prime Minister to invite all the Unofficial Members of 
the Executive Council (UMEXCO) to London for the second time. 
The UMEXCO were scheduled to meet on 6 October the Foreign 
Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, a Welsh country lawyer, and Thatcher 
the following day. 

As the Senior Member, I first spoke at the meeting reviewing 
the four rounds of talks with the Chinese, analysing the cause and 
effect of the "Black Saturday" debacle, and reporting the furious 
Chinese propaganda blitz. After extensive discussions, the UMEXCO 
agreed with the British to change its stance about first resohing the 
matter of British administration after 1997. 

The British and Chinese resumed their talks in the fifth round 
on 19 and 20 October. The atmosphere seemed to have ameliorated 
dramatically and both actually issued a joint statement using once 
more the catchy words, "useful and constructive". This signalled to 
us a shift on the British side that enabled the negotiators to sound 
more sanguine. 

The Chinese team s top representati\'e, Yao Guang, during the 
fifth round revealed to the British the four broad principles for 
securing the future of Hong Kong. These were: 

^i^ 72 i^ 

Sino-liritish S'cfiotiutiona 

( 1 ) According to Article 31 ot'tlie (Hiinese (^lonstitution, lloiii; 
Kon^ would become a Special Adniinistrati\e Region 
(SAR) of China; 

(2) The people of Honj^ Kong would form the SAR ( lo\ ernment 
with a high degree of autonomy on both administration 
and legislation; 

(3) The Hong Kong SAR would continue with its way of life, 
liberty, rule of law, economic system, finance structure 
and capitalism; 

(4) The (x'litral (lovernment would permit the above system 
remain unchanged for 50 years. 

Back in the ('olony the Kxecutive ('oinicil on 26 October 
delilierated on the 1 *>'->? cjucstion, specifically those four principles 
put to the British by the (Ihinese. I said that what ^'ao had tabled 
in the negotiations was not new and, rather, was a rehash of 
what the (]hinese side had been saying to the Hong Kong public 
it had been cultixating. What was new and significant, howe\er, 
was that the (Ihinese plan was put before the British during 
the diplomatic talks. I further said the (Ihiuese jilau and their 
assin\'ince of 50 years no change bexoutl ]">*^7 appeareil to be 
an acceptable arrangemeiu but then. I askeel. win the Hong Kong 
people were still not satisfied':" Were the people too selfish or too 

The answer to this (|uestion, I saiil, was gi\en in the Mini: 
l'(«) editorial of the same da\', 2f) ( )et(»ber. It surmis^'il that the 
I long Kong jK'ople disliiisted the ( Chinese ( io\ eiinnent because of its 
whims and wrath of the last tiuee tieeatles. If the past ,^<t \ears were 
an\' indication then no one could be ho|>eful about the |">roiuise loi" the 
ne.\t 50. 

^ 7J <sr 

Ilonfi Konsi's Joiinuy to Reunification 

Target: Allen Lee 

Ever since the ^i^re^arious le;[;islatc)r Allen Lee in May 19(S3 led a 
4r()up ot yoiini; professionals to Beijin;^, where they were greeted by 
the (Communist Party General Secretary, Xi Zhon;L>xim. he had 
become a t'a\'ourite person for the CHiinesc to woo. Lee, at the Chinese 
request, returned to the capital in October of the same year, this 
time alone, and was met by the National Security Bureau Director, 
Zhuang Xin, and the former Foreign Trade Minister, Li Qiang. 

The guest and his two hosts met separately on 6 October to 
discuss the future of Hong Kong. The hosts first made the following 
remarks to Lee: 

(1) The Chinese side disagreed entirely with the position 
paper of the young professionals that had been submitted 
half a year ago; 

(2) If the Chinese side were to extend the British rule by 15 
or 30 years as the professionals had sought, then they 
would be as shameless as the traitor Li Ilungqiang, who 
had signed away a swathe of Chinese territories to 
foreigners during the Qing Dynasty; 

(3) The Chinese officials informed Lee that the eventual court 
of final appeal would be in Beijing rather than London 
where the Privy Council resided; 

(4) Finally they indicated that if the British would not co- 
operate causing Ilong Kong in chaos, the Chinese 
Government would be compelled to recover Hong Kong 

Lee said to me afterwards that, prior to his trip to Beijing, he 
had mulled o\'er the situation, realizing he was now China's target 
and feeling the heat. However, he felt he should try his best to 

a^^ 74 ^,^0 

Sino-liritish Xe^otiations 

persuade the (Chinese leaders on how to resohe the future ot Hong 
Kong. He had repeatedly explained to Ziiuang and Li separately the 
young professionals' position pa]")er but unfortunately the Mainland 
Authorities did not imderstand and eould not aeeept. He said he 
had tried his hardest to explain the plight of Hong Kong and the 
position of the British, iiut instead of reaehing some eomprehension, 
the (Chinese held even deeper and deeper suspieions of the British. 

Britain Caved- in 

The two pivoted rounds for the negotiations were those of the fifth 
(19 to 20 Oetoher) and the sixth (14 to 15 November 1983), after 
whieh the British reassessed their delieate position. The Tnited 
Kingdom then realized that it eould no longer demand continual 
administration or e\en authoritative influence in Hong Kong beyond 
1997. Were the impasse to continue, the damage to Hong Kong and 
liritish interests would lie se\ere. What was left for Britain to do was 
to secure an agreement that would be acceptable to the people of 
Hong Kong as far as that coidd be ascertainetl. Thus the fateful 
decision was reached with the l">.\ecuti\ e Council sat in Ilonu Kong 
in earl\- Decenilier 19N3 to make tlie final effort for a draft treatx" 
that would restore Hong Kong to China. 

The (Joxernor, Sir l->ilward ^'()Uele, on W) neeeniber called 
together the I'notficial .Members of both his l^.\eeuti\ e and Legislatixe 
(]()uneils. The pin pose of this special meeting w as for the ( lox ernor 
to inform the Inofficial .Members of the Lcgislati\e Coimcil the 
inexitable liiitish depaituie fiom Hong Kong in 1''''7 and. with it. 
the end not onl\- of the colonial !4o\ernancc but future authorit.itix c 
inlluenec. I Ic told the I '.MM.C i( :( ) to keep the news secret until Britain 
coukl make the announcement at a suitable time. 

Iloufi Kotiii's .lounicy to Rcutu/iccttioti 

As the Ciovcnior spoke about the IJritish lenxins; tlie territory, 
the sounds of sobbing were heard i'>artieularl\' tkuiiii; the moments 
otherwise sombre silenee. Two C]ouneillors in partieular wept. They 
were Stephen (Hieon^, who went on to tound tlie (]o-operati\'e 
Resouree (Centre, and Rita Fan, later an adxisor to (Ihina and the 
President of the Speeial Administratixe Region Letiislatixe (^oimeil. 

In the eonsuming gloom, the TMKLCX) deeided to hold a 
series of meetings to map out their new strategy with a \'iew to 
aequiring better terms for the reimifieation inider the ehanged 

The Haggle 

UMELCO's Xew Strategy 

The negotiations could be divided into three distinet phases. The 
first lasted from the first to the fourth round, from early July to the 
end of September 19S3. During this period the British contended 
that the vast majority in Hong Kong wanted the status quo of 
continual colonial administration, even if the sovereignty might have 
to be returned to China. 

From early October 1983, in rounds five to seven, the British 
conceded that it was no longer possible for them to maintain their 
administration, though they asked for special influence over Hong 
Kong beyond 1997. The best they could get were the Chinese 
assurances of non-interference and the preser\'ation of the present 
institutions plus the way of life. 

The third, and climaxing, phase became evident in December 
1983. The British acknowledged that they could no longer get China 
to extend their administration or special influence over Hong Kong 

Sino-British Negotiations 

after 1997. Tlic\' tlicn focussed on persuatlini; (iliina to conjure up a 
blueprint that would be amenai)le to them. 

Before the final phase of nej^otiations the British and the 
Chinese (io\'ernments ai^reed to shuflle their respeetixe ne.^f)tiatin^ 
teams. The (Chinese replaced Vao (iuan,i> with the Deputy Foreign 
Minister, Zhou Nan, as the chief negotiator (Zhou in 1990 became 
the Director of Xinhua News Agency in llong Kong succeeding Xu 
.liatim who later tied to the U.S.A.). The British substituted Sir 
Richard E\'ans for Sir Percy Gradock as the Ambassador and chief 
negotiator. Sir Percy then became the special political adxisor to 
the Prime Minister. Zhou and E\ens entered the eighth and decisi\e 
round of talks from 25 to 26 January 19<S4. 

From early 19cS2 IJMELCO had monitored a series of opinion 
polls and concluded that the majority of the people wanted continual 
British governance but would accept a return to Chinese rule after a 
certain interwil to allow the Mainland (lo\ernnient to reform. That 
phobia, at the time, was perfectly understandable since many of 
them were refugees or children of refugees who had fled China. Many 
still had on the Mainland relatives who were being persecuted. 

The UMFL(X) reflected these xiews in the clearest terms to 
the l>ritish (loxernment but we also made plain that we regarded 
oursebes as Chinese, (Ihinese who preferred capitalism to com- 
munism. Man\' of the refugees who got to Hong Kong did so through 
ordeals tlic\' couki not forget. .\ll these were piejiared to tell and tell 
again to the IJiitish Prime .Minister antl the I'oreign Seeretaix'. e\en 
though to some in the I'nited Kingdom we w ere "i iiiniing dogs" and 
"eollaboratois", anil to iIk' Chinese we were "iiuislings" and 
"traitors". During 1'>S2 autl P'S.V with the ('.hinese in their united 
front pro|iaganda blit/. we found it \er\- harti to ehalleiiue openb 
the (loxernmeiu on the Mainland and .speak up foe the peojile. 

//o»5 Koni^'s Jounicy to Rciinit'ifdriou 

From December \*^)H?) onward the eireiimstanees ehan^ed. 
Britain taeitly accepted the return of both administration and 
sovereii»nty o\'er Hong Kong to China. We, the UMELCO, could then 
openly bargain with the Chinese Government to get better terms for 
reunification. We therefore held frequent meetings to map out a new 
strategy for the UMELCO to bid openly for an agreement that was 
specific, detailed, substanti\e and enforceable for the sake of Hong 
Kong's future. 

The Lobo Motion 

The Unofficial Members of the Executixe and Legislatixe Councils 
contemplated a strategy and came up w ith a two-prong approach: 

(1) Mobilize public opinion on the terms of the Sino-British 

(2) Make known Hong Kong's views to both the British and 
Chinese Governments. 

As an overture we then decided to hold a debate in the 
Legislative Council about the draft British and C^hinese agreement. 
The UMELCO at a 24 February meeting agreed unanimously that 
the Senior Member of the Legislative Council, Roger Lobo, should 
moN'c the motion, which stated simply and innocuously: "We deem 
it essential that any proposal for the future of Hong Kong should be 
debated in this Council before any final agreement is reached." 

We had wanted to schedule the debate at the next LEGCO 
sitting on 29 Febiiiary which, however, clashed with the date set for 
the annual budget. We then slotted the debate for the next earliest 
date, 14 March, and would announce this through the Government 
Information Services in the afternoon. 

c^ 78 5*:^ 

I'llllL J. lO \ll Uni^ci l.nlu, U(/</;\S.s|/|M f/u I.Ki^lsliltlVK ( •'UlUll. I' 

^a^ 79 ^^ 

floni- Knufi's Jourtwy to Rcuuit'iccition 

The nif^ht that the news of the debate was released, Xinhua 
Director, Xu Jiatun, hosted a dinner for the UMELCO. He and I sat 
next to eaeli other and naturally we talked about the motion. I said 
it was now fact that Britain had agreed to retin-n the s(n'ereij4nty and 
administration ov^er Hong Kong to China in \^)^)7. The debate would 
be about how to perpetuate capitalism in the future Special 
Administrative Region, protect the way of life, preserx'c the law, and 
maintain prosperity and stability. 1 stressed that such a Ilong Kong, 
secured with a sound agreement, would benefit China immensely in 
its economic reform by earning foreign exchange and linking the 
country to the outside world. 

I thought I had soothed Xu but the very next morning the two 
leftist newspapers Wen Wei Pao and Ta Kun^ Pao lambasted the 
UMELCO in their editorials. Such a response did not faze or frazzle 
us because we had expected this all along. The thinking of the Chinese 
Government was quite different from that of ours. The Mainland 
officials suspected that the British were using the Unofficial Members 
of the LEGCO to strengthen their bargaining position while posing 
as the executioner of the people's will. 

\Miatever China's umbrage, the debate was launched according 
to schedule. Lobo introduced his motion, saying, "The purpose of 
this motion is very simple. It means what it says — no more — and 
one might think that it could not easily be misunderstood or 
misrepresented. It is, as a newspaper has said, a debate about having 
a debate." 

Besides Lobo himself and the Chief Secretary, Sir Philip 
Haddon-Cave, 20 other legislators expressed their opinions. They 
were, for the record and in the order of speaking, Harry Fang, Lo 
Tak-shing, Francis Tien, Alex Wu, Peter C. Wong, Wong Lam, Ho 
Kam-fei, iVUen Lee, Andrew So, IIu Fa-kuang, Wong Po-yan, William 

Q^ 80 :^o 

Smu-Bridsh Xcf-otiations 

Brown, Stephen Gheong, C'heun^ Yan-kniii, Selina (Ihow, Maria Tarn, 
Chan "\'in;^-kin, Rita Fan, Pauhne K^ and Veuni; Po-kwan. 

Seciirins; the t'ull support tor a dcl')ate about having a debate, 
Lobo concluded thus: 

"Tlie aeeeptaliihty ot any proposed settlemeiu lies in w liether 
people beHeve that its terms will be respected and will endure: 

Faith eaimot be created by orders; 

Trust cannot be induced by the exercise ot power; 
And no settlement which tails to engender trust can possibly 
preserx'c oiu" stability and prosperity. 

Finally, for those who questioned the wisdom of this debate, 
1 believe it has amply justified itself." 

Proclamation of British Exit 

The Foreign Secrctar>', Sir ( ieoffre>' Ilowe, \isited P)eijing for foiu' 
days starting 15 April 1'>S4. in the cajiital he spoke with his (Ihinese 
counterpart W'u Xueqian, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao 
Affairs ( )ffice .M Pengfei, Premier Zhao Zi\ang, and tlie ultimate 
autiioritN' himself, Deng Xiaoping. The trip was tiic most momentous 
since the negotiations began, as he confirmed to the (Ihincsc 
(loxcnnncnt that ihitain would return the whole of ilong Kong's 
so\crcignt\' and jinisdiction to it in 1*>*>7. 

During his call, the I'.ritish and (Chinese hatl also discussctl 
the ( Chinese proposal of creating a Sino-liritish .loim Liaison ( iroup 
through the transit p(.'riocl TIk' purpose ot the .Joint Liaison 
("iioup was to liaise, coiisuh .uid exchange inloiination during the 
transition autl to ensure a smooth tr;msfer of power in 1''"'7 

Sii' ( ieoffre>" left P.cijiiiL; loi- Iloni; Kong on IS .\i"»ril ;nul ihe 
next da\' met with ihc l!xeculi\e (Council and ;i((Liuled a banqucl 


^ S2 ^ Xe^otiutions 

witli the UMELCO. The P\)rei;:^n Secretary on 20 April tiaxe a press 
conference to announce that it would not be realistic to expect the 
continuation of British administration in llon;^ Kon;^ beyond ]^)97. 
By then that Britain would exit Ilon;^ Kon;^ on 1 .lul\' l*-*'.*? was 
certain. The UMELCO felt that it was then their responsibility to 
ensure that: 

(1) Any agreement would be one that the majority of Hong 
Kong people could accept; 

(2) The systems in Ilonj; Kons; would remain basically 
unchanged for 50 years beyond 1*>*>7; 

(?>) China would not meddle in the domestic affairs of the 

When all those conditions were met, then the trcat\- that 
sanctified these requirements \\'ould be one that UMKLC'O could 
reconmicnd to the people of Hong Kong. 

British Sensitivity 

The UMELCO learned at the end of April 1<)S4 that the r.ritish House 
of Commons and House of Lords were to debate in the middle of 
.\Ia\' on the Sino-liritish negotiations o\er the future of llomi Kong. 
We wanted to swa\' opinion in the Parliament by lusliiui; forth a 
delegation to London. We composed a litan\' or jiositioii paper of si.\ 
concerns, two ciuestions and four requests. 
( )ur si.\ eoneerns were: 

( 1 ) Will the essential (elements of the I'asic Law be enshrined 

in the Sino-lWit isli .\greement'r 
(2) If the Agreement was signeil befoie the basic Law couLl 

be pronuilgated. sliouKI iIk' rarliameni wiilihoKI lali- 


■a>r iSJ -^ 

Ihmfi Kouii's Journey to Rcimificdtion 

(3) Should Ijiitain not insist on some mechanism to ensiu'e 
(Chinese compliance witli its treaty ohh,i;ations? 

(4) Should Britain not insist on retaining some residue status 
in Hong Kong beyond 1997? 

(5) How could Britain retain effcetix'e control so as to maintain 
confidence, stability and prosperity o\'er the period of 

(6) Wliat will be the fate of the British Dependent Territory 
Citizens? How will their rights and status be preserved? 
Will they have a right to settle in the United Wngdom and 
should the British Government negotiate settlement 
places for them? 

Our two questions were: 

(1) How is it proposed that acceptability be put to the 

(2) What will HMG do if the Hong Kong people do not accept 
the Agreement or parts of it? 

Our four requests were: 
The Agreement should: 

(1) Contain full details on the proposed administrative, legal, 
social and economic systems applicable after 1997; 

(2) Provide adequate and workable assurances that the 
Agreement will be honoured; 

(3) State that the Basic Law will incorporate the provisions 
of the Agreement; 

(4) Guarantee the rights of the British nationals. 

I then led a delegation of 12 members of the UMELCO for the 
mission to London on the evening of 9 May and was sent off by more 

;^ 84 ^. 

Sino-lihtish S'cfiociations 

than 20 of our colleagues. We were tew in numl)er hut strong in 
con\'iction. The delegates were, for the reeord, Ro^er Loho, Oswald 
(^heun;^, Mike Sandberg, Lo Tak-shing, Maria Tarn, William lirown, 
(]heung Van-king, i\llen Lee, Selina ('how, Stephen (^heongand (^han 
Ying-lun. The UMKL(X)\s Secretary (ieneral Maurice Sargant, 
Adniinistratixe Officer Wilfred Tsui and a nuniher of supporting staff 
also accompanied us. 

When we arrived at the Heathrow Airport, we were thronged 
by a swarm of 15ritish pressmen and women. They had apparently 
already known at least part of the contents of our position paper. 
which could be regarded as our "petition", and asked whether our 
position was that if Britain was to gixe up Hong Kong, it should allow 
the people to live in the United Kingdom. We were surprised how 
quickly these reporters had known part of our jiosition paper entitled 
"The Futin-e of Hong Kong" which was released in Hong Kong only 
about 12 hoin\s ago and, in particular, why they were only concerned 
w ith the issue of inunigration. Later on we were able to know w by. 

Two da\'s before our expedition to London, on 7 .May. I 
personally handed a copy of our position paper to tiie (loxernor. Sir 
lulwartl Voude. He glanced through the petition without expression 
or conunent. lie knew and supported our mission to Lontion and 
hat! arrangetl foi" tiie delegation to meet witii the I'.ritish I'linie 
Minister, the I'Oreign Secietar>' ;ind otiiei" senior officials in Lonclon. 
-Mthough he did not sa\' it, I assume lie would relate the contents of 
our position pajier to London. We lia\e no objection as tlie\ woukl 
know it sooner < )r later. 

A ila\ l.itei, on S .\i;iy, the Lxeeutixe (Council held its usual 
Tnestl;i\' morninu meeting .lust before' tlii.' .session was to begin. ,Sir 
Ldwanl related to me a mess;ii;e from the l-'or^'ign ( H\\cv exjiiessing 
misgi\ings about our position paper ;nul ur,i;m,i; us not to distribute 

^ .S.S 

lIouQ Knnf>'s Jounwy to Reunification 

it. I replied tliat I eould not deeide on this liy myself but I would 
relay the Foreign Office's ohjeetion at the UMELCO meetin;^ 
scheduled to be held in the afternoon. I promised to report to the 
(]hief iSecretary, Sir Philip Iladdon-(]a\'e, about oiu- decision in his 
absence since he was to leaxc Iloni; Konii later that day for the 14th 
round of talks in Beijing. 

Wliilst we were priming for the London \'isit, the British Foreign 
Office, w^anting to thwart or discredit our mission, briefed the British 
press. They began frantically to put their spin on our delegation's 
purpose by frightening the British people about us, purposely coming 
to London to lobby for the immigration of a few million British 
colonial subjects in Hong Kong to their crowded country. The 
xenophobia would then work its cnide magic. The misinformed British 
press thus discredited and maligned us and the Parliamentarians 
distanced themselves from us. At that time the British public still 
remembered the trouble of mass influx into Britain from their former 
African colonies and did not want another stampede from Hong Kong. 

Hostile British Reception 

In London the UMELCO delegation checked into Portman Inter- 
continental Hotel at Portman Square because it was centrally located. 
After separately meeting some Members of Parliament (MPs) in the 
afternoon, the delegation attended a joint meeting in the Parliament 
Building with the Anglo-Hong Kong and Anglo-China All Party 
Parliamentary Committees in the early e\'ening. Many members of 
these two Parliamentary Committees, particularly those in the i\nglo- 
Flong Kong Committee, were friends of Hong Kong or had close 
connections with Hong Kong. There were about 30 MPs attending 
the meeting including both the former Governor, Lord MacLehose, 

q^=3 86 o^C 

Sino-British Nej^otiutions 

and Chairman of (^hina Light 8: Power. Lord K.idooric. They were, 
unexpeetedly, rather frosty e\'en i-)rior to the meeting. 

At the outset of the meeting, the MPs immediately needled us 
on the immigration questions, whieh totally distorted and distraeted 
f)thers from our mission s aim. They said we should have stayed in 
Hong Kong to eounteraet the propaganda of the Chinese (jiovernment. 
We stressed in the most emphatic way we eould that the \ast majority 
of the people of Hong Kong did not wish to lea\e hut to stay, eontrar\- 
to the misinformation spread ahout us. The person who disappointed 
us the most was the one we had eotmted on the most. Lord 
MacLehose, who deplored the timing of oiu" \isit and uphraided us 
for doubting the integrit\- of Iler Majesty's CJioxernment. Other 
Members of Parliament who had heard the former Governors rebuke 
of us jimiped on the bandwagon. The meeting ended sourly for 
exeryone and it did not bode well for the rest of the trip. 

We returned we.-iriiy to our hotel and immediately held a 
meeting to assess om- experiences for the day and re-examine oiu- 
taeties. We were annoyed and some were utterly confused. W'e 
decitied our consciences were clear, regardless of the reaction to 
our coming to London. We c.iine to the Ihitish capital, to the 
Parliament, to espouse the thoughts rind fight for the interests of the 
people of Hong Kong, not for our own scixes. W'e bclicxctl our message 
was compelling ;nui our c;iusc just ;nul it \\;is cither tloing this or ;ill 
of us gix'ing nji. At moment in\- thought of resigning from jiolitics 
e.'ime up once ;ig:iin. llowexcr when I re.ili/ed the cour.igc (.lisplayct.! 
by some of m\ collc;igucs, I did not think .ibont it an\ more. 

( )n the following afternoon, 1 I .\Ia\-. the delegation met 
with the loreign Secietar\ at the I'ailianient LniKling. Sii- ( leoffrex 
chicled US lor trooping to London ami s.ii(.l that, as we were not 
elected by the people, it would be difficult to peisuatle the .Members 

iS?^ S7 ^^ 

Honii Konfi's Jdurncy to Rcutiifivcition 

of P.'irlianicnt niul the British pubHc that our \'ic\vs were those of the 
people. The quests, howexer, remindeci the host that the IWIELCO 
comprised iiuUx itkials from all walks of life in the territory and 
tniderstood the anxieties and wishes of their people. Although we 
were not elected, nonetheless, we did faithfully and accurately reflect 
the people's view's. We stressed that we were not in London to discuss 
emigration to Britain but reasons for staying in Hong Kong. Anyway 
the Foreign Secretary ga\'e us the impression that he was very much 
sensiti\'e to the immigration issue and did not bother much about 
the other subjects raised in our position paper. 

Furious at Sir Geoffrey Howe 

Prior to our departure for London we had arranged for some of our 
colleagues to form a small task force led by Lydia Dunn to liaise with 
and provide support to the delegation. 

After haxing been scoffed at by the Foreign Secretary at the 
meeting in the Parliament Building, 1 knew I had to get our views 
across to the rest of the world in some other way. We had to rally the 
public, our only recourse. So when we came out from the Parliament 
Building we saw a large number of Hong Kong reporters and TV 
interviewers waiting and were anxious for inter\iew. 1 thought it 
would be an excellent opportunity to ask for support from the Hong 
Kong people. I then appealed solemnly to the Hong Kong people in 
front of the media's microphones and cameras: 

"Hong Kong has reached a crisis point and if you agree with the 
sentiments of the UMELCO position paper, please take this 
opportunity to make known your views. If you don't speak up 
now, you may not have another chance to do so." 

^. S8 ^ 

Sino-British Negotiations 

This appeal was repeatedly broadeast on the radio and show n 
on the tele\ision as weH as appeared on the newspapers in Ilonj; 
Kon;t'. We were told that it had aroused tremendous reaetion from 
the population. 

At the same time we relayed to Lydia Dimn, and through her 
to the mass media, how Lord MaeLehose had ehastised the delega- 
tion and how we had been misunderstood. We requested her to eonduet 

/'/(«K- 2.12 I he second I .\II:Ia:( > IKkiiotmn m /.<.n./<.»i. I'>sf 

^ s<> ^ 

[[oiiii K())iii's Jdurucy to Rcutiificdtioti 

a canipaii^ii in I long Kong for public support. The exercise turned into 
a clarion call, more so than we had e\er expected. The telegram and 
telex messages of support began to arrixe, then a\alanehe. 

Three days later, on 15 May, Sir (ieoffre\' hosted a working 
dinner for the UMEL(]() team. Before going we discussed our strategy 
and decided the best course was not for us to talk but to read out 
aloud to the Foreign Secretary and his colleagues at the Foreign 
Office telexes and telegrams of support from the Hong Kong public. 
Thus the British officials could hear the thoughts of people who w ere 
deprived a say in their future. Our plan was for each member of the 
delegation to select ten telegrams or telexes to be ready, and when I 
called at the outset of the meeting each one in succession would 
read out aloud the contents. 

As we were enunciating every word in these emotive missives, 
we noticed Sir Geoffrey twitching and his face glowing redder with 
every syllable. When the third person, I remember it was Oswald 
Cheung, had been halfway through his reading. Sir Geoffrey suddenly 
conceded. He uttered, "Enough! Enough! You don't have to go on. 
You do reflect the true views of the Hong Kong people." 

Public Support for the UMELCO 

The delegation returned to a rapturous welcome at the airport. The 
UMELCO Office had been inundated with post and telegrams. We 
received some 8,427 items of mail and telegrams from individuals, 
of which 8,400 fully endorsed, 10 partly supported and only 17 w^ere 
explicitly against. We also got from organizations 1,509 submissions, 
of which 1,504 were unconditionally for, four gave partial support, 
and only one opposed. At that time we did not have fax and e-mail 
facilities, otherwise the number of messages of support would have 

^ 90 ^ 

Sino-British Negotiations 

been exen much more. We also counted backings from 14 of the LS 
District Boards in llont; Koni; at that time, one was equi\ocal, and 
three had no expressed opinion. 

The South ('hiiui Moruiuii Post sponsored Sur\ey Research 
Hong Kong Limited to conduct by telephone a random opinion poll 
of 605 Ilong Kong residents between IS and 20 May. Of these 336 
were men and 269 women, all aged 19 and aboxc. White-collar 
workers accounted for 135, blue-collar workers 281, and the rest 
were either retired, houscwixes, students or unemployed. The results 
corroborated the mood we had long gauged from intuition and 
perception. The details of the siu-\ey result on the support of the 
Position Paper were: 

Full approval 41% 

Approve in part 41% 

Disapprove of it 3% 

Xo opinion 15% 

What was more, the South ( !hiuii Morning Post in its publi- 
cation on 25 May wrote: 

"The statement (position p.'ijier) has sparketi a major eontroxersy 
in both London and I'eking. with members of parliament as well 
as (Ihinese leaders condemning it as unrepresentatixe of the \ie\\s 
of Ilong Kong jieople. The surxey, howexer. paiius a totallx 
different picture antl appears to be a clear \ indication of the 

"And as a further xote of eonfidenee in I'MKLCXX the suney 
fouiui tiiat four (int of ten iiei)|ile interxiexxed beliexed the 
statement xxouKI liaxe a jiositixe effect .iiui it xxouKI result in 
;i more fax our.ible agreemeiu for Ilong Kong after l'>'>7. 

"The high tiegree of sii|i|iort for the rMI".I.( H ) stateuKut is 

^ 91 :^ 

Hon^ Koji^'s Jouniey to Rcuni/icution 

sij^niticaiit. part iculnrlv in tliu liuht of att.-icks from l^ritish 
Members ( )i I'aiiiaiiicnt — iiotabK' Mr. I'Alwarcl 1 Icath — who claim 
that rMl!L( ;< ) tlocs not rcprcsLiit the \ icws of 1 1 on 14 Koni* pcojile. 
"AikI the results arc clcarh' at \ariancc with the belief of 
some Mi's that I'MKUK) represents the \ie\\s of onl\- a minority 
of peoj'jlc here." 

Prior to the ptiblication of this stir\cy rcstilt on 25 May the 

South ('hitui Moiiii}!^, I'osr intcr\ie\\ ed nie b\" telephone on the 
prexiotis evening and 1 said: 

"There has ne\er been an\' cpicstion in m\' nhnd \vc were 
accurately retleetinti the \ie\\s and w ishes. fears and feelings of 
the people of Hong Kong, but w hile I was confident that we had it 
riuht there was no way we could pro\e it. 

"[ am \ er\' pleased as now we ha\e an independent surx'ey 
to pro\-e it. The sur\'cy was carried out in confidence and L'AIELCO 
were not told about it until the results were receix'ed." 

Sir Geoffrey Howes smiting us. or should I say spiting us, had 
accomplished the \ cry opposite goal of gah'anizing public opinion 
for a treaty that could satisfy people s yearnings for a future secured 
with freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Discriininatoiy \ationality Act 

My experience with the British, including those gleaned from the 
.May 19S4 visit, were that the>' are \cry sensitixe and repulsi\'c to 
coloured immigrants in recent decades. Prior to the administration 
of Edward Heath in the earl>- I'-'TOs. the Hong Kong British Govern- 
ment still issued British Citizen passports on behalf of the Foreign 
Office in London that qualified their holders to li\'e in the United 

5*^ 92 3^ 

Sitio-liritish Xcfiotiutiuns 

I remember how in 1948, before my Britisli sojourn, I applied 
for and obtained in Ilon;^ Konj^ a British passport to study in Britain. 
About a year later my wife, who was from Maeao, eould onh- obtain 
a one-off identifieation paper to join me in liritain. To faeilitate our 
visits to continental luuope, I sent my lIon;i> Kong-issued Iiritish 
passport to;t>ether with my wife's identifieation paper to the Foreign 
Offiee in London for adding her name on to my passport. To my 
surprise, the British (ioxernment gave me a new British passport 
issued in London with the name of my wife in it. 

Ten years later in 195*>, 1 was doing a lot of business tra\ el 
overseas. I did not ha\e time to send my passport to London for a 
new one, as it woukl ha\e taken about three months to proeess. I. 
therefore, again acquired a new British passport issued in Hong Kong, 
assuming that there would be no fundamental tlifferenee between 
securing the doeimient in the ('olony or in l)ritain. 1 was wrong. 
During 196()s through a series of innnigration acts, IJriiain had 
rescinded the right of I long Kong passport iiolders to li\e in tiie 
United Kingdom. At that time we were not aware of this insidious 
erosion of our right and did not raise any objection. 

When the LTMEL(X) delegation was in Loutlon in .\la\ 1*>S4. 
Oswald (;heimg. Lo Tak-shing, Maria Tam, Selina (".how and nnself 
went to the ( lommons on 14 Ma\- to meet with Ixlwanl i katli. .\t his 
own initiati\e he diselosetl to us how and wh\ the liritisli tkeided 
dining his years as I'rime Minister to abandon tlieir obligation to 
reeeixe their colonial subjects from Hong Kong. Heath salt! tiie policy 
was mooteil in 1*^72 w hen the 1 'copies Kcpuiiiic of C !hina ^aincil the 
seat in the I 'nitcd Nations once oe'cupieii b\ i he Kcpubiic of ( 'iiiiia. 
The new cut ram to llic I '\ ck inandcil ant! tJK' woiKI lii hI\ auiccii to 
delete iioth IloiiLi Koni; and .Macao trom the IN list of colonial 
territories. The ISritish rcaii/Lii then that it couki not oppose liic 

•^^r' 93 :^r 

Il(>ui> Koii^'s .loritiicy to Rcutii/icdtiou 

CJhinesc claim nor Lira nt independence to iloni; Koni;. Nonetheless, 
the British had to consider such a consec|nence and think of their 
own interest, which was to ax'oid fnture possible lar;s;e influx of their 
Ihitish snbjects from lions; Kon;^;. They then bciian to consider amend 
the British Nationality Act. 

So in \^)7(^ IIMG published a (ircen Paper, in which it was 
suggested to amend the terminology "British Subjects: (Citizens of 
the United Kingdom and Colonies" to "British Overseas Citizens" 
and to strip by decree their right to reside in the ITnitcd Kingdom. 
As a side note, the de-colonization of British colonies after the Second 
World War created many independent states in the British (Common- 
wealth. Those British subjects of African and Indian origin who did 
not wish to become citizens of the newly established independent 
states could become British Oxcrseas Citizens with no right of abode 
in Britain. 

Sir Yuet-keung Kan and 1 in our UMELCO roles called on 
London in the summer of 1977 for the celebration of the Silver Jubilee 
of Queen Elizabeth. We took the opportimity to register our strong 
protest with the Labour Go\'ernment Minister of State, Lord 
Goronwy-Roberts, at the proposal robbing our people of their right 
of abode. I recall Sir Yuet-keung, a senior lawyer, complaining to 
the Minister: 

"We are Hong Kong born citizens of Britain. We did not make 
that decision to have been Hong Kong born. We committed no 
crime. We made no mistake. We don't have a \'Ote or say in the 
British Parliament. Yet the British Parliament will decide to abolish 
unilaterally and arbitrarily our birthright. This depri\ation is 
neither humane nor democratic." 

Over the next several years the UMELCO lobbied Britain 
furiously but failed, and only succeeded in convincing the United 

^ 94 ^ 

Si7if)-liri[ish S'cgntiutinns 

Kingdom to create a new class of British subjects known as "British 
Dependent Territory (Citizens" and the BDTC passports. This piece 
of travel document later further evolved into the e\'en more dubious 
"British National (Overseas)" or the RN(0) passports, as a result of 
the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong. 

Readying for Beijing 

(]hina sent from Jiangsu Froxince a Politburo memlier and proxineial 
Party Secretary, Xu .liatun, to replace \\ ang Kuang as the Director 
of the Xinhua News Agency on 17 May 19S3. He was the most senior 
official from the Mainland ever appointed to head the clc facto 
("hinese "embassy" in Hong Kong. His appointment rctlected the 
seriousness with which (Ihina attached to the post and to winning 
oxer the people. Xu arrixed by train, sporting a pair of tinted glasses, 
which stood him out from the usualix- stodgy Mainland cadres. 

I first met Xu on 15 August H>(S3, accompanied by fellow 
Executixe ('oimcillors, Lydia Dunn (later Baroness) and Lee Quo- 
xvei (later Sir), at a dinner hosted by the ('hinese Tnix-ersity Vice- 
(llianeelior, .\la Lin. at his elianeery. Dunn, a Sxxire senior e.xeeutixe, 
alumnus of St. Pauls ( lo-ed. ( lollege and the Cnixersitx' of ( lalifoniia. 
jjcrkelex', joined tile Legislatixe (Council in I'^To and the il.xeeutixe 
(loimeil in the beginning of 19S,"\. Lee, a xery prominent banker, 
had been a legislator since P>OS and l-,.\eeutixe ( ".ouneillor since l'>7r). 
lie resigned from both posts in September 1*'7S for health reasons 
but rejoined the l',\eeutixe (louneil in .\ugiist 1*>S.V 

At that dinner I left earlx' because I iiad to see ( ioxernoi" Sir 
lulxxard ^oude off that e\ ening foi" his flight to London Nonetheless, 
xxe hail arranged for regular secret lende/xous \xith .\n in the tntnre 
We did meet (iiiile leunl.irlx later aboiU once a month at a third 


Ildim KDiif^'s .lountcy lo Rcuttificiitio)! 

person's loc.'ition to .'i\'oicl the media. After eaeli meeting; I reported 
to the (loxernor the essenee of our chseussions, and I beheved Xu 
would do hkew'ise and inform the (io\ernment in Heijini;. 

Near the end of 1 *><S3 we had estabhshed a eertain rapport 
witli Xn. lie indieated to lis that the (Ihinese leaders in the capital 
wonid like to talk with ns about the lion;!; Kont; issue. We tacitly 
aiireed in principle but we had to mull it o\er more carefully, learn 
in ad\'ance whom we mi^^ht be meetin;^, and plan the trip. Ikit in the 
meantime every one had to keep the whole plan confidential lest it 
would alarm or arouse too hij^h an expectation. The matter was left 
at that with no fiuther pro;^ress. 

Until the end of April 19(S4 Xu at a secret meeting told us that 
we were expected to ^o to Beijing on 10 May. But we had a conflict 
of schedules since we had to travel to London at the same time for 
the parliamentary debate on Hong Kong. Hence we were not able to 
meet the wishes of Xu. This, I believe, had created bad feeling 
between Beijing and us. In retrospect, I doubt that the Chinese had 
forwarded the invitation deliberately to make us choose between 
visiting London or Beijing and expected us to give them priority. 

We came back from London on 2^ May, met Xu once more, 
and were not clear whether the invitation to Beijing was still open 
since the (Chinese leaders were vehemently opposed to our position 
paper published during our London trip. Nonetheless, we told Xu 
that we would love to go but we also had three requests. First, the 
delegation to Beijing should include Lobo in his capacity as the 
Senior Member of LEG(]0. Second, we should go in the name of the 
UMELGO delegation. Third, Xu should let us know the name of the 
Chinese leaders meeting with us in Beijing. Xu hesitated for a 
moment, saying it would be difficult and the matter was left 

i^ 96 r-H^ 

Sino-Bricish Negotiations 

We had further talks for a couple of times before Xu and his 
deputy, Li Ghuwen, invited Lee, Dunn and myself to hmch on 15 
June at their premises for making the final arrangement for the \ isit 
to Beijing. Time was pressing for we had already arranged that 
afternoon a press conference to annoimce oiu^ pilgrimage to the 
Chinese capital. There was, however, a hitch. Xu said his go\crnmcnt 
wanted us to go not as a UMELCO delegation hut as prixate indivi- 
duals. If we could agree to that, wc could count on meeting with 
Deng Xiaoping, which was a \'cry high honour. But, again, Xu did 
not want us to announce meeting Deng in ad\'ance. W'e wrangled 
ox'cr these two points until after three in the afternoon but still both 
sides could not compromise. 

I thought of a way otit of the impasse. I said I wished to phone 
our UMELCO office from tiic meeting room, sensing that they would 
overhear what I was going to say. Then 1 called and told the UMELCO 
office loudly that the session with Xu liad been futile, the trip to 
Beijing would be aborted, and the press conference cancelled. Xu 
then did budge somewjiat and e\'entually we agreed that each side 
could say what one would like to say. So then our trip to licijing was 
on as scheduled. 

Hard Talk with the Supreme Leader 

Aftci' loui; and hard liargains witli the Xinhua Director. Xu .iiatun, 
for tlie jiast few montlis. we three lucnibcrs of tlie rMl.l.CK) (I.\ciia 
Dunn, Lee (Jiio-wci and I) e\entiiall\ went to 1 >ei jiiiLi on 2\ .Iiine 
l*>(S4 to meet tlie sn|iieine leatier. Deni; ,\iaopin>;. We were accom- 
panied by the Hong Kon^ .Xinliiin l)e|-»ut\\- (leiieral. Vang 
(Ji, and on arrixal eheel\ into iIk' .lianmio 1 lot el on jieijiiius main 
thoroughfare, ( Street. 

:a^ 97 i^ 

HoHii /\'o)i<;s Journey to liuuniticiitUm 

This w.'is my first \ isit to IJcijiiii;. Looking around diirini; the 
ritlc from the airport to the hotel, we did not see many new and tall 
buildings imtil (Ihani^an Street. The roads were wide but jammed 
with bieyeles, espeeially at the junetions. Traffie in the city centre 
was ehaotic, even more so than in Ilonu Koni^. 1 was not impressed 
and felt that the capital had a lon.i* wa>' to catch up with its luban 

The next evening at our billet we met for the first time the 
Secretary General of the Hong Koni> and Macao Affairs Office, Lu 
Ping. Lu, a graduate of St. John's Uni\'ersity, has been living in Hong 
Kong some time ago and speaks C^antonese. We briefed him about 
our speaking notes used for our session with the supreme leader 
scheduled for the following morning. The objectixe was to allow some 
extra time for the Chinese Government to consider and respond 
during the official meeting. 

At the appointed time officials whisked us to the Great Hall of 
the People's Sichuan Room to meet a Sichuan natix-e son Deng 
Xiaoping. \\ aiting for us were the Hong Kong and Macao xVffairs Office 
Director, Ji Pengfei, his Deputies, Li Hou and Li Zhongying, and the 
Secretary General, Lu Ping. We brought along our secretaries, \\' ilfred 
Tsui and Ho Shing-him, to keep records and they sat further back in 
the room with Xinhua's Yang Qi. In retrospect, we were \'en»^ fortunate 
to have the two able secretaries to keep \erbatim records as we had 
disputes later in Hong Kong with the Xinhua Director, Xu Jiatim, on 
the substance of our discussion with Deng. 

Deng enthroned in his customary armchair, with a spittoon 
on his side, puffing on a cigarette, was the first to speak, "I welcome 
you to Beijing in your indi\'idual capacity. I understand you have a 
number of opinions, to which we are willing to listen." Now, with 
the global media recording otn- \'isit for the news and for posterity, I 


Sino-Biitish Xegotiutions 

I'hitc J. I.i The nuihor lucctiD^ ( llutinium Dcitu XiaopiuLi iti licijun:. /'AS-V. 

coiikl not li;ick tlown. So. I siiiiimoiKM.! iIk' pluck to rcspoiul. "Wc 
three rnottiei.'il Mem be is ot (he I loiii; l\oii<; l:\eeiit i\c ;iiul l.cLiisl;iti\ e 
(louneils ;ire \er\" lioiioinecl tor this opportiiiiitx' to o.ill on ( 
Dens; ;iiul other n;ilion;il leaders." Soon as those subtle lireetimis 
had been utteretl. with heuU not reeouni/iuU our tormal status auil 

:^ W ^ 

lloiiii Koni^'s .loiinicy to l\viniitiv(iii()H 

we insistin;i4 on this, otticinls started to usher out the hir;^e media 
eontin;^eiit for tlie nieetiiii; to eoninieiiee. 

Deng then started to say, "Feel free to say \\hate\er nou want 

to, lint 1 wonld like to say somethini; first Von know the Sino- 

British talks well, we will resoh'e the problem with Britain, whieh 
w ill not be snbjeet to any interferenee. There ha\'e been talks of the 
so-ealled 'three-le^M^'*^! stool'. Xo three les;s, only two legs." My 
immediate reaetion at that point was that Deng was applying the 
traditional ('hinese arranged marriage of their ehildren to the 
determination of I long Kong s fntnre. Snbseqnently the phrase "three- 
legged stool" became the jargon frequently used by the Chinese to 
discoin-age any input from Hong Kong people in the talks. 

Deng was resolute and absolute, continuing to express his 
rather threatening view, "As far as sovereignty is concerned, it will 
be resumed in 1997 regardless of the Sino-British talks and reactions 
from all sides. I have told the British Prime Minister that if major 
unrest occurred in Hong Kong before 1997, we would reconsider 
the timing and ways of taking back Hong Kong." 

We then presented our case as cogently as we could to Deng 
while he was still attentive. Our presentation was supposed to be in 
three parts, a preamble and two main themes. In the preamble we 
expressed support for China's recovery of the soNcreignty of Hong 
Kong in 1997, making it a Special Administratixe Region with a high 
degree of autonomy to be administered by local inhabitants and 
with the existing system unchanged for 50 years after 1997. 

For the first theme, we with diffidence told Deng about and 
explained in some details the people's lack of confidence in Hong 
Kong, both before and after 1997. I said, "People remain anxious 
and worried, and are filled with uncertainties. This anxiety is not 
limited to those with money. They affect workers and ordinary 

5^ 100 ^ 

Sino- British Ncfiotiutions 

citizens alike. This is a fact and we feel it our duty to retleei this 
situation honestly. This would lead to a loss of confidence, an exodus 
of professional and talented people, an outflow of capital, and a lack 
of investment, resulting in economic recession in Hong Kong. As 
regards the period after 1997, there are three main worries. First, 
people are worried that instead of genuinely being administered by 
the people of Hong Kong, the future goxcrnment of the IlKSAR would 
actually be governed from Beijing. Second, people fear that the middle 
and lower level cadres who are responsible for the implementation 
of China s policy over the IIKSAR may not be able to accept tiie 
capitalist systems and lifestyle of Hong Kong. Third, while people 
have faith in Chairman Deng and the present leadership, people are 
concerned that the futiu-e policy of (^hina may change and that future 
leaders may revert to extreme left policies." 

In addition, 1 emphasized that I was not speaking for my 
personal interests as 1, like Mr. Lee, would be near NO years of age 
by 1997 and there was nothing more I would ask for. 

As this point before I began to speak on the second theme, 
Deng interrupted me and made his response, lie speeitieally 
mentioned three major areas, the state of confidence in llony Kong, 
the KVyear transitional period, and the administration of the Hong 
Kong SAK. l-"irst, it was about the confidence in I long Kong. I le sjioke 
in his typicalK' blunt st\le, "(ienerally speaking. \ou saitl lloni; l\on>i 
people tlon't ha\e confidence. Aetnalb' it is yoiu' ojiinion. It is you 
who li:i\e no faitii in tiic People's Kejinblie of ( lliina." 

With the eonfitlenee issue snnnn;iril\ dismissetl. lie then 
tackled the subjeet of the transition perioti and said. "In res^aril to 
the l.^-\ear transition peiiod. ihe |iroblem tloes not lie in Ueijing. 
( )ur worries are no less than \oiirs Thai is w h\ we propose to set uj^ 
the .loint Liaison ( iroup II is for these 1.^ \ears that this botiy will 

Il(»ifi l\()ii}^'s .loiiniL'y to Rcinii/icdtion 

have to be set up in Iloii^ Koiii;. I do not doubt that tliere will he 
unrest in lloui; Koni; during the 13 >'enrs. The c|uestion is whether 
the unrest is major or minor. We do not want to see any major 

imrest It' there were more serious disrui')tions, 1 ha\e told the 

liritish Prime Minister, Mrs. Margaret Thateher, we would eonsider 
reeoxeriui^ the soxereii^nty and the right of administration o\er Ilong 
Kong earlier (than 1997)." 

The third area Deng speeitieally referred to was the administra- 
tion of the Hong Kong Si\R after 1997 and he elaborated, "As regards 
the question of who will rule Hong Kong in the futinx', I want to draw 
a line. Members of the future Hong Kong Government and its affiliated 
bodies should basically be patriots. Their mission is to rule Hong 
Kong well. I ha\'e said many times that Beijing would not send people 
to Hong Kong. The Central Government has the power. No matter 
how they are nominated or elected, the Hong Kong officials will be 
appointed by the Central Government. This is a procedure. Other than 
stationing troops in Hong Kong, we will not send an>'one to administer 
Hong Kong. This policy is clear and will not change. The Central 
Government won't take a single coin from Hong Kong after 1997." 

Deng then ended the meeting saying, "The duration of the 
discussion is long enough. I want to take a rest. If you have other 
opinions, you can discuss them with my colleagues." 

As we had scheduled a working dinner with the Director of 
the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office in the ex'cning, I then on 
behalf of the delegation submitted a copy of our memorandum and 
presented a souvenir to Deng. 

The three of us retin-ned to Hong Kong on 25 June and im- 
mediately held a press conference to reveal what we had said to 
the (Chinese leaders and more importantly what Deng had told us 
plus our interpretation of his message. I reported to the media, 

^ 102 q^ 

Sintj-BriiLsli Scfiotiations 

Plate 2.14 The press I)ricfinf4 ct/tvr ilic I 'MEL(J) DdcL^ution to licijnii^. 1'IS4. 

"Chairman Den,£> did not beliex'e wliat we had told him was the real 
opinion of Hong Kon;^. lie did not beliexe we really retleeted to him 
the puhlie state of mind. lie did not helie\e there was a erisis of 
eonfidenee in lloiijt; Kon^. lie said ( ]liina would look after the interest 
and standing of llonj; Konii." 

The press eonferenee pro\ed too intlannnatory for Xu. who 
had inxited us to Beijing. lie refuted oiu" elaims and stresseti that 
Demi 'i<''<-l ne\er saitl he hatl e\er c|uestioned that there e\er was this 
erisis of eonfidenee. lie aeeused us, i")artieuiarl\' mysell. ot distortions. 
The tit for tat subset|uenti\' li-ii;i;ere(.l moix' nnitual aeeusatioiis tiom 
Xinhua and the I '.\Ild.( ".( ). The row liot \er\- serious Inn e\entuall\ 
both sides eooled down anil ai^reed to publish separateK its nwu 
reeortl of \erbatim eonxersations that l)en<;aiul us had in Ueijini;. 
allowiui; the puhlie (o draw their >.•< )uelusious. 

Whilst I lh<iu-;hi that this ari^uiueiu wouUI remain a m\stery 
in histor\\ inie\peeli.'dl\ a iK'Wspape'r ixpoiter in .lauuaix the 

:ar /OJ ^ 

H(irti4 Kama's .l<}iirncy tn Rciniiticdtion 

followinii year drew m\' attention to a news release by an otYieial 
news ai;eney in l^eijin^. On 2 January 1*>N5 the (Ihina News A^eney 
issued a report on the pubUeation ot a book eontainin.i; a eolleetion 
of the past speeehes of tlie supreme leatler, Deni; Xiaoping, bi the 
report tliere was an aeeoinit whieh read, "The essenee of Deng's 
speeeh when he on 2.^ Jiuie 1*^<S4 met (-hims; Sze-yuen and others been ineUided in the new book titled IhiiUliii^ Socidlistn icith 
(Jhi)icse (Jhariictcristics piibhshed on the New ^'ear Day DAS5. It 
contains a rexealins passage saying that, 'With regard to the so-called 
Hong Kong people arc afflicted with the confidence crisis, I do not 
belicN'c that is the tiiie feeling of the Hong Kong people.' " Accordingly, 
we were eventually xindicated by Deng himself. 

Craft of Story Telling 

Rlietoric is a neglected art form, at least to those of us who arc not 
Cicero reincarnates. Candour is fine but sometimes talking straight 
elicits the opposite effect. This is why a skill orator employs nuances, 
similes, allegories, and parables to let his listeners draw their own 
inferences or none at all. This was what Dunn, Lee and 1 applied to 
the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director, Ji Pengfei, when 
we had a working dinner with him on 2?) June 19S4 after our session 
with Deng Xiaoping in the morning. Among others present were the 
Deputy Director, Li Hou, and the Secretary General, Lu Ping. 

Prior to the dinner we had quite a long session to explain and 
discuss with our hosts in great detail the second theme of our 
memorandum containing the three main proposals by which China 
could allay the fears and assuage the doubts of the people of Hong 
Kong. The first proposal was that the Sino-British Agreement had to 
be detailed and binding and contains pro\isions that the Basic Law 

^ 104 ^ 

Siiio-Briiish S'e^otiuiions 

would be based on the terms of the Agreement. Ji. after hearing our 
explanations, quite readily agreed. 

The second proposal was that the Hasie Law should he drafted 
in Ilon^ Kong by local representatives and representatives from Beijing. 
We said drafting the Basic Law in Hong Kong would helii to enhance 
confidence and make use of the local expertise and talents. .lis final 
response was that tiie Chinese Go\ernmcnt would consider it. 

A substantial nundier of Ilong Kong residents were either 
refugees from the Mainland or their children. Thc\' had their personal 
experience or knowledge of the recent iiphca\al history on the 
Mainland. For the past ?>() years or so the record of the (Ihincse 
(ioNcriuncnt had not been exemplary, ha\'ing shifted policies at a 
whim. The caprice and the horrific consequences eroded what little 
trust the people of Hong Kong hatl in the (Ihincsc (ioxernnient. 
Instead of blurting out such a harsh spiel, we used an analogy, which 
had a special poignancy to so many Chinese. 

So before we proceed to explain the third proposal we told .M 
and his colleagues a fictitious story. We said, "The people of a small 
village is about to resettle to a place where flooding had occurred 
about once in excry ten years during the past three decades. In ortler 
to secure confidence of the villagers being resettled there, a flood 
protection dam is built to ensure that their future lixclihood w ill not 
be threatened." 

W'e said to .11 how much wc hopcil the (Ihinese leatiers eouki 
imderstand the searred psychok)g\' of the people in Hong Koni; and. 
therefore, gi\e them some assurances, a peace of mind W'e suggested 
that (he (Miinese (lovernmenl shoulil form a Basic Law Lcual 
( lonnnittee comprising ( ".liinese jieople of international standing and 
reputation. The (lonnnittee, w c' further proposeil. shoidii be 
empowereil to ad\ ise on the dralling ol ami subsequent changes to 

^^ 105 ^^ 

11(1)04 I\(j)il;'s .Iminicy to I\cunitic<(il<>n 

as well as to monitor the imi^lcinciitation of the Uasie Law . .li, after 
ponclerint; our sii,4,i;estion, saitl the (Ihinese ( lo\ernnient would 
seriously consider our rec|uest when drat'tini; the IJasie Law. 

Just how "seriously" was borne out on 4 April l'^*>() when the 
Chinese National People's ('oniiress promulgated the l>asie Law and 
established the (Committee for the l)asie Law of the lloni; Kong SAR 
with three provisions: 

(1) Affiliation: To be a working committee under the Standing 
Committee of the National People's Congress. 

(2) Function: To study questions arising from the imple- 
mentation of Articles 17, IS, 15S and 15^-> of the Basic 
Law of the Hong Kong SAR and submit its xiews thereon 
to the Standing Committee of the NP(1 

(3) Composition: Twehe members, six from the Mainland and 
six from Hong Kong appointed by the Standing Committee 
of the NPC for a term of office of tne years. The Hong 
Kong members shall be nominated jointly by the Chief 
Executive, President of the Legislative Council and Chief 
Justice of the Court of Final Appeal. 

While the "Basic Law Legal Committee" we envisaged is not 
identical to the "Basic Law Committee" that has since been 
established, the two are similar in their purpose. 

When I wrote the memoirs in 2001 Hong Kong had already 
retin-ned to China for more than three years, and our \'isit to Beijing 
and its controversial ending had become part of Hong Kong's history. 
Chairman Deng had passed away, unfortunately, just four months 
before Hong Kong's rctiu-n on 1 July 1997. Xu Jiatun, one of the key 
players in the saga, had fled to the United States of iVmerica in the 
early 199()s under the protection of Uncle Sam. As for the three of 

.;i>r 106 Q*P 

Sino-Iihtish Xcfiotiatiotis 

US, we were happy tliat our obserxation was preseieut and the three 
proposals had eome to pass. Dunn is n(jw a Life Peer in tlie British 
House of Lords joining the ranks of Margaret Thatcher whereas both 
Lee and I continue to h\'e in the Hong Kong SAR, some say we have 
changed side. 

Public Support for the Beijing Trip 

Whilst we were pondering over the criticism from the (Chinese leaders 
in Beijing that our views were not necessarily those of the people of 
Hong Kong, the South China Mominp, Post on 6 .luh l'AS4 published 
another opinion poll by Survey Research Hong Kong Limited, riiis 
suney was conducted to gauge public support for our \isit to Beijing. 

The pollsters interviewed at random 1,010 people, aged 1*^ 
and abox'c, from a wide cross-section of the eonuuunity. The poll 
was conducted by telephone between 28 June and 1 .Inly, tluee days 
after our return from the Beijing mission. ( )f the total respondents, 
52^) were men and 4(S1 women. White-collar workers accounted for 
189, blue-collar workers 491 ami the rest were either retiretl, 
housewixes, students or imemployed. 

It was found that: 

(1) Some 79 jicr cent of the respondents supported (he 
UMEL(]() delegation to Beijing. 

(2) The I iMKL(]( )'s three jiroposals reeeixetl a positive su|tport. 

(a) 74"(i agreeti that (lie Sino-Brilish Auieeinent must be 
detaik'd and i^indini; ant! eontain a pros isioii that the 
Basic Law w ill be basetl on the terms of the .\^reement 

(b) 78"(i agreed that tJK' Basic Law shoukl bi.' drafteti in 
iloiig Kong j( li II 1 1\ b\ loeal lepresen t at i\ es aiui 
representat i\ es troiii lieijimi. 

j^ 107 ^^ 

Iloiiii Ko'ii^'s .lourtwy lo Rcuni/iatiio)) 

PlitW 2.15 The I'MKU'A) DijluLiuium Cu Ikijinu. ni tn>in of the 
Temple of Heaven. 1984. 

(c) 61% agreed that a committee of (Chinese people of 
international standing and reputation should be 
appointed by China to monitor the implementation 
and ad\ise the drafting of and consider subsequent 
changes to the Basic Law. 
(v^) Some 67 per cent of the respondents thotight there was a 

problem of confidence in Hong Kong. 

^ 108 ^. 

Sino-British Negotiations 

Before we visited Beijing, we did iKJt in\ ite publie opinion. 
But afterwards we received a lot of praise for our trip to Beijing. The 
South China Morninf^ Post lauded us for accurately reflecting the 
\icws of tile people, an accolade that was especially satisf\'ing as we 
had faced so much antipathy for our efforts from some quarters. 
The Post in its editorial on 6 July connncnted that this poll served 
to emphasize the point that has been disputed in Beijing, in London 
and e\en in Hong Kong: that while the Unofficials might not represent 
the people of Hong Kong and while they might not fully reflect the 
peoples \iews, they were able to articulate the concerns of a large 

The Joint Liaison Group 

WTien China proposed to the British during the diplomatic talks the 
formation of the Sino-British Joint Liaistjn Group (JL(i) for the 
transition period, it e\'okcd fear that the entity would inxitc .Mainland 
meddling in local affairs whilst Hong Kong was still under Ihitish 
administration. The K.\ccuti\e (louncil. whilst sharing this fear. 
recognized the need for such a liaison body with w hich the two 
governments could discuss matters of soxcreignty transfer during 
the last years of transition. ('onsec|uentl>'. we accepted the principle 
of establishing the Sino-British .ioiiit Liaison (iroup inn wished to 
consider carefuih' its terms of reference. 

I remember distinctl\- ui\- 1^\( K ) colleague Li look-wo raising 
the issue of poteiuial, if iiLuh erteut , interference. The disijuiet was 
enough to prompt Britain anil ( Jiina to spell out elearK the timetions 
and reaches of the ( liduji in the Sino-British .\i;reement In jiartieular. 
at his rec|uest, the British were able to eon\ inee the ( Jiiiiese to insert 
a clause in Section o of .\nne\ 1 1 of t he .loint I )eelaration. It reads in 

//o/ii,' hdULi's .Idunicy tn Rcituijicdliou 

p.'irt: " riic .loiiit Liaison (Iroiiji shall he an origan tor liaison and not 
an oi^an ot' power, it shall pla\' no part in the atlniinistration of' 
lloni; Koni; or lloiii; K()n,i> SAR. Nor shall it lia\e an\- snper\isory 
role over that administration." 

1 also reeall my eollea,i;ue Maria Tarn siiiii^estini; that the life ot" 
the Group shonld ha\e a "mirror ima^e" life and operate f(^r "x" 
years before and after 1*>*)7. P)nt the British thought that the (Ihinese 
would balk at sueh an extension and was reluetant to raise it at the 
negotiating table. 

The P>ritish Foreign Secretary, Sir ( Jeoffrey Howe, e.ame to 
Hong Kong on 27 July 19(S4 en route to his second visit to l>eijing. At 
the EX(X) meeting with him we pressed him again very hard to raise 
with the ('hinese the "mirror image" concept. We pointed out that it 
would be a form of residual British presence and should enhance 
the acceptabihty of the Agreement by Hong Kong people. Sir Geoffrey 
was receptive to the idea and argument but did not promise to raise 
the issue with the Ghinese. 

Sir Geoffrey, who had been in Beijing to put the finishing 
touches to the Sino-liritish Agreement, which was to be initialled in 
September 1984, rctiu-ned to London via Hong Kong to brief the 
Executive (Council on 1 August. A few minutes before entering the 
E^xccutive Council ('hamber, Sir Geoffrey gave me a small piece of 
paper, which read, "I didn't care about the opposition of my advisors 
and did broach to the (Chinese the possibility of prolonging the life 
of the Joint Liaison Group beyond 1997. The (Chinese agreed that 
the Group could exist imtil 1 January 2()()()." 

He later told me that all his advisors were against raising the 
issue with the Chinese, but when he felt the cordial and friendly 
atmosphere at the meeting, he wanted to haxe a go at them so that 
he could face the Unofficial Members afterwards. He was pleasantly 

^ no ^ 

Sinu-British Negotiations 

surprised that the ('hinese, after asking for a hricf recess, came back 
to the negotiating table and readily agreed to extend the life of the 
Joint Liaison Group till 1 January 2000 without any ado. 1 then said 
to him, jokingly, tiiat he should ha\e followed up and bargained for 
a longer period, if not to the extent of the "mirror image". 

Political Gambit 

The negotiations were long and laborious. Both sides, their nerves 
frayed, in the end agreed on a constitutional arrangement for the 
territory, but each side laid its ow n gambit and the dangling issue 
continued to jangle and rankle. 

IhMtain accepted (^hina regaining sovereignty luider Article 
31 of its (]onstitution allowing for a Special Adniinistratixe Region. 
The SAR would enjoy a high degree of autonomy, rule of law , libertx". 
way of life and a capitalist economic system for 50 years beyond 
1*>'>7 while relinc|uishing responsibility for foreign affairs and defence 
to tlie (Central ( loxernmcnt. 

At the time I long Kong was a IhMtish colony and its (loxcr- 
nor, appointed b\' Her .Majestx'. held almost absolute. aiUocratic 
power. He, as the enxox' of the Queen, connnanded the militnr\ . 
lordetl o\er the goxernnieiit, jiresided oxer the Legislatixe (louneil. 
antl appointed all its members along with those in the I'.xeeu- 
ti\e (loimeil. lie eonid refuse to heetl the athiee of both (Councils 
and ratif\' an\- bill passed b\ the IJ-^(i(;(), whieh he eould also 

but onee llonii Koni; returned to (Ihina. the eeonoinie and 
other systems would sta\ nnieh tJK' sanK' whik' the jiolitieal one 
wonKI ehange ilramaliealb . beeoming more demoer.itie I'he ( Jiinese 
wantetl the S.\l\ ( Jiiet l',\eenti\ e to bt' reinrneii b\ eonsnitalion and 

Oe^ 11 1 :^r 

Ilonfi Kong's Jounicy to Kcunification 

sanctit'ictl In- the (icnti-al Pcojilc's ( loxcninicnt (C^l'(i). aiul the 
Lct;islati\c (louiieil to be eleeteci or appointed. 

The ( Chinese ( ioxernment later aiiieeel that the ( ".hiet Exeeutix'e 
would be seleeted b>' eleetion or through eoiisultatioii tor appoint- 
ment b\- the (Central (ioxernment. lUit the (Chinese strenuously 
opposed to the I'liitish proposal that the LK(1(X) would be eonstituted 
by direet i;eoiirai">hieal eleetion. 

IJritain. with the supi^oi't of the l-',.\eeuti\e C.oimeil. was 
inrransiLient on this jioint. eountiuii on dii'eet eleeted legislators 
thw artinu ( Chinese interterenee and eheekiuii theii' influence on the 
Chief K\eetiti\e. (Hiina. i')erhaps. considered this direct geographical 
election as means by w hieh the United Kingdom could continue to 
exercise some sway o\er the territory. Both sides could not nudge 
any closer to a final settlement on the intractable political question. 

It was rumoiu'ed that Deng Xiaoping, howexer. insisted on 
British w rapping up the negotiations before the 35th Anniversar\' of 
the C'hinese National Day on 1 October 1984. \\'e also recalled the 
warnint; by the former British Prime Minister. Edward Heath, in 
September 19S3 that Deng would like to complete the Sino-British 
talks in September 19.S4. 

Aroinid summer 19S4 the talks had reached consensus on 
most of the main points, other than on politics with both sides 
sticking to their principles on the direet elections. Time was running 
out and so the (Ihinese made another o]X'ninu uamlMt in the chess 
game that is diplomacy. 

China decided to couch or cloud the issue by deleting the 
adjccti\-cs "direct geographical"" that Ljualified the noun "election" 
which was further chaiiiied to the phu-al form "elections". This 
implied people could be enfranchised in different ways to choose 
their legislators who might be returned \ia geographical, functional 

^ 112 ^ 

Sino-Iiricish Negotiations 

and Electoral (^olle^c constituencies. The result would be a much 
more diluted, perhaps anaemic, form of electoral mandate. 

Earlier on both sides recognized the difficulty in putting the 
solution into the main body of the Joint Declaration and agreed to 
continue discussion in the Joint Working (iroup established mound 
June 1984 and worked continuously for almost three months in 
Beijing to resohe the remainini; problems. Dr. Da\id Wilson (hiter 
Lord and (ioxcrnor from V)H1 to 1992) was leadins; the British team. 
For this reason, the method of formation for the Hong Kong SAR 
Legislative Coimcil was not contained in the main body but rather 
the Annex I of the Joint Declaration. 

Ai^reement Became Declaration 

The term '\Sino-B)ritish Joint Declaration" entered the lexicon of 
diplomacy at (Jhinese insistence. Both Firitain and the iloni; Kong 
Executive Council initially and all along had thought of labelling the 
accord the terminology of "Sino-British Agreement". 

The Ijritish had proposed the nomenclatiu'c "Agreement" to 
the (Jiinese who, however, objected to the title, as far as we were 
aware, for two reasons: 

( 1 ) ( Jiina ne\er accepted the \alidit\' of the uneejual treaties 
ceiling Hong Kong and leasing the New Territories to the 
United Kingtlom iiaek in the N'ietorian era. The Peoj-ile's 
Kepublie, theiefore, would not need to reach "agreement" 
with the r.ritish to resume the exercise of soxereignty o\er 
I long Kong. 

(2) ( )nce the Peoples Kepublie of (!liiii.i exercised its 
sovereign control o\er Hong Kong again, it would not 
rei|uire I' ' agreeuieut ' to propagate its policies 
low arils the I Ion!4 Koug S.VK 

lloiifj Konii's .loitrncy Ui Rcunificalion 

1)U( since both sides rcekoiied their triciully tics were strong, 
the (jhincsc were vvillinii ''ii<-' prep.iictl to sii^ii ;i "Joint Declnration" 
with the Ih'itish. 'I'he semantic acroliatics, howcxer, \'cxed some of 
the members of the Executixc C^oimcil, w ho tearetl that siicli an 
otkll\- phrased compact mii^ht not ha\e an\' liindini;and lej^al validity, 
and therefore pressed the Ihitish to clarity the thtference between 
the two terms. Her Majesty's (loxcrnmcnt then liroui;ht in experts 
in diplomatic law who confirmed to ns that the pact by the name of 
"Joint Declaration" was legitimate and etiiially bincUiiii l^etween the 
two signatories. 

To be double sure, the Executi\e ('oimeil suti^ested that the 
document be submitted to the Ignited Nations tor registration. The 
two signatories concurred and, on 12 June 1^)85, after the ratification 
by the two respective parliaments, tendered the Joint Declaration 
to the World Body where it stands as an eloquent testament to the 
reconciliation of two former foes. 

EXCOs Final Mission to London 

Britain and ('hina had their 22nd and final round of negotiations on 
6 and 7 September l^-'cST. They concluded the session with a lot of 
mutual congratulations for the painstaking progress o\er the past 
couple of years since Thatchers \isit to Beijing. Most members of 
the ExecutiN'c Council, and also the Hong Kong people, we believed, 
endorsed the framework of the Joint Declaration but. sinprisingly. 
many were more disappointed with the British than w ith the C^iinese. 
They felt the United Ivingdom had shirked its responsibility tow ards 
the British subjects in Hong Kong. 

The Unofficial Members of the Executixe (Council accompanied 
Sir Edward Youde to London for the fifth and last time to meet with 

^ 114 ^ 

:^ 115 ^ 

Iloti^ Koti^'s .loitnicy in KcuiiiJicdtiDii 

the I'rinic Minister prior to lier (^aliinet diseiissed the thaft Sino- 
liritisli Joint Deelaration. We left lions; Konj; on 17 September and 
met Thateher at 10 Downini; Street on ]^) September at () p.m. Also 
present at the meetinn; were I'oreiiin Seeretary Sir (leolfrey ll(.)\ve 
and Minister of State Riehard Lnee. 

In the session with the Prime Minister 1, on behalf of the 
Unofficial Members of the Executive ('ouncil, reminded her of the 
UMELC'O \isit to London in May and, most compellinsi, the foin^ 
requests in oiu' position paper we had submitted to her. 1 said that, 
accordin.ii to opinion polls conducted independently, most of the 
IIons> Kong people supported the position paper. The draft Joint 
Declaration, though was not perfect, did more or less meet the first 
three requests. On the contrary, it was the last request, that is, to 
safeguard the rights of the British nationals in Hong Kong, which 
was disappointing. We urged the British Gov^ernment to delixcr on 
the foin-th and final request, which was in its power to grant and as 
a part of its soxercign and moral obligation. 

With such a misgiving expressed, the Unofficial Members of 
the Executive Council endorsed the embryonic Joint Declaration 
and undertook to recommend it to the people of Hong Kong. 

Dunns Embarrassment 

We, the Unofficial Members of the Executive Council, were very 
strung out in London in 1984 by the enormous pressure and at times 
frosty reception. W^e decided one evening to take a furlough by touring 
the cosmopolitan city of hedonistic plcasm-es. 

The LTMEXCO at that time usually stayed at Knightsbridge's 
Sheraton Park Tower Hotel near the world famous store Harrods 
and in the bustling shopping district. One early evening one of our 

ns^ 116 a^ 

Siiio-liritish A'c^olian'o».s 

collea;[4UCS su^^estecl to liaxc (Miincsc cuisine for dinner, the best of 
which could be had at Soho, the "Red Li«lit" district. AlM)ut seven of 
us subsequently hailed a couple of cabs, which, however, i;ot 
separated in the ensuing traffic jam. In my taxi rode Oswald (^heiuiii, 
Li Fook-wo and Lydia Dimn, who f.-nicied spiked heels, modish 
cU^thes, and a stylish coif, which nearly iiroxcd her luidoin;:^. 

In Soho after j^etting off from the taxi, we decided to spread 
out to locate our other collea;i>ues riding in the other cab. Rather 
without chiN'alry, we left Lydia in the corner under a lurid lamp- 
light to wait for our return. 1 sprinted across the street and on the 
other side I gazed back at Lydia who was daubing her face w ith her 
makeup kit. I traipsed around for a few minutes and couldn't locate 
any one from the other cab. I then returned to cheek on Lydia and 
spotted a man of Middle Eastern extraction sidling up to Lxtlia. from 
what I could gather, propositioning her, mistaking the futm^e Baroness 
for a hooker. 1 was desperate as I charged back across the street, 
shrieking, "She is mine, she is mine."' The .John seeing gallant me 
dashing towards Lydia slunk a\\a\' into the night. 

( )ne day we, who abandoned her to that street corner, would 
kid her how we might ha\e in our haste ruined her life by stopjiing 
her from iierhajis marrying an Arabian prince, in fact, she (.lid blame 
me afterwards for threatening awa\' that .Middle Lastern geiitlenian, 
who could be, though with \er\- slim chance, an Aiabian prince, a 
sheikh or sultan. 

I'dlsc Alitrni 

Not onl\' L\(.lia Dunn li.ul her close scrape in London; I loo had a 
jolt. Hy the suuuuer of I ''S I, ;i few sticking iioints asitie. the ne^otia- 
tions weie still in piogress wIkh I, lom.'tlKi widi ollui ruoni«.-ial 

:a^ 117 :.^ 

lloiiii Knur's Journey to Rcii)ujic(i(i<iii 

Members of the Kxeeuti\e (louiieil, aeeomp.-mietl Sir I'Alwartl ^'omle 
to the l>ritisli eapital tor meetings w ith the I'rime XHiiister aiitl other 
British oftieials. Alone in one alternoon I remained at m\- liotel room 
to pore o\er eonfidential doeiiments. My eoneentration was siiddenK' 
interrupted by a knoek at my door, whieh I opened to see three 
Englishmen. ( )ne of them I reeo^nized as an aid to tlie ( lo\ernor. He 
introdiieed the other two as agents of the Ih'itish Ministry of 
InteUi/iienee or M15. They then inxited tliemsehes into m>' room, 
speaking to me in a hushed, eonspiratorial tone. 

One of the heralds told me that they had reeeixed news from 
the Speeial l)raneh of the Hong Kong Ciovernment about a plot being 
hatehed against me. lie then asked me whether I was aware of having 
a love affair with any woman or a finaneial dispute with any party, 
which could haxe a moti\'e for the plot. My answer was a definite no. 
I then asked in tin-n the source of the Hong Kong Special Branch s 
tip-off. The other agent said the news had been traced to the Hong 
Kong Branch of Xinhua News Agency. I then found the whole story 
too incredible. 

But the shadow of doubt hanged over me and so after my return 
to the Colony, I consulted with the Royal Police of Hong Kong. I was 
advised to take certain precautionary measures as a matter of 
prudence and so I did. After the lapse of about three months, nothing 
had happened and I gradually retin-ned to my daily routines. 

The Hand Shake 

The Comniendation 

The chief Chinese negotiator Zhou Nan and his British counterpart 
Sir Richard Evans wrapped up their formal deliberations on Hong 

^ 118 ^ 

Sino-liritish Negotiations 

Koiii; and initiated the draft Sino-liritish Joint Declaration at noon 
on 26 September 1984 in Beijin;^. In Ilon^ Konj^ a total of 3. 6 million 
copies of the draft Joint Declaration were distributed to the public. 
The liritish printed SOO, ()()() copies in l".n<;lish and \ .(•> million copies 
in (]liincse, whereas the (Chinese printed 400, OOO copies in English 
and SOO, 000 copies in (]hinese. 

The Unofficial Members of the Executive Council, after meeting 
with the P)ritish Prime Minister retin-ncd to Iloni; Kons; and on 28 
Sej")teniber conducted a press conference to reconnnend the draft 
to the people. The pin^pose was to explain to the public why the 
UMEX(]() endorsed the draft Joint Declaration and conmiend it to 
the people of I long Kong. 

l'ltilcJ.17 rin- (luiliin u-iili Dr MUn / r. uf ilu Siimnu i I'ul.ia . /fiiMMi;. l'>S-4. 

:^ 119 ^ 

IIoiil; Kane's .hninicy la Rciniificdiinn 

The UMEXC^O msscssccI the .-leeept.-iliiHty ot' the .loiiit Deelara- 
tion hased on the tour niajor eriteria outliiietl in the rMKL( !( ) position 
paper ofMay l*>iS4, whieh liatl reeeixetl oxerwhehnini; support in tlie 
eoninuinity. hi our opinion, the Joint 1 )eel.-iration, on tlie whole, did 
meet substantially our niajor ret|iiirenients. in addition and in asse.ssin^ 
aeeeptability, we said we had eonsidered the alternati\'e, partieniarly 
for those who eoiild not lea\e or did not wish to ieaxe. 

Of eoiu'se, there was another alternatixe, whieh was no Joint 
Declaration. The likely consequence of this choice would be a unilateral 
declaration by (Hiina. We said, "A unilateral declaration may not contain 
all the details we require; may not be binding; may not proxide any 
assurance or an undertaking about the future Basic Law. It almost 
certainly would not safeguard the rights of Hong Kong BDTCs." 

The IJMEXCO further pointed out that, in addition, there were 
in the draft Joint Declaration many positive features which were to 
be welcomed. We quoted, for example, the promise of an elected 

Plate 2. IS The Hong Ko7ig Delegation attending the 35th National Day 
Celebration in Beijing, on the Great Wall of China, 19S4. 

^ 120 ^ 

Sitio-liritish Xcfioliatitins 

legislature; eontiniial renewal ot land leases in both tlie New Kowloon 
and the New Territories; the ris^ht ot Iloni; Konj; people to traxel 
freely in and out of the SAR; and the \arioiis freedoms whieh we 
hold so preeioiisly in IIon;S4 Kon;^. 

We also emphasized the faet that the draft Joint Deelaration 
eontained nuieh more details than many people expeeted at that 
time indieated the efforts of both (io\ernments to meet the eoneerns 
of the people of Hong Kong. We therefore beliexed that a mutually 
binding agreement freely negotiated and entered into between the 
two sovereign states and pro\'iding a workable framework, is nuieh 
to be preferred to no agreement. 

Finally, we said, "It is oin- belief that w hat we ha\e today is 
the best agreement possible and one whieh we. the Unoffieial 
Members of the Executixe Coimeil, ean eommend to the people of 
Hong Kong in good conscienee." 

A Minor Rebuff 

The draft Sino-Hritish .loint Deelaration had in faet ineorporated 
most of the reeommendations of the I'noffieial .Members of the 
Kxeeutixe and Legislative (louneils. l^\en then when the legislature 
debated the draft Deelaration. it failed to seeure an unanimous support. 
For three days — 1,^. ]r)aiid lS()L't()ber 1*>S4 — the I.eiiislatix e 
(]ouneil (.iebated the eompaet. The Senior .Member of LF( 1( ".( ). l\oi;er 
Lobo, submitteil the motion, whieh in essenee read. "Ihat this 
(louneil emlorses the draft Aiireemeut on the liUiue of llonu Kong 
between the llritish ami ( Ihinese ( ioxerumeuts and eommeiuls it to 
the peo|>le of lloni; Kon^."" Some 27 leiiisl.itors spoke with eoiisider- 
able eloijueuee and emotion in w hat miuht well be the most 
oration of their politieal eareers. When all the words were said there 

^ 121 ^^ 

Ilotti; Koua's .Iniinicy to Rvunituiiiion 

were two le;i^islators, hnrrister .lolin Swaiiie (later Sir and President 
of the Le,i>islati\'e Coimeil from l*-**-*! to 1*>*>5) and unionist (>han 
Kani-eliuen (later migrated to ( lanada) did not endorse the projiosed 
treaty by abstaining. 

Swaine berated the Piritisli for "negotiating with (Ihina witli one 
arm tied liehind their liaeks" beeatise the ihitisli liad ah-eady 
demonstrated their laek of eonmiitment to the territory by robbing 
their subjeets of their right of abode in the United Kingdom through a 
series of immigration and nationahty aets. He regarded the draft 
Declaration as the best of a bad deal and abstained from v^oting. Chan 
repeated the argument that the people of Hong Kong could not trust 
the Chinese Communist Party and a piece of paper would not lessen 
the decades of psychological terror. He too abstained from \'oting. 

The Ilong Kong Government did not stand idle while the 
legislators and Executive Councillors waded through the issue as it 
formed a special task force, chaired by a High Court Judge, Simon 
Li, to monitor public opinion and report direct to the Administration. 
At the same time, the UMELC'O also wanted to haxe their own 
assessment of the public opinion and used the money contributed 
by some indixidual members to commission Survey Research Hong 
Kong Limited in conducting a separate independent opinion poll 
covering 6, ()()() persons of 18 years and over. The survey concluded 
that the xast majority supported the draft Joint Declaration. Some 
90 per cent of the respondents in the poll found the treaty was far 
preferable to none. The 18 District Boards, established to keep their 
ears close to the figtn-ative ground, also backed the accord. 

UMELCOs Reaction to the Declaration 

When the Unofficial Members of the Executi\'e and Legislative 

^ 122 ^ 

Sino-liritish S'c^oticttion.s 

Councils heard that the parhanicntai"\' debates on the draft Sino 
British Joint Declaration would be held in early December 1984, we 
decided to send a delegation to London. The purposes were to retleet 
the views of the Hong Kong people to members of b(jth Houses and 
attend the debates. More specifically, we wanted to remind the British 
Government not to sacrifice Hong Kong's interest for its own and 
not to tolerate Chinese meddling during the transition. 

The delegation checked into oiu" London haunt, the Portman 
Intercontinental Hotel, in the heart of London on 1 December w ith 
many questions on our minds. On the surface we, the UMELCO, 
except for the two dissenters, were for the treaty but, at heart, we 
were also ambi\alent about the agreement and anxious about the 
futiu-e. As time passed oiu" disquiet became palpable, eclipsing our 
reasons for hope. 

Roger Lobo and I headed the squad that included, for the 
record, Lydia Dunn, Lee ^uo-wei, Maria lam, Allen Lee, Andrew 
So, (Mieung Van-lung, Selina Chow, Chan Ying-lun and Rita Fan. We 
met separately Foreign Secretary' Sir Geoffrey Howe, Minister of State 
Richard Luce, the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs (Committee, the 
Parliamentar\' Hong Kong Group, and a large niunber of Members of 
both Houses. 

i\t eaeli of these meetings we began hy gi\ ing a run dow n on 
the reaction of Hong Kong jieopie to the diaft .loint Declaration, the 
outeoMie of the debate in the Legislatixe ( louncil. the sujtport of the 
IN District lioards as well as the I'llian ('.ouneil and the llenng ^'ee 
Kuk. We also eitetl the positi\e results of the independent opinion 
poll eonnnissioneil b\ the t .\ILL(](). ( )n iIk' whole, we eonehulet.! 
that the people of I long Kong aeeepleil the tlraft .loint Declaration 

We also talked about the di.\ i.lopinenl ot the represeiual i\ e 
goxeiinneni dnrinLi the I J-\ transition W c «,'\iiressed caution 

^ 123 ^ 

Ilonii K(»ii:'s .louriicv t<i Rciiiiiticdtioii 

Plate 2.1'J The third i'MELCO Dclci'utiou -with I'rimc Minister Thatcher 
in London, 1^JS4. 

against any rapid or radical changes, which might put at risk Hong 
Kong's raison detrc, that is, stabihty and prosperity. We stressed that 
most people in Hong Kong believed that only if stability and prosperity 
were maintained in the transition period prior to 1997 could there be 
any hope that stability and prosperity would be continued for fifty 
years after 1997. We asked HMG not to sacrifice Hong Kong to placate 
China or bolster Britain's own interests. 

We also presented to them a litany of eight concerns and two 
demands that had been issued in an UMELGO statement on 29 
November, which was released just before our lea\ing Hong Kong. 
The eight concerns were: 

( 1 ) Anxiety about interference from the (Chinese Government; 

Q^ 124 ^^ 

Sino-British S'c^otiutions 

(2) Worry about conscription in the IIon;L; Kon;^ SAR; 

(3) Concern about other countries not recognizing the new- 
form of British passports; 

(4) Doubt about the preser\ation of existing human rights 
and personal freedoms; 

(5) Fear about stationing of PLA troops in the liong Kong 

(6) Resentment aliout the BDTC status could not be passed 
on to the next generation; 

(7) Reservation about the possible incompatibility between 
the Basic Law and the Chinese Constitution; 

(8) Concern aiiout China might not implement the Joint 
Declarations terms and renege on its treat\" obligations. 

The two demands were: 

(1) The people of liong Kong should not onh' be consulted 
but be involved in the drafting of the Basic Law ; 

(2) The people of liong Kong should jiarticipate in the Sino- 
liritish .joint Liaison (iroup. 

All these eight concerns and two demands we had confiiled in 
Sir Ceoffrex' and Minister Luce and so we did not repeat in their 
cntiretN' when wc met with the Prime Minister on 5 DeeemlK'r at 
*>>.3() in the morning. Thateher heard not only an abbre\ iated 
reference to the eight concerns but every syllable of the two demands 
plus the two items below : 

( 1 ) A new form of liritish pass|-»orts; 

(2 ) I" lie iloiiii Kong eiliiiii.' niiiioiities being able to bei|ueath 
their P>ritish status to their deseeiulants. 

The I louse of ( '.ommons sat on the altenioon ol 5 1 keember tor 
^ 125 ^ 

Ihniii Koitii's .lounicv to RuiDiiticutioit 

^*l:,j^-Z^' ---^y^^^ ,;£j^ .T^^C*- ■'^=<Sgt«.j^ ■a^^.g^- 

Plate 2.20 Govvnior Vnude meeting the .hiininese Prime Miiii.ster 
in Tokyo, 19H4. 

the debate on the draft Joint Declaration with iis in attendance in the 
galler^^ The points we had raised with them were the focus of discussion 
in the Parliament, which agreed with us about the people of Hong Kong 
taking part in the drafting of the Basic Law and in the operation of the 
Joint Liaison Group, not as observers but as contributors. The 
Commons unanimously ratified the draft Joint Declaration. 

Both Lydia Dunn and I had to leave London in the mid-course 
of the mission on 9 December to accompany Governor Sir Edward 
Youde on an official trip to Tokyo to court the Go\'ernment and 
businessmen of that country for support. Lobo stayed behind as the 
leader of the IHVIELGO delegation and attended on 10 December the 
debate in the House of Lords. It also ended up with a unanimous 
sanction of the draft Joint Declaration. 

^tf: 126 i5^ 


^^ iJt -^ 

lUmii Konii's .Jounicy to Rcuiiiticdiioji 

On the Plane with Thatcher 

By 10 Dcccmlier 1984 tlic draft Sino-l'rirish .loint Declaration had 
basically passed all its hurdles in Britain. Tlie work on the treaty 
had ^one from a trial of patience to triumph for e\ery body as well 
as a testament to bilateral co-operation. Prime Minister Margaret 
Thatcher, with another laurel to her name, tra\ellcd to Beijin;[^, this 
time in an exultant mood, and on 19 December 19S4 at the (ireat 
Hall of the IV'ople si;t^ned on the dotted line along with Premier Zhao 
Ziyang. Beaminj^ over the proceedin/^s were the treaty's architect 
Deng Xiaopin;^ and President Li Xiannian. From Ilong Kong a party 
of about one hundred attended the ceremony, including 12 
representati\'es of the UMELGO. 

i\fter the mandatory rounds of toasts and fetes I returned to 
the hotel in time to receive news that Thatcher wanted me to tly on 
her official jet from Beijing to Ilong Kong the following morning and 
to spend the night in Diaoyutai compound, both the first time for 
me. I gladly accepted the invitation and stayed overnight at the 
Chinese Government's sprawling estate that had catered for some 
of the most famous leaders, including Richard Nixon and of course 
the British Prime Minister. 

Early the next morning, on 20 December, I went with my 
British minder to the airport and boarded the aeroplane, which was 
impressi\ely unassuming with its sleeping cabin and prix'ate la\'ator>' 
as well as a small meeting room plus an office in the front. At the 
middle of the aircraft were seats for the Prime Minister's accompany- 
ing staff, and on the back was mainly the press. I sat near the front. 
The journalists, I was told, had to pay for the passage with the 
attendant privilege of a chance to interview key figures. 

The Prime Ahnister later invited me to her airborne office to 

q^ 128 Q«^ 

4^ 129 ^ 

Iliinii Knnii's .loiiiiicv to Rciiinlii.-iill(iii 

Plate 2.23 I'rinic Miiiisccr Thatcher (i(UlrcssinLi tlic Lc^iskitivc (UjuikjU. 1'JS4. 

discuss future British and Chinese ties and also the transition of 
Hong Kong for about 20 minutes. I do not recall all the details except 
that we generally talked about dexelopments ahead. She then assured 
me that Britain would do right for I long Kong and hoped that the 
UMELGO could well put its collectixe mind at ease. 

The Highest Knighthood 

The British and Chinese Governments resolved the fate of Hong 
Kong through negotiations and made history. Governor Sir Edward 
Youde, at a time of jubilation, informed me that the United I^ngdom 
would honour me for my contributions to the process by awarding 
me one of the highest knighthoods — the Knight Grand Cross of the 
Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or G.B.E. in short. The 

^ 130 ^ 

Sino-British Xcfi(jciuci()ns 

Queen would also confer on the Senior Member of the Legislative 
Council, Roger Lobo, the more humble Knight Bachelor that I had 
received six years back. But I did not receive that ultimate (i.B.E. 
medal from II. M. the Queen in the Buckingham i'alaee until four 
years later. 

The United Kingdom has a very comprehensi\e and compli- 
cated system of honoiu-s. l>ut for Hong Kong, one of its colonies, the 
following three categories were generally used: 

(1) The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. 
George, in which there are three classes and for which 
women as well as men are eligible: 

Knight/Dame (hand Cross G.C.M.G. 

Knight/Dame Connnander K.C.M.Ci. or U.C.M.G. 

Companion C.M.G. 

Members of the first two classes are entitled to be called 
"Sir" or "Dame". 

(2) The Royal Victorian ( )rder, in which there arc four classes 
and for which women as well as men arc eligible: 
Knight/Dame Grand Ooss G.(].\'.0. 
Knight/Dame Commander K.C.N'.O. or D.C^N'.O. 
Commander C].\'.(). 

Member M.V.O. 

Members of the first two classes arc cntitk'd to be called 

"Sir" or "Dame". 

(.M The Most I'.xccllcni ()rdci-of the iliitish i^mpirc, in whi^'h 
thcic arc fi\c chisscs aiul for wliicli women as well ;is 
nien ;ire elii^iblc: 

Knight/1 ).inie ( ir;niii ( !ross ( 1 I'.l'". 

Knighi/D.nne ( ionnn.nuler K W.V.. nv D l'> 1-. 

Ilonti Kouii's JoiiniLy ta Rcimiticiidon 

C^onimandcr C.B.E. 

Officer O.B.E. 

Member M.B.E. 

Members of the first two el:isses are entitled to be ealled 

"Sir" or "Dame". 

(4) There is one lowest Order of Knighthood ealled Knii;ht 
IJaehelor. Reeipients of this order are entitled to be ealled 
"Sir" but ha\e no initials after their names. 

The British, generally speakint;, bestowed the first category 
of honours on soxernment officials, the second on those who pnnided 
services to the Royal Family, and the third on government officials, 
citizens with exemplary public services and noted philanthropists. 

Sir Edward told me in December 19S4 that the British (io\ern- 
ment was prepared to recommend me to the Queen for the highest 
of the honours under the Most Excellent Order of the l^ritish Empire 
to add to my first knighthood. Knight Bachelor, received in 1978. I 
would then became the second ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong ever to 
be bestowed a double knighthood after Sir Yuet-keung Kan. 

Though thrilled by the laurel, which was so rarely bestowed, I 
had to defer accepting the citation because taking it so soon after 
the negotiations might suggest impropriety or an over eagerness to 
take credit. Sir Edward agreed with my reason and decision. The 
Queen delayed decorating me with that GBE Ivnighthood imtil after 
my first political retirement in 1988. 

Preventing Sabotage 

No sooner than the signing and sealing of the Sino-British Joint 
Declaration we in the UMELCO were back to London for another 
tilt, this time to defend the nationality status of Hong Kong British 

132 ^ 

Sino-British Xedotia t in ns 

subjects. In May 19S4 we siihmittetl a petition paper containing, 
inter alias, four proposals, one ot'whieli was an appeal to the Tnited 
Kingdom not to shirk its responsibility tor British nationals born in 
Hong Kong. 

This issue was touched on by I'oreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey 
Howe who, during the House of (Commons debate on the .loint 
Declaration on 5 December 1^><S4, announced that l^ritain would 
return Hong Kong to China in 1997 and would handle the tjuestion 
of nationality as a part of its obligations. 

The Ikitish (ioxcrnment on 10 .hmuary 198,S published the 
Hong Kong Bill set for the debate in the House of C>)nnnons 1 1 days 
later. This piece of legislation was meant to sanction the switching 
of the British Dependent Territory Citizen (BDT(^) passport to the 
British National (Overseas) (BN(0)) travel document, which would 
continue to have effect after ,"^0 .lune 1997, an arrangement 
acceptable to the Executixe (Council. 

But a Member of Parliament, Enoch Powell, famous or infamous 
almost 20 years earlier for his bigoted "Rix'cr of Blood" speech calling 
for the end to innnigration into the countr\'. threatened to postpone 
the Hong Kong Bill intlefinitely. We in the TMELCO felt comix-lled 
about stojiping the xenophobes plo>' that, if effectixe. eouKi attect 
the Sino-l)ritish .loint Declaration antl stall the transition of the IJh TC^ 
to the P,X(()). 

To thwart Powells sabotage, the I'.MELCC ) tieeided to rush a 
small delegation of three — Peter ( 1. Wong. .Maria Tam and nnself — 
to Eoruloii to lobby the .Members of Parliament foi" the Hong Kong 
Bill. Peter ami .Maria (both law\ers) weiH first, anixiui; in London 
on lo .laniiaiA, to start the lobbying work. I. hapiKiietl to be in P.eijing 
at that tiuK' for the signing of the Daxa l')a\" Nuclear Power. loint 
Wnture. met up with the p.iir three da\s later We. ;ieeom|\in\ ing 

<i^ 134 i:^ 

Siito-British Xc^otiacion.s 

Governor Sir Edward Voude, spoke with Sir (icoffrey and Minister 
of State Richard Luee in the niornin;^ of 21 .laniiary before attending 
the debate in the Commons in the afternoon. 

We, in the galley of the Parliament, were \'ery pleased when 
the Speaker of the House rejected Powell's motion and, consequently, 
the Hong Kong Bill was passed without any problem. 

The Grand Finale 

British and Chinese friendship tlowered after the Sino-British Joint 
Declaration's inking. The ambience was euphoric in June 1^S5 when 
Premier Zhao Ziyang made an official visit to Britain where he 
attended a banquet hosted for him by his Joint Declaration eo- 
signator\% Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, at her official residence 
10 Downing Street. 

Attending the state banquet were some sixty xery distinguisiied 
guests, including prominent politicians, diplomats and businessmen 
having some kind of connection with the People's Republie of (Jiina. 
The (ioxernor and the two Senior Members of the UMEL(X) were 
among those present. .\t the cocktail reception 1 sjioke with Premier 
Zhao, Foreign Minister W'li Xiietpan and the top Cliiiiese Joint 
Declaration negotiator Zhou Nan. We talked about Hong ixong's future 
and its stabilit\- and prosperit)'. in some wa>- that was the zenith of 
(Ihinese and iSritish raiiproehenient , a height that |iro\ed rather 
impossible to maintain. 


^ Cfiayter 3 

The Long Transition 

Honeymoon Period 

The Three-act Play 

Britain and ('hina sii>nccl their. Joint Declaration in December 1984 
a;^reein^ to return Iloiii; Kons; from the former to the latter on 1 ,Iul\' 
1^97, a transitional perioti of twehe and a h.alf lon,4 years. 

While the two coimtries con\eri>ed on the fate of lIon<i Konii 
in principle, their missions diverged during the transition. For (Ihina 
the priority was to draft and pass the l^asic Law to establish the 
Hong Kong Special Administrati\e Region and to effect the "( )ne 
(Country Two Systems" from 1 ,lul\' 1*^)*^)7. The British mission was to 
evohe the colonial political system of 19S4 to the self-rule of 19^7 
whilst maintaining Ilong Kong's prosperity and st;ibilit\-. 

If I were to write a drama for the transition. I wouhl have 
designed a three-act pla\-. The first act co\eis the period fiom .lanuaiA' 
19S5 to .lune 1'>S*>. This was the "eo-operati\ e phase" and marked 
the .loint Declarations honexnioon. The llritish (loxeinment in the 
I'nitetl Kingdom and its adjunct in lloui; K(»ng collaborated 
reasonably well with ihe (Chinese .\ut horit ics The .loiiu Liaison 
( I roup made steaib' progress antl liritain and ( Ihina communicated 
inosth- well. I rctirctl fi( )m the l\.\ccuti\ c ( '.<■ )uncil in Sc|Mcmbci" 1 '>NS. 
which somewhat coincided with the ciiil of this h(>nc\ moon period. 

Iloiii- KoiiLi's .loiinicy to l\cuinfic((ti(in 

The second act eoxers the period from the 'I'i.'inaiinien Sc|uare 
incident, wliich deei')ly aftccted the people of the (Colony. The British 
lions; KongGoxernnicnt siihth' abandoned its era-loni; neutral stance 
and tolerated "anti-( ^onnniniist" acti\'ities. The Cnofficial Menibers 
of the M\eeuti\e and Leiiislatix'e ('ouncils applied pressin-e on the 
United Kin,i;doni, which relented and modified its Nationality Act by 
extendin;:^ to 50, ()()() elite families of llont; Kont; r)ritish subjects full 
liritish Passports that entitle them to li\'e in the "home country". 
Ignoring (Tiinese protest, the IhMtish sped up democratic reform in 
the territory and, in March 1 *>'-*(), incorporated the spirit of the 
International ("ovenant on Civil and Political Ri;i4hts into I long Kong's 
own human rights legislation. The mutual recrimination marked the 
episode as the "period of distrust". 

Early in 1992 the British Government annoimced the 
recall of Governor Sir David Wilson (later Lord) perceiving him 
to be too accommodating to C^hina, and replaced him in July 
1992 with former (Conservative Party Chairman, ('hris Patten, 
who had lost his Bath parliamentary scat early in the year. Two 
months later the new Governor returned to London to secure 
the blessing from both Prime Minister John Major and Foreign 
Secretary Douglas llurd for his blueprint of accelerated poli- 
tical reform. The programme sought to change radically the 
electoral procedures for the District Boards and LIrban Councils in 
1994 and the Legislative Council in 1995, plus revamping the 
composition of the Executive Council as well as divorcing the 
Legislative Council from the Executive Council. Patten delivered 
his first Policy iVddrcss to the Legislative Covmeil on 7 October, ten 
days after providing the gist of his address to the Chinese (jO\'ernment 
in Beijing and rejecting its request for immediate consultation. This 
was the beginning of the third act and could be branded as the 

ciJt 138 ;-5% 

The Lon^ Transition 

"confrontational phase", which did not end until British rule did on 
30 June 1997. 

Secret Meetings with Xu 

Throughout the Sino-British negotiations the Xinhua News Agency 
Director in Hong Kong, Xu Jiatun, and his deputies met about 
monthly with Lee Quo-wei, Lydia Dunn and me, all Unofficial 
Members of the Executive Council. These secret sessions, during 
which we exchanged views freely, petered out after the Joint 
Declaration was signed in December 1984 but resumed eleven 
months later though much less frequently than before. The need for 
such meetings was partly because the accord did not resolve all the 
issues germane to the transition from colony to the Special 
Administratixe Region. Some of these hurdles could not be resohed 
in the meetings of persons but not of minds. The C^hinese side also 
wanted to test its rhetoric on us inside the room and broadcast the 
same on the outside through its media. 

We came together once more at the suggestion of Xu on the 
CN'cning of 22 Xoxember 1985 at the old Bank of (Miina Building, 
whose penthouse has since been conxerted into a stylish club replete 
with period photographs and posters. Xu this time brought along 
with liini his two deputies, Qiao Zonghuai (now (-hinas Represen- 
tatixe at the Tnited Nations Ilinnan Rights (Commission) and .Mao 
Junnian ( the onh' local recruit rising to the tleputx" status). Duim in- 
then had been promoted to be the Senior .Member ot the Legislatixe 
(Council, succeeding Sir Roger Lobo, who was knightetl in the 1*>S.^ 
New ^'ear. The legislatiux' itself was mo\ ing step by step towartis 
elections aiul graiinalb' .-iw;i\ troin appointments. 

The r.ritisli had then started, ahhouUh some sa\ lielaiedU . to 


//o7i£' Komi's .lounicY Ui Rciinit'icdtioii 

Plate 3.1 The i'MEIAJO cliiuicr/or Director Xu .lintnn of die Xinhua News 
Agency, Hong Kotig. 19S5. 

prepare Hong Kong for the autonomy that China had promised in 
the Joint Declaration. They did so by shifting power to the people 
gradually and ideally with China's blessing. The (Colonial 
Government, less than a year after the signing of the Joint 
Declaration, restructured the Legislative Council in which 10 
members were officials and 46 were not. Until then the Governor 
had appointed ever>^body but in the summer of 19(S5 the Go\'ernment 
allowed 24 of the 46 "unofficials" to be elected via "functional 
constituencies", that is, guilds and professional associations. 

Once the three of us, Dunn, Lee and myself, sat down with Xu 

c^ 140 ^ 

The Lonii Transition 

and his two deputies we halted the l')anterini4. ^^^ immediately 
launehed a tirade against the lloni; Kon;^; Government for tlouting 
the Joint Deelaration and riishini; in a representatixe system of 
government. lie said the aeeord had eommitted the l>ritish to govern 
Hong Kong effectively rather than to let them tinker, experiment 
and fork administration over to the loeal people, a job apparently 
for the (Chinese to do aeeording to their time table. 

Xu also talked about troop deploxnient and nationality, issues 
that riled the (]hinese side. He was specially offended by the 
Commander of the I^ritish Forces who suggested in public that Hong 
Kong should establish its own militia to assist the police, in case of 
need, to maintain law and order. The Director bristled at the temerity 
of such a proposal, saying Hong Kong had no need of its own garrison. 
In the first instance, Xu said, the British should not withdraw their 
garrison before 1997. After 1997 the People's Liberation Army 
stationed in Shenzhen could always be smnmoned to help police 
the Hong Kong SAR in case of absolute emergency. (Later Deng 
castigated officials of his who accepted that no I'LA troops would be 
posted in Hong Kong. The supreme leader, antl (Chairman of the 
Militar\' ( lommission, said where (Ihina deplo\cd its soldiers insitlc 
its own territory was a manifestation of its soxcrcignty that coukl 
nexer be compromised. ) 

Xu also opjiosed the White I'ajier on the Ihitish National 
(Ox'crseas) travel (.locuments that would offer a ne\x lease to (he 
British 1 )ependent Tenitories ( ati/en jiassports. I le lelt that the lU )T( '. 
passport \xas sufficient foi' the t lansit ional perioil and shoukl simply 
expire in 1*>97. As tor the Hong Kong S.\l\ passport, he sui;uested 
that arrangement eonhl be maile for the liiitish Hong Kong 
( loxermnent to eominenee its issue on behalf of the S.XK ( iox ennnent 
a fe\x years belore l*>''7. 

i*r 141 ^ 

//on4 Kong's Journey Co Reunificdtioii 

Both sides hatl had tlicsc tense hut yet also instiueti\e 
meetings from then on until 1 Sejitemher 1*>SS when I retired from 
the Exeeutixe (^ouneil. Tliese sessions, howexer, went fi"<^m fretjuent 
to sporadie. Eaeh time 1 woukl faithfulh' reeord oiu" imj'yressions 
and the information gleaned from the talks and report to the 

NMiile the talks sometimes waxed and waned as the suhjects 
changed, the most xolatile topie during the early days of the transition 
remained the political reforms of 1988. By then the Chinese side 
added another regular attendant to the talks, Li Chuwen, a Deputy 
Director of Xinhua (now an advisor to the Shanghai Municipal 
Government). A climax of sorts came in at the meeting on 6 March 
1986 when Xu quoted to us the conclusion drawn hy the visiting 
Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Lu Ping, 
who was in Hong Kong about a month ago. Lu was the Secretary 
General in the early 198()s. then promoted to the Deputy Director 
in the mid-1980s and in November 1990 to the Director, a post he 
occupied until his retirement in 1997. Xu said Lu had met and talked 
with o\'er a thousand people and concluded that the majority did 
not support direct election. 

The Chinese were incensed that the British had provided for 
more elected legislators in the 1985 White Paper than that stated in 
the 1984 Green Paper given to them by the British. They were 
con\'inced that the crafty British had deceived them, and an insult 
was added to injury when the other side also adxanced the next 
political review from 1988 to 1987. This, Xu considered, was a 
unilateral action, which betrayed the spirit of co-operation under- 
scored by the Joint Declaration. 

We explained that a Green Paper was merely a consultative 
document for public discussion. xVfter revision as a result of the 

ci?t 142 .^t^ 

The Jmh^ Transition 

consultation process it became a Wliite Paper or a policy document. 
As there had been many calls for taster democratization, the resultant 
White Paper was purely a reflection ot that popular demand. The 
next election of the Legislative Council would be in 1988 and the 
political re\iew had to be adxanced to 1987 in order to allow sufficient 
time for the legislative process. 

Soon after the Hong Kong Government published the Green 
Paper on political reform in May 1987, Xu and his deputy Li Chmven 
invited the three of us to a meeting on 25 May at the Stanley Villa 
compound. The complex consists of six newly built town houses 
recently bought by Xinhua, which was expanding its presence to 
cope with its much more divergent work. The Deputy Director said 

I'Idtc .J.J /7k ((iiihiir sfKiikin!^ tit tlu l)rn<;im limit l-'cstiiiil Diiiuci 
in Loiulitn. I'^iSd. 

143 ^ 

II())iii Konii's Jounicy to Rcnui/iciitioi) 

he had read the latest (Ireeii Paper whieh, while modified to inehide 
some (lliinese siij^iiestions, was still too radieal. Li argued that the 
appointed members of the Let^islatixe ( ^ouiieil had a stabilizini; effeet 
on society and should be retained until 1^>^''7. in fact, he continued, 
(Ihina would wish to retain some form of the appointment system 
beyond 1 *><)?. 

We rebutted their chariie by mentioning the Joint Declaration's 
Annex I, in which it is stated that the le^islatin-e of the Hong Kong 
SAR shall be constituted by elections. There was no way that the 
appointment system in any form could be retained after 1 *>*)?. We 
said the Hong Kong CjONcrnment was doing no more than the 
introduction of a gradual democracy so as to pro\'ide society and 
the institutions time to prepare for the eventuality sanctioned in 
the Joint Declaration. 

But our explanation did not sway the implacable (Chinese side, 
which insisted that the speed of democratization should be slowed 
down. The Hong Kong Authorities c\'cntually yielded to Chinese 
objection and, with the majority support of the Executive Council, 
delayed the introduction of direct election to the Legislative Coinicil 
by three years to 1991. I remember dining the discussion we quoted 
the Chinese slang, "A short sharp pain is preferable to a long-drawn 
suffering", meaning that if direct election were put off to 1991 there 
would be an uproar, but it would soon die down. On the other hand, 
if direct election were introduced in 198cS it would be more difficult 
and troublesome for the Hong Kong Government to goNcrn in the 
next few years. 

The last time I met the Chinese side in my capacity as the 
Senior Member of the Executi\'e Council was on 8 June 1988, almost 
three months before my first retirement. The Director of the Hong 
Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Ji Pengfei, and his two closest aides, 

4*t 144 ^^^ 

The I^nfi Transition 

Li IIou and Lii Pin{», happened to he in Hong Kong and Joined the 
talks. We diseiissed sexeral issues and one c)f" them was ahout tiie 
establishment of the Ilong Kong SAR (ioxernment. We said, as Kxeeu- 
tive Coimeillors, we knew that the Britisli had proposed to the 
Chinese the way of forming the HKSAR Legislatixe (>)uneil, by 
permitting those elected in 1995 according to the Basic Law prescrip- 
tions to ser\'e through the transition and beyond 1997. We belie\ed 
this arrangement would ensure continuity and enhance confidence. 
This was the beginning of the "through train " concept. 

Ji replied that in the establishment of the IIKSAR, China would 
obser\'c two basic principles, one was for the country to reassert 
sovereignty and the other for acliic\'ing a smooth transition. He said 
they wanted as few changes as possible but thought that legislators 
elected in 1995 would still ha\e to step down from tlic proxerbial 
train, if only symbolically, and pay obeisance to the new order before 

We did not want to dwell c.xclusixely on just one issue and so 
we shifted the subject, saying we had some concerns about certain 
articles of the draft liasic Law. We conjured up the scenario of a 
Hong Kong resident charged with breaching national security and. 
according to the draft I'asic Law. the IIKSAR .Nuthorities sliDuld arrest 
and hand him o\er to the Central (ioxernment for trial. We also 
raised another concern that the IIKSAR courts must seek the 
interiiretation of the l)asie Law from the (Central (io\ernmeut before 
the eouit eould pass \erdiets on i|uestionable areas of the law . .li 
said he was aware of these eoueenis and assured us that he would 
relay them to the ('.eutral (ioNcrmuent. 

During the perioti between 1*>S5 and 1'>SS I met .\ii many 
times but these few meiUioued abo\e remain the m«»sl \ i\ id and 

^l^ 145 ^. 

Ihm^ Konfi's Journey to Rcunificcttion 

Sir Edwards Death — An Omen 

Sir Edward Yoiide, who had sworn in as the 26th (ioxcrnor of Hong 
Kong on 20 May 1082, suddenly died in his sleep on 5 December 
1986 at the iiritish Embassy in Beijing, working to the xery end. His 
untimely passing struck me, in retrospect, as ominous. 

During the greater part ot his tour and a half years of governor- 
ship Hong Kong was in an unsettling state. He was deeply inxohed 
in the Sino-British negotiations on the futiu"e of Hong Kong and, 
after the signing of the Joint Declaration, had initiated the difficult 
work of the transition. Though his tenure was not long, he had won 
the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong people. 

Sir Edward had treated me, his Senior Member of the Executive 
Council, as a friend and we spoke to each other frequently. One day 
he told me that, with the Joint Declaration signed, he was able to 
take a vacation in the summer of 19(S6, returning to Britain partly to 
tidy his estate, which he had neglected during the past years. Sir 
Edward, perhaps with premonition of his death, said he felt much 
relieved because, having settled the domestic business, he would 
now be ready to take care of Lady Pamela, whatexer happened to 
him. As always the Governor spoke of his wife with total respect and 

Sir Edward made history with the Joint Declaration. He also 
made the same as the first incumbent governor to hax'c died in office. 
The whole community felt bereaved and the outpouring of grief 
reflected the affection in which he had been held. More than perhaps 
he himself had realized, he had woxen himself into the fabrics of 
Hong Kong society, and not just for the elite but, more movingly, for 
the ordinary people. 

On the day of the funeral, 9 December, mourners crowded 

^i^^ 146 q*e 

The Ijiiifi Transition 

Plate J..? The tinicnil jiroccssioii oj the Icitc (iovvnidr )'(iiulc. 79(S'6. 

both sides of the sombre street, many weepini^, to ghmpse at his 
passing hearse — a converted miUtary jeep eoxered with a I'nion 
Jack. The cortege wended its way slowly down from the Government 
House at Upper Albert Road, tnrnins; into Low cr Albert Road, passing 
through the coiutyard of the (IcntrnI (loxeniiiiciit Offices, before 
halting at St. John s Clatiictlral. Then the cluucli IkIIs tolled — a 
peal resonant throughout the financial district that had ceased its 
bustle in his memory. 

Sixteen palllicarers carried Sir I'-dward in his final joiirnc)' in 
Hong Kong. Among them wcic tlie ( Jiief .lust ice. the ( ;i>mmandcr of 
r)ritish l'"orccs, and the past and present male mcinbers of the 
Kxceutixe (louneil who IkkI worked with him. I joinctl their lanks 
and during the shoit hut sokinn joiirnex I recalled the most 

^^ 147 ^ 

llotiLi K())>ii's Journey to Rciniitictition 

momentous times, now tiled away. The Queen, the Prime Nhnister 
and the Korei;i;n Seeretary had sent their eondolenees as did the 
(Chinese leaders. The Aetin;i4 (iovernor. Sir l)a\'id Akers-.Iones read 
the euloiiy in iMi^lish and 1, as the Senior Member ot' the Exeeutive 
Council, ditl the honour in Chinese. Lydia Dunn, the Senior Member 
of tlie Legislative (^ouneil, rendered an exoeative reading ot' "In Praise 
of Famous Men". 

Sir Edward was retiu-ned to his nati\'e Wales for burial but his 
spirit remained in Hong Kong with us and in the publie eonsciences. 
The Mini> Pao in an editorial on (> Deeember 19(S6 compared the 
late (iovernor to the great statesman in the Three Kingdoms period, 
Zhuge Liang, who had pledged to work diligently on state affairs 
until death. Whilst the scales of their responsibility — Sir Edward 
with Hong Kong and Zhuge with (]hina — differed, the substance of 
the men was the same for which the apt words are "total dedication". 
I share the editorial's sentiment to this date. 

Sir Edwards Vision 

While Hong Kong was engrossed in the Sino-Hritish negotiations and 
their slings and arrows. Sir Edward Youde had another preoccupation, 
which was a mark of his x'ision. The Governor concentrated on the 
future, ex'cn though that proved tragically short for him personally, 
not only with the Joint Declaration but also with the technological and 
economic transformation of society. His foresight would serve Hong 
Kong well as his part in the Sino-British talks did in another way. 

Throughout the 195()s and 196()s the territory was suffering 
from the lack of technicians to meet the growing needs of the booming 
manufacturing sector. The Government in 1968 therefore established 
the Polytechnic Planning Committee to explore the idea of a 

i^ 148 Q^ 

The Lonfi Transition 

Polytechnic and ai')|')()intccl the Kxcciitixc Councillor aiui (Ihairnian 
of South Sea Textiles, Tan^ Pint;-yiian, to chair it. I, as the head of 
the Federation of Industries and a Legislative (>)iincillor, was drafted 
to he the (committee's second in command. Unfortunately, Tant;dicd 
two years later, just weeks before the Committee could complete its 
report. We who were in it out of respect for the late chairman did 
not fill the \aeancy while finishing the submission. The report 
advocated for the Polytechnic which was then incorporated in July 
1972 with me chairinj^ its governing board and the industrialist and 
legislator, James W'u, as the deputy. The Polytechnic graduated into 
a university in 1993 and is flourishing in its centrally-located 
Ilunghom campus in Kowloon. 

The export-dri\'en nianufactining sector prosjiercd right into 
the 197()s, accoimting for a third of the gross domestic [product, 
bringing wealth to Ilong Kong and fuelling the property boom. The 
Polytechnic expanded spectacularly, enrolling more than 1 (),()()() full- 
time students by then, but still it could not cope with the rising 
demand. The (io\ernmcnt in 19S2 appointed the Pohtechnic 
(joverning Board to form another Planning Committee to consider 
a sister institution, which I chaired with the legislator cum Hong 
Kong I'^lectric (icncral .Manager, (]hen Shou-luni, as the Nice- 
chairman. To cope with the urgent need a decision was made for the 
second pohtechnic, known at the time as ('it\' pohtechnic. to enrol 
students in l*>cS4 in a teniporarx' cani|ius at the newly coniiileicd 
Argyle Centre in .\longkok. The Cit>- PoKtcchnic later inoxed into 
its purposcK-buiit campus in Ivowloon Tong and in the eail> l'''M)s 
was upgraded into the (at\' I'niNersity of Ilong Kong. 

Tow arils the e nil of the I '^TOs ( Jiina opened its door to the 
outside woild anti i niplenien teil its economic refoiin. Later it 
established a Special I'^conomic Zone in Shenzhen, adjacent to Ilong 

^^ 149 .itfc 

Plate 3.4 The [I<mi> Knni> Polvtcchnic. 1986. 

^^ 150 c^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

Kong and based, in part, on the Hong Kong model. Slienzhen had 
the adx'antages of ample and eheap land and labour at a tenth of 
those in Hong Kong. This of eourse was extremely attraeti\e to the 
Hong Kong based export-oriented lahour-intensixe manufaetiiring 
industries, \\lien I^iritain and (Ihina inked the Joint Deelaration in 
December 1984 the boundaries between Hong Kong and Shenzhen 
began to blur. Sir Edward foresaw Hong Kong and the Mainland 
symbiosis and knew the territory had to face a paradigm shift by 
replacing the exiting, senescent industries. He would do his part to 
usher in the high-tech revolution. The Governor in Council in 
September 1985 asked the University and Polytechnic (irants 
Committee (now the UniNcrsity Grants Committee) to explore the 
feasibility of a third unixersity after the Chinese Unixersity and the 
University of Hong Kong. 

In March 1986 the Executix'e C^oimeil reeei\ed the positixe 
report of the (jirants Committee and the need for such a \arsity was 
by then beyond doubt. This proposed Unixersity of Science and 
Technology (UST) xvould have to be different from its txxo prede- 
cessors and its suggested cachet xvas a focus on science and 
technology, as its name implied, plus management and postgraduate 
training. Sir Edward tapped me to chair the UST Planning (Committee 
and the legislator for the Engineering Functional (^onstituenex-, 
Cheng Hon-kxvan, as the number txxo. The Goxernor had a keen 
interest in the UST and consulteil xxith me often about its progress. 
Though the terms of reference for the Planning ( !onnnitlec were for 
the varsity to admit the first hatch of stutlents in SeptcmlKr 1'>*M. 
this xxas still not soon enough for Sii- Edxxard. \x ho \xislicd the iiroject 
could procectl faster to meet I long Kong's technological ilcniaiuls. 
lie hoped thai I could fiml some xxaxs to speed up the xxork of the 
Plainiing C lonnuittce. 


Jlonii Ktiuii's JourncY to RcunificcitUm 

I'liita .?.5 77ic' ]5tli Annivcisciiy of the City I 'niversity <>/ llomi Kon^. 7999. 

The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (now without the "Royal") 
shared the \iew of the Go\'ernment and tnunped up HKS2 billion 
for the construction. The building of the campus imder the able 
superx'ision of the Jockey Club took an impressi\'e short time of 
three years, considering all the complications and architectural 
revisions. The UST began enrolment in September 1991, three years 
earlier than the original target, accepting the initial batch of 600 
students for the phase one of the campus. The inaugural class of 
graduate students completed their studies in 1993. 

From the onset the UST boasted a renowned faculty and, within 
a decade, was deemed by the^AvS/a Week magazine in year 2000 as 
one of the ten finest universities in Asia, situated in a scenic cove of 
the Clear \\'ater Bay. The actual ranking was nimiber se\'en. In the 
following year, its Business School was ranked by the Fiiuincial Times 
newspaper in London as the top in Asia and 4Sth in the world. This 

^ 152 :^ 

The Imu^ Transition 

was no mean achicncment indeed. The eredit must j^o to the founding 
President, Professor Woo (^hia-vvei, a eelebrated physieist in his own 
rii^ht and the first e\er ethnie (Chinese president of a major Ameriean 
varsity, San Franeiseo State Tnixersity with an enrohiient of 25,OOC) 

Sir I'vdward's vision was thus fuhilled with a imixersity ha\ini4 
its mission specified by the Governor in Council as "To adxanee 
learning and knowledge through teaching and research, partieularh , 
( 1 ) in science, technology, engineering, management and business 
studies; and (2) at the postgraduate le\'el; and to assist in the 
economic and social dexclopmcnt of Hong Kong." 

A good start, though, does not necessarily imply a smooth 
sailing thereafter. Policy and execution nuist be complimentar\' to 

I'litic .h(> /7k //iKii,' KiiDij riiivi.rsiiv iif Sciciux' \ '/li/nKi/orw ]'''>.> 

^. 153 ^ 

Iloiif; Kunfi'n Joiinwy to Rcuiiification 

each other and people iinohed must share the same ,i;oal and xision 
in order to achieve an oxerall success. Rciirettahly, the l^nix'crsity 
Grants (]omniittee has since strayed from the }")rincii')lc ot i4i\in;t4 
priority to need and \aliics, bnt instead, allocated tnnds "eciiiitahly" 
to all the \arsities. (]onset|nently, tile TST was not aiile to otter more 
places at postj^raduatc Icx'cl in the past years as its mission stipulated. 
This, to me, is iinfortiinate and a retrograde i")olicy that has caused 
Hong Kong to further lag behind the competition in advanced science 
and technology. 

Myth of the UST Cost Overrun 

Since I have mentioned Sir Edward Youde s vision in establishing 
the University of Science and Technology, it would be appropriate 
for me, as someone caught up in the imbroglio from day one, to deal 
with the so-called "cost oxerrun" in the building of the UST campus. 

The Director of Audit in 1991 alleged massive cost overrun. 
His charge was misleading and based on a false premise. During that 
year Hong Kong introduced for the first time direct geographical 
election into the Legislative Council. Budding politicians took the 
opportunity to play up the controversy and attacked the establish- 
ment. The UST and those involved in its building thus became the 
scapegoat in this political drama. 

Back in June 1986 the UST Planning Committee was 
established and chaired by me with Cheng Ilon-kwan as the deputy. 
We conducted a campus design competition and, in No\'ember 1987, 
handed over one of the winning designs, Dr. Simon Kwan's archi- 
tectural plan for the Clear Water Bay campus, to the Royal Hong 
Kong Jockey Club (RHKJC) for cost estimation. Earlier the Jockey 
Club had pledged to donate HKS1.5 billion to the project and, for 

G^ 154 -;*o 

The Long Transition 

that reason, was appointed In- the I long Kong Government as the 
Project Manager responsible tor supervising the construction of the 
campus. At about the same time the l^ni\'ersity Phmning C'onmiittee 
and the Jockey Club also Jointly t'ormed a (Campus Project 
Management Committee headed by the (Chairman of the Jockey Club, 
Sir Gordon MacWTiinnie, to co-ordinate the efforts of the two bodies. 
The RHKJC's Chief Kxecutixe, Major General (iuy Watkins, was 
designated supervisor of the day to day operations of the project. 

The costs for the phases one and two of the I'ST campus were 
then estimated to be I1KS1.*>3 biUion, inflation included. This 
"estimate" was based on Dr. Kwan s architcctual plan l^ut using the 
unit cost inciu'rcd in building the (]ity Polytechnic campus at that 
time. There was no budget per .sc, only rough figures that acted as a 
guideline. The (ioxcrnnient, nonetheless, quoted this most 
preliminary estimate when it approached the Legislatixe (iouncil 
Finance Committee on 4 Ma>' 19(SN for fimding approxal before it 
could accept the Jockey (Mubs donation. The Administration also 
assured the legislators that it would make up the difference if the 
project costs exceeded the Jockey (>lub's donation. 

What no one could ha\e aiuicipatcd at that time was that 
construction costs would inflate b\- 150 per ceiu within three years 
from I'-'ST to 1*)<S9 because of the projierty boom and the fast-rising 
inflation in Hong Kong, liy the end of 1*)S<^ when the RIIKK' was 
ready to receixe tenders, it iU)ticed with alaiin the iiigh cost 

Concurrent !>■ Professor Woo Chia-wci. the designated 
President, took up liis in 1'>SS ;uid together with his teams of 
American aeademie eonsuhants studied the design, seojK' .nul scale 
ot the campus. The\' fouuii great inatlec|uaeies in i^oth academic 
and reseaicli spaee for a tertiarx' inslilutiou s|"»eciah/ing in science 

:^ 155 ^ 

^i?r 156 ,^ 

The Uin^ Transition 

and technology and emphasizing research and postgraduate teaching. 
The architects and other experts had t(j rush in, to reconfigure and 
expand the building area. The Government, after consuking the 
Uni\'ersity and Folytechnic (irants Committee, agreed to this 
expansion and submitted to the Finance (lommittcc of the Legislative 
Council on 1 Jime 1<>9() the "budget" of IIKS3.54S bilhon. again 
including inflation. At the same time the RIIK.FC] had raised its 
donation to SI. 96 billion. Legislators, after pondering the explanatif)n 
for the large increase in the "budget" o\er the earlier "estimate", 
e\'entually approxed the budget of S3.54S billion without any 
objection. Martin Lee was the only legislator abstained in \'oting. At 
the time, June 1990, the campus construction had only just started 
with the laying of the foundation and was much too soon to conclude 
what the final costs would be. 

The Director of Audit in his report of October 1991 compared 
the 1990 "budget" of S3. 548 billion with the 1988 "estimate" of 
SI. 93 billion, and called it "a huge cost oxcrrim". This was a 
sensational charge, which affected public confidence in the TST. 

Construction work for the phases one and two of the I'ST 
campus continued and completed on schedule in the middle of l'>'>3 
for S3. 244 billion, some S3()4 million, or S.f) per cent, less than the 
approNcd budget. There has ne\cr been any cost oxerrun. The 
generally accepted definition of cost o\errun is the actual con- 
struction cost incurred exceeding the budgeted cost, and not the 
budgeted cost exceeding the estimated cost. 

The whole plan for the I 'ST campus was xintlieated exentiially 
by Anthony Walker. Professor of Sur\e\ing at the InixeisitN' of I long 
Kong. In his book published in 1'>'>I titleil lUtihliui: ilic I'utuiw he 
anahsed in depth the I'ST project ami tliew a number of conclusions. 
Two ot these were partieiilarK lelexaiH ( )ne was that the unit cost 


//o?i<i Konfi's .Jountey r<> Rcuiiificiitioti 

of the UST campus was broadly coniparahlc to those siniilarh' sealed 
buildings in lions; Konj; at that time. The seeond was that the uni- 
\'ersit\' eampus represented reasonable \alue tor mone\'. that is, it 
did not eost more than it should ha\e. 

In passing 1 would like to mention that in 1909 the architecture 
design of the UST eampus became an entr\- into the Contemporary 
(Chinese Art Exhibition in Ijeijini; and won an 
Innoxatixe Art Award. 

One of the major objectives of both the I'ST I'lannini; (>onmiit- 
tce and later the Governin;^ Council was to make the UST one of the 
world's first class research imixersities and, to this end, it simply 
had to have adequate funding for campus facilities. The beneficiar>' 
would be the younger generations and llong Kong as a whole. No 
matter how one looks at this particular issue of the so called "cost 
oxerrun", a phrase against which 1 resent, no one could deny all the 
money spent was proper and for the good of the Unix'crsity and the 
younger generation. The SAR Chief Executive, Tung Chee-hwa, in 
his second Policy Address in 1998 emphasized the significance of 
science and technology for the future of Hong Kong. The UST will 
no doubt continue to contribute to this transformation of the 
community; and for this, we have to be thankful to the late Sir Edward 
Youde for his wisdom and foresight. 

Basic Law Conundrum 

Drafting the Basic Law was a monumental enterprise entailing a 
complexity even more baffling than that had confronted the 
pioneering American Constitution framers in Philadelphia in the 
torrid summer of 1778. This was w^hat someone familiar with the 
American process had told me, which was probably true. The thirteen 
colonies of the United States, having expelled the British, had 

^. 158 :^ 

The U>n^ Transition 

basically a blank sheet of" parchment on which to jot dow n their 
rules and aspirations. 

Those t'roni the Mainland and I long Kong who partook in the 
exercise had to obserxe the guidelines of the ('hinese (Constitution, 
the Joint Declaration, and also the prexailing conditions and 
traditions of the territory. The State Council of the Chinese National 
People's (Congress (XP(C) began the exercise by naming 5(S mem- 
bers to the Basic Law Drafting (Committee (BLDC), comprising 
approximately equal numbers from the Mainland and the territory. 
Those from the Mainland side were chosen for their political status 
and knowledge of the (Chinese (Constitution. Whereas those so 
selected from Ilong Kong were picked for their public standing, 
patriotic credential, expertise, and understanding of what made the 
territory tick. 

The XP(C deputized these 58 in .lul\- 1MS5 and a few months 
later nominated ISO to the Basic Law (Consultatixe (Committee 
(BL(C(C) so that these indixiduals of prominence could ad\ise the 
drafters. In the beginning a lot of time was spent in thrashing out 
the proccdiu'cs, then in 1*>(S() the structure of the Basic Law was 
decided. Specialized groups were established to facilitate tliscussion. 
and liy the second half of I'-'S? they resohcd and compiled 57 
specialized reports that would form the skeleton of the draft IJasic 
Law. The drafters then pored o\cr the jioints. editing line b\' line, 
agonizing oxer semantics and s\nta.\, before i")ublishing the first draft 
in 1*)<SS for public consultation, which ch'cw about 72, ()<>() rcsitonscs. 
liaxing collated these \iews, tlic\' returned to the di aw ing board a nil 
ehunietl out the seeonti draft that was pruned of some of the earlier 
inconsistencies and eontratlictions before gi\ ing the public aiioiher 
chance to react in l''^*^ attracting this time o\er O. ()()() conuuents. 
At this stage the .Mainlanil IkuI experienced one of (he worst uphea\ als 

:^ /5«> 

^ i60 ^ 

The Loiifj Truiisition 

in recent memory that culminated in the soldiers clearing the 
Tiananmen Square of protesters and squatters while Hong Kong had 
gone from euphoria, empathy and despair o\-er that student movement. 

Set against this dramatic backdrop, with sc\cral Hong Kong 
drafters resigning, the Basic Law was finally promulgated on 4 April 
1990 at the third session of the Seventh NPG Plenum. This Basic 
Law is a covenant between the Special Administrative Region (SAR) 
and the (Chinese People's Republic. It has specific and explicit clauses 
safeguarding the Hong Kong SAR's capitalist economy, Common Law 
jurisprudence and financial system as well as the freedoms of 
association, religion, expression, property owncrshij") ;uid demon- 
stration. These guarantees appear especially remarkable considering 
what had transpired on the Mainland in 19S9 and the system that 
still continues up north. 

Throughout the period of the I'asic Law drafting the liritish 
Hong Kong Government was not a passive obscrxer to the proceed- 
ings. On the contrary, the Authorities contributed to the P)asic Law 
by co-operating with China and passing rcle\ant infornintioii as well 
as technical advice to the drafters through the Sino-Piritish .loint 
Liaison Group (JLCj). This was done in the spirit of nnitual assistance 
and confidence. 

Whilst the Annex I to the .loint Declaration hail outlined 
in reasonabh' details on nian\' areas and systems, nonetheless, the 
text on the political system for the S.\l\ was not, as it lacked deiith 
antl sufferetl from excessixe laiiiiule. This can be seen in the 
Sub-section 1 of Aimex 1 to the .loint Declaration, which is rcprotlueed 

"The g()\ ciiunciu aiul kuislat urc of the lloni; Kohl: SjiceLd 
Adniiiiist I ati\c Kcgion shall I>l' eoniiioseil ol local inli.ihit.iius. 
The chief c.\eeuti\e of the IIohl: Kong Special .\ilniinist rat i\ e 

^ 76/ ^ 

lloufi Kong's .JouniL'y to RciDiiJicdCion 

Region shall be selected by election or thnni^h consultations held 
locally and be appointed by the Central People's Government. 
Principal oiYicials (cc|iii\alcnt to Secretaries) sliall be nominated 
by the chief executi\e of the lloni; Koni^ Special Administrati\ c 
Region and appointed by the (Central Peoples ( loxcrnmcnt. 'I'iic 
legislature of the Hong Kong Special Adniinistrati\e Region shall 
be constitutetl b\' elections. The e.\ccuti\c authorities shall abide 
by the law and shall be accountable to the Icgislatiu-c." 

China, not being democratic, did not ha\c the experience and 
expertise to draft the political system. On the other hand, the (]hincsc 
also did not trust the Ihitish to craft a goxcrning system for the SAR. 
The drafter from the Mainland, who tended to be more conscr\'ati\'e, 
and those from Hong Kong, who tended to be more liberal, wrangled 
furiously over the issue, especially the methods of election for the 
Chief Executive and the legislature. The 1989 tempest on the 
Mainland just aggravated the dispiUcs, prompting several drafters to 
quit in protest. 

The British had as a custom left their colonics with democratic 
political systems very similar to the \\cstminster model but without 
the appointed House of Lords to perform the initial checks and 
balances on the directly elected legislature. Such an exit was thought 
by the enlightened in the United Kingdom to be a gift to the natixes. 
However I regret to say how many of these former colonies did not 
flourish with democracy that was inunature, that was hasty, and 
that did not haxe time to take root in the connuunity. These newly 
independent countries subsequently lapsed back into nepotistic rule 
or tyranny, if not anarchy. My catUion offended those w ho had 
suddenly awaken to the \'irtues of democracy and could not get 
enough of it. But then the truth is more often than not a hard and 
bitter medicine. 


Tlw Long Trunsition 

I have often cited Britain as an example of how successful 
democracy had to evolve rather than be ;E;rafted (jn in one go. The 
United Kingdom, which describes its legislature as 'the Mother of 
Parliaments", still has the Queen appoint people to tiie House of 
Lords to check and balance the C'ommons. The Lords only h^st their 
veto power in 1*^11 and e\en today they still have the power to 
delay the (lonunons passing their bills. The implicit message is that 
the c()untr\' requires some sterling individuals — not only peers but 
also statesmen and persons who ha\e succeeded in other endcaxours 
— to temper the populist zeal of politicians with eyes fixed on the 
polls rather than the national interest. 

The former Executixe and Legislatixe Councillor, Lo Tak-shing, 
a learned Oxford graduate and lawyer, in iiis capacity as the BLCC 
member, adx'ocatcd a bicameral system similar to that in the Tnitcd 
Kingdom only to haxe his wise counsel rejected. Xonetheless, the 
Basic Law drafters eventually conjured up a format of separate xoting 
for the SAR legislatiux". The current practice is that motions and 
bills initiated by members themselves could only be passed if these 
had the majority stipport of the two sets of legislators — one lot for 
the functional constituencies and the other basically for the 
geographical and directh- elected constituencies. Such a beast, odd 
looking as it may be, actually gets the work done. A donkey it may 
be but it has earned its fodder. A liieameral system the SAR may not 
ha\e in name but has in fact. 

Dt'iuoo'dcy //J (icstdtiou 

The l)asie Law drafters e\entuall\' renchctl a eoinproniise after \ears 
ot hagghng on ihc poniieal sxsicin for lloiig Koiii;. the SjU'cial 
Administratixe Kegion luuler tlie ( !liinese ( lonslitiu ion. The> decided 

Iloufi Koiiii's .Jotirncy fo RcuuiticatidU 

not to ciiuil.'itc tlic l)i"ifish but rather to follow the Ameriean example 
with allowanees for the uniciiieness ot the territory, whose only 
political experience hatl lieen colonial autonom>' with minor 
concessions to the will of the people. 

Democracy takes \arioiis forms, some of which are hybrids 
and none is static. P)Ut in the Enj^lish speaking world two main formats 
prevail — one is the liritish Westminster model and the other is the 
American presidential cmn congressional paradigm. 

Most former I^)ritish colonies initially adopted by default the 
British example without an appointed upi')er house, which 11 on;^ Kong 
had made a calculation to avoid as the result of (Chinese initiative 
during the Sino-Hritish negotiations. Back home the British entrust 
power to the elected House of Commons checked in turn by the 
appointed House of Lords. The party, which holds the majority of 
seats in the House of Commons, forms the government, whose 
nucleus is the cabinet. Should a party fail to secure an absolute 
majority, it may cobble together a coalition, which, by nature, is 
wobbly. (Some countries opt for preferential voting that may go 
se\'eral rotmds until a clear winner is elected. The British stay with 
the "first past the post" system of election, exen though some people, 
particularly the Liberal Party, arc adx'oeating "proportional 

A British ruling party is totally powerful — despite ritual 
deference to the Constitutional Monarch and the House of Lords. 
This power is manifest through patronage, the votes it commands in 
the Commons, and an apolitical, obedient civil ser\ice. There have 
been calls in the L^nited Kingdom from time to time to abolish the 
House of Lords or, short of that, the deprivation of their residual right 
to delay legislation, thus reducing that chamber into simply a talk shop. 

The Prime Minister has the authority to ask the Queen to 

^^^ 164 i^ 

^ 765 ^^. 

//o/iij Kdiisi's .lounicy ta Rcinii/icdtiou 

dissolve the Farlinmcnt aiui eall fresh eleetions, usiiall\' when he 
thinks liis i')<)pulai"it\' has reaehetl zenitli antl the opposition is in 
disarray, with of eonrse the s\niiiohe eonsent of Her Majestx- the 
Queen. Quite often eleetions are deelared after reading the new 
budget in whieh the voters are nieeh' "bribed". 

The Anieriean system is one of riiioroiis eheeks and balrmees, 
at least on paper, and the eredit for that must <;o to the framers of 
the ('constitution with their abiding tlistrust in absolute authority. 
The result is that more often than not the president may be from 
one part\' and the majority in the (Congress from another. The 
Congress is in tiuMi divided into the House of Representatives, with 
geographical eonstitueneies determined more or less by population, 
and the Senate, with each state, large or small, serving up a pair 
who, again, may be of opposing parties. Thus rivalry is institutional- 
ized and power is not monopolized. 

The governance of the U.S. is separated into the executiv'c 
and legislative branches as well as being monitored by the judicial 
branch in whieh the Supreme Court alone can interpret the 
Cotistitution and its verdict is final. Some are saying after the most 
recent (year 2000) presidential electoral fiasco, in whieh the Supreme 
Coiut ruled in favour of President George W. Bush, all the three 
pillars have become politicized. 

The president's party seldom holds the majority in the 
Congress and even if it did dissenters are many and the whips may 
not get them in line for controversial issues. The head of the State 
can veto legislation, a power that may be overturned by two thirds 
majority in the Senate which in turn exercises a similar restraint on 
the House of Representatives. 

The U.S. also staggered its congressional and presidential 
elections, unlike the British who have theirs in one go. The timing 

c:^t i66 4*!: 

The Loiifi Trunsitujii 

of these eleetions is not aeeorclini; to tlie expediency ot' party polities 
as is tlie ease in the Tnited Kiniitlom but aeeordin,4 to a eonstitu- 
tionally stipulated calendar of quadrennial hallotinj^. 

The American ^oxernanee would be impeded in perpetual 
stalemates if not, howexer, for the president's statiu"e and power 
of persuasion. President Hill (Minton faced a hostile (]onf>ress for 
much of liis two terms of office and yet ^ot most of his bills passed 
and policies adopted. This is because, like his predecessors, he had 
the political skills to coax his opjionents alon^. (Congress often 
postured but cxentually caxed in to the pressiu'c and to the fear of 
reprisal from a disenchanted electorate. The ineimibent President, 
(ieor^e W. l>ush, like the previous Presidents, such as Ronald Reayan 
and (ieorge Bush Senior, has to deal with skilfully an opposition 
controlled (>on^ress which was testament to the success of their 

The Piasic Law of the Iloni; Kons; SAR opted more or less for 
the American model but with some elements modified to suit oiu^ 
own requirements. The following are some of the salient features of 
the SAR political set up: 

(1) The (]hief Exceutixe and the legislators haxe different 
terms of office and are mostly not elected in the same 
year. This is similar to the I'.S. system. 

(2) When a legislator accepts a i^oxernnicnt appointment and 
becomes a public official, he xxould haxe to renounce his 
seat. This ;ii;ain is similar to the I'.S. system xxith separa- 
tion of poxxer bctxxcen the exeeutixe and Iciiislatixc 

(3) The time of eleetions in the S.\R is basically fixed as in 
the r.S., rathei" than siii^jeet to political timiiiii. 

:^ 167 :^^ 

Iloiifi Koiiii's .lounicy to Rciuii/icdiio)! 

(4) Unlike the British Prime Minister, the SAR ( Ihief Exeeutive 
ean only ser\e two terms ot 5 ye.'irs eaeh, w liieh is similar 
to the U.S. system ol' term limits. 

(5) The dhiet' Kxeeiiti\e, similar to the Ameriean President, 
ean \eto legislation unless two-thirds majority in the 
leiiislatme o\ertin"ns it. 

(()) The SAR eleetoral systems are totally dilYerent hom those 
praetised hy both the i\meriean and British. 

(7) Tlie standini^ orders and proeedmx-s of meetinj^s are 
different from both the P)ritish and Ameriean praetices. 
One si^nifieant differenee is that the SAR offieials, who 
are not legislators and ha\'e no \'ote, are the only ones 
allowed moN'ing bills and motions for the Administration. 

It is therefore obxioiis that the future dexelopment of the Hong 
Kong SAR politieal system should basieally be in the following three 

( 1 ) The method of electing the Chief Executive; 

(2) The composition and \'oting system for the legislature; 

(3) The standing orders and procedin-cs for the operation of 
the legislature. 

Another Chinese Invitation 

The Basic Law Consultati\'e Committee was formed in the latter 
part of 1985 to assist the Basic Law Drafting Committee. It had to 
include a broad range of people to gi\'e it both credibility and \isibility, 
qualities which could be tapped in the Executix'c and Legislative 
Councils. It is therefore not surprising that some of the Councillors 
received invitations to join. Lydia Dunn had just taken o\'er from 
Sir Roger Lobo as the Senior Member of the Legislative Council. 

^ 168 ^^ 

The Lond Transition 

Since Lydia Dunn and I were then Senior Meniliers oi the two 
respective Councils, we nntiirally i>ot a call. The two of us, with the 
inxitations in hand, then pondered the request t'rom the (Ihinese 
Government tor se\eral days, just as I iiad the entreaty for me tf) 
participate in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference 
in 19(S2, only to haxe me refuse the honour. 

Dunn and I agreed that since we were hoth senior advisors to 
the Ilonj; Kong (jO\'ernor and were prixy to sensitixe documents, 
includin;[5 papers pertaining to Sino-British relations, we might 
diminish our roles were we to join the BLCC. Even though at that 
time, in 1985/86, the relations between the two countries were 
cordial, neither of us could preclude any possible conflict or 
contention in the future. If there were any leak of classified informa- 
tion one day, however inadvertent, the blame for that would rest 
with us and affect our public standing. Much as we wanted to 
contribute to the Basic Law, we finally resisted. 

The decision of oiu's has somehow leaked to the press and led 
to public discussion for a while. It has also prompted the South (^hinii 
Moriiiiiii Post to pen a gratifying etlitorial titled ■The Wooing ot .Mr. 
Xu .liatun" on 5 March 1'>S() praising our wisdom. The commentary 
read in part: 

"hideed one reason w liy Sir S. \'. Cilunig and Miss Lydia Dunn 
iia\e not joined the advisors on the Basic L;iw eoultl be tiiat thc\ 
ilo not wish to associate tlieinseUes with a nio\c wliicli eouKl 
uitinialeb' uiulenninc tlie \mk\\ they now represent. Tiieir position 
is to ser\e ilonii i\oiig's iiuerests todax' and tlie\ tio thai by not 
eoniproinisiiiLi die i list ilut ions tlie\ represent and with w hieli tliey 
are likely to be assoeiateti tor se\eial more \ears. 

"It tliex- were seen to be hetliiini; their bets people might 
well woiukr w liL'tliei' liiex' eoukl eoiitiiuie to be etfeetixe represen- 

^ 769 ^ 

Iloiiii Koiiii's .loiinicy to Rcuui/iciitiou 

t.-iti\'es t'it;litiii,t; lor the retention ot' the s\stem that Iloni; Koni; 
liris tle\ised and w hieh it hopes to earr\' into the next phase ot its 

"Sir S. V. (Ihuni; ant! .\hss Dunn were rii^ht to stand apart 
and indeed will be respeetetl more, both b\' (Ihinese representa- 
ti\es and the people ot' Iloni; Koni4 tor not takini; their plaee on 
the Ijasie Law bandwagon. The Basie Law has to eonie, but they 
.are in a better position to acKise and reeommend from outside its 
ranks than inside. Certainly the\' will be heard with greater 

Period of Distioist 

The Shock from Tiananmen 

Just as the public was evaluating the second draft of the Basic 
Law, trouble brewed in Tiananmen Square. 1 noticed right away 
that both Britain and the Hong Kong Government had deviated 
from their earlier, sensible position of not aiding and abetting 
forces hostile to the Communist Authorities on the Mainland. The 
change alarmed sober thinking people who accepted that the security 
of Hong Kong rested in part in not meddling in the domestic affairs 
of China. This condition was true long before the Commtuiist 
ascendancy, and the neutrality had allowed the Chinese Go\'ern- 
ments of whatever ideology to tolerate a British colony on their 
sovereign soil. 

The event that led to the Chinese national tragedy and the 
confidence crisis in Hong Kong began with death in April 1989 of 
the former Chinese Communist Party General Secretary, Hu 
Yaobang. The late leader had won over some in the country by his 
liberal thinking. He was specially revered for his refusal two years 

Qa?r 170 ^tfo 

171 ^ 

Iloufi Kotii^'s .Idunicy la Rcuiiificdtioit 

earlier to c|ucll iiiii\ersit\- student tleinonstrations oxer dismal dorni 
eonditions. His death was mourned and it also beeame a eatalyst tor 
the expression ot mass diseontent. 

Students, who had been spared the wrath of the (lo\ernnient 
beeause ot' his interxention, expressed their deepest iirief and also 
outrage against the party elders. They thronged the eenotaph at 
Tiananmen and draped the shrine to the heroes of the rexolution 
with a mount of wreathes, refusing to disperse when ordered to do 
so. The mourners-turned protestors demanded that not only the 
party restore I hi posthimiously to the pantheon of rexolutionary 
martyrs but also taekle eorruption and promote demoeratie reform 
as the dead General Secretary had sought. They were determined to 
defy the Government and finish the business of Hu. 

Many in Hong Kong who had been watching the drama being 
played out on local television, which gax'e the unfolding story 
ubiquitous coxerage, began to sympathize with the students in 
Beijing. Many Hong Kong people had been victims of the (Communist 
Government and were particularly supportixe of the anti-goxernment 
movement. Then the support-student movement started and quickly 
spread to the streets leading to the first major demonstration of a 
million people on 21 Akiy. Xinhua headquarters in Happy \ alley xvas 
the focus of the fury. Each time the Government up north upped 
the tempo of its rhetoric, the demonstrations intensified in Hong 
Kong. The cycle kept escalating and there xvas noxv no xvay for either 
side to back doxvn. 

The Gommunist Politburo met and then in late May denounced 
the demonstrators after the xirtual ouster of Premier Zhao Ziyang 
xvho had proposed a compromise. The development ignited an 
already combustible situation as the students in Beijing intensified 
their campaign, draxving supporters in from the factories and 

ta?r 172 ^a^ 

The Lonii Transition 

countryside as well as arousiiit; tremendous fe\er in Hong Kong. (>alls 
for donations rans^ out and were immediately answered as ordinary 
people ga\'e cash and contributed two hundred new and heautitui 
red and blue tents. This material support arrived in Beijing on the 
eve when the students were preparing to leaxe Tiananmen on the 
following day, thus rc\ersing their earlier decision and prolonging 
the siege. A Hong Kong unionist and an engineering graduate, Lee 
C^heuk-yan, was one of those who ferried supplies and money to the 
Tiananmen squatters. Security Biueau agents arrested Lee and 
confiscated, he claimed, oxer one million dollars cash before releasing 
him after sexeral da\s in detention and signing a confession. 

The troops, after two abortixe attempts to clear the st|uare 
peacefully, on the night of 4 .lime finally advanced into the symbolic 
centre of China and dro\e out the reeling demonstrators. The footage 
of carnage shocked Hong Kong into a serious depression and another 
ralK' of a million people, now in grief, poiux'd onto the streets. The\' 
now stared into their future, to the date of reckoning of 1 ,Iul\" l'^*^7. 
as they would stare into the abyss. 

Until the spring of U-'S*> the Colonial Administration had 
sedulously embed activities that might be construed as jiroxocatixe 
or sub\ersi\e against the Mainland Authorities b\- w hatever name. I 
was told that the British at the tuiii of the twentieth oentur\- e\en 
banished Dr. Sun Vat-sen, the father of the Kepublie. from the colony 
at the behest of the (Jing ( ioxeriunent . I also know from n^\ own 
experience the Hong Kong Sjieeial liraneh in the l''7(»s roiuinely 
tietainetl autl tieporteil without trial suspected agents and 
proxoeateurs liom Taiwan numbeiing ab( )u( tenaxearat the ajiprox al 
ot the ( ioxernor in (louneil The tiraeonian decree against oulsiile 
agitators was the wax- for llonu Ixong to \xard off iiUerlerence from 
the Chinese ( iovernmeiu and it worked. 


Ilon^ Konfi's .lourney to Rcunificdtion 

I had retired from the Executive (Council just under a year 
before the Tianannieii incident hut I remained t'ocussed on what 
was happening up north and down here. I detected the Cjovernment's 
sliit't of pohey against others usini; I long Kong as a staging post for 
conspiracy against (^hina in May 19cS9. The editor Wang Bingzhang 
of the ardently anti-Clomnuniist pubheation ("liiua S])ri}i^, circulated 
ONcrscas among the exiles, came to I long Kong and gave a televised 
interview in which he slanted the Gommimists and discussed how 
to support the Tiananmen students. To me such provocation was 
\ery alarming. 1 then approached (iox'ernor Sir l)a\id Wilson to ask 
him if he had known about the incident. Sir l)a\id, previously a 
political adx'isor to Goxcrnor Lord MacLehose in the late 1970s, said 
he had been on vacation when the China Spriuii editor stormed 
through llong Kong. 1 approached Sir Run-run Shaw, (Chairman of 
the Television Broadcast to obtain a copy of the news interview and 
sent it to Sir Daxid at the (ioxernment House. A few days later I saw- 
the Governor and queried him why a visa had been issued to a known 
anti-Gommunist person of such a high profile. The Governor said 
the visa was not issued by the Hong Kong Government but rather by 
the British Embassy in the U.S.A. Nonetheless I was surprised that 
Wang's name was not on the stop list in the Immigration Department, 
and expressed my concern to the Governor. I urged Sir David not to 
let Hong Kong abandon its long-held policy of neutrality that had 
served Hong Kong so well. 

The Tiananmen affairs not only mortified the public faced with 
reunification eight years away but it also prompted the Unofficial 
Members of the Executive and Legislative Gouncils to try to revi\'e 
confidence in Hong Kong with two proposals to the British Govern- 
ment. The UMELGO first wanted to appeal to the United Kingdom 
to let in the three million Hong Kong-born British nationals, a right 

ca^r 174 ^^' 

The Lonfi Transition 

of residency denied by a series of immigration and nationality acts 
of the Ikitish Parliament in the l<X)()/7()s. The TMICLCO organized a 
delegation, which went to hondon dining June 1*^<S*> to lobby both 
the British Government and the Members of the I\irlianient. 

The r.MELCX) would also request that Britain speed up 
democratic reform, specifically by re\'ising the White Paper on 
Representative (jovernment by doubling the proposed ntmiber of 
directly elected seats in the Legislative Council to 20 in 1991. They 
further advocated total direct elections by 1995, regardless of (Chinese 
objections. The two Senior Members of the UMELGO, Dame Lydia 
Dunn (who was awarded a D.B.E. in the 1989 New Year) and Allen 
Lee went to London in early 1990 to lobby the British Prime Minister, 
Margaret Thatcher, who had signed the Joint Declaration of 1984 
for the return of the territor>- to (Ihina. 

1 remember on 5 .luh' 19S9 Dunn and Lee inxited me to lunch 
at the Mandarin Hotel to thrash out a strategy to buoy confidence 
and mitigate the damages done by the Tiananmen incident. Both 
were less cautious than 1 was as 1 counselled them against abandoning 
llong Kongs historic neutralit>' towards (Ihinesc politics and 
explained that the demonstrations in Beijing were much more than 
a simple student nioxement. It was. in my assessment, a part of the 
Communist Party power struggle. Were llong Kong to contimic to 
meddle in Chinas affairs, it would proxoke a reaction and jeopardi/e 
the future for most people who would ha\e no choice than to sta\' in 
the territor\'. I continued to explain that e\en if the foiees against 
the (Ihinese (loxernment were successful this time, what ;ibout the 
ne.xt timer I also doulited that the British ( io\ci"innent would e\er 
.allow in three million refugees from lloui; Kong. gi\ en the I'MI'-I.C ]( )"s 
own experience in Ma\' 1984. l-"inall\ I ad\ ised Dunn and to 
resist the temptation of a harder stance ami, insteail, to appeal tt) 

^^ / 75 i^ 

Iloii^ Koiiii's Jiiurncy to Rcuiiiticatio)! 

tlic people to e.'ilm tlowii niul w.iteli the dexelopnient with tewer 
emotions. 'I'he head must rule the heart. 

hi the end I was unable to sway Dunn and Lee. They held tirm 
to their o[Mnion. Lee later told me that the\' both did taithtully relate 
to their eollea,4ues at the LIMEL(X) my xiews, whieh nonetheless 
were rejeeted, as my former assoeiates eomted disaster without e\'en 
knowiuii the imjilieations. 

Seeds of Confrontation 

Durini^ the years of 19<S9 and 1990 the Unofficial Members of the 
Exeeutixe and Legislatixe Councils focusscd on sellin;^ the package 
of right of abode and faster democratic reform to Britain to help 
restore the flagging confidence in Hong Kong. They were successful 
in the short run, ha\ing convinced Britain in December 19(S9 to 
issue 50, ()()() full family passports that benefited between 200,000 
and 300,000 individuals. Ex'cn here the xictory was pyrrhic since 
these passports were gi\'en only to the elite — senior civil servants, 
prominent businessmen and professionals — and denied to the 
majority of the residents. The inherent discriminatory quota only 
aggravated class tensions. 

The British Government also succumbed to the UMELGO 
lobbying by expanding the number of directly elected scats in 
Legislative Council for 1991 from 10 to 18 and raising that total 
again to 20 by 1995, above and beyond what the Basic Law had 
earlier prescribed as the proper pace of reform. Even such eon- 
cessions failed to appease some proponents of democracy. 

I felt, as satisfying as these achievements were for the 
UAIELCO, the strong pressure exerted by the UMELCO for accelerat- 
ing the process of democratization could actually sow the seeds of 

-^ 176 afo 

The Lonfi Tmnsition 

confrontation between (Ihina and Britain in later years (1992 to 
1997) to the detriment ot' lloni; Kont;. The liritish Prime .\hnister. 
Margaret Thatcher, in her memoirs. The Do-wnirifi Street Years 
puhhshed in 1993, recalled that in 1990, her final year in power, 
how her (loxcnmient had come under strong prcssiu'c. from what I 
^i^athcr she meant the UMELGO, to accelerate the process of 
democratization in lloni; Kont;. Iler political instincts, still not rust\' 
cN'cn as her enemies closed in on the "Iron Lady", told her that 
1990 was the w roiii^ time for any rift or row with ( Ihina. She felt that 
tile leaders in P)ciiini4 were extremely nerxous. if not paranoid. She 
decided that l)ritain would need to wait for calmer times before 
making movies for faster democratization in llong Konii. 

The actual words as contained on italic 495 of her book are: 

"So in 19<;() we legislated to Ui\e IJritish citizenship to ,=^(»,(l()() 
key people in the (lolonx- and their dependants.... We were also 
brou;^ht under strong pressiue innnediateh to accelerate the 
process of democratization in Hong Kong. There were, in an\ 
case, strong moral arguments for doing so. lUu all in\ instincts 
told me this was the wroni; time. The (Chinese leadership was 
feeling aeuteh' aiipreheiisixe. Such a step at that moment eould 
ha\e i")ro\()ked a sti'ong defensixe reaction that niiiiht ha\e 
undermined the 1 long i\ong Agreement. We need to wait for calmer 
times before considering moxes towartls (.lemoeratization within 
the scope of the .igreemeiU." 

Thinking baL-k, I suspect the Prime Minister's calculations bail 
contributed to the recall of the more accommodating ( lovernor. Sir 
|)a\id Wilson, ami the appointment of someone less accommodating, 
more \(ieal autl aggressi\e, someone b\ the name of ( Mnistopher 
Patten, e\eu though that ik'eision was made b\- her successor, .lohn 

^ 177 /f. 

llouLi Kotifi!^ .loitnicy to Rcuui/icdUon 

The Third (Chinese Invitation 

(Miina in 1*>*M has learned a lesson from the liritish o\er the airport 
inibroiilio and would not be so ^nllible a.^ain. There were also riimonrs 
that ih'itain was ^oing to replaee the inetnnbent (ioxernor with a 
more ag^ressixe person. Thirdly the year 1*>*^7 \\;is approaehinj^ 
and (^hina woidd need more support from the loeal people for a 
smooth transfer of power from the British to the (diinese. These 
considerations, I believe, were the spin" behind (Ihina appointing 
the local people as its adx'isors on Hong Kong affairs. 

Lu Ping, formerly Secretary General and later Depnty Director, 
has since November 1990 become the Director of the State Council's 
Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. He was \'isiting Hong Kong in 
early 1992 and on 1 1 January attended a dinner hosted for him at 
the Island Shangri-la Hotel by the Business and Professionals 
P^ederation of Hong Kong (BPF). 1 was then a member of the 
Federation's Ad\'isory Council and had earlier accompanied a 
delegation led by its Chairman, Mncent Lo, to Beijing. Lo during 
the drafting of the Basic Law was a prominent member of the Basic 
Law Consultatixe Committee leading a group of young businessmen 
and professionals. In 1990 members of this group formed themselves 
into the BPF headed by Lo, who is the owner of the Shui On Group 
of Companies dealing with property de\'elopment and building 
construction. At the banquet 1 was sitting next to Lu and during our 
discussion the Director told me that China would appoint a small 
group of ad\'isors on Hong Kong affairs and wovild like me to join. 

I had previously turned down two Chinese in\'itations. The 
first was an invitation to the Chinese People s Political ('onsultatixe 
Conference in 1982, and, the second, an inxitation in 19iS5 to ser\'e 
on the BLCC. The reason was that, back then, as the Senior Member 

•^. \Ti -^ 

JloiiLi Koim's .louniLy la Kcinu/icittiou 

of the Executive (Council, I dreaded a potential eonfliet of roles. By 
1992 the situation was different, as I no longer had sueh niisj;i\'ings, 
having retired from tlie K\eeuti\e (louneil three and a half years 
a,i;o. I had also retired from aetixe business and owned no interest 
on the Mainland. The Joint Deelaration was more than sex-en years 
old and the future of llon;!^ Kon^ had been mapped out. I also realized, 
at the age of 75, I miiiht not haxe long to go but still wanted to serve 
Hong Kong. 

Like the previous occasions I mtiUcd over the inx'itation and, 
unlike the last two times, accepted the challenge. This prompted 
some critics to deride and decry my decision, calling me all sorts of 
coloiu'ful names. I brushed off these slurs and insults because my 
conscience was clear. When I had embarked on the public service, I 
had never considered myself as an agent of the British or, later, of 
the Chinese (jovcrnments because my loyalty was always to my 
native Hong Kong. 

(3n 3 March 1992 the Chinese Government announced the 
appointment of 44 Hong Kong Affairs Advisors to the Hong Kong 
and Macao iVffairs Office and the Hong Kong Branch of Xinhua News 
Agency for a term of two years effective from 12 March 1992. China 
later added three more batches of adxisors until \\'e numbered 1(S6. 
The appointments w^ere later renewed until M) ,Iune 1997. The 
induction for the first batch took place in licijing on 1 1 March at the 
Great Hall of the People with a grand ceremony presided over by 
Premier Li Peng. The ex'cnt was televised in Hong Kong which again 
got tongues wagging that somehow I had "changed sides", a charge 
that was as juvenile as it was wrong. 

We, advisors to China, w^ere not an organization. We served in 
our individual capacity. We were free to speak our minds. So as an 
advisor I, on 1 June 1992, sent a dissertation of ox'cr 7,000 characters 

^ 7cS0 ^ 

The Loiiii Transition 

to Lu of IIKAIAC) and Zlioii Nan, Director of IlKXXA. This discourse 
entitled "Sze-yiien (niunii's \'ie\vs on I lon;5 Kong's Political System", 
was my first written submission to the (Chinese (io\ernment. The 
essay was divided into nine sections: 

( 1 ) Ilonii Kong's post-war political dexclopment. 

(2) Western political models. 

(3) The \aliie of political parties in a democracy. 

(4) The political system in the l>asic Law. 

(5) An analysis of the electoral rcsidts in the Hong Kong 

(6) Similarities and differences between the HKSAR and U.S. 
political systems. 

(7) Trends of political reform in I long Kong. 

(8) How P>ritish HK(1 would govern IIK during the latter part 
of the transition. 

(9) ('oneliision. 

Lii I'ing on 21 .Inly l'->*>2 sent me a rejib'. commented thus: 

"The paper on political systems has made a study of the historx' 
of Hong Kongs political tle\ eloimient, its jireseiU situation, and 
also a comparison with those of the West. Vou ha\e matle \ aluahle 
research into the subject. .Many of the eonstrueti\e sugiiestions 
in N'our j-yaper are meaningful and can assist in etteeting a smooth 
transition and effieieiu transfer of administration as well as 
upliokling of stabilitN and prosperitx of 1 lonU Kou^. Tlii.s paper is 
a good reterenee for onr work. I thank \<)U and wt^lconic \«)U 
continue offer xour \aluable opinions. 

Ouring the ensuing five \ears till the hand-o\ci" in ,Iul\- l'*'>7. 
I had altogether matle a total of 15 written submissions to both l.u 
I'ing of HK.\I.\() and Zhou Nan of IIK.\N.\. 

Honfi Koitii's Jounicy to Rcunificcdion 

Airport Turbulence 

That the territory needed a new airport to replaee Kai Tak was 
sounded as far b.aek as in the l<>7()s as jiiniho jet tra\el eame of age. 
The Iloni; Konii (lo\erninent, liowexer, kept postponing the 
inevitable, despite inereasing complaints against the noise in the 
middle of a densely populated residential area as well as inereasing 
eoncerns on the growing air traffic congestion. 

The decision about building the new airport was actually one 
of the two major measures by which the (ioxernment in October 
1989 hoped to bolster confidence in the territory after the Tiananmen 
incident in Beijing. Governor Sir l)a\id Wilson in his annual Policy 
Address of that autumn proposed doubling the first-year first-degree 
places at universities and polytechnics to about 15, ()()() in 1995 or 
18 per cent of the relexant age group of 17 to 20. The Government 
also committed itself of spending about I IKS 127 billion on a replace- 
ment airport at Click Lap Kok on Lantau Island. It would be a two- 
runway airport capable to operate 24 hours a day. \\'hen completed 
it would be able to handle 80 million passengers a year, which was 
three times the capacity at Kai Tak. The new airport was scheduled 
to open the first of the two runways by the early part of 1997. 

The Sino-British relations were rather testy at that time and 
furthermore the Administration believed it could have the new 
airport ready before the British handing back the territory to C^hina 
on 1 July 1997. It was then thought it could proceed without gaining 
Chinese approbation, which proved to be folly. As the Go\ernment 
started to discuss with banks and financial companies with regard 
to loan financing for the project, these commercial institutions, 
however, disagreed. It was pointed out that even the project could 
be completed on time, the debts would still ha\e to be repaid when 

-^ 182 ^ 

The Lonti Transition 

Plate ,3.12 The Hong Kong International Airport, 1998. 

Hong Kong became a Special Administratixc Region and (lliina had 
to be consulted and agreed as the loan guarantor. 

So rclnctanth' the Hong Kong (ioxerninent. through Ihitaiii. 
negotiated with (Miiiia on the airport project after the 1*>S*> incident. 
The Mainland (loNcnnnent. howcNcr, was not happx' with tiie late 
ajijiroaeh h\- the ISritish and not in a co-operatixe frame of mind. 
The talks stalled and the bickering connncneed as the two sides 
nigglctl ant! haggled. Tiic I'.iitisli, sensing time siijiping away, 
dispatched the former ambassatior to (Ihina, Sir l'erc\' (aadock. to 
Ucijing in .innc I'^'M to prod the process ajon^. Sir Percy c\cntnaii\" 
reaeiicd a tacit agreement witii tiie (Ihincsc host and togetiter 
initiatcil on .^(1 .lime H>'M the ■Mcmorantlnm ol ('ndersianding 
( Concerning the ( Const luct ion ol tlic New .\irport in i lon^ Kon^ .nul 
Kelatctl (Jucslions , wiiich w;is annonnccd loin' da\ s later The two 
sides sealed the deal, or so it appeared, on .^ SLiMtiiilKi when (he 

^- 183 ^ 

IIohl; KdtiLi's .loiinicy in l\ciiiiific(tli(»i 

l')ritish Prime Minister, John Major, beeanie the first Western leader 
to eall on l>eijini; after the Tiananmen ineident when he and Premier 
Li Peni^ signed the aeeord at the (Ireat Hall of the People. It was 
thought that the new airport issue was satisfaetorily resohed and 
that work eould he eommeneed inuuediately and eompleted prior 
to the transfer of sovereignty in July 19<>7. Put this assumption was 
wrong. Though the work on the airport eould begin, the wrangling 
eontinued. It was a long story, let me explain! 

The British had in the beginning told the Chinese that the 
new airport would eost Sll 1.2 billion (at Mareh 1*>'M priees) or *^164 
billion (at money of the day). The British also assured the Mainland 
leaders that they would not deplete Ilong Kong's treasury for the 
seheme and promised to leave behind at least $5 billion in reserves 
as at 30 June l*^)*^)! for the Speeial Administrative Region. The 
Chinese were wary, suspecting that the project was a means for 
Britain to plunder the territory's accrued wealth before the retreat. 
The British to placate them then pledged to bequeath at least ^25 
billion to the SAR by 1 July 1997. The Chinese eventually and 
reluctantly accepted this offer and also agreed that, unless the British 
were to incur debts for the project exceeding S5 billion beyond 30 
June 1997, the British did not ha\e to consult the future s()\'ereign. 
So these were the major financial terms in the agreement. 

On 4 March 1992 the Hong Kong Government introduced the 
annual budget to the Legislative Council projecting spectacular 
surpluses that would, by 1 July 1997, top up the reserves to S78 
billion, more than three times of what had been bargained and agreed 
in the Memorandum of ITnderstanding signed only six months ago. 
The British raised e\'en more eyebrows and hackles when they told 
the Chinese that, according to March 1991 prices, the airport 
constiaiction costs would rise by 14 per cent and the affiliated airport 

^ 184 ^ 

The Lonii Transition 

rail link costs by 85 per cent. The startled (Ihiiiese were xery 
dismayed by sueh cost escalation and then asked the liritish to cap 
the cost spiral but the British refused. 

Far from a distatit obscrxer, 1 was later drawn into the dis- 
pute, first, in my capacity as a lloni; Kons; Affairs Ad\ isor to the 
Chinese Government and later as a member of the Preliminary 
Working (Committee for the transfer of sovereignty. 

My role as an adxisor to the (Chinese (ioxcrnment was taken 
up in early l'>*^)2 when 1 was one of the 44 so chosen. The appointment 
certificate presentation ceremony for the advisors took place in 
Bcijin;i; on 1 1 March 1992 at the (Ircat Hall of the People. After the 
ceremony I stayed behind in IJciJini; and joined the delegation of 
the Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong led by its 
(Chairman, Vincent Lo. 1 was a member of its Adxisory (louncil. The 
Hong Kong and Macao i\ffairs ()ffice Director, Lu Ping, hosted a 
dinner for the delegation on 14 March and we talked about the airport 
project. Lu was infmiated b\' the British attitude and felt the\- were 
dishonest, lie particularh' referred to the estimates of the rescrxes 
as at M) .lime 1997. Lu reckoned it xxas dubious ami aiisurd for the 
l)ritish to promise initiallx' onix- S5 billion in rescrxcs for the SAP in 
1997, Nxhich xxas ec|uixalent to onlx' four per cent of the total 
goxcrnnicnt annual expenditure of S 1 20 billion for the coming fiscal 
x'car. lie ilismisscd the S5 billion inheritance as "chickens fectl"', 
and said it xxas onlx- after hartl bargain that the British exeiuually 
raisctl the amount to S2.^ billion. Lu found it incomprehcnsix c 
the liritish could within six months laise the reserxc foi l'''>7 ii> 
S7.S billion. 1 was astouislKcl In iIk' xelicmcnce of the IMrectoi' as I 
calmly cxplainetl to him the practice ot cxaluating l.uge projects in 
the business xxorKI. I saiti \x e nonnallx emjiloxed three sets i^\ 
estimates, one was optiuustic, the other pessimistic and the thud 

^. /.S'5 ^ 

Iliiuii Kouii's .lourucy to Rcitui/icdtion 

most probnblc. 1 reckoned the Uritish were pl.-iyin;:; safe when they 
promised only $5 billion, which was probably the pessimistic figure. 
I su^ested that ('hina asked for the other two sets of estimates before 
reacliini; an\' conclusion. 

When I i^ot back to lIon,s> Koni> I told Sir l)a\'id Wilson my 
exchange with Lu, who felt (Ihina was beinii tlcceed, and wondered 
whether the (ioxcrnment had three sets of reserve estimates. The 
Governor after checking with the Financial Secretary replied there 
was only one estimate and added that the confusion about the 
reserx'cs could ha\'c stemmed from the dramatic 1991 recovery of 
the property and stock markets. He said the recovery, however, 
occurred after gi\ins> the figure to the Chinese in February 1991 and 
brought to the treasury a totally unexpected windfall. Just as the 
Government was raking in more money, it was also spending less as 
government engineering projects, particularly those core projects 
for the airport, had been delayed. Factoring in all these variables, 
the Governor said, the Financial Secretary, Sir Piers Jacobs, con- 
cluded that the reserxc could be much o\'er S75 billion by July 1997. 

Not long after my talk with Lu Ping in Beijing, there were 
rumours that Sir David Wilson would soon be replaced. The rumours 
suggested that Prime Minister John Major, feeling humiliated by his 
September trip to Beijing, would appoint someone much more 
belligerent towards the Chinese than had Sir Daxid, a career diplomat 
and China expert. China, hearing this rumour and in turn, would 
probably use the airport project as leverage and the ensuing bickering 
would shrill and incessant. 

Chris Patten replaced Sir David Wilson in July 1992 and 
announced his political reform in October 1992. China was further 
aggravated by this British move and reacted by speeding up its own 
preparation for recovering Hong Kong by, for one, establishing in 

ci*^ 186 ia>D 

The Loni' Trunaitiim 

the middle of 1993 the I'reliniinary Working Committee (F\V(]). The 
(Committee was siib-di\ided into ti\e speeialized groups eaeh 
responsilile tor a speeit'ie poHe\' area. One ot these, the Keonomie 
Speeiahzed (iroup, in .\o\emher 1993 laimelied tour stud\- panels 
to dehe into four suhjeets with one focussing on the airport. The 
(Chinese agreed that a new airjiort was erueial to the SARs ambition 
to be a hub of Asian axiation and wanted the Keonomic Speeialized 
Group to ad\ise it on a mnnber of areas including controlling costs, 
monitoring progress, shaping futiue management, and the formation 
of the Airport Authority. The Study Panel on Airport had seven 
members and 1 was its con\enor. The other members were Xcllie 
Fong, \'incent Lo, Shao Voubao and Lau Wong-fat from Hong Kong, 
and (iao Shangquan and \\'ang Qiren from the Mainland. We first 
discussed in depth the financial aspects of the project and made the 
following four recommendations to the Chinese Government: 

( 1 ) Loans taken out by the I'roxisional Airport Authoritx' and 
the Airport Railway Corporation should be treated as 
goNcrnment loans. China should retiuest the liritish to inject 
more capital into the project and minimize the debts. 

(2) (Hiina should agree to the ret|uest for land grants related 
to the airport rail link but details should be assessed 
annualh' h\ the Siuo-iJri t ish Land (lommission in 
accordance with market conditions. 

(3) Strengthen the supcrxision s\s(em tor construction work 
ami cost conti'ol as well as a cost-monitoring 
uuil under the Aiiporl Authori(\ 

(1 ) .\l;ike realistic estimates tor a InulLiel thai could be ui^cdeii 
(o covei' const lucl ion cost lor uiiconiplclcd woiks anil 
claims Ironi contractors be\'ond l'''>7. 

IIoul; Kouii's Journey to Ri.iiiti/ic(iti(»i 

The Iloni; Kon^ (loxcninicnt similarly made its own moxes 
aiul published in .lanuar\- 1*>*>4 a White Paper liill on the Airport 
(Corporation tor ptiblie eonsiiltation with tiie intention of tiu'ninj; 
the Airport Aiithorit\' into a eorporation. The stud\- panel imme- 
diately pored o\er the l)ill antl with the help ot' the Seeretary for 
Eeonomie Serxiees of the llonii Koni^ (ioxernment, (iordon Sin, 
e\'enttially submitted to the (Miinese Ciovernment twenty proposals 
t^rouped into three categories, namely: 

(1) (China should insist on the establishment of a board of 
directors and the retention of the name "The Airport 
Authority" as stipulated in the Memorandum of Under- 
standing. The appointment of those directors of the board 
straddling 1997 should be made Jointly by both Govern- 
ments. Any major mortgaging, acquisition of assets outside 
the airport, and raising loans shoidd be agreed by the 
board of directors and approved by the Financial 
Secretary. Fees and charges should be appro\ed by the 
Governor in (^oimcil. 

(2) China should strengthen the Authority's internal 
regulatory mechanism, such as the pro\1sion of separate 
posts for the chairman and the chief executixe with clear 
delineation of authority and responsibility. Strengthen the 
structure of the board so as to expedite its process of 
decision-making and install its mechanism of checks and 

(3) China should restrict the Authority's scope of activities, 
such as it could engage in business only related to airport 
operations and within the airport boundaries. Any activity 
outside the airport boundary should need prior approxal 
of the Government. 

^ 188 ^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

So after nearly a decade of pitchinj^ and yawing, eontrfnersies 
and consternation, tlie work on the airport was e\entiially completed 
a year late in .Inly 199(S. It was officially opened by the (Chinese 
President, Jiang Zemin, on 2 .IiiK' and then opened for bnsiness on 6 
July. Unfortunately the baptismal for (>hek Lap Kok turned from 
celebration to confusion and fanfare to farce as computer breakdowns 
created chaos causing delays in passenger flights and cargo shipments 
for a week. The Legislatix'e Council later established a Select Com- 
mittee to in\'estigate the matter resulting that the contract of its 
Chief Executix'c, Dr. Henry Townsend, was not renewed, and iioth 
its Chairman, Wong Po-yan, and the (Jiief Secretary, Anson ('han. 
in her capacity as (Chairman of the Co\ernment s Airport Steering 
Committee, criticized. 

Birth of the Liberal Party 

Hong Kong started to democratize its legislature in 1^AS5 immediately 
after the signing of the Joint Declaration. XonetliLJcss direct 
geographical election was not introduced until I*>'M as a minority 
in the chamber. The 1^>'^1-M5 Legislati\e Coimeil comprised three 
senior e.x-offieiais (the (]hief Secretar\', the l-"inaneial Sceretar\- and 
the Attorney (leneral), IS appoiiUcd members. IS directly elected 
antl 21 elected from the functional eonstitueneies. making a total ot 

I)aek then onl\- tiie I'nitetl Democrats (which later Joined with 
Meeting Point to toiiii tiie Democrat ie Pai"t>' ) were tiie ones oi'^ani/ed 
politiealK' to eontest elections and shape an agentla. IlieN' also 
boosted 14 members in the legislatnre, m.iking (hem an articulate 
anil formidable force The oihei' 10 oiUI Iciiislators were mostU not 
politiealK aflilialed and seemed in contrast to be passi\c — at least 

i,sy ;^ 

lIotiLi Koiiii's .Idunicy to Rciniificiition 

Plate J. /.? Cclchndion of die 4th Anniversary nf the Liberal I'artv, 1998. 

as portrayed in the press whieh slanted towards the eminently 
quotable and approaehable United Demoerats. 

I retired from the Executix'e Couneil as the Senior Member in 
September 1988, passing the mantle to Lydia Dunn, who in her turn 
surrendered her leadership in the Legislative Council to Allen Lee. 
By 1991 democracy was the trend sweeping through Hong Kong and 
some legislators found it untenable, if not also awkward, to ha\'e 
Lee, an appointed politician, to remain the Senior Member of the 
Legislati\'e C'ouncil. The friction between Lee and the L^nited 
Democrats became so frequent that Lee graciously resigned in early 
1992, lea\'ing the position \'acant and the job would be phased ovit 
as the Council turned into a free for all. 

The United Democrats grew bolder, more assertive and more 
aggressi\'e, claiming to hax'c the mandate of the people and scorning 
the other legislators who did not ascend from the rough and tumble 

^ 190 ^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

of electoral politics. Lee niid his fellow LEGCO colleagues Ste\'en 
Peon, LSclina (]ho\v and Stephen ('heong knew that they had to rally 
some of their fellow legislators if they were to ha\e a chance against 
the United Democrats' onslaught. The quartet then canxassed the 
other appointed legislators and friendly representati\es from the 
functional constituencies to form the (]o-operati\'e Resource (Centre, 
a think tank, research imit, and brain trust for a futiu'c political 
group. l>ut the (>entre still could not fend off the attacks from the 
United Democrats who had mastered the tactics of the political 
pantomime, public ridicule, and punch lines. 

Lee and Poon then approached me for counsel and I conjured 
up an analogy to motix'ate them into doing more than forming the 
Centre, a salon for kindred spirits. I compared their plight to a group 
of 10 or 15 people locked into a lions cage. If they ran aroimd on 
their own, they would be an eas\' meal each for the beast. Should 
thc>' gang up against the predator. the\' stood a chance, if e\en several 
of them might be mauled. The gist of the allegor>' was "united we 
stand, dixided we fall". 

The contributors to the Centre were genteel people, unlikely 
to use the jirexious metaphor to go out to sla\' a lion. ( luts and grit 
were what these iiuiiv iduals. and indi\ idiialists. needetl. The\' shared 
a dislike for the United Democrats, w ho const an tl\' disi->a raged them, 
but tlislike was no substitute for a eonunon jihilosopln and common 
ambition. The lot of them might co-o|")erate eiionuli to tlcfend but 
not tocoiU|iier. I suggest(.il to Lee and I'oon to aiiaiulon an\' pretence 
of being abo\e jiolities and. inslL.ul, form a proper political pai"t\' 
with its belief, \ isioii, diseiplinL' and plaltonn 

The two agreed anil, with others, nolabb' Selin.i ( lliow ;in<.l 
Ronald .\reiilli. foinul iIk' Liberal l'art\- in L''' I anndst howls of 
derision from the nieili.-i. which sidi,il with the United Democrats 

Iloiiii /\""i;s .loiirncy to Rciinificaiuni 

and their allies. The\' were leluetant or eautious at first heeause 
their eonstitueney, the professionals and hnsinessnien, were wary 
of polities and (Miina was biased against an\- party, other than its 
own. Ikit the Liberals jiersexered and toda\-, nnder the leadership of 
.lames Tien, it has beeonie the third lari^est party and, more often 
than not, holds the deeisive x'otes. Nonetheless the Liberals still liaxe 
a lorii; way to ^o before it eonld aehiexe its true status as an intlnential 
politieal jiarty. 

Period of Confrontation 

Patten Realigned the Exeeutive Council 

The British Prime Minister, John Major, replaeed the seasoned 
diplomat, Lord Wilson, with the crony (^hris Patten, who had lost 
his own Bath seat in the 1992 general election. However, as the 
Chairman of the Conservative Party, he had led the party to win the 
general election, earning the gratitnde of John Major. One of the 
very first major changes he had made within a few months of his 
arrival was to divorce the Executive Council from the Legislative 
Council. But Patten was not really the author of the separation. The 
initiative for that ought to go to some individuals from Hong Kong, 
including Vincent Lo, the leader of the Business and Professionals 
Federation of Hong Kong. Lo together with some of his colleagues in 
BPF had travelled to London in May 1992 to lobby Patten quietly 
before the Englishman came to the Colony to be its last Governor. 
Patten arrived in Hong Kong on 9 July 1992, six days after 
Lord \\'ilson had departed, refusing to wear the ceremonial regalia 
— including sash and ostrich plumed pith hat — for the occasion. 

q^ 192 ^ 

The L(>n<> Transition 

He w.'is the first and tlic only licnd ot the (Colony who was not 
kni^s^hted. lie arrix'cd together with two conicl\' daughters, Laura and 
Alice, and wife La\ender, a lawyer, lie and his fainih- seemed too 
busy to ohsene the fusty conventions and made ris^ht away a refreshiiii; 
impression, lireakint; the colonial tradition, he also hrouLiht aJoiiL' 
with him two personal assistants from outside Hong Kon;^. 

Only two weeks into office the stronti-minded GoN'crnor made 
known his political stance that his (io\'crnmcnt would be exceutixc- 
led, which came as a relief to many who did not want the Lei;islati\c 
(^oiuicil to ha\e too much sway, llis (ioxernment would be trans- 
p.'ucnt as well as responsible to the people. lie also maintained that 
he would not form a party in the Lci^islative (^oiuicil to proxide 
support to the yoxernment. The (ioxernor iiromiset! that his 
inaugural Policy Address in October would focus on the political 
development of Hong Kong. 

During this period the Senior Member of the K.\ecuti\e ( louncil. 
Dame L\'dia Dunn, rounded up her colleagues and "con\inccd" them 
to join her in tendering their resignations to (loxcrnor r.iitcn so as 
to gi\e him a free hand to reshape the (labiiict. I'attcn accepted all 
the resignations, except one — that of Duini w ho was "re-aiipointcd" 
as the Senior Membci" among a new cicw . This outcome had created 
resentment among some of her former colleagues. 

1, as a 1 long Kong Affairs Adxisor, faxeil to the Director of the 
Hong Kong and .Macao Affairs ( )tfiee. I.u I'iiig. autl also the Director 
of Xinhua \ews.\gene\' in lloui; Kom;. /lion Nan, on J!.^ .Inl\ 1*>'*J 
an anaUsis ot the shining; situation I oulliiieil how I'.ilten had ihrec 
possible options to realign his l!.\eculi\ c ( 'ouni^'il and |">i\'di».-li.'d he 
would e\en(uall\ sLille foi llie one modL'lleil in pari after the sxslem 
in the I'niteil Slates. He wouKI. I reckoned correclU as it luiiK'd 
out. delineate a clear separation of tht.' e\(.'cnl i\ x' and L^islalive 


Ilonti Koufi's .lounicy (a Rcuuiticiilion 

hrniiclics. lie would not apiioinr an\' legislator to his (Cabinet, which 
would comprise professionals, academics and businessmen. These 
people would be willint; to ser\e IIoul; I\oni; but did not wish to face 
electors and would assist Patten to t'ornnilate policies prai;matically 
tor the ()\crall i^ood ot the colonx'. This arrant;ement on the surface 
would briui; the political situation back to those pre-l*AS5 days. 

But, alas, the situation was not so simple as the political 
chemistry in llon,i> Koni; had since 1*>S.S ehan^cd irrevocably. The 
Colony by 1991 had a majority elected legislature with nearly one 
third of its members geographically directly elected. These directly 
elected members considered themsches as representatives of the 
people. 1 pictured in my analysis a scenario in which the Executive 
Council might adopt a policy for the o\crall interest of Hong Kong 
but contrary to the wishes of the voters of a strong party in the 
legislature. The dc facto "royal opposition" would then attempt to 
block the bills behind such a policy and force a showdown. Patten, 
\'ersed in the adxcrsarial politics of parliament, would ha\e to lead 
his Executi\'e Councillors and government officials to lobby the 
people through the media to counter his opposition in the Legislative 
Council. Nonetheless, it would be difficult to predict the outcome of 
these political battles. 

1 told Lu and Zhou in my submission that if Patten were to 
persist and heed the ad\ice of \Tncent Lo s group, which had made 
the suggestion to him in London, he would jeopardize the collabora- 
tion between the EXCO and the LEGCO for the past generation. 
One obvious and apparent consequence of this decision of the new^ 
Governor would be the dissolution of the LUMELCO Office, established 
some thirty years ago. 

The Governor invited me on 6 August 1 992 to his residence, 
the Government House, to discuss his political plans. 1 presented 

:^ 194 ^ 

T/ic Lonii TrunsitUm 

hini with a coniprchensix'c anahsis ot" the \ari()iis options and recc^m- 
mended to him, despite its repercussions, tlie model of separating 
the KX(X) from the LK(i(X). I said that it was the only way out for 
him under the obtainint; eireimistanees at that time. We sp<jke for 
longer than two hours, drawing obser\'ations from my nearly 30 years 
of political experience in Hong Kong, a city in which he had made a 
splash but about which he knew little. The (loxcrnor then saw me 
out with appreciation for my comprchcnsi\'c appraisal of the situation 
and said, whilst he had not reached any final conclusion, he would 
probably adopt the model I had recommended. 

Ev^entually he ended up separating the EX(X) from the LE(i(X) 
and appointing a new team to the KX(X) with eonscciuential 
dissolution of the UMELGO Office, first formed in 1903. 

Pattens Political Reform 

The first (Miincsc ( ]hief .lusticc. Sir Ti-liang ^'ang (later put hiniself 
forward as a cantlidature for the Hong Kong SAK (Ihicf E.\ecuti\e) 
swore in (Ihristopher l^rancis Patten as the twenty-eighth and the 
last (loN'crnor of Hong Kong on *> .Inly 1*>*^2. ( )uly two months into 
his tenure the politician rctiuiied to Lomlou to consult I'rinic .Minister 
.lohu .Major antl I'Oreign Sccretai\- Douglas lliuil on his p<iliti^;il 
reform agenda, which the\ appio\cd. Seciueii with the liritisli 
Cabinets blessing, he came back more sclf-coufidcut and more 
dctcrminctl to confr( )nl the ( Ihiuese ( io\ en uncut . 

I'attcn proceedeil to shake up the jiolitical establishnient in 
the colou>' with ills niaitlen i'dlicN' .Xildrcss. His retoiiu package 
contained two maJDr (.•( )nip<>ueuts, one was to re- jig the arrangements 
for the 1"'*',^ l.e^islatiw ( louueil elections and thi.' oiIki' w .is to ain >lisli 
the appoiiUetl seats to the 1 .S District I'.oartls and tile two MuuK'ipal 

^ l'>5 ^ 

Ildiii; Kdiiu's .louriHY to Kvinii/icdtion 

(Councils. The IWitish Amb.-issador to l>cijiiiL;, Sir Kohin McLaren, 
on 2C) September l'>*>2, presented I'attens I'oliex' Address to the 
(Chinese Foreign Ministry, ten days before its deli\er\' in the 
legislatmx' and w ithont any allowanee for disenssion or re\'ie\v. 

The (Chinese pored oxer tlie sj^eeeli and were appalled b\' the 
proposed 1*>')5 electoral arrangements that did not "tloxetaii" with 
the Ijasie Law as the Hritisii had promised they wonld. 'I'he Foreign 
NUnistry then asked the l^ritish to postpone the readin;i4()f the politieal 
segment of the address and negotiate a settlement. The l)ritish side 
agreed to negotiate init only, it said, after the speech had been read 
on 7 October without any deletion or elision on the issue of reform. 

There were five main features to the package that Fatten was 
to imx'cil: 

( 1 ) Lower the Noting age to LS from 21 years. 

(2) Change the current "double-scat, double-vote" system 
(with each elector gi\'en two ballots for two reprcsenta- 
tix'cs) to "single-seat, single-vote" format for the geo- 
graphical constituencies. 

(3) Replace all district board and municipal council appoint- 
ments with directly elected members. 

(4) The nine new functional constituencies shall be elected on 
a different basis from the 21 existing functional consti- 
tuencies. These are to be returned not by a narrow, often 
organization, federation or group-based electorate but by a 
broad, inclusi\'e franchise. Generally speaking, the current 
functional constituencies might ha\'e voters numbering in 
the hundreds to tens of thousands. The proposed new system 
was in fact direct election on the occvipational basis, with 
an estimated number of v'oters of about 2.7 million in these 
new nine functional constituencies. 

-^ 196 ^ 

I'l(i(c .h I I ( ',(>i\rn(>r I'uiloi's ( J/hm i'linun/in /n> imliiUiil /-./i/oii.'i . /''''-' 

^ l'>7 ug^ 

Ilonfi K()n<i's Joiimcy to l\cunitic(tti<»i 

(5) The I^lce-tioii (Committee iiicl-wiiii; ten rcprcsentatixcs to 
the Lei;isl;iti\e (loimeil will eoniprise excitisi\el\' cUrectly 
elected district board nicinbers. 

The rctorni \\;is in fact a slap on the face of the Chinese Gox'crn- 
ment and its reaction undcrstandabK' would be fiuioiis. I rctlected 
on the situation and assessed the (Ihinesc bottom line for these fi\'e 

( 1 ) ('hina would not ciuibble w ith lowering the x'otin^ a,i;e to 
IS years since that complied w ith the existing practice 
on the Mainhind. 

(2) (Hiina would not object to discussions about the modest 
changes to the election methods for the geographical 
constituencies because it had not reached a decision on 
this issue. 

{?<) ( Ihina would strongly oppose the abolition of the appoirtted 
seats to both the district boards and the municipal councils. 

(4) China would be strenuously against the introduction by 
stealth ()i clc fcicto imi\ersal suffrage in the guise of the 
new fimetional constituencies. 

(5) China would not accept such a formation of the Election 
Committee and would regard the British proposal as a 
breach of the prexious imderstanding. 

Two days after Patten defianth* read his inaugural Policy 
Address, that is on 9 October. 1 wrote him a four-page letter, remind- 
ing him that the Election Committee he had suggested differed from 
that outlined in the Basic Law. 1 stressed that his programme, if 
implemented, would derail the "through train" arrangement for 
legislators to straddle the 1997 as en\'isaged in the Basic Law and 


The Lon^ Transition 

agrvvd by the British. I said liis carr\ini; (^n would impair British 
and Chinese relations, damage Ilon^ Kong's interests, and wreek 
the smooth transition t'oimded on trust and eontinnity. Patten 
promptly replied on K) Oetober, rebutting my elaims and saying 
that the eomposition ot the Eleetion (Committee tor 1997 was nf)t 
speeihed in the liasie Law. Ilowexer history has sinee pro\en that 1 
was right in my assessment. 

1 retired horn the Exeenti\e (loimeil in September 1988 and 
therefore was not aware of the mntnal understanding between the two 
(Governments on the eomposition of the Eleetion Committee through 
the exehange of letters between the British and (Chinese Foreign 
Ministers on this subject in early 1990. Patten should ha\e known the 
existence of these important letters, but if he was not, then the 
responsibility for this mistake must lie on lioth his aids in the Hong 
Kon^ Government and his colleagues in the British I'oreign Ministry. 

My eonelusions proxed prescient for the (Ihinese got so riled 
up l)\- the l*olie\' Address that, soon after, it refused to talk to the 
liritish until they had withdrawn the political jiaekage. This was the 
climate of reproach that clouded Battens first and only \isit in 
October to licijing dining his fi\e years of governorship in Hong 
Kong. In the (Ihinese eapital the (loNernor met the Hong Kong aiul 
Macao Affairs ( )ffiee Director. Lu Bing. who was frost\". if not hostile. 
Neither side would bud;^e. 

liritain aiul ( ihina then fought out their dispute b\' once more 
niDuntiug jiropagaiuln blit/es on JS and 2'> ( )etober res|")ecti\ely 
through the release of the !''•>(» seven e.xehange of diplomatic letters. 
The eonesiioutleuts dwelled maiuK' on ensuring a "through train" 
for the legislators to luiuimi/e ilisriiptiou to the transition iu I''''7. 
as well as (he number of ili re^'t l\' elected seats allowed auil the 
formation o! tiK' l\le(.iion ( loinniit tee. 


Ilottii Kouii's .Ifiurnvy fo Rcuuificcitiou 

I read those tlocumcnts carcfulK' and concliulccl that the British 
had made a eomniitnieiit from whieh the\' sul)sec|ueiitly renewed, a 
serious hreaeh ot cUplomatie faith. I agreed with the (Ihinese \ie\v 
that the l^ritish had shifted their position and wanted to implement, 
as former I'rime NHnister Thateher said in her memoirs, speedier 
denioeratie reform at eahner times. 

Tile liritish had not exhausted their manoeuvre even in the 
"simultaneous" release of the se\en exehan^es, opting to publish 
these together with a rather biased synopsis on 2S Oetober, a day 
before the (Chinese eould do so. Her Majesty's (ioxernment apparently 
figured that by pre-empting the other side it could gain the 
momenttun in the battle for public opinion. Once again, the Chinese 
had learned another lesson from the British on diplomatic cunning. 

As the row worsened the British further poiued oil onto the 
fire. The Hong Kong Colonial Goxernment in March 1993 gazetted 
the reform proposal which coincided, planned or not, with the sitting 
of the National People's Congress and the (Chinese Peoples Political 
Consultative C]()nfcrence in Beijing. The timing and the contents so 
incensed the Chinese side that they used their media to condemn 
Patten, denoimeing him as an agitator and a villain for all history. 

While the rhetoric reached a crescendo, and the markets 
quivered, the British and Chinese Go\'crnmcnts suddenly and jointly 
announced in early April that they would negotiate in Beijing starting 
on 22 April. The situation appeared to have calmed, but it was calm 
before the storm. These talks went on for nine months and 17 rounds, 
only five rounds less than in the negotiations over the Joint 
Declaration, and with no "happy ending" for the travail. The haggling 
stopped in No\cmber 1993 with both sides finally conceding that 
there was no chance of a breakthrough. The Hong Kong and Macao 
Affairs Office on 3 December 1993 published a terse, 3,000-character 

^ 200 ^ 

The Lonfi Transition 

Statement explainini; and hlaminL; the failure on the intransi^enee 
ot' the other side. 

Several months later, in Mareh 1994, the Chinese Go\ernment 
affiliated Joint i'uMishini; (UK) (>)mpan\' published a hook entitled. 
Facts About a Few Im})<)7tcint Asj)ccts of the Sitio-British Talks on 
the 1994-1995 Electond Arr(ai!j,enients in Iloni^ Kom},. In the aeeount 
the Chinese Foreign Ministrv' spokesman discoursed on the 1 7 rounds 
of talks lastin.i^ from April to \o\-ember 1993 and explained why 
these had failed. The hook disclosed that the (Hiinese side had 
acquiesced to the Hritish demand on the abolition of the aiipoiiit- 
ments to the district boards and numicipal eoimcils. e\en though 
the future Hon;[^ Kong SAR could restore the practice. The (Chinese 
had also agreed to dropping the voting age to IS and accepting the 
arrangement for total imixcrsal franchise to the elections of the 
district boards and municiiial councils, .lust as the protagonists were 
on the x'crge of signing a first stage agreement, the IhMtish added 
new tiemands. (Karlicr the llritish and Chinese ( ioxernments had 
agreed to split the negotiations iiuo two stages. The first stage was 
to deal with the district board and municipal council elections 
whereas the second with the Legislative (ioimcil elections.) Most 
outrageous for the (Ihinesc was the IWitish insistence that not only 
the district boards antl nnuiicipal councils were to be elected in 
1994 \ia the jiroposetl s\stem of "single-seat, single-vote" so should 
the Legislative (louncil election in l''">.^. 

What galleil the (Ihincse too that on J? hcccmbcr l')*>,"\ 
I'attcn rcul a statement to the Legislative ( louncil saving and 
e.\|ilaining to his .idv anta^e w hv the t.ilks had s(o|>ped. The ( lov ernor 
ascribed the tailure in negotiations to the (ihinese not aiireeiiig to 
"single-seat, single-vote lor the Ll-.( \( 'A ) iieograi>hieal constituencies. 
This was consistent with the ( ihincse siaiement. The ( lov ernt)r aLso 

^ 201 ^ 

//((/li; Kiiuu's Journey tc I\ciniijlc(iti<i>! 

rcxc.'ilcci tli.'it, whilst the (Ihincsc mi^ht no longer oppose Ijiitain 
scrapi^ini; the appointed seats to the tlistriel boards and nuinieipal 
coLuieils before 1*>*>7, the\' held out the possibihty ot' resmTeetinjL; 
tliese in lloni- Koni; after M) .lime 1*>*>7. 'I'his emphasis, witli tlie 
fins^er \va^;^in,ii at (China's "intransii;enee", was an insult to tlie 
Mainland (loxernment. Not only did the talks not aehiexe an aeeord, 
these had aetiially worsened the aerimony. 

Whether or not the Patten reform had teehnieally eontrax'ened 
the seven exehanj^e letters in early 1*>9() between the two Forei;iin 
Ministers is a subjeet for historians, but what is glarinjj wrong to me 
was Britain attempting to meddle in the affairs of Hong Kong, the 
Special Administratixe Region, whieh (Ihina would ne\'er counten- 
ance as a matter of pride, or principle. The British could not expect 
to set a political course outside the scope of the .loiiit Declaration 
and compel (]hina to stick to it when the territory was no longer 
under their Jurisdiction beyond M) .lime l<->97. In short, as long as 
China does not xiolate the Sino-British .loint Declaration, Britain 
had no right to intcr\'ene. 

I had at times discussed with British officials why they insisted 
on abolishing appointments to the district boards and mimicipal 
councils when in their own country they still maintained their 
appointment system in the House of Lords comprising aristocrats, 
dignitaries and retired politicians. While the Lords had been shorn 
of the xeto power since 191 1, the upper chamber could still block or 
delay legishttion for up to a year. I queried how they could Justify 
their appointments while revoking these for the colonial district 
boards and municipal councils. Unlike the United I^ngdom with its 
Magna Carta dating back centuries, the territory had but a decade 
of democratic experience of any form. The British could ne\'er explain 
the disparity, the double standard, to my satisfaction. 

c-?t 202 -;*r 

The Lfin^ Trunsituni 

The fortune ot" the Lords depends of eourse on the whims and 
expedience of British poHties. The Lnliour Part\' in 197()s had 
ad\'oeated the ahohtion of the Lords only to liaxe been thwarted In* 
the Conservatives, which saw adxantage in crammini; that iiouse 
with their own out of service grandees. But, alas, the Tories were 
not exactly enamoured of the Lords at one stage after the Labour 
CjO\ernment of Harold Wilson had sent up its own batch of loyal 
retainers. The Tories in 197(S had proposed restructuring the Lords 
by making two thirds of them elected but still with a third appointed. 
Ex'cn this half-hearted reform was not carried out. 

I also reminded the British that before Fatten was himself 
appointed to be the last Governor of Hong Kong he, as the Chairman of 
the Conservative Party under John Major, did not champion reforming 
or remox'ing the Lords. The new (ioxcrnor then prompth' confronted 
the (Chinese about political appointments, a moralh' dubious stance, 
since when a person cleans up he should start at home. 

During l')*-*.^ I had been a guest at the (ioxcrnnicnt House 
talking with the (loxcrnor alone a few times. I rememiicr telling him 
one time about his work as the last (ioxcrnor of Hong Kong with 
onl\' a few x'cars to go. 1 suggested that he should co-operate w itii tiie 
( Ihinesc ( loxeininciit in the spiiit of the Siiio-I Iritish Joint Declaration 
and act as a "caretaker go\ernor. i lis swift rcsjionsc was that he would 
not ha\c come to 1 long Kong with that kiiul of work in mint!. 

.iustiticd or not in its actinns, the (loioniai (io\ennnent in 
.lanuar\- 1'>'M tablet! in the Lci^Lslat i\c ('.onncil the reform p.icka^e 
tor the (.li strict boarthnui municipal council 1*''>J elect ion. s that woukl 
be a prelude for the same in the ne.\t I.L( K !( ) polls in I ''''5 The bill 
on district boards and municipal councils w as casiK' passed w ithoiU 
protractci.1 ilebatc on J!,^ lebruarx . 

The (loxcrmncnt, \ ictorions, then put forward the bill for the 


//f)Mi; Kous's .lourncy to Rcutii/icdtion 

Legislative Council rctonii init reeei\eci treniciuious resistance in tiie 
('oiineil. K\entuall\' with the personal assistance ot the Prime NMnister, 
,l()hn Major, Patten's ret'orni package narrowly cseapetl t'roni the tate ot 
bein^aniendec! In' the Piberal i'art\' b\' a mere majoritN' ot'one xote on 
29 June 1994. 1 ha\e more to disclose on this liattle later. With tiie 
passing ot this hill on LKCICX) reform, Sino-Pritish confrontation not 
only continued but also intensihed until M) June 1997. 

Anatomy of a Dispute 

The British and (Jiincse Go\'ernments jointb' annoiuiced in early 
April 1993 that negotiations o\'er Cknernor (^hris Patten's proposed 
political reform would be^in on 22 April in Beijing. There were mixed 
fceliuiis by the public, some were optimistic, others pessimistic. But 
still, all in all, there was hope. 

Four days before the talks were to commence I faxed a 3,000- 
character discourse, titled "British and Chinese Strategies over the 
Arguments on IloniJ Kongs Political Struetinv", to Lu Ping and Zhou 
Nan. In this article I examined their disparate tactics, steeping my 
assessment in my knowledge of their histories and inclinations. I 
suggested that Patten had been ele\er in exploiting the grey areas in 
the Basic Law to luidermine the consensus between the two 
countries, speed up democratic change to his advantage, and wreck 
any chance of a political conxergenee in 1997. I figured he would 
unleash a furious campaign of propaganda, based on the motto of 
"fairness, openness and acceptability to the Hong Kong people" to 
win oxer the Hong Kong public, sway the British media, and garner 
international support. 

Were Patten to succeed, then he could claim credit for an 
honourable British retreat and pose as a saviour of the people he 

s^ 204 j!*t 

The Lon^ Transition 

scarceh' knew. Tlic I'liitccl Kingdom could then say it had passed 
Iloni; Kon^s administration to the deiiioerats o\er the objection of 
(]hina. l^atten was. I stressed, prepared to take unilateral action with 
ExeciitiNc (]oiuieii appro\al and put the proposal to the Legislatixe 
Coinieil in which he had appointed se\'eral members close to his 
thinking and roused the public through a sympathetic press. He 
would lobb\- legislators furiously, postiu'ed and mocked, using all 
the possible axenues at his disposal. Twitting (Ihina was easy when 
it came at somebody elses expense. E\en if the majority of the 
legislators did not succinnb and amend his package to complement 
the Basic Law, he could still claim moral xictory, saying he had 
allowed the people of Hong Kong to decide, despite (Chinese bluster. 
Thus (ioxcrnor Patten had written a \ery clexer political script in 
which he would be the w inner w hatexer the outcome. 

I told the two directors, Lu and Zhou, that 1, now an outsider 
to the process imfolding in the l^xecutixe and Legislati\e Councils 
Patten had dixorced, was not optimistic at all. I felt the P)ritish would 
not budge and the (Ihinese could not gix'e, and failure was inexitable. 
I wisiietl my prognosis had been wrong for once. 

I then tried to pro\ ide some comfort to the (Ihinese officials 
by saying that e\er\' elemocratic societx' would peiiodicalh" ha\e to 
face the trauma of transition w hen one jiolitical |"iart\' vieldetl to 
another after losing in a general election. Hong Kong's situation was 
analogous to such a trauma and could coj^e with the shock, one of 
the man\' it wouKI ha\c to face in (he future, and it was in eo|iing 
that would iDULilicn (he character of (his societx'. 

I also said to Lu aiul Zhou thai, inxspcctixe of the outcome of 
the negotiations. Patten wouKl \\avc to imu his pnlitical reform 
package to the Legislati\e ( ioinicil in the form of ;i bill lor endorse- 
ment. The (Ihinesc siilc at that stage could h)bbv tiirectU and 


Uoufi /u)(i£,'s Journey to Rciniificdtiou 

iiulircctly the Iciiisl.-itors to change the hill in .'lecorclniicc witli tlie 
Basic Law's doctrine. I t'lirthcr s^aNc the (Chinese ottieials the 
consolation that, e\'en if this attempt were to tail, the sethaek would 
not he terminal. I speeiticall\' repeated what I had siii;i;ested two 
months a.^o in (iiianii/hoii, which was the need tor the (Ihincsc to 
establish a "S()\ercii;nty Transfer lMannint> (Committee" to advise 
the (jhinese Goxcrnment on matters of this sort. 

Finally I ur^ed the (Chinese not to he too distracted by Patten 
or obsessed with political continuity, which mii;ht be less \irtiious 
than touted, and, instead, focus on prcscrxinii a stable and prosperous 
llonii Koui;. I implored them to help buoy llon^ Kongs economy 
which, ultimately, mattered a lot more than a temporary political 
setback. I asked them to concentrate on overseeing the construction 
of the new airport, expanding the container terminals, and increasing 
the land supply so as to forge the futtne of SAR. The Chinese should 
institute an effective monitoring mechanism of all these projects to 
ensure that the SARs inheritance was not looted or squandered and 
this would earn the gratitude of the people, if not right away, then 
certainly in time. 

I spelt out those points to sahe the wounded ego of the Chinese 
GoN'crnment and nudged it towards a constructive response to the 
British provocation. Lu, Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs 
Office, appreciated that and wrote from Beijing on 3 May 1993: "Your 
letter of 18 April was recei\'ed. We note your analysis of the motives 
of Chris Patten and assessment of the possible British tactic in the 
talks to come as well as your suggestions on what China should do 
in the circumstances. These are \'ery useful and an in\aluable 
reference. I thank you." 

I am now jotting down those snippets of memory for this book 
and noticing that many of my predictions had come to pass: 

^ 206 ^ 

The Lonii Transition 

( 1 ) Sino-Hritish negotiations tailed by the end of l'^03 and 
the two (ioxernments went their separate ways. 

(2) When I'atten tabled his bill in the Lei;islati\e (louneil in 
the middle of 1994, the Liberal Party Chairman. Allen 
Lee, led his members and allies to amend the package to 
make it eonform to the l)asie Law proxisions, failing by 
only one xote and failing beeanse of treaeher\'. 

(3) ('hina agreed to the new airport eonstriietion and to the 
increase of land supply to shore up the economy that 
helped the transfer. 

(4) Whilst the "through train" was derailed, the transition 
proceeded smoothly and was imi\ersally praised. 

A Blessing in Disguise 

The Sin()-l)ritish talks on Patten's political jiroposal had been 
going on for the greater part of 1993, but at the vnd of Xoxember 
and after 1 7 rounds the talks e\ entually faltered. There w as naturally 
great disappointment among man\' in lloiig Kong. lUit after careful 
thoitght I concluded that the failure to secure a scttlcmciu could be 
a blessing in disguise for it freed the ( Ihiucsc ( loxcrnmcnt to pursue 
its own course aiul formulate its own election methods tor the 

The PrcliminaiN' Working (lommittcc (the |")rccursor to the 
Prcparator\- (Committee) for the Special .\tlministrat i\ c Kegion. of 
which I was a member, eoiueiied its secouil pleiiar\' session in beijing 
on *> Dect^'iuber i '''>,V I'oreiun Minisli. r .iiul ( Committee ( Ihairmau. 
(Jian (Jichcii, a seasoiieil diploin.ii ot iiKasiu'ed words ■.i\\<.\ a cool 
temperament . iklix (,Ted the opLiiinu add ixss. Not oiK'e ilid he appeal' 
ruffle In" the unra\ clliui; of the partnership with Ihiiain for lion;; 

^ 207 

Ilonit A'oni'ls Jounwv r<i Kcimificiihoii 

I'littc 3. /.•> The itullidr (ithlrcssi)ii^ the Jiiil iilciuiry session of the I'reliniiiuuy 
Workinij, (jinniiittee in /)'e;/(/i,i", I'J'JJ. 

Kong's transition. Then after Qian spoke, \'iee Foreign Minister and 
the Chief Nej^otiator for the Chinese side, .liani; Enzhu, announeed 
that the disenssions with the British had stalled, (.liani; in .Inly 1^>>97 
beeame the Direetor of the Liaison Offiee of the (Central People's 
Government in the Ilon.i; Konii SAR after a brief spell as the ('hinese 
Ambassador to Britain.) lie impassi\'eh' aseribed the failmx' to the 
United Kingdom insisting on applying the "single-seat, single-\'()te" 
format for the 1994 distriet board and numieipal eoiineil elections 
to that for the 1995 Legislative C^ouneil election withont eonsnltation 
with (^hina. 

1 took my tmn at the lectern on 11 December and addressed 
brietly the issue of the political system for the SAR as mapped out in 
the Basic Law. I said, wliilc on the sin-face it was disappointing that 
the talks had failed, nonetheless, it could be a blessing in disguise in 

c^- 208 ^ 

The Um^ Trcin.situm 

tlie loiii^ run. 1 then proceeded to explain and describe the two major 
poHtieal models in the Kn^lish-speakini' world. 

The l>ritish (^ne re\ol\ed around the Parliament, whose upper 
chamber was appointed and lower house was returned on the "single- 
seat, single-\'ote" basis (^t imi\ersal suttrage. The dominant party 
formed the i-fncrnment beholden to the majority in the House of 
(Commons and in theoretical command of an apolitical ci\'il ser%'ice 
which executed the policies. With this political model the "single- 
seat, single-xote" xotini; system would help to produce a majority 
party in the Iciiislature. thus minimizing the possibility of ha\ing a 
coalition goxcrnment. 

The other political model, ejiitomized b\' the American, was 
marked by a clear separation between the Icgislatixe (dixided into 
the Senate and the House of representatixes in the United States) 
and |")residential branches, which checked and balanced one another. 
This system was favoured. 1 said, by the U.S. and many continental 
iCuropean countries. There the chief executi\e formed the go\ern- 
ment and chafted the policx' initiatives for the legislative branch to 
reject or enact, with or without amendment, into law. The jueiiciary 
then interpreted these laws according to its reading of the national 

I then proceeded to talk about the political system for the 
Hong Kong SAK. According to the liasie Law the SAK wouKl follow 
the American s\stem b\- vesting the power of government in the 
executive branch ami instituting checks ami i>alances in the 
legislative assembly The goveinnient woukl Ik' an executive-led 
and vet face restraints The ■single-seat, single-vote voting formal 
would tend to |>roiluce a majuritv partv- in the legislature ant! would 
impede the ojieration of an e.xeeutiv e-letl unvermnent. as I cautioned 
The "proportional representation" voting system, a conce|"»t many 


Honfi Koufi's Journey to Rciini/ication 

conrinciit.'il luiropcin countries chainiMoiiccl. woukl lie more suitable 
as it woukl niiuinii/e any one part\' tioniinatini^ the future legislature, 
as I asserted. lioni" Kont;, for the sake ot' stability, had to ha\e a strong 
executive who would be able to lead, execute policies, and take 
responsibilit\'. 1 then concluded: 

"The breakdown of the Sino-brit ish talks woidd let (Hiina 
reconsider on its own the electoral method for the Lei4islati\'e 
Coimcil. (]hina could now i;o it alone, without the British inter- 
vention, and ensure a strong and effective executive-led govern- 
ment for the Hong Kong SAR. For this reason I declared earlier 
that the breakdown of the talks could be a blessing in disguise." 

History has since proven me right, (^hina did abolish the 
"single-seat, single-vote" system that the british had adopted for 
the Legislative Council and instead opted for the "proportional 
representation" format to dull the advantage of the anti-China 
Democratic Party, their allies, and forces hostile to the Chinese 
Communist Party. The SAR now has a reasonably powerful office of 
the Chief Executive which, while more accountable than any colonial 
governor, is answerable to an electorate with representation of very 
wide interests. Hong Kong is better served as a result. 

Patten Saved from His Waterloo 

After the collapse of the Sino-British talks on Patten's political 
proposal, the Governor submitted his reform package to the Legisla- 
tive Council for the final voting on 29 June 1994. Legislators of the 
Liberal Party led by Chairman Allen Lee and allies wanted to amend 
the proposal enough to conform to the Basic Law. \\ hether or not 
they succeeded hinged on the crucial vote of Martin Barrow, a 
legislator, Chairman of the Hong Kong Toiuist Association, and a 

^ 210 ^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

senior executix'e of .Initline Mathcson N: ( lonipaiiy , the last 
connection bein;[> the most pi\'otal. 

Allen Lee disclosed to nie that Barrow, a tall, patrician figure, 
went to his office at the end of 1<>'>3, declared his interest in the 
"through train" for the Lciiislatixc (Council, lie offered to co-operate 
with the Liberal Party as well as the independent ones and those 
leftists of liked mind. The Englishman said, howcxer. his support 
depended on Lee ;iiettin,s^ from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs 
Office Director, Lu Ping, to spell out what might be acceptable to 
the Chinese Government. Lee thought the entreaty reasonable and 
then consulted his Liberal Party colleagues whcj ga\e him the support 
to press ahead with the p\:\u. 

Lee and his deputies, Selina (Ihow and Uonaid .\reulli. then 
secretly tra\'elled to Beijing to speak with Lu about the conditions 
for boarding the "through train". The Director said, for the train to 
rim, the nine new functional constituencies nuist be returned like 
the already established ones with a specific, narrow franchise and 
the Klection (lonnnittee should comprise four sectors as the Basic 
Law stipulated. 

The three Liberals then leturned to Hong Kong and. during 
the following months, thrashetl out with Barrow and others an 
ameiuleti reform proposal that wouKI incorporate those points Lu 
had cited. The\' arrangetl with legislator Howarti ^'oung. a member 
of the Liberal Part\' and represemati\ e of the Toiuism eon^tilllene\■. 
to propose the alternati\e plan tor political dexelopmeiU. Lee aiul 
associates lobbietl fiirioiisK aiul. with Barrow s xote tallied, reckoned 
tlie\' eonid s(|iieal\ out a \ ietor\' auainst Patten So with eaiuioiis 
opt im ism. t lie\' w ati^'lieii the hn.ii \ ol inu ot bot It I 'at ten s paekaue 
and theii ow n ameiuliiKiit on \\'ednesila\ . J'' .lime 

Two tla\s before the Noting, that is. Moiula\. J7 .iune. Lee 

^ J/; ^ 

Ilouii Kouii's .loiirucy to Roiuificdrioit 

received ;i phone eall tVoni Ijarrow, wlio blurted out, "I am sorry, 
Allen, I w ill ha\e to alistain t'roni Noting." The Liberal Party (Chairman 
was stunted by the xolte-taee and asked, "How eomeV Von were the 
first sutiiiestins; nie to ha\e a deal with bu i'ini; and the amended 
version had many ot" yoiu" proposals. How eome you are now ^oing 
to abstain?" Barrow a^ain repeated his apology, saying he had "great 
dit't'ieulties" but did not elaborate. Lee, nonetheless, could guess what 
the reasons were for the eleventh hour betrayal. 

Patten, Lee belie\'ed, had got wind that his proposal was to be 
rejected and so made a call to Prime Minister John Major to lean on 
Jardine Matheson Chairman, Henry Keswick. Although Keswick and 
Patten were not in good terms but the doyen could not snub the 
Prime Minister, and Barrow in turn could not act against the wishes 
of his boss. But there was more to the story from another source, 
Steven Poon, a Liberal Party Mce-Chairman and a legislator from 
1991 to 1995. 

After Lee hung up on Barrow, he called a crisis meeting with 
Poon, Chow and other Liberals. Poon said to me that they remained 
puzzled at Barrows sudden switch and so he volunteered to find 
some answers from his British contacts. Poon, a professional 
engineer, had been the General Manager of the China Light 8: Power 
utility, which had bought a lot of machinery from the United 
Kingdom. Poon thus had good contacts in the British political and 
business circles. Both Lee and Poon simply had to sate their curiosity 
and identify the real culprit. 

Poon on the early exening of 27 ,Iime, which would be about 
11 o'clock in the morning London Summer Time, telephoned the 
Chairman of General Electric Company, Lord Prior, who had been 
a Cabinet Minister during Margaret Thatcher's days as Prime Minister. 
He told the life peer about the treachery and said how a Jardine 

^ 212 ^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

Matlicsons back down on the amendment to the l\'itten package 
would diimaj^c the Sino-Hritish rehitionship. lie stressed that had 
Jardnies stiiek witli Patten from start to finish tlie repereiissions 
from (^hina mi;^ht have been less se\ere. What no one would forjgive 
was the final hour betrayal. Lord Prior agreed with P(^on s assessment 
and promised to eall .lardines Senior Director, Sir Charles Powell, 
who, before joining the firm, had been Thatcher's pri\ate secretary 
in the 19(S()s. About half an hoiu- later Lord Prior phoned back to 
i*oon, saying he had just spoken to Sir (Charles who had been 
hunnning and hawing. The (ieneral Llectric (Ihairnian asked Poon 
to ring Sir Charles directly. 

Poon then immediately phoned Sir (Iharles. explaining to 
him how unw isc Jardines was, in"ging him to persuade Harrow to 
get back on their side. lUit Sir Charles would not budge and was 
e\'asi\e, insisting that it was Harrows ow n decision. Poon figinx'd it 
was futile to dicker with Sir Charles and to appeal once more to 
P)arrow because the m.-'.ttcr was now obxious not theirs but that of 
the Hritish national jioHcn' to moxe the Patten reform and wreck co- 
operation with China. Poon then informed Lee of his London 
telephone conversations. P>oth sensed that the Co\ernor nuist ha\e 
hat! intcihgence soui'ccs telling how precarious his jiackage was as 
legislators m.arshallcd their forces to thwart or change it. Patten 
to ha\e phoneti Major to lean on or trade favours with liarrow's 
nltimate superior. 

After Haiiows reversal, Lee tabulated that the vote on the 
package was now deadlocked at J'> to J">. He figured his best bet 
now resteil on his sw.iying two independent legislators, the unionist 
Pang ( ;lum- hoi, a member of the ixiioinintang. and I lui ^'in-fat . the 
reprcseiuat iv e ot the Social Weliaie const itucncv. I.ce approached 
Pang, whom he tliil not know well, aiul I lui, a gooil friend. He went 

//otiii Koufi's Jourmy to Rcuui/iv(iti(»i 

to meet Ilui on Tuesdny exeiiiiii;, the e\'e of the xotin^ da\', and 
pleaded witli him tor ')() minntes, elwelUnU on e\'ery eoneeixed 
advantage of a "tlirou^h train" for e\ery one. lliii was sympathetic 
btit could not \'ote for the amendment because, as Ilui claimed, his 
constituents, the social workers, were unanimously for the I'atten 
packai^c. iScnsini; failure, Lee phoned Lu who, Lee believed, in turn 
rans^ up Ilui and Fani> but still the pair would not relent. 

( )n Noting day Chan Sui-kau, a garment tycoon and the uncle 
of the industrialist Chan Wing-kcc, came to the Lc^islatixe Council 
Building to make a desperate effort to lobby Pang. Even though the 
conservatixe businessman Chan and the stalwart unionist Pang were 
from two different and opposing camps, they had worked together 
for ten years in the Laboin" Adx'isory Board and had mutual respect. 
Chan met Pang in Room 220, and the textile magnate thought at 
one stage that he had succeeded in coaxing Pang along. 

But back then even the walls had ears. Patten, holed up in the 
Government House, while the Legislative (Council debated its future, 
heard cxery miu-mur through the constantly updated reports of his 
private secretary, Bowen Leung, now ironically posted to Beijing as 
the Hong Kong SAR representative in the national capital. The 
situation was unbearably tense because some could change sides in 
the last minute. And it did happen. 

His nerves on edge. Young, in whose name the amendment 
was recorded, finally could not hold his composure and berated those 
who could bolt. ScN'cral of course were looking for an excuse to do 
just that and Youngs reproach provided the pretext. As legislators 
were ready to \ote on the amendment, Simon Ip of the Legal consti- 
tuency chastised Young for having been "rude" to the independents 
and would now abstain rather than go with the revision as he had 
promised. The final covmt on the amendment was 29 against to 28 

ciS^D 214 ^^Pr. 

The Land Transition 

for. The "through train" skidded off the mil. Patten won the battle 
hut lost the war. 

Allen Lee also disek)sed to me that two weeks before \'oting 
he had spoken to Martin Lee, (Chairman of the Denioeratie Party, to 
lobby him .and his bloek to rejeet the Patten paeka,i;e. Allen told 
Martin that if the Demoerats were to back the Government's package 
they would haxe themselves to blame for givin;s^ (]hina the free hand 
to decide on a political system to its own liking. The "proportional 
representation" system favoured by (^hina proxed harmful to the 
Democrats and it still does. But irony being supreme, the Demoerats 
ended up bein;[^ the authors of their own misfortune and could not 
say they had not been warned. 1 agree with Lee's analysis, whose 
conclusions ha\'e since been confirmed by exents. The Demoerats 
are now losing out in the directly elected seats. They are also suffering 
from internal disputes with regard to precedence on the party's 
electoral candidates lists. 

Prelimincuy Working Committee 

The Preparator\- ( lonnnittce (P(') for the Hong Kong Special .\dmini- 
stration Region was a protiuct of tiic Sino-Pritish Joint Declaration. 
The Prcliminar\- Working (lonnnittce ( P\\"( 1 ) for the llonU Kong 
Special .\tlniinistrati\c Kcgion was the fruit of P>ritisli ami (Miincsc 

I instiuniciual, to some cxtciu. in the establishment of 
(he P\\'( :, as I had suggested it in c:iy\\ P>">,\ in, of all places. ( luanu- 
/hou, the capital of ( iuangdong l'io\ ince and aboul ''<> miles north 
of Hong Kong. P.\- then e\er\- boiK eoiiKI sense thai tiK' political 
through train was about lo be ik railed iKcaiise of ( io\ ernor ( !hris 
Patten's relorm paekaue. ( )n o lebriiar\. at the in\ nation o| the 


I[(»w Kdiw's Jourucv to RctDiiticatioi} 

Plate 3. l(> Tlic (luclior (icccjniti^ tlic I'\\'( ! .\f)))<)hit)ncnt Ccrri/iviirct'roDi the 
NFC ClKuniiiin. 1W3. 

tycoon Henry Fok, a stalwart patriot and \'ice-Chairnian of the 
Chinese Peoples Political Gonsultati\e (Conference, a number of Hong 
Kong Affairs Achisors boarded a real through train for the ride from 
Hong Kong to Guangzhou. We went to attend a ceremony of the \\1iite 
Swan Hotel, one of the best of its kind in the capital. 

There at the hotel before us — \'incent Lo. Gha Ghi-ming and 
a few others including myself — were the Directors of the Hong 
Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Lu Ping and Xinhua News Agency 
Hong Kong Branch, Zhou Nan. We met and discussed the Hong Kong 
situation. I said the Hong Kong Affairs Ad\isors, acting indi\'idually, 
would not be of much use to the Ghinese Gox'crnment, and proposed 
that Ghina should set up a "Sovereignty Transfer Planning Gom- 
mittee". Its functions were, as the name implied, to advise the 

q#c 216 ^a^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

('hinese Go\'ernmc'iit on matters of so\'ercit;nty transfer durinii the 
transitional period. Sueh a (^lonimittee, liowexer, nuist not be an 
alternatixe eentre of power or a ehallen^e to the l^ritish (^olonial 
Administration, l^n and Zhou were t|iiite reeepti\e of the idea. 

I returned to Hong Kon^ and jotted down the gist of w hat I 
said at the meeting and then faxed it to Lii and Zhou on 14 February-. 
i\Iy written proposal suggested that (^hina should establish sueh a 
committee or think tank as soon as possible but it had to be absolutely 
shorn of any administrati\'e power in Hong Kong so as to be 
acceptable to the people of Hong Kong. The work of this committee 
should cover three main areas: 

(1) To prepare the planning and preliminary work for the 
establishment in 1*)*>6 of the Preparatory Conunittce; 

(2) To study and conduct puiilic debate on how to maintain 
an apolitical cixil scr\ice; 

(3) To ad\'ise the Central ( ioxcrnmcnt actions to be taken to 
effect a smooth transfer of power in 1 '->*->?. 

As for the composition of members for this riaiining 
Conuuittcc, I suggested that it should inclutlc: 

(1) Former goxernmcnt officials and former mcmiicrs of the 
F.\ccuti\c ami Lcgislatixe (louncils; 

(2) Persons who are t rustwort h\-, knowledgeable and 

(^) ^'o^lllg ilcmocrats and up and coming i^crsoiis. 

The (iliincsc .\iit lioril ies did not respond and 1 thouLiht the 
matter was left at that. .\ tew moiulis later, on 5 .lunc. /lioii Nan 
inxitcil me to his lieadi|uartcis at llapp\ \'alk\ where he told me 
the Central (lo\ernment would establish a l'reliminar\ Working 

^ 217 ^ 

Ilouii Konii's Journey fo RciDiificiition 

(Committee niul wish mc to join. The offer was now on the table hut 
there were no details to what the l'\\'(] entailed or what were its 
exaet terms of referenee. I was puzzled. Then the Standing tloni- 
mittee of the National People's Congress on 2 .Inly sanctioned the 
establishment of the VWC and announeed its membership of 57, 
with 30 from llont> Kong and the rest were officials from the Mainland. 

The \'iee Premier and Foreign Minister, Qian Qiehen, was 
named the (Chairman. This Committee would also feature a pro- 
minent cast of \'ice-Chairmen, namely, \'ice Foreign Minister Jiang 
Enzhu, Ilong Kong and Macao iVffairs Office Director Lu Ping, Hong 
Kong Xinhua News Agency Director Zhou Nan, NP(] Standing 
Committee Secretary General Zheng Yi, all from the Mainland. From 
Hong Kong there were three former Basic Law drafters — Ann Tse- 
kai, Henry Fok and Justice Simon Li. 

The P\\"C got into action x'cry quickly by spawning fi\e 
specialized groups, each responsible for a specialized policy area, 
namely, political, economics, legal, culture and security. I joined 
the political and the economic groups. Each specialized group had a 
pair of conxenors, one from Hong Kong and the other from Mainland. 
They were for the record: 

(1) Political: Leung Chun-ying, Xiao Weiyun. 

(2) Economic: Nellie Fong, Gao Shangquan. 

(3) Legal: Simon Li, Shao Tianren. 

(4) Culture: Ng Hong-mim, \\u Jianfan. 

(5) Security: Rita Fan, \\'ang Shuwen. 

The Committee held its first plenary session at the Great Hall of 
the People on 16 and 1 7 July to considerable fanfare and media interest. 
Then in early 1994, additional 13 members were appointed to the 
Committee, eight from Ilong Kong, to round up the roster at 70. 

Q^ 218 ^ 

The Laju^ Transition 

Three years later in 1996 at a National Day Celebration Dinner 
I sat next to the Deputy Direetor ot I long Kong Xinhua News Aj^eney, 
Zhang Junshent; (now President of Jiejiang University in Ilangzhou). 
We exchanged con\ersation about the work of the PWC o\er the 
years and its contribution to the smooth transition. He said it was 
fortunate that I had proposed to the Government the establishment 
of the P\\'(', without which the work of the Preparatory Committee, 
under the Sino-I5ritish confrontational atmosphere, would be 
extrcnici\' difficult. 

Little Tricks 

The Preliminary Working Committee decided diniuii its inauuiual 
plenary in Beijing in .lul\" 1993 to establish a liaison office in Hong 
Kong, regardless of l)ritish objections. Such an office not only 
projected a presence in llong Kong but also enabled the PWC^ to 
rcccixe submissions, letters and phone calls from the public on 
matters pertaining to its work. It would fiu'tlicr ser\c as a meeting 
venue for its Hong Kong members. This souutlcd reasonable since 
there was not nuicli purpose in talking about Hong Kong in the 
abstract from a distance. 

The catch was that the PW( ' had to register such an office 
with the British Hong Kong (loxcrnnicnt in accordance with 
the Societies ( )r(.iinanee. Knowing (loxernor Pattens unbritUed 
hostilitx" towards the l'\\'( '. this would piov ide an opportuuitx' tor the 
( iolonial ( io\ eminent to ban or restrict its operations Xinhua News 
AgencN' in lloiig Kong, responsible for aiding the PWt!, theretore 
refused to eompK with the registration of the PWC office. The two 
sides, the P.ritish am.! the (Chinese, again reached an impasse and 
once again ihe\' postured, not oul\ to stiike an attitutle but also to 

^ J/9 ^ 

Udiiii Koiiii's .founicy fo Rvinii/ifdtioii 

score sonic propat;jmda points. Xinhua's Kxtcrnnl At'fnirs Department, 
therein', on 1 (S August torwarcled a speakini; note to lioni^ Koni; 
(lovernmcnt's Acting Political Achisor, .lohn Ashton, to seek not only 
exemption from registration hut also, much to the i-all ot the British, 

The (]()lonial Administration through a third party reminded 
Xinhua that to ignore or flout the proxisions of the Societies 
Ordinance was ohxiously illegal. A I'WX' that was not rc^stcred with 
the Societies Office could he deemed an unlawful organization, more 
or less on a par with the Triads. \i this were leaked to the press, the 
media would ha\e a field day with the technical nii4s>lcs. 

Xinhua Deptity Director, Qin \\eniim, asked me in Octoher 
1993 to help the FWX] oxer the hump. 1 then spoke on 1 Nox'cmhcr 
to the (]hief Secretary, Sir Daxid Ford, on how to defuse yet another 
explosix'c situation. At that time the Sino-British talks on Patten's 
political reform were not goins^ well. Sir Daxid, a mandarin who had 
begun his career in the Royal Army, pondered my request overnight 
and faxed a letter to me on 2 November asking Xinhua to furnish 
him with four pieces of information. The Cdiief Secretary needed to 

( 1 ) The name of the office. 

(2) The name of the officers of the office. 

(3) The objects of the office. 

(4) The address of the premises. 

I relayed this request to Qin who, on 11 Xoxember, pro\idcd 
me with the information, includiiig the name of the head of the office, 
Xinhua Deputy Secretanv' General, Chan Wei, and the address. Room 
1501, C]hina Building, Queen's Road Central. On 15 November I 
passed the letter from Qin to Sir David. The Chief Secretary' answered 

^ 220 ^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

quite promptly on 27 November, and said, inter alia, ". . . the Soeieties 
Ot'fieer has now eonfirmed that he is satisfied tliat all the require- 
ments of the Soeieties Ordinanee haxe now been met (albeit in a 
somewhat unusual way)." 

With that, ended an embarrassing episode, as Sir David 
further said in his letter to me: "We have therefore a\erted the 
potentially \'er>' diffieult problems whieh would otherwise ha\e risen. 
I am glad to have been able to see this aehieved before my depar- 

Sir David Ford retired at the end of V)9^ and was sueeeeded 
by Mrs. Anson (]han, the first (Chinese and the first woman to oeeupy 
that high office. Unfortunately she was not only unlieli')tul but rather 
hostile to the l'W(] and its members. There will be more on this in 
the next seetion. 

British Enmity with the PWC 

The Standing (Committee of the National Peoples Congress in ,luly 
1<><>,^ established the Preliminary Working (lonnnittee as a (Chinese 
response to the Ikitish reneging on theiiJoiiU Deelaration pledges. 
For this reason, it aroused a great deal of reseiumeiits from Her 
Majesty's ( lo\ernment and its I long Kong l')raneh. The llritisii. likely 
at (i()\ernor (Ihris Pattens prompting and the direeti\e ot Piime 
Minister .lohn .Major, orderetl the ei\il ser\ iee (whieh was 
supposetl to be ) not to eo-opcrale with (he P\\'( '. praetieall\- 
deelaring it an enein\ org.ini/ation 

The new (".liief StL-retai)-. .\nsou ("ban. a lo\al mandarin, 
dutifulb- issueil a eii\'ulai of o ( )etober !*'•' 1 to her sub-oitlinates. 
instruetin!4 them not to ileal w iili iIk' I'W't '.. She stateil in the oiieuing 
paragraph that the I'W ( ! was a eon.sultat i\ ».• bod\ ot the t'.hineso 

>^ 221 ^ 

//odfi /uiN^ls Journey to Rciini/ictirion 

GoN'crnmcnt and was different from tlie Preparatory ('oininittee. 
('ban then i^ot pedantie, saying, heeaiise neither tlie.Ioint Deelaration 
nor tlie IJasie Law mentioned a PW'C, it was snperfluous. This was 
bigotry and also a ease of twisted loi'ie. Neither the Joint Deelaration 
nor the Basie Law preseribed (Ihris Patten's drastie politieal reform 
and yet the ei\il serxiee was told to jiromote as well as implement it. 

The eireiilar said the Administration would not (and eoiild 
not in a eompaet eonnnunitN' like Hong Kong) forbid offieials from 
meeting and mingling w ith the P\\'(> members in soeial funetions 
but it prohibited any of them from attending meetings organized by 
the P\\"C or its sub-groups. (]i\'il ser\'ants were also not allowed to 
aet as ad\isors to the PW'C or its sub-groups. The eixil ser\iee unions 
reluetantly obliged. By putting the entity into purdah, the Hong Kong 
British Government had hoped but failed eompletely to stitle the 

But still the eireidar east a long shadow, diseouraging ei\'il 
serxants from making e\en eourteous, if banal, exehanges \\ ith the 
PWG members during parties and banquets. The offieials beeame 
wary or aloof, fearing any inad\'ertent eontaet might eompromise 
their positions and, worse, jeopardize their careers. 

ALmy of the PWG members were prominent citizens holding 
important positions locally. These PWG members, for example, 
included Li Ka-shing, (Chairman of Gheimg Kong Group; David Li 
Kwok-po, Ghairman of Bank of Last Asia; Vincent Lo, Ghairman of 
Shui On Group; Wong Po-yan, (Chairman of the Proxisional Airport 
Authority; Lau Wong-fat, Ghairman of the Ileung Yee Kuk; Woo Ghia- 
wei. President of the UST; and so on. There were also former 
members of the Executive Gouneil such as Rita Fan, Maria Tam and 
Lo Tak-shing as well as incumbent legislators, namely, Ngai Shiu- 
kit, Tam Viu-chung and Philip Wong. 

^ 222 ^ 

The lyfmfi Transition 

Executive-led Government 

Tlic Preliminary W'orkinji^ (Committee's Politieal Speeialized (iroup 
had diseussed a number of times the so-ealled "exeeiiti\'e-led 
.t»o\'ernment struetiue" as depieted in the Basie Law. The ohjeeti\e 
was to Iielp the Speeial Administratixe Region retain and refine 
such an executive-led administration that would be efficacious, open 
and aeeountable. Many members ineludint; (Hiinese officials 
optimistically thou/iiht the issue was already settled since the Basic 
Law, promulgated in April I'^'X), had already enshrined the principles 
of an exeeuti\'e-led administration in the SAR. Others who inider- 
stood the qualities behind the Hong Kong success during its colonial 
days and knew the chemistry of a strong, effecti\e, exeeutixe 
administration, did not share such prematine optimism. Professor 
Lau Siu-kai and I obxiously belong to the doubting minority group 
not just b>' wa\' of theorx' but more so by participation in and 
obscrxation of how the colonial apparatus worked. We beliexed the 
SAP (loxernment would ha\e diffieultx- maintaining the exeeutixe 
order because of the mounting resistance to it from those xx ith an 
alternatixe agenda. What made Hong Kong tick \xas a consensus that 
socictx' should focus on eeonomies and not be obsessed xxith polities, 
a consensus that xxas unraxelling. 

Dining the earlier eolonial tlaxs the Legislatixe (loimeil had 
both offieials, that is mandarins, autl "unoffieials". that is piixate 
citizens \x ho xx ere appointeil and ansxx erable to the ( iox eiiior of the 
tla\' by xxhatexei' name. I'oxxei' lloxxeil fiom the exeeulixe. the enxoy 
ot the Oueeu. Before \*>7<i offieials ex en out uumiieietl unoffieials. 
This ensuied that, eome what max , the ( iox ernor L;ot xx hat he w anted 
lhroui;h iIk' I.L( K !( ). Lxen all ilie unoffieials should (\^\\ him. the 
olheials with the majoritx eouki alxxaxs oulxote the unoffieials. Thus 

lloiif4 hour's .Initntcy to Rcimi/icdlioii 

tile (ioxcnior, the master of patronage, enjoyed the preroiiatixe ot" 
first plaeiiiLi his faxourites in the l>E(j(X) and then re-enforeed that 
adxantaiie with the offieial majority. This offieial m.ijority, let alone 
the ultimate power of xeto, he nexer had to w ield thron,i;hoiit my 
time as a legislator and Kxeeiitixe (loimeillor. 

I sensed that sueh an arehaie arrangement had to be ehan«ie(.l 
and so, in 1*>76 in m\' eapaeity as the Senior Member of the LK(1(X), 
I persnaded. Governor Sir Mnrray MaeLehose to add more 
"unoffieials" and snbtraet offieials from the assembh'. 1 presented 
him with a teaser, saying if all ei\ilian appointees to the LECK'O 
were to disagree with him on an issue, would he abide b\' them. Sir 
Murray, after a pause, said he would. I then sui;i;ested that sinee he 
ob\'iously trusted his ''unoffieials" he could improx'e his own public 
image by naming more prixate citizens than eixil serxants to the 

Imagine, 1 said, if the police spotted someone toting a butcher 
knife in broad daylight and sauntering doxvn the street, xvould the 
constable pre-emptively stop, frisk and arrest this suspect or let him 
go because he had no incriminating evidence, no sxvag, on him and 
claimed not to be hell-bent on robbery, bedlam or some form of 
felony? The police xvould of course book him or at least take away 
his butcher knife. The Governor heeded my adxice for a pre-emptix'c 
reform for, after 1976, he installed in the LEGCO more "unofficials" 
than offieials, exen though there xvas no public outcry against the 
prexious structure. He had began an irrcxocable, democratic trend. 

His successor Sir Edxvard Youde ushered in not only more 
civilians into the assembly after Britain and (]hina signed the .loint 
Declaration in December 19S4, but also introduced elected members. 
This then furthered the democratic process that his predecessor 
had nurtured. The British Hong Kong Administration introduced 

^i^ 224 di^ 

The Lonii Transition 

elections to the LEGCO, albeit ot' tlic functional constituency kind, 
in I'^'SS. But still elected members accounted for only a third oi the 
total, leaving of course the appointed, both officials and unofficials, 
in the majority for the period between 19S6 and 1M91 when the 
P>asie Law was beini; drafted. Such a LE(i(>() composition had no 
serious impact on the executive-led system, e\en though the once 
staid assembly did get a whole lot livelier, which naturally increased 
the tele\ision news rating, whether or not it improved the quality of 
the bills passed and the debates held. 

The big shake-up only came in 1901 when directly-elected 
legislators were introduced and at the same time elected members 
became the majority. Four years later in 199,S all the appointed 
species, including both officials and unofficials. were extinct. This 
was when the Goxcrnmcnt felt for the first time serious jircssurc 
from the once docile LL(1(;() wherein the atmosphere ha^i been 
leisurely, like that of a country club, and legislative business got 
done with a minimal acrimony and maximum efficiency. No, not 
that there was an absence of discord Init the disagreements were 
resoKcd in priwate rather than out in the ojicn liecausc, back then, 
what had mattered was not piil>lic perception or thcatic Init cttect. 
Legislators of yore were not rcalK' s\coph;uns or lublKr stamps. 
riie\' hckl their own \iews and priorities and, iK'iiig suceesstul in 
their |")ri\atc sector careers, possessed cnougli sell-eontidencL' not 
to ha\e to toatb' to anxonc. In some wa\s those legislators were more 
cajialile of iutlix idual thinking than are- man\' eon(einporar\ politi- 
cians. forcNci" ignoriuL; tlK'ii- |Mi\ ale i|ualms anil pariotim; pari\ lines. 

.\lirnptl\- the .\diniiiisl ral loii in the earl\- l"''>()s hail to lobby 
for support anil allei' bills lo ihr n.sli\ e legislators" likin-; |-.\ en then 
members did amend or \ n\c dow n propt )si.'d k'Lii slat ion ,uul. in I '''M. 
e\en had the iin precede n I i,d U'UK'ritN ot deux niu I Ik' ( io\ i.Tnor the 

II()tif4 K(m,ii's JouniLy m HcuuificniUin 

\'()te of thanks tor his .iiiiuial I'ohcx- Adth-css. (;i\iht>- niul inaiincrs, 
\vhatc\cr these mis'ht be ealleti, went out the w hulow alont; with the 
oiiee ahnost eompiilsory attire of dresses for women and suits tor 
men. Some popuhst or rebelhous legislators just affeeted tlie style 
and art;ot of the streets as a statement of their refusal to lie eo-opted 
into the "estai)lishment". Postiu-ins; ant! utterini; sound bites beeame 
the norm. 

Governor (]hris Patten, who had willed the LEGCO to be more 
demoeratie or eonfrontational, only i^ot his reform paeka,i;e saved 
from beini> amended by one vote through the intereession of the 
l*rime Minister, John Ahijor. The onee xaunted exeeutive-led system 
was elearly breaking down and, whilst the decay made for more 
interesting news, it did not make for better government. The 
Administration began to lose the respeet, however once grudging, of 
the people. This was \'exing to those who cherished decorum, order, 
efficiency and common sense. 

The Basic Law stipulated that the SAR legislatin-e would be 
constituted by election of xarious means and methods. These elected 
members of course had to advance the interests of their constituents. 
They not only had to represent their xoters but must appear to do 
so since image mattered so much, mattered sometimes more than 

Hong Kong is not an independent country but a SAR of the 
Peoples Republic of China. The Chief Executive (CE) himself is 
afflicted with dual loyalty, lie had to abide by the voters, few though 
they were and are still now, and also the larger community, and at 
the same time discharged his duty to the Central Goxernment, which 
appointed him at the recommendation of the Selection Committee. 
To complicate an already confusing situation, China in formulating 
the rules for the election of the CE, also forbade any CE candidate 

^ 226 ^ 

The Lonfi Transition 

with political affiliations. Those who had such tics must resign 
forthwith from the party, c\cn though it could lend him and his 
administration support in the LE(i(X). The President of the I'nited 
States, for one, professes to ride for the non-partisan, national 
interests and yet he had his ow n party. Nonetheless he could induce 
defectors from the opposition to rally to his cause in the Congress 
and Senate. 

The power of the SAR legislature, like that of the other parlia- 
ments, is considerable. While the legislative assembly cannot initiate 
or formulate go\'ernment policy per .se, it can amend and repeal 
laws. The LEGCO can \ct and pass (or not) the budget as well as 
oNcrsec the revenue and expenditure. The members can be more 
than a nuisance because they can stall the government. 

The Basic Law, in promoting an cxectiti\'e-lcd administration, 
is wise enough to retain a power from the colonial era b\- \\a\- of its 
Article 74, which states that legislators can not mo\ c prixate 
members' bills that affect ptiblic expenditure, political structine and 
goNcrnment operations. Those legislators who want to encroach on 
this administrati\e prerogatixe nuist act|uirc the w ritten consent ot 
the (]hicf Lxecuti\e, which is unlil\el\'. 

The basic i>aw Annex II also lists in tictail tiic I.l{(iC() Noting 
procedures on bills and motions. The \cr>' elaborate, sometimes 
perplexing, composition of the (loinicil anti its electoral metluuls 
also prexent (.lomination in- an\' one |iart\'. Ihese instruments should 
be helpful in maintaining an e.xeeuti\ e-led S.\l\ .\dministrat ion. 

Taking all these factors into eonsitleralion. I reckon the basic 
Law b\- itself alone does not prn\ ide sullieieiu saleuuards tor an 
c.xeeutix e-led go\ernment and need sonie snpplenK'Utarx pro\ isions 
()ne wa\- is lor the (^hiet I'. \ei.'Ul i\ e to eonunand some consistent 
and substantial, it not majorilN . support in iIk' leUislaturi.' to di> his 

Iloiifi Koiifi's Journey to Rcuni/icdtion 

work better. It is siiiiiicstccl tli.'it the seeoiul elause of the l-vleetion 
Rules should he ;il)ohshecl, speeif'ie;illy the point about "Tlie (Miief 
Kxeeutixe eandidatine ean only be aeee|")ted in his personal eapaeity. 
People who belong to a party nuist iiuit the party when deelarinjs; his 
intention to run." As 1 write these memoirs the first Chief Exeeutixe, 
Tuui; Chee-hwa, is hobbled withoiU eonsistent support in the now 
highly politieized legislature and this has eroded publie eont'idenee 
in his ohiee and in his leadership. Furthermore it is Just like adding 
salt to injury, as he is also laek of support in the exeeutive braneh 
from his own men sharing his vision, advoeating and defending his 
polieies, and faithful to him. 

Looking forward, it is imperati\'e that the SAR Government 
should seek a proper law for politieal parties, and at the same time 
encourage their healthy development. The GoNcrnment should also 
do more to raise the standards of social and ei\'ic education, to 
nurture young political talent, and to eneoiuage more able and cix'il 
people to take part in politics. Only then can the SAR look towards 
to a bright, democratic and dynamic future under an executive-led 

Reckless Drwing 

The (Chinese Government in\'ited Hong Kong Affairs Advisors and 
Preliminary Working C'ommittee members to a resort near Sanya, 
Hainan Island, for a holiday from 16 to IS December 1994. The 
tropical setting would relax the perpetually tense people and induce 
them to think more creatively than in the confine of bustling 
conference halls and crowded hotel lounges. Strolling along the 
esplanade. Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Director Lu Ping 
and I inad\'ertently strayed from the pack. We stragglers, therefore, 

'.^ 228 :^ 

The Lon^ Transition 

had only each otiicr to talk to and it was then that Lii told me that 
the Sino-l)ritish Joint Liaison (irouii niis^ht form an expert s^roiip to 
oversee the llont; Kong British (loxernment in drawing up the 1996- 
97 and the 1997-9cS budgets. The Director said his (ioxcrnment 
wanted me to be advisor to the expert group and hoped that 1 would 

This plan was officially announced in early 1995 and the group 
would be called, "The Expert ( iroup on the Transitional Ikidget and 
Related Matters". China appointed to it, besides Mainland offici.als 
and economic specialists as members, some Hong Kong members of 
the PWG Economic Specialized Group as advisors. Right away the 
detractors of the PWG began to moan about some of us gaining 
monetary benefits from learning the fiscal secrets of the Hong Kong 
Government. The tarring of the F\\'(' had by then iieconie a nerxous 
tick with some people. Even some Hong Kong officials groused. 

South China Morning Post columnist Fann\- Wong (now .Mrs. 
Mike Rowsc and an employee of the Independent Gommission 
Against (^)rruption) wrote an article on the subject. She harped on 
the conflict of interest issue and asked the (Ihinese ( iox ernnicnt to 
act cautiously. 

{ )n the same day that Wongs column appearei.1 I fa.xed to Hong 
Kong and .Macao Affairs ( )ffice and .Xinhua News .\genc\' llon^ Koni; 
branch 1 )i rectors. l,u I'iuLt and /lioii Nan. sam|">les of h\ sterical aiticles 
decr\'ing the .ippoiinincnts ol prixale sector iiidix idiials to the l.xpert 
( Iroup. 1 said, w hetiier the attacks were lair or not .( !h in, i had (o attend 
to the issue of the potential eontliet of interest ;ind assiii\' tile pui^lic 
the woik and role ot the athisors were iie\oiul leproaeh. 

I pi'o|">osed two wa\s for liie ( Chinese ( lo\ennnenl to alla\" the 
fears, e.xaggeratetl or not. 1 said .uix isois trom IIoul; Kong could take 
an oath, such as leciuireil ol !'.\eeuli\L- < louiK'illors The woi\ling 



:^ 230 ^ 

Tlw Lond Trdusition 

could be: "I, as advisor to tlic Chinese (iovernment's expert group 
in the eonipilation of the budget estimates, will not disclose in any 
form sensitive or secret information without the prior permission of 
the (Chinese Government. 1 will also not benefit myself or any person 
with the knowledji^e of sensitive and secret information." 

The alternati\e, which is more difficult to effect, was for the 
Chinese side not to release to the advisors any document containing 
secret or sensitive information. In addition, advisors will not parti- 
cipate in discussions that could be construed as conflict of interest. 

The Chinese Government heeded the adxice and opted to have 
the four advisors — Nellie Fong, Shao Youbao, Philip Wong and myself 
— took the oath in April 1995 during the Economic Specialized 
Croup meeting in Beijing before the (Chinese Representati\e of the 
Joint Liaison Group, Zhao .Jihua. Lu, his deputy Zhang Liangdong 
and a few Chinese officials were also present to witness the simple 
oath taking ceremony. 

Much was discussed in the series of the Expert ( iroup meetings 
lasting until the Chinese recovery of Hong Kong Init none was more 
memorable than what the Chinese Kepresentatixe. Chen Zuo'er, 
blurted out at the press iiUer\ie\\ after the fifth eonelax e in lieijing 
in Noxember 1995. His graphic metaphor and intensit\- of emotion 
c.xcitetl the media as nuicli as the subject that so aroused him. The 
oiuburst was cathartic as it was positive too because it showed how 
sincerely concerned the Chinese side was about proteetiuii the assets 
and future of the lloni; Kong Special .\dniinis(rati\ e Keiiion. 

The budget l^.xpert (iroup iueUuied. for the reeoid and among 
others, on the ( Chinese side: ( Mien Zuo'er from tite .ll.( \. ( iao (JianU 
of the I'inanee Miiiisti\-. /hu /iishou of the iMneiun .Minisi i\ . I.iii 
(Jiang of the I ion<; Koul; aiui M.K'Mo .\ffaiis ( )ffiee. plus Wanu l.iu ot 
Xinhua News .\geue\ of llouu Kouu IWaneh. The british had 

Horifi Knnii's .lounicy to RcxinificdtUm 

represcntiiii; tlicni llons^ Koni; ( Ion Lrnnicnt's Treasury Secretary 
Kwoni; Ki-elii ( now ( Miiet' Exeeuti\e of the 1 lon.u Konft Stock Exchange) 
and his three deputies — Alan Lai, l\e\in llo and Mike Kowse. 

At the liriet [iress interx iew alter the meeting, C^hen stood side 
hv side w ith KwoiiLi and made a statement to the astonishment and 
alarm of exeryhody present. He said. "The Hong Kong British 
Government is planning the social welfare expenditure like a reckless 
driver who is going so fast that he will eventually crash and get 
killed." He was speaking in response to a reported speech made by 
the Hong Kong Director of Social welfare, Ian Strachan, at the 
Kowloon Lions Club on 14 Xoxember P^*>5. Strachan had boosted 
that welfare expenditure in Hong Kong had increased by 160 per 
cent in the past fixe years from HKS5 liillion in 1990-91 to S13 
billion in 1995-96. He further predicted that based on current rate 
of expansion Hong Kong's social welfare services would reach the 
First World standard by year 2000. 

(dien was annoyed that the l)ritish did not bring the 
expenditure forecast straddling 1997 for discussion prior to making 
the public statement. He suspected that the British had a plot to sap 
the \itality of Hong Kong and present the SAR Goxernment with a 
bill its treasury could not honour, thus causing social disaffection 
with the new administration and general alienation. The envoy from 
the JLG was not speaking from his prepared notes. He extemporized, 
an utterance that came from the heart. 

China had hoped that the British would be more prudent and 
considerate, which they had promised to be in the spirit of the Joint 
Declaration. The Colonial Administration had evidently ignored the 
Chinese plea and, thus, to paraphrase Chen, contrived to drive the 
car of Hong Kong recklessly. 

The Chinese Government Expert Group for the Transitional 

=^ 232 ^ 

The L(in^ Transition 

Budget commenced its work in March 1995 and continued until the 
sovereignty transfer on M) .kuic 1997. During these two years its 
influence on both the 1996-97 and 1997-9(S budj^ets was really 
minima!. In the first instance the Ilong Kong budgets by themselves 
are ver\- complicated with all the trend figures and policy ratios that 
members, including the advisors of the Chinese Expert Group, were 
not familiar with and could not readily grasp. In addition the Chinese 
side had no veto power and the liritish needed not heed its advice 
and objection. The continual fast expansion (jf social welfare expendi- 
ture after Chen's outburst is a good case in point. 

Growth of Welfare Expenditure 1990-99 

Fiscal Year '^0/<n ';i/92 92/<^3 93/94 04/')5 95/96 

Welfare Exp. (SI 00 Million) 4S.<-' Cl.3 70.3 <S7.9 105.4 129.6 
Average Growth Rate - 21% per annum 

Fiscal Year 95/95 96/97 97/98 9S/99 99/00 

Welfare Exp. (SI 00 Million) 129.6 167.9 203.4 253.3 272.6 
(Irowth Rate 2i% 29% 2V'o 24"., 7% 

The Ilong Kong SAR (ioxcrnmcnt c\cntuall\" tlitl slow down 
the welfare expenditure growth rate in 1999 just as the Asian financial 
crisis and the resultant lioni; Kong recession were raisini; 
uneniplovment. The cut was ob\ iouslx' iiecessarx' and paintul as it 
was unpopular. 

Victims of tlic Sino-British Dispute 

1 ha\c often jtondercd who were the Lircatest xictims ot the wholly 
neetlless llritish anti ('.hinesc wranule in the last \ears ot the 
transition, (lenciallx speakiuLi. those hurt In the Iracas were the 
ortlinar\ jieople ol IIoul; Kong, some ol whom lost conli».lence and 

lloiiLi Kong's .loitnicy la Rctnii/lcdtioii 

miiilu li;i\c nii^ratcd. Still others i^rcw tliscncliaiitcd with the 
rancorous jioMtical process, especialK' the constant postiu'lni; and 
bickcrini; tliat tilled the airwaxes, the television screens and the news 
pages. Worst of all, the Sino-liritish confrontation distracted the 
public from a worthwhile enterprise, that of dexelopinsi Ilon^ Kon^s 
longer term econonn- and society. lUit the\' aside, the chief sufferers 
were indixitluals who could ha\'c gained higher office if l)ritain and 
(]hina had co-operated, as en\'isai;ed dining the early years of the 

Back in the mid-19(S()s \\'hcn I was the Senior Member of the 
Executix'c ('oimcil, with the Joint Declaration signed, the (jovernor 
in Council had considered constructin;i; a rail for the through train 
on which the futiu-e Chief Executive would first be a passenger, then 
the conductor. The thinking was that Britain and China in 1995 or 
1996 would together nominate a Deputy (loxcrnor who would be 
the under-study of the incumbent. The specification for that was 
written into the Joint Declaration Clause 3, Sub-clause (4), which 
reads, "The Chief Executi\'e will be appointed by the (Central People's 
Go\'ernmcnt on the basis of the results of elections or consultations 
to be held locally." The Executi\'e Council at that time leaned more 
towards the consultation method than the election, if only because 
it appeared less unseemly, more dignified, less contentious, and more 
in tunc with the Hong Kong tradition. 

Not only the Deputy Governor would be on the "through train", 
so too would be the Executi\'e and the Legislatixc Branches of the 
Colonial Government with minimum fuss, other than for the 
necessary oath of allegiance they must pay to the new sovereign on 
1 July 1997. Such an effortless, graceful carrying on of business 
appealed to those of us who simply dreaded any hint of trauma. 
Businessmen too, local and international, and the foreign community 

c^ 234 ^ 

Tlie ijinfi Transition 

would like this just as much because their interests would not he 
jeopardized. People would not ha\e to he preoccupied with the 
succession issue or he forced tcj take sides. This all seemed so smart, 
so sensible. 

I retired as the Senior Member of EXCO in September 1988. 
Dame L\dia Dimn succeeded me and Allen Lee in turn succeeded 
her as the Senior Member of the Legislative (Council as well as 
remained in the EXCO to bridge the two ('ouncils. Lee siibset|ucntly 
told me that, after my exit, the KXGO continued to nuill oxer a 
candidate for the Deputy (ioxernor. The majority ojiinion was just 
like tlie emerging consensus in the "(labinet" when I had been its 
Senior Member. 

Should Sino-l>ritish co-operation continued as amicable as in 
the mid-1 9S()s, it was likely that one of the senior mandarins of 
ethnic Chinese descent and steeped on adininistrati\ c experience, 
such as the (Ihief Secretary or the Financial Sccretarx". would be 
appointetl to the new post of Dcjiuty (lo\ernor prior to 1*>*>7 with 
the blessing of both the l>ritish and ( lliinesc (lo\ernments. Thereafter 
in accordance witii (he Article 45 of the liasic Law. the Deputx' 
(ioxernor would be selectetl through consultations held localK and 
appointed b\' the (lentral Peoples (loxernmeni as the first (Ihief 
I'>xecuti\e of the Iloni; Kong S.\l\. 

lint, alas, this tidx' and almost seamless transi(i(»n was not to 
be, whoexer's fault (his nii^lil iiaxe been. The peifect solution 
tlissolxed when Pritain ehan^ed its poliex' low arils (Miina and. 
thereu|ion, innlennineil trust aiul co-operation. The rancour also 
tindermineil the .inihilion dI the ineiinibent ( Mile! Seerelarx- at the 
time (Anson ( !han. now ret! ret 1 ) oi the ineiiinbent I'inaneial Seere- 
tarx' at (he time (Sii Don.iKI Ts.iiii;, now ( 'hiel Sccretarx) to riile on 
the "(hroui;h li.iin .iseeniliiii; to tlK' lop oltic'e ot the tirst ("hiet 


llnuf> Kotifi's .lounicy fo Hciinificutioyi 

Executive of the IlKSAR. I heliexe any of those eandidates was a 
easualtv of the elash of sovereigns and at least one of tlieni rues tiiat 
to this dav. 

q^ 236 4j?0 

Cfiavter 4 

The Hong Kong SAR 

The Preparation 

Provisional Legislative Council 

The ProN'isional Les^islatixe ("oiincil was the rekietant altcniatix c to 
the "through train " whieh (]hris Patten had derailed with his 
unilateral reform programme. The Chinese Central Government had 
eo-operated with the British (loxernment through the Joint 
Declaration and, later, the IJasie Law, in whieh a "through train" 
was designed tor the serxing legislators in l*>^->7. These efforts were 
made to ensure minimum disruptions to the running of Ilong Kong 
as it e\()l\ed from a l)ritish eolon\' to a Speeial Admiuistratix e Region 
ofCJiina. This sensible, unii|ue approaeh was initi;ited h\' the IJritish 
in I*>SS when I was the Senior Member of the iv\eeuti\e (^)uneil. it 
had, \er>' imfortimateh', eome mulone (.luring the fixe years of the 
last (ioxernor who hritl another ageiula. 

The i'reliminarx- Working (Committee, of whieh 1 was a 
member, had to eope with the ilerailment lu the first tjuartei- of 
!*)')(), liritain and ( 'hiua had r^aehed a eonseusus on politieal retorm 
that would allow .ser\ ing leL;islalors to c-ontinue onw.ud. exei-pl tor a 
rei|uisite stop on the traeks to pktlge alkgianee to tlK' ulw S.\I\ of 
( Ihiua and adheiciKX' to the li.isie Law W h^'U ( !luis l'att(.ii sueeeedeii 
in getting his polilK'al reform paekagc' throuuh the Lei^isktt i\ e 

Iloiiii /uuiijs Jounicy to Rviinificdtiou 

("oiincil, n\'c)idini4 bciiiii aniciulcd by one \'ote, in .Innc 10<M, tlic 
derailment was certain. The I*\\'(; had then to step in at the elexenth 
horn" to tind a way to ,i>et all the neeessar\' jiieees ot the legislation 
passed and the transitional work related to the leiiislatmx' done for 
the usherini; in of the new era on 1 July 1*>'>7 legally and with dignity. 
Fixe N'ital steps in\ol\'in,s4 the Lei>islati\e (]ouneil, proxisional 
or not, must ha\e been taken before the SAR could turn from promise 
into fact and xision into reality. These were: 

(1) The Le,i;islati\'e (^oimcil, according to Article 90 of the 
Basic Law, must endorse the SAR Chief Executive's 
appointment of the judges of the Court of Final Appeal 
and the Chief Judge of the High Court. 

(2) The National People s Congress in promulgating on 4 April 
1990 the Basic Law specified the setting up of the Basic 
Law^ Committee with six Mainland members and six Ilong 
Kong members. The latter had to be nominated jointly 
by the ('hief F^xecutive, the President of the Legislative 
Council and the (]hief Justice. 

(3) The SAR Lcgislatixe Council must be operatix'c at or 
immediately after mid-night on 30 June 1997 to debate 
and pass the Reunification Bill. 

(4) The SAR Lcgislatixe Council must meet as soon as possible 
after the transition at mid-night on 30 June 1997 to amend 
and/or revoke any existing legislation that contravened 
the Basic Law and also any existing legislation not 
acceptable to the SAR Government. 

(5) The SAR Legislative Council must debate and pass the 
first Sx\R financial budget for 1997-98 as soon as possible 
after 1 July 1997. 

0^3 238 OS'S 

The Ihm^ Kon^ SAR 

Quite plainly there must ha\e to be a f'unetioning Legislative 
Gouneil of some sort latest by 1 .July P^'-*? to fill any le^al \-oid. 
Preferably the (]ouneil should be operative before 1 .luly 19<>7 to 
perform the tedious preparatory work. This was the guiding principle 
taken by the PWC Politieal Affairs (iroup in its discussions on 
contingencies to deal with the end of the Sino-British co-operation. 
After some lengthy deliberations it was clear that there were two 
main schools of thought. The first was to establish a Provisional 
Legislative Council that would exist for a relatixely short dura- 
tion prior to the formation of the substanti\e Legislative (Council. 
The other was to rush in to form the first substantive legislature. 

The second alternati\e was based on the Basic Law Article 68 
which stipulated that the SAK legislature must be constituted by 
election and in accordance with that prescribed in its Annex II. Annex 
II stated that the SAR Legislative (Council would comprise 60 
members, and for the first Lcgislati\c (louncil it should be formed 
in accordance with the decisions of the National People's Congress. 
Some PWC members felt the better answer would be to ha\ e the 
NP(^ amend its own resolution adopted on 4 .\pril ]*)*)() to let the 
Selection (-onnnittee, which was to pick the Chief Lxeeutixe. also 
elect the first SAK Legislati\e ( Council as well. They figured this option 
was better than a jiroxisional legislature with a short ()|")erating lite 
and with dubious legitiniaex' that wouki most likeK' be ehallenged in 
the Hong J\ong coints. 

The first alteni;iti\e and the more popular of the choices, was 
to h;i\e ;i Pi<)\ isional Legisl;iti\e (louiieil ;is (he inleriiu solution. 
The thinkiuii was sut^'li ;mi ;isseiubl\ would h;iudle ,dl the 
mandalor\' woiks for the tiaiisitiou while leiiNinu (he !irs( S.\l\ 
Legislatixe ( louueil uioie or less e\;ie(l\ as (he NIH ". had eu\ isaued it 
when i( appro\ed the I'.asie Law iu )'>*>(). l"-\en (hen. with (his tacit 

Ilonsi Konfi's Ji>itnicy fo Rcitniticdtion 

agreeincnt. the debate eontinued. (China's leiial experts helie\ed the 
Preparatory 0)nimittee, wliieh was to siieeeed the I'WC, had the 
preroiiatixe to shape tlie Pi"o\isional Lei^islatixe (louiieil and t'a\'oiired 
haxiuii the Seleetion ('oniniittee nominate the C)(» le^ishitors aloni; 
with the ('hief Exeeiitixe. 

Members also noted tliat, in either case, the resultant 
legislatmx' eonld not eompK' with the rules speeified in the liasie 
Law Annex II, regarding the parts about Noting procedures tor bills 
and resolutions. 

K\ entually, after a lot more deliberation, the PWC decided to 
have a Proxisional Legislative Coimcil lasting no longer than twelve 
months from 1 July 1997 and be succeeded by the first SAR 
Legislative Council in 199(S imder the terms and conditions of the 
Basic Law. 

The P\\'C of course anticipated the legal challenge, espe- 
cially from the Democratic Party and its allies. The Democrats 
did the predictable — and predictability is their trait — in 1997 
prior to the sovereignty transfer by seeking a judicial rexiew of 
the Prox'isional Legislative Council only to be rebuffed by the 
High Court on 12 June 1997. There xxill be more on this in a later 

The SAR Selection Committee of 400 members, xvhich held 
its meetings in Shenzhen under the jurisdiction of the People's 
Republic of China, duly on 21 December 1996 nominated 60 
members of the Provisional Legislative Council xxith Rita Fan as its 
President. On 28 May 1998 the election xvas carried out in the HKSAR 
in accordance xvith the Basic Laxv to form the first SAR Legislative 
Council, xvhich came into being on 1 Jidy 1998, replacing the 
Provisional Legislative Council and putting behind it the xxhole C'hris 
Patten reform saga. 

c^ 240 ^ 

Tlw llon^ KonH BAR 

% B.5f >A -^ t 1^ )% t ^ 

I'ltite 4.1 The End-of-Tcnn Dinner of the I'lovisioncil Lc^ishuii-c Council. 1998. 

The Guessin;^ Game 

The idea ot' eonxertini; a Britisli eolony into an antononioiis region 
ot another eoimtry was yrantl .ind unprecetlcntetl but the details 
that the proeess entailed were tedious and eomplex. Those ot' us 
inxohed in inakiui; the notion 140 were boi;>ied down in a hundred 
eonundrunis. Ikit in some \\a\s the most intriiiuiui; aspeet ot our 
enterpiise was ideniit'\ im; the riUht ( Ihiet' lv\eeuti\e. The ditt'ieuh\- 
in the endea\ our was that I lonti Konii hat! ne\ er had tiiL- opportunity 
to piek its own leader throuUhout the period ot toreiUn iiilc in w Inch 
the (loxernor was alwa\s the hendieiarx' ol one person, one vote, 
the person beim; the lirilish Prime Minislei' ot the da\'. 

I ilid not think too mueh about bcinu a ('.hie! l'\eeuti\e 
eamhilate m\sclt. c\cn though others had |H'rioi.iieall\ ti|->iiLd me 
to be a possible ehoiee probabb bct^Musc ol m\ cxperienec in 

^ 241 ^ 

Iloiiii Koiiii's Journey to RcintijK-dtion 

politics aiul .'ulniinistratioii. I was flattered, yes, but 1 was not 
keen abont the pursuit of the post w hen 1 was well into my 7()s and 
laekins; the \'ini and \ii;()ur. K\en if the heart was there, the lei^s 
were not. 

P)aek in 1994 the usually inforniati\ e.\//rrf;r ma;^azine reported 
the remarks made by the former Chairman of the National People's 
Congress, Wan Li, about nominations reeei\ed in Heijin.i; for the 
first Chief Exeeutixe. One of the names on his list was ('himii Sze- 
yuen, myself. The oetos^enarian mused aloud that, whilst 1 was then 
76, ai^e shotild not be an obstacle because what counted to him was 
competence and ability in capitalist administration, lie also 
mentioned the other nominations receixed, including Justice Simon 
Li, the then Chief .lustice Sir Ti-liang Yang, former civil servant John 
Chan, W'heelock conglomerate Chairman Peter Woo and property 
consultant Leung Chun-ying. Li. Yang and Woo subsequently did 
bid for the post. 

Since the Mirror article, which 1 did not take too seriously, 
my name constantly cropped up in talks about the future Chief 
Executive. Fanny Wong in the SoiitJi China Moruiiiii Post on 2^ 
November 1995 even claimed that 1 was the odd one favourite to 
take up the post because of what she percei\'ed to be my combina- 
tions of attributes. She also described a speech 1 made on 21 
November at the Annual Fellows Dinner of the Hong Kong Manage- 
ment Association about the tasks ahead for the Chici Executix'c as a 
platform oration. This of course was not the speech's intended 
purpose. She was off the mark with her interpretation of my delixery 
and yet she was pretty right about how some people thought what 
the qualifications were for the job. Some Hong Kong members of the 
Preliminary Working Committee and the Preparatory Committee, 
such as Dr. Raymond Wu, Tsui Sze-man, and Professor Patrick Ho, 

«#t 242 ^ 

The llon^ Kon^ SAR 

had at times prompted me to vie for the pcxst. 1 pohtely dismissed 
their entreaty. 

I recalled the time wlieii I retired trom the Kxeeiiti\e (iouneil 
in 19(S(S when I was already older than 70. At the time with another 
nine years before 19*)7, my most fervent wisii in 1<>.S(S was to live 
Ions; enou;s^h to witness the national reimifieation under the terms 
of the Joint Deelaration. 1 did not contemplate iieimi the (Ihief 
Kxceutive much until the concept, or temptation, crept lirietly into 
my head when the (Ihincsc (Central (Government appointed me in 
1992 as its Hong Kong Affairs Advisor, and the following year to the 
newly formed PWG. These appointments together w ith encourage- 
ment from some of my friends stimulated my interest. Ikit then 1 
also realized the limits of time, as 1 looked at ni\ hair eitlier turning 
grey or falling off my head. I was basicalh" fit, as robust as eould be 
expected for a person of my age, but just did not ha\e the stamina to 
campaign for and take on the puniti\cly exacting Job. 1 had a choice 
between preser\'ing my health or risking it for the ser\icc to Ilong 
Kong and also for wmity. 1 chose the saner course ami at one time 
joking with Dr. W'u that "Voin- asking me to run for the C.V, is hke 
wanting me to bitl for a state funeral." 

While I parrietl off the IA\'(] and PC eoileagues" suggestion. 1 
hati to do tile same to one from the Ilong Koui; nuil Maeao Attairs 
( )ffiee Direetor, l,u I'ing. During a c|uiet talk with liiin in a hotel 
room at the I long Kong . Maeao ( leiitre in lieijing in l''*',^. he t|uerie<.l 
me out of the blue whether I was keen for the (Ihief l!\eeut i\ e"s 
post. I tlemurred, saxing to I.u that if IkuI not been 7.S but latht-'i' JO 
years \'ouiigei", I wouKl eousider running. I'.ut now at this sta^e ot 
m\' life I eould not taee {\\c ixbull Innn i1k' elei^-torati.' it 1 lost, or up 
to the most deniandin>; job il I wui This was what 1 would >.'all a no 
win situat ion. 

?•/.? ^ 

Honfi Koiifi's Journey tt> Kcuni/icntion 

Bumps and Ruts on the Road 

The tnsk of preparing Ilonii Kony to be ;i Speeial Aclministrati\-e 
Region ot' (Ihina was hard but made harder by the hostility and 
pettiness ot the (Colonial CjO\ernment that resented any parallel or 
challenge, real or imagined, to itself e\en hi its waning months. Those 
ealled upon to fulfil their ei\ie or patriotie duty ne\'er deluded 
themsehes that the llritish would eo-ojierate as lonj; as (ioxernor 
Chris i'atten remained at the helm sinee he was the piU^t who had 
steered the ship into troubled waters. Ikit some did expeet a little 
more eixility or graeiousness only to find out that asking for a little 
was already asking for too mueh. 

I, one of the vietims. felt the Hong Kong Governments wrath 
as far baek as 1995 for trying to do in my personal capaeity what 
Britain had been eommitted to by treaty to work with CJhina to effeet 
a smooth transition. I ga\e on 21 Xo\'ember 1995 a speeeh at the 
Annual Fellowship Dinner of the llong Kong Management Associa- 
tion in the Regent Hotel in Kowloon. 

The talk, entitled "The Most Crueial Year in the Transition" 
was quite innocuous in my estimation since it merely laid out on a 
map the route of the final 12 months of the transition for the SAR 
Government in waiting. I foresaw the first SAR Chief Executive would 
be chosen in the latter half of 1996 and he would fashion his 
administration according to the doctrine of the Basic Law and his 
own \ision. Half a year was the least time he needed to select and 
drill his team for the \ery detailed undertaking. Even with the best 
of the British and Chinese intentions the task would be Herculean 
but, as I spoke, the British intentions were hostile and the Chinese 
were sincere but without the clearest directions. Such a Chief 
Executive Elect, under tremendous public pressure and press 

Q*r 244 ^ 

The HonH Kons, SAR 

scrutiny, must pick his ICxccuti\c (louncil. ills (i.ihinct, which would 
have to be inclusi\c but not too bis; and im^ainly. lie would then 
have to nominate his principal ot'ticials for appointment by the 
(Central (ioxcrnment. He would have to inspire or at least be able to 
focus the peoples' attention on the future policies and o\ersee a 
dignified transfer of sovereignty. He would ha\e to repeal and replace, 
with the assistance of his Exceutixe (louncil and legislature, laws 
which are contrary to either the Basic Law or to the interest of 
the future SAR. lie had to do all this while outside a mob of 'demo- 
crats' and demagogues, roused by mischief-makers, besieged and 
beseeched him about preser\ing the unilateral reforms that had been 
implemented by the British. 

I predicted in my speech that the (Ihicf Kxceutixe Klect would 
set up a temporary office staffed by a few hundred persons ranging 
from clerks to senior advisors by the end of 1^^*>(). Such an essential 
establishment, though, would irk some paranoid groups and the 
recalcitrant l)ritish Hong Kong (iovcrn men t, which would be afraid 
of an alternati\e soiu'cc of power and disliked being portraxed as a 
"lame duck" administration. I said such a shatlow goxcrnment was 
ine\itable before Hong Kongs reunification with (Ihina and that it 
should not be lamented but rather aiijiieciated. 

1 then cited (he example ot the I "iiiled States, a superpower of 
toila\'. 'ihe Anierieaiis. I stressed, elect their new President once 
e\er\" four \ears dining the first week of NoxemlKr but would not 
inaugiuate him uiuil 20 .laiuiar\' the lo||(iwiii<; \ear, nearh three 
months Intel' hnringtiie interval the President l\leet will ha\e t«> 
assemble his team ol o\er one thoiisaiul political .appointees, who 
together form in essence ;i shadow liov ernment . I imploreil the people 
not to rush to cniuienni but to eolhibi )r.ite. ignoring the calumnies 
anti excitements ot I hose w ho tlitl not want the 1 1 ansition to sueeeeil. 

Iloiiii Kouii's Jdiirncy ti> Rcuutticdtioii 

Whereas the ehan^e in the Tniteel States is a rei^iilar eliaiiiie of ruling 
parties, tliat in lloni; Koni; in 1*><>7 was one ot'ehani^e of so\ereii>nty 
wiiieh was unusual and a one off operation. ( )in- work was eoniplex, 
sensitive ant! tedious and with results whieh nuist lie rii^ht for the 
six and a half million people before the eyes of the world. lUit the 
enterprise was worthwhile beeause what was to happen was 
unpreeedented in history — a peaeeful return of one pareel of land 
with all the people li\'inji> on it from one state to another. I uri;ed all 
to eontribute oxer the final sta^e to the proeess that would eulminate 
in an elaborate eeremony, ij^nore the oxer-lappini; boimds of 
authority, and be rational rather than emotional. 

Immediately after the delixery of my speeeh whieh analysed 
the scenario impassively and objeetixely, the Hong Kong British 
Goxernment and the biased wing of the media rounded on me and 
attempted to mislead the people. Nonetheless the vindication was 
mine and it was sweet when indeed the Selection Committee of 400 
selected the first (]hief Executix'c in December 1996. lie in turn 
established his office, known as the Office of the Chief Exceutix'C, 
Hong Kong SAR, The People's Reptiblic of China, at the Asia Finan- 
cial Centre on Garden Road, opposite to the new Bank of China 
Tower, which was designed by the famous Chinese American 
architect, I. M. Pei. 

The Chief Executixe Elect, Tung Chee-hwa, eventually brought 
in a crew of some 80 people, most were seconded from the Hong 
Kong Government and some were from his own shipping company, 
Oriental Overseas. Heading the Tung C^hec-hwa team was Michael 
Suen, now the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, and the Office 
Administrator was Fanny Law, now the Secretary for P^ducation 
and Manpower. The legion laboured under tremendous strain 
and yet they maintained enough composure to ward off vicious and 

i^ 246 ^^^^ 

The Hoiifi Kona SAR 

constant barbs as well as innuendoes trom the Sinophobie media. 

Tiuiii, as the (liiiet Kxeeiitixe, eonnniserated witii me after the 
transfer of sox'erei^nty how the Ilonj; Konj^ British ( io\erinnent hati 
frustrated him and denied him more staff assistance. He was still 
innocent, not realizing how it was not to the interest of the last 
occupant of the (lo\'ernment House to let him, a pcrceixed ri\al, 
succeed or hax'c a smooth sailing. 

K\'en though the Chief Kxecutixe Elect was in the saddle in 
December 1996, he could not rim on without a Icgislatiu'c — the 
Provisional Legislative (Council, which had to be assembled by early 
1997 at the latest. Thus for half a year Hong Kong would ha\e two 
legislatures, the colonial one fading out and the SAR prox isional one 
preparing to get in. This duality would pose many unaxoidable 
problems because the British had derailed the "through train" for 
those legislators elected in 1995 under the r)ritish Administration. 
Some of the confusion could be cleared away if both the embrxonie 
SAR (ioN'crnment and the end of the line Colonial Atiministration 
would explain the predicament to the public. This, howexer. the 
(Colonial ( loxernmeiit, led by ( Ihris I'atten, refused to do and, instead, 
scorned the Troxisional Legislatix e ( louueil and stojiped officials from 
co-operating w ith ii. I did m\' bid spelling out the \\ccl\ foi" and the 
role of such a proxisional legislature. 

but right after m\- speech Attorney Ceneral .Ierem\- Mathews, 
the ouK' British m.iiularin left behiutl at that time, attacked me in 
the letters column of the Soiilli (Hiiiui MoniiuLi I'osi . The trained 
solicitor coutendetl that some groups weie boiuul to contest the 
legitimacN' of the I'rox Leuislat i\ e ( '.ouueil all the wax iodic 
SAK ( lourt of final Appeal. Some politicians look the cue and j^oadLii 
the public to lesist and lioyi,'oll sneh .i k'^ nie. Matthews then 
piedictetl that if the appeal succeeded, then not onlx- this institution 

Jtfr 347 -^^ 

IlotiLi I\())i^'s .lixinuy til Rcuiiiticdtioii 

would li:i\c to 1k' tlishaiulctl but also all the laws it had passed would 
he iuxalitlated, thus eausiuL; le^al ehaos. The two ot us were joined 
in the epistolaiN' tra\' by a lawyer named Lam Kam, an ().\toid 
graduate, who thouiiht my case was stroniier than Matthew's was. 
The row went on imtil the end ot the liritish Iloni; Koui; anti the 
retiun to the Tnited Kintidom ot the last colonial Attorney (ieneral. 

Whilst reeoiinizini; the need tor the l*ro\isional Legislative 
Coimcil to operate prior to 1 .lid\' 1*^*>7, some (Tiinese ottieials, 
members of the Preliminary Workini; (lonmiittec as well as the 
Preparatory Committee had worries about its operation under the 
British jurisdiction. Whereas the Attorney (lencral bristled at the 
lei^itimacy ot the assembly, the others were more concerned with 
its mimdane logistics. They fii^ured the Honi^ Kong Gov^ernment 
would not welcome the institution meeting in its jurisdiction because 
that woidd add insult to injury. Some also fretted over groups 
antagonistic towards C^hina or "Sinophobes" rallying against the 
Provisional Legislative Council. The Hong Kong Government would 
also interfere. Those anti-China media would be no less intrusi\'e 
and injming. 

I had earlier suggested to some Chinese officials and members 
of the PC that the Pro\'isional Legislature could hold its meetings in 
the nearby (Chinese territory such as Zhuhai, next to Macao on the 
west bank of Pearl lliver, or Shenzhen, north of the Hong Kong border. 
This way the Pro\'isional Legislature would be beyond the reach of 
the Hong Kong British Government, the shouting range of the rabble 
rousers and yet close enough to ensure ample press and T\' coverage. 
I remember \i\idly on one summer day in \99b Sir Quo-wei. Lee 
and I had lunch in the Hang Seng Bank penthouse with the x'isiting 
PC member Li Chuwen from Shanghai. Li was the Deputy Director 
of Xinhua Hong Kong Branch during the 198()s and ad\'isor to the 

^ 248 ^ 

The Honfi Konii SAR 

Shanghai Municipal ( ioxcrnincnt in the l*>M()s. lie had expressed 
the same concern as some other (Ihinese ottieials hut was ciuite 
rehcxed after hearing my su;[^estion. 

Eventually the Proxisional Lei;islati\e (Council met in Shen/hen 
from January to June 1*>'>7 despite causing some inconxenience to 
its memhers. Mathews was rit>ht, howcxer, ahout the Democrats suinj; 
the institution. An elderly Democrat, NgKing-luen, heeame the proxy 
through which his jiarty challenged the Proxisional Legislature in 
the High (]ourt in 1MU7 prior to the sox'ereignty transfer. In the 
Judgement gix'cn hy Justice Sears on 12 June D^'J?. it said, inter 

"( 1 ) It max- xxell he Mr. Ng xvas specifically chosen hecause he 
qualified for legal aid and therefore the public arc funding 
this application. 

(2) There xvas nothing unlaxxful xxhich the Proxisional 
Legislature done. 

(3) The ( Court's jurisdiction xvas only oxer xxhat took place 
in Hong Kong." 

Finally Justice Sears said, "I'he conclusion therefore I haxe 
come to is that this .-ipplication is bound to fail. It has no chance 
of success Mt nil ;nid 1 would be xxrong to permit tuttlicr jiublic 
expenses and further judicial lime being spent on it. The a|">plication 
is refused." 

After the soxx-reignty tr;msfer and in .hilx- l")'>7. jn the case of 
HKSAK r. Da\ ii.1 .\la ;md others in the (lourt of .\p|ieal, Solicitor- 
( leiieral Daniel I'iiiil: w as act in l; for the I IKS.XK and ( iladx s I.i ( former 
(Jiairman ot the Par .\ssoeialion and daughtLi' ot retired .histice 
Simon I.i) for the deleutlants. The main issue argued xxas wlKther 
the ("ommon Law surxix^'d ihrou^h the *.'hange ot soxereiuntx on 

^ 24^ ^ 

H()Ui> Komi's Journey to Rcuni/iattion 

1 .Inly ]^)^)7. A side issue wns the lei;;ility ot'ilic I'roxision.-il Lc;L;islati\e 

( )ii the in.'iiii issue the (lourt ot Appeal eoneluded that upon a 
true eonstruetion antl interpretation of the relexant jiroxisions of 
the l>asie I, aw, the laws prexiously in foree in lloui; Koni;, ineludinii 
the (Common Law, were adopted and beeaine the laws of the IlKSAR 
on 1 July 1*>*>7, the judieial sxsteni together with the prineiples 
applicable to eoint proceedings had eontinued, and indictments and 
pendinj^i criminal procccdiuigs continued to he \alid. 

As to the side issue the C^ourt held that the Provisional 
Legislative (Council was legally established b\' the Xl'(] through the 
Preparatory (Committee pursuant to the authority and powers 
conferred upon it. The XPC, being the soxcrcign of the IIKSAR, the 
v'alidity of its acts in establishing this interim body could not be 
challenged in the IIKSAR courts. 

The Ilong Kong British Goxcrnment knew from the \'cry 
beginning that it could not prevent (]hina from haxing a proxisional 
legislatiu'c to rej^eal and replace laws its colonial legislature had 
passed that \ iolatcd the Basic Law, contradicted terms of the Joint 
Declaration, and against the interest of the SAR. No present 
legislature can bind the hands of the futine assembly cxen within 
the same sovereign, let alone the succeeding state. Btit in lieu of 
power the departing Administration had the postiu-c. The whole 
purpose of the exercise was to irritate C'hina, agitate the innocent 
people, and undermine confidence in the incoming SAR Government. 
It was as spiteful as regrettable. 

Vanguard of the Hong Kong SAR 

The third session of the Seventh National People s Congress held on 

«^ 250 ^^ 

The Uon^ Konii SAR 

4 April 1990 decided to establish a Preparatory (>)mmittee in 1996. 
This (Committee would he responsible for the founding the Hong 
Kong Special Adniinistrati\e Region on 1 ,hil\- 1997. The first task of 
the l'(] would be to assemble the Selection Committee, which would 
recommend the candidate for the first (^hief Excciitixc of the SAR 
through consultation or election. The recommendation would first 
go to the VC and then, if accepted, be svd^mitted to the (Central 
People's Go\ernment for appointment. 

The singular task of the SC became more complex, however, 
when the British in 1994 reneged on their promise in early 1990 to 
co-operate with (^hina to construct a political "through train" for 
the legislators from the colonial era to the SAR one. The Selection 
Committee, therefore, had to nominate not only the C^E but addi- 
tionally assemble members for the Provisional Legislatixc Council. 

This additional task was understood by the Prcjiaratory 
(Committee which gathered for its first plenary session on 16 .lanuaiy 
1996 in Beijing to establish the Selection Connnittce (Iroup with 43 
members. (]on\ening this Croup were Xiao \\'ei\un. a law professor 
at Peking I'nixcrsity, Tam Viu-chung, a Hong Kong laboin- unionist, 
and niN'self. We were entrusted with the urgent responsibility of 
idcntif\ing the types of people eligible for the Selection Committee 
and we had t<< do that basetl on the criteria definetl in Anne.x 1 of 
the liasic Law ;ind the lesolution of the third session of the Sc\ enth 
National Peoples ( longress on 4 .\pril l'>9(). \\c. the Selection (lom- 
mittee (Iroup, therefore became the \anguaril of (he Hong Kong 

Both the Basic Law anil the Ni'(; resolution di\ide(.i the 
Selection ( loniniitlec. an iJectoral ( lollegc in essence, iiuo loui' broad 
eategoiies comprising one hnndrcil constituents each. The tirsl 
category would come from the industrial, conunercial and tinancial 

^ J51 ^^ 

vi^r d:iZ :a^ 

The Hong Kong SAR 

sectors. The seeond would he from the prot'essional sector, ineliidin;[i 
those drawn troiii the xarioiis guilds or associations representing 
doctors, engineers, hiwyers, accountants, academics, so on and so 
forth. The third would be constituted by atfihates of labour, religious, 
grassroots and similar groups. The fourth would compose of local 
delegates of the National Peoples Congress, members of the (Ihinese 
People's Political Gonsultati\'e Conference and former political 
figures, such as retired legislators and Executixe (Councillors. 

The Vil Selection (Committee (Iroup con\ened its inaugural 
meeting in lieijingon 15 Februar\' !*>*->() and decided to form under 
it four sub-groups, each responsible for <^nc of the four broad 
categories in the Selection Committee. We then got down to the 
tedious but necessary detail of pinpointing indixiduals and organiza- 
tions most worthy of inclusion in a \'ery exclusi\e electorate, w hich 
was not easy since those who t|ualificd were man\- but places were 
scarce. W'e unavoidably had to be judicious and did not wish to offend 
or fa\'oiu' any one. We all know the famous book MdkiuLi Friends 
and h\thic}ici)}^ l'c()f)lc and. if we stumbled, we could cud up "losing 
friends and alienating people". 

W'e then decided that each sub-group shouKl ha\e two 
con\enors. one from Hong Kong and one from the .Mainland. These 
convenors were, for the record: 

( 1 ) The first sub-group for industrial, commercial and 
financial sectors: 

Wilfred Wong, an e.\-ei\il serxant antl iinestor of infra- 

struetiu'al projects on the .M.iiiil.ind. 
I liiaui; 1 )i\ ail. a senior e.\eenti\e with the Hank of ( China. 
I long Kong riianeh. 

(2) The seeond sub-group lor prolessitmals: 

lloiifi Kong's .Jourticy to Rciniiticiirioi} 

Nellie Fonj;, a senior jiartncr with Author Andersen, a 

lart^e aeeoiintinii firm. 
Sun Nansan, a dixision ehiet'at Iloni; Kons; Xinhua News 

{^) The third sub-L-roup for iaboiu-, relisiious and s^rassroots: 
Lo Shuk-ehing, a loeal leader in eommunity services. 
Chen Zuo'er, a (Chinese representatixe of the Sino- 

British Joint Liaison (iroup. 

(4) The fourth sub-iiroup for political figures: 

Lee ('ho-jat, a leading publisher in Hong Kong. 
Ke Zashuo, former senior Chinese representatixe of the 
Sino-British Joint Liaison (iroup. 

Rather than drafting a haphazard or arbitraiy list of candidature, 
the Selection Committee Group decided to consult the Hong Kong 
public over a period of three days — from 13 to 15 April 1996. With 
results in hand the Selection Committee (iroup held its fifth meeting 
in Beijing on 14 May 1996 and decided on the following four major 
recommendations for the Preparatory Committee to consider: 

(1) Selection Committee members must be at least 18 years 
old and permanent Hong Kong residents, irrespective of 
their nationality. Under the British Hong Kong law, foreign 
nationals residing in Hong Kong continuously for seven 
years or more would still not be eligible for the permanent 
Hong Kong resident status. Howexer with the application 
of the Article 24(4) of the Basic Law, foreign nationals 
such as the activist Elsie Tu and the former Chief Secretarv'^ 
Sir David Akers-Jones would become permanent Hong 
Kong residents and be eligible for membership of the 
Selection Committee. 

:^ 254 4tf^ 

Tlw [lonsi Koufi SAR 

(2) (Candidates ff)r tlie first tliree categories must he nomin- 
ated In' tlieir own oriianizations throiiiili the Ilon^ Kon^ 
Communication Office of the Preparatory Committee. 

(3) The fourth, tliat is the political, category should comprise 
the following: 

(a) 26 NP(] delegates who were conciu'rentK' permanent 
Hong Kong residents; 

(b) ^4 represcntati\es of the CPPCC delegates; 

(c) 40 chosen from former legislators, Kxeciitixe ('oim- 
cillors and goxermiient officials. 

(4) The Chairman and the nine \'icc Chairmen of the Pre- 
paratory Committee w^ould be responsible for screening 
and compiling a list of candidates of not less than 120 per 
cent of the seats axailablc for election by the P( C members. 
As to the 34 representati\es of the CPPCC delegates, the 
method of selection would be decided by the CPPCC 
delegates themselves. 

The process so rcconnnended, though rather complicated, was 
eompetitixe so as to dispel the notion that the Selection (lonnnittce 
was a sham or subterfuge for another trite round of appointments. 

The Preparator\' (ionnnittee at its fourth plenar\" in IVijing 
on ^) August lOOf) aeeeptetl in total the recommendations of the 
Selection ( lonnnittee ( irouji. It was also announeei.1 that nominations 
would be reeei\e(.l by the Selection (!oinmittee (Irouj"* thiouub (he 
Connnuuieat ion ( )ffiee of the I'leparatory (lommittee in (!hiua 
Puilding, 2'> Oueen's Koatl ( lentral, I long Koul; from 1 .> .\ul;us( to 11 
September !*>'>(>. 

lAeiHu.ilb a total of ,>.7*M applii^-at ions were reeei\ed with 
the followiuLi br^'aktldwus for c.k-Ii of the Idiu- (.Mtegories: 

^ J55 ^ 

Hoiig Kong's Journey to Rciiniticcttion 

Catej^ory 1: PHisiiicss ( 100 places) 1,272. 

Category 2: Prot'cssionais ( 100 places) 1 ,209. 

Category 3: Labour, etc. ( 100 places) .^,162. 

Category 4: Political ( 40 places) 148. 

The Prejiaratory (Committee at its tiftli plenar>' in l)ciiin<4 on 
4 October 1 '><)() conducted the final election by secret ballots and 
decided on the .MO names of the Selection (Committee. On the same 
day, members of the cniincsc People's Political (]onsidtati\'e 
C^onference also held their own election for their >M represcntatixes 
on the Selection (Committee. 

With the formation of the 40()-member Selecti(jn (^onuiiittee 
the scene was set for the selection of the first (]hief Executixe and the 
election of the Provisional Legislative Council of the Hong Kong SAR. 

Plate 4. J Meeting of tlie Sclcctiot} CotuDtittcc (i/ou/) of die i'rep(tr(itory 
CoDifiiittcc ill Bcijiiiii. 7996. 

-12?^ 256 ^ipr 

The Hong KouiiSMi 

Support for Tunf^ Chee-hwa 

K\'er since the si,i>nini; ot the Sino-British .loiiit Dechiration in 
December 19S4, many in the media had speculated on whom mii^ht 
he the hkely first Special Administrati\e Re;[;ion Chief Kxeciiti\c, a 
job for which there would be no shortage of applicants. The jiress 
had carried on a game, much as the race sheet would on horses, 
about identifying the candidates and spotting their changing odds 
based on a niunber of factors. Among some of the criteria used for 
rating the probability of any prospect were not onh' his or her 
personal merits and latest accomplishments but the state of British 
and Chinese co-operation and whether such a leader should emerge 
from the ci\il senice f)r the pri\ate sector. I admit that 1 did some of 
that di\ining myself as 1 tallied the attributes that such a person 
must possess and measured these against the people 1 knew . 

The process turned from the frixolous to the serious in April 
19*>0 when the National Peoples Congress not only iironuilgatetl 
the B.asic Law but also decided on creating the Preparatory 
Committee for the SAK six years later. The Brejiaratory Com- 
mittee would be responsible for forming the Selection (lonnnittee of 
400 indixiduals fi-om the four broad categories of trades, jirotcssions 
and groups who woukl in turn h;i\e to xotc for the (Ihict b.\ccuti\e. 

The I'rcliminaiA' Working ( !ommit tee. which was established 
about two anti a h.ilf \ears before the IM], reconnnendeil to the 
Central ( loxernment the l'( : .should compose < >! l.^O members 
;ind that more than half of the ni shouki come from I loni; Kong. The 
(Ihinese (lo\ eminent agreed ;intl on JS hcecmbLi" 1'''',^ the NIH! 
Standing ( ion unit tee anm )uneeil its a|ipoiiitnieut o| the 1 ,">0-menilier 
l'( ] w ith '>() of (hent from lioui^ Kon^ I Ik' t lo\ einnKiil also appointed 
the \'ice I'lemier and loreiuii Minister ( (Jiehen .is the ( "h,iii ni,ui 

^^ J57 ^ 

Hong Kong'fi Jour'ney to Rcunificdtion 

and nine \'icc-(]hairmen. The deputies to Qinn were Xi'(' \Mee- 
(]hairnian W'anii Ilanbin, (Ihinese Peoj^les Politieal ( lonsultatixe 
C^onferenee \Mee-('liairnien Ann Tse-kai and Henry Vok. Direetor of 
Ilon^ Kong and Maeao AtYairs ( )tYiee Lu IMng, Xinhua News Agency 
Hong Kong Bran eh Direetor Zhou Nan. Dejuity Foreign Minister Wang 
Yingfan, P\\'(] \'iee-(;hairinan Simon Li. I'W'd (iroup Conxenor Leung 
(]him-ying and the British Hong Kong K.\eeuti\e (loimeillor Timg 
Chee-hwa. The gallery was t'ull and it w as generally thotight that one 
of those individuals from Hong Kong would be in the running for the 
co\eted (]hief Exeeutixes post. The Central (ioxernment also 
designated Lu Ping as Secretary General for the P(>. Assisting him 
would be Xinhtia Hong Kong Deputy Direetor Qin W'enjini, Hong 
Kong and Maeao Affairs Office Deputy Direetor C^hen Ziying and 
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong One Coiuitry Two Systems 
Research Centre Shin Sin-por. 

All eyes scanning the roster exentually paused and pondered 
the name "Tung Chee-hwa", a previously rather obscure heir of a 
renowned shipping family of C. Y. Tung. lie was born in Shanghai in 
May 1937 and had studied at Liverpool University as a marine 
engineer and sened a stint with General Electric in the L'.S.A. before 
returning to his family business in 1969. He had been a Basic Law 
Consultative Committee member and was in the first batch of the 
Hong Kong Affairs Advisors. Governor Chris Patten appointed him 
in October 1992 to his realigned Executixe Council, and China named 
him in February 1993 to the Eighth CPPCC. These appointments 
xvhen announced at the time did not alert anyone to his qualifications 
for the post of the SAR Chief Executixe. He xvas genial yet generally 
shy and reserxed, at least in public. Whilst I had knoxvn Tung and 
his xvife since the early 197{)s, it xvas mainly through his shipping 
magnate father. Back then in 1973 patriarch Tung had inxited Lady 

^ 258 ^ 

The lionii Kong SAR 

CAiiguc and my wife to launch one ot his latest container ships in 
Kobe, Japan. Betty, his dau;»hter in-law and wife of Chee-hwa, was 
very courteous for she accompanied four of us on the fli;^t to Japan 
and looked after us extremeh' well. \\y wife was so taken by Bettys 
^race that she commended her to the father in-law w ho had nodded in 

Shortly after the NP(] released the list for the I'reparatory 
Committee on 2S December ]^)^)5 1 i>ot a phone call from Tung 
iuNitini; me to meet him at his Oriental Overseas office on 4 January 
19<X). To prepare him for the talk I sent him a copy of my speech I 
had dclixcred on 21 Xo\cmber I'^'-'S, "The Most ('rucial Ycnv in the 
Transition", thinking the subjects raised therein would crop up in 
our schedided con\ersation. We met t|uietly in his office and 
maundered on the topics raised in my speech. Liking his earnestness 
and noticing his right age, then 58, 1 urged him to rim for the Chief 
Executive's job but he. in turn, suggested that I should run. 1 told 
him that I had already declined the suggestion from the (Jiinesc 
side since I was too old and exhausted, but I jiromised him that 1 
would help him \ie for the post. He declined to conunit himself and 
said he would nuill it o\er \er\- carefully, appreciating the gra\ ity of 
the office and the tiemands of the calling on his private life. 1 went 
away, coininced that he woultl oxcrcome his (.|ualms and assume 
his duty. 

The day of leekoning came on Jo .ianu;n"\ 1*>'>0 when the 
l're|>;iratory (lomuiitlee hehl lis tirsi plcuar\" session in be! jiUL; ;uk1 
assembleii for a photo call .it tlie(lica( Hall of the People, i'resident 
.bang Xeuiin. escorted by (Ji.iii. cnleietl the c.ixenious room, 
beaming. ;uul proceedeil to sh.ikc h.nuls w iih Mainlaiul officials .nui 
the IH ; \'ice-( Jiairincu in the tiont low .\bout half w .i\ dow ii the 
line .iiang sutkleub iiolteil Ironi the jirocession and w.iiked o\er to 

^ 259 :^ 

llotig Kotlas .lounicy in Rciiiti/icntioti 

where Tunj^ stood nt the t'.'ir end ot' the trout row to seize his h.ind in 
a firm ^rip and speak to him. ihe iiesture surprised the erowd as the 
photographers' lights flashed. Kveryone assumed at the instauee that 
Jiang had handi:)ieked the (>hiet' Kxeeutise. Not all were i-)leased 
among Hong Kong's ehattering elass. Some deeried the President tor 
pre-empting or e\en making a moeker\' ot the eleetion to eome. 
Others were quite relieved that finally, after years of the guessing 
game, the elues were beeoming tangible. 

I met Tung tjuite a number of times after that famous hand- 
shake and still he had not deeided or would not eonfide in me on 
whether or not to run, despite all the signs in his favour. He did tell 
me that he had eonversed with Lu Ping in Shenzhen about his 
eontesting the post. Finally in August 1996 Tung banished all doubts 
and announeed his eandidaey. He employed a publie relations firm, 
in addition to a few of us, to help him draft his manifesto and 
presented it to the public in a speeeh labelled "Building a 21st 
Century Hong Kong Together", at the Hong Kong Management 
Association Annual Dinner on 22 October 1996. Soon thereafter 
other contenders Joined the race in quick succession. Wheelock's 
former Chairman and the then Hospital Authority Chairman, 
Peter Woo, declared his bid. Retiring (]hief Justice Sir Ti-liang 
Yang, at the prompting of the CPPCC Standing Committee member, 
Tsui Sze-man, did the same. Then PC Mce-Chairman Justice Simon 
Li also made his pitch. They along with a few maxerick candidates 
of unknown quality started their campaigns, even though to the 
media only one person was really in the running. By then the 
pundits were saying Tung was "preordained" to be the C^hief 
Executive when only a year ago most of them would not have had a 
clue about him, except for a vague recognition of his name to the 
shipping company. 

:^ 260 ^ 

The IloHfi Kon^ SAR 

Tun^ in September tormeil his ennipai^n team tliat, among 
others, ineliided I^ta Fan, Dr. Raymontl \\ ii. Professor (>hia-wei Woo, 
(^han Wing-kee, Vii Kwok-eliun, Charles, Paul Vip, Annie W'u 
and myself. We met at least \\eekl\- at the Oriental ()\erseas 
conferenee room in the (ireat Eagle Centre, Ilarhoin- Road. t(j jilot 
oin^ mo\es and to lobby the Seleetion (Committee. The eandidate 
himself was frantieally working the phones with the full-time 
assistanee of his son and own erew from his eompan\', namely, 
Andrew Lo, Stanley Shen, and seeretary \'i\ian Tam who all were 
zealous. Lo and Tam later joined the SAR (ioxernment working in 
the Chief Exeeutixes Offiee. 

The 4()()-member Seleetion Committee on 15 Noxember 1996 
conxened for the first time at the Ilong Kong ('onxention and 
Exhibition Centre, the future site of the soxereignty transfer 
eeremony, to begin the opening roimd of the Chief Exeeutixe 
nomination proeess xia seeret ballot. Tung easily xxon In- a xery xxide 
margin of 206 xotes. folloxxed by Vang of 82 xotes and Woo of 54 
votes, all three of xxhom haxing obtained more than 50 xotes. i|ualified 
for the ne.xt round of the runoff eleetion. Simon Li aec|uiretl 4.^ xotes 
and xxas eliminated together xx ith the other fexx maxeriek eandidates. 
P)y then exery traee of suspense had xanishetl. What xxas left xxas the 
eoronation. Despite the otitis totallx' in his faxour. he nonetheless 
stumped fuiiouslx-, making ex erx' eall jK-rsonallx . The ( "hief l\\eeutix e 
ajiparent also toiletl oxer his platform speeeh to be tielixcretl (o the 
Seleetion (lommittee in the last xxeek of Nox ember. Me also heltl 
tour roiuuls ol t|uestious autl ansxxers sessions \x ith the four eategories 
ol xoters ill the Seleet ion ( loiiiniit tee lor. not oiilx iliti he long to 
xxiu, he xxaiUetl to impress all with his ililJLieuee autl ileilieat ion lie 
also xxauted to sxxax some ol those members xxho iliti not xote for 
hint in the open iui; louutl The eoiiseiisus w as Tiinu xxas leli.ible 

I long Kong's Journey to Rcuni/iccdiou 

and dedicated whieh was what Iloni; Kon^ needed as a reprie\'e from 
a tnnuiltnons transition and a t'laniho\aiU ( ioxernor. 

The Selection (^onnnittee on 1 1 Deeember at its tiiird meeting 
at the Convention and Exhibition (Centre gaxe Tnnj^, as expected, a 
landslide of 320 x'otes or SO per cent of the total and also a convincing 
mandate. On the other hand Vang reeeixed 42 votes and Woo 36 
x'otes, both were much less than the first ronnd. The next day the 
Preparatory Connnittee at its sexenth plenary in Shenzhen confirmed 
the residts of the election and recommended that the (Central 
Government endorse Tnng for his five-year term commencing on 
1 Jnly 1*>*^7. While some continne to c|nestion the democratic 
credentials of Tnng, elected by a body of 400 "nobles" and "nabobs", 
there is no denying that he had more votes for the (Ihief Executive 
job than all the Governors combined. They, after alL had all been 
nominated by the l^ritish Prime Minister and endorsed by the 

Democracy and the Civil Service 

Elections are by definition common features of democratic societies. 
\\lio wins at the polls gets the power to shape policies and can count 
on the co-operation of apolitical career civil servants for their 
execution. Accordingly there are two types of officials in the 
administration of a democratic government. Some are politically 
appointed while others belong to what is generally known as the 
civil service. Political appointees come and go with the person or 
party in power. Yet, members of the civil service remain in their 
posts despite changes in the government leadership. 

There are also three distinct features of the civil service in a 
democratic government. The first is political neutrality. The second 

^ 262 ^ 


lloiiLi Koui-'s JouruLV to Rciniiticniiou 

is continuitN- and iicrmniicncN'. The tliirtl is in\ isil)ility or low prol'ile. 
I'olitical neutrality means that ei\il serxants do not express support 
for or ojiposition to an\' poiitieal i")art\' or polie\'. (]ontinuit\' and 
pernianene)- mean that irrespeetixe ot w ho or whieh part\' is in power, 
ei\'il serxants will remain in their posts and serxe their master of the 
day. In\isihilit\' or low profile means that eixii serx ants nexer appear 
in the ie^isiatiu'e or puhlie arena to debate and defend the i^oxern- 
ment's poliey of the dax-, \x hatexer their personal xiexxs. The xxork of 
adxoeaey is the exelusixe resjionsibiJitN' of the poiitieal appointees. 
A eompetent and eompliant eixil serxiee out of the firing line is 
pragmatie and sensible. A senior eixil serxant, xxho openly denounees 
or opposes polieies adxoeated by a rixal poiitieal party, risks 
disereditiui^ himself should the rixal i^roup attains poxxer and asks 
him to adxance another agenda. 

The Hong Kong SAR in its poiitieal reform has txxo basie models 
draxxn from the Western, partieularlx' the English-speaking experi- 
ence. The one that originated in Britain features a dominant party, 
XX hieh elex-ates its leader to be the Prime .\Hnister xx ho pieks a Cabinet 
from his colleagues in the Parliament and forms the goxernment. 
The Prime Minister and his team shape the policies based often, 
though not alxxays, on their campaign platform and expect eixil 
serx'ants to implement the programmes, hoxxexer radical a departure 
these might be from the prex'ious agenda. The neutral, professional 
mandarins (the most senior of xxhom are called the "Permanent 
Under-Secretaries of State" as to distinguish them from poiitieal 
appointees identified as "Secretaries of State") are usually reliable 
and loyal to the (^roxxn. They ensure continuity in goxernment 
despite the constant political tumult and keep out of the limelight. 
In return the eixil serxiee is respected and enjoys sinecure whereas 
often the politicians are despised and days in the sun relatix'cly short. 

^ 264 ^ 

The Urmf- Kim^ SAR 

I'oliticians debate whereas otfieials exeeiite, and ne\er do tlie roles 
blur. As the lYiine NMnisters party al\\a\s eontrols the ParUament, 
the iiieiiiiibent is basieally ,yi\en an absolute pcnxer w itliout miieli 
eheeks and l^alanees from tlie ParHanient. 

The other basie model ot the Kniilish-speakhiii denioeraey is 
the Anieriean and it \\ed14es apart the legislature from the exeeiiti\e 
with punetilioiis eare. The Tnited States Constitution does not 
tolerate the mixing of the two branehes, whieh are supposed to eheek 
and balance each other, ostensibly to pre\'ent tyranny or conspiracy. 
Voters get to choose their President and Parliamentarians separately 
and at different times. The President Elect, as the chief executive, 
picks his (labinet from the pri\ate sector, academics and also the 
fraternity of retired politicians — includiiiii former i;o\ernors, 
coniiressmen and senators, lie has a relati\ely free hand, except 
tor the loyal stalwarts he must please, the ciios of campaign 
contributors he must flatter, and those who are idcolo^icalK- his 
kindred spirits. The President ma>' c\en take sterling professionals 
— economists, constitutional experts, decommissioned generals, 
and so on — from outside his own party to strike the non-partisan 
pose and to seciue the best expertise, whatcxer the politics. These 
(labiiiet nominees then submit themsehes to congressional \ettinu, 
which may be jiartisan and at times emi^irrassini;. ( )nce aeeejned 
to the inner sanetum of the presitlencx', the polie\' secretaries 
siiin on tor the duiation of the first term, lasting for four \ears, at 
the pleasiue ot the chief e.xeeut i\e who could dismiss (hem for 
reasons ot iterl'ormauce, populai"it\ oi" politics. Their joi^ done tiiev 
siiile baek to the piixate seetor. jtreferai^K in professions that do not 
raise douJHs ai>oul their iiUe>;rit\- or h.iekles o\ei" ;m\ confhc't of 

The President is able to receixe politieal ad\ iee from peojilc 

■a^ 2ft5 ^. 

//((»(<,' KoiiLi's .loiinicy to l\cuui/ic(iti(i>i 

he trusts and who arc committed to the administrations programmes, 
lie is also able to influence policy making and execution by 
appointing senior advisors and c\cn some middle manat;emcnt 
positions in each department. The system combines the exiieriencc 
and continuitN' of the permanent ei\il service with the new ideas 
and fresh approach of temporary political appointees. 

But, nonetheless, the system of recruitment causes friction 
iietwcen the permanent civil servants and the outsiders, who are 
immediately placed in senior positions while knowini; little or nothing 
about the practical working of the tlcpartment. There is also the 
problem of dislocation and confusion when there is a change of 
President. Further, there are possibilities of corruption, which 
inevitably exist where temporary appointees have contact with 
former business associates. 

During the Sino-British negotiations, the Chinese Government 
preferred the American system to the British one, presumably to 
limit the impact of political parties and avoid the integration of powder 
between the executixe and Icgislatixe branches. The British ironically 
also preferred the iVmerican system, hoping an openly elected legislature 
could deter the Chief Executixe from taking orders from Beijing. 

I expressed these xiews in a speech, first at a public affairs 
lecture on 7 May 1996 at the Hong Kong University of Science and 
Technology, and then again at the annual dinner on 24 September 
1996 of the Association of Former Senior Cixil Servants. On the 
second occasion there were in attendance not only retired but also 
incumbent principal officials of the civil service. Certain senior 
Chinese officials from the Hong Kong Xinhua News Agency were 
also present at the banquet. Those current officials were adx'ised to 
gix'c careful thought to and prepare themseh'cs for this possible 
change after 1 July 1997. During the following months I did speak to 

ii^' 266 4i^ 


some senior ^oxcrnmeiit otticials about tlicir reaction to the 
introduction of political appointees in the ilont; Koni^ SAR 
(}o\'ernment. About halt Ot them would be prepared to retire from 
the civil serx'iee, take their pension, and then accept political 
appointment by the incoming Chief Executive. 

The Chief Executive Designate, Tung Chee-hwa, was informed 
of my speech in early l'^*^7 and tacitly accepted in principle the 
need for such jiolitical appointees in a democratic government, lie 
was, however, reluctant to implement the system during the early 
years of the SAR (xovernment for fear of undermining the morale of 
the civil service. In addition, since he had no intention of becoming 
the first (]hief Executive until the simnner of 1996, Tung had no 
political affiliates, and did not have sufficient time to identify and 
groom talents from outside the civil service. The Hong Kong public 
at that time was also in favour of a smooth transition with minimal 
disruptions. The ('hinese (iovernment, in particular, had a high 
regard for Hong Kong's civil service and preferred minimum change 
during the transfer of sovereignty. 

l''or these reasons and with the exception for the post of 
Secretary for .histiee (formerly called Attoniev- Cieneial), all the 
incumbent senior government officials were given the same jobs 
prior to the transfer. The neetl for the change of the incundK-nt 
Attorney (leneral (.ieremv' .Mathews) was because he was a british 
citizen and a member of the british ( )\ erseas ( M\il Sei\ ice Maihews 
was reiilaeeti bv' Elsie I.eung ( )i-sie. an e.xperieneeii solicitor 
conversant with iiotli bullish and ("hinese laws. 

The basic Law ilocs not lecogni/e such a post as "Chiet 
Secretary". The post of the (!hief Secretary (IoiukiK Known as 
"Colonial Secretarv ") in the briiisii .\ilininisti ation was supposed 
to be replaced In the post of .\dnnnistrati\ e Secret ;irv in the ( "hinese 

:<S^ 267 .^^ 

Iloufi Koitfi's .loiiruuy to Kcitiiificittioii 

SAR, as written in i\rticle 5.^ ot the l>asic Law. The (Ihincsc (loxcrn- 
nicnt, nonetheless, aecjuieseecl to the retention ot the title of "(]hiet 
Seeretary" at tlie insistenee ot, I was told, Anson (^han who t'elt that 
sneh a chanj^e ot nonienelatme eould inipK' the tlovvn-^raclins; ot her 
aui^nst rank. 

The Ceremonies 

Final Hours of the Britisli Rule 

The transition lasted more than 12 years but the farewell eeremonies 
concluded in just over eight hectic hours of elaborate tests and fetes 
from 4 o'clock in the afternoon of M) June 1997 to 12 minutes after 
midnight. The bleak weather cast the whole historic event in sombre 
mood befitting its significance, its magnitude. The rain, which held 
off for half a day despite the gathering clouds and the stifling 
huinidity, finally poured coinciding with the first of the afternoon 
rites, one so meticulously scripted, except for the soaking weather. 

The last Governor Chris Patten, who had been the storm centre 
for the fi\'e years he had been in the Colony, stared through tears 
the lowering of the Union Jack for the last time in the Ciovernment 
House. He watched as the master of the guards lowered the pennant 
and folded it before handing it to him as he drooped his head to 
acknowledge less the weight of the flag than the occasion. Patten 
then w aved to the throng of mainly his household staff gathering to 
bid farewell and entered the Daimler limousine with his family for a 
slow ride three times around the ellipse before going through the 
main gate. 

The downpour never relented thereafter prompting some to 
say it was heaven grieving the British departure and others to say it 

c^ 268 ^^^ 

Tlie llon^ Konsi SAH 

was the dix'ine scriihhin;:; clean of the colonial legacy. The liritish, 
promptly at the scheduled time of 6.15 p.m., persisted with the 
see(Mid act of their farewell with "Beating the Final Retreat" out in 
the open, ^[^ixin^ a literal meaning to the saying about "rain on the 
parade". The United Kingdom, which had decades of practice in 
packing off from its colonics, remained steadfast. The gunners rang 
out a 21-gun salute to hail ('harles, the Prince of Wales, accompanied 
by Patten. Assembled imder the marquee was the whole ensemble 
of figures from the United Wngdom who had contributed to the exit, 
past and present. Among them were of course Prime Minister Tony 
Blair, Foreign Secretary Robin ('ook. and the past Prime Minister 
Margaret Thatcher, all stoic in the Tamar open grounds buffeted by 
the gust and the slashing rain. Most of the other less august guests 
were left without co\'er to brave both the rain and the wind. Most 
imfortunate was Jardines taipan Henry Keswick, who slipped and 
fell o\cr the wet cin-b, injuring one of his legs. 

The last rc\'cille done, the British began the second round of 
their celebration, w hieh this time resembled more of the earni\ al 
rather than the wake. The British military band struck up their 
routine with the thud of drums and the skirl of iiagpipes. There was 
jigging, singing and marching. iUit still the rain dampened the 
performance, forcing many guests to Hee the stand for their hotels 
and homes to eiiange clothes antl dr\' out for the ne.xt e\ent — an 
indoor bant|uet. 

At '>..^(> p.m. the liritish, foi- the thiid louiui, hosted a farewell 
feast at the ( ]on\ ent ion and Fxiiii^ii ion (^eiure on the waterfront. 
During the jire-dinner reeeiMion I eliat ted to some of the guests from 
the ('.hinese side. l-.\ er\iM)d\ said the dowiiiioui" had reaii\ lilinhte*.! 
the United King(.lom"s retreat l>ali\ hoo anil some revealet.! that tlK' 
British were somewhat tJK' aiitiidrs of tJKii" own misfortune. 

^ 270 :ar 

The HoHfi Koufi SAfi 

I was told tliat the SiiKi-British Joint Liaison C jn^up had actually 
discussed how to co-ordinate their festivities so that neither side 
would clash with the other's show. The British insisted on haxing 
their magnificent farewell ceremony performed at an outdoor site 
as it could accommodate a much larger crowd. The (Chinese, however, 
were reluctant to ^o in the open air in the middle of the t>pho(jn 
season. They had checked with the Royal Hong Kong Observatory 
on the meteorological patterns of 30 June and 1 July o\er the past 
dozen or so years and noticed a preponderance of foul weather. 
Whereas the British insisted on the open ground at Taniar for their 
show, the Chinese requested the Hong Kong Trade l)e\elopment 
Council going flat out, round the clock, to ready the new wing of the 
Conx'cntion and Exhibition ('entre for their \'arious ceremonies. In 
this instance Chinese caution prevailed over British bravado. 

The Sovereignty Return 

The eyes of the world focussed in the late hoins of M) June and the 
wee ones of 1 July 19<>7 on Hong Kong, whose (convention and 
Exhibition Centre basked in lights, flash, kliegand strobe. The British 
and ('hinese (iovernments, their rancour behind them or suiijiressed. 
assembled their own lights, kacling luminaries, in the fifth tloor hall 
in the Centres new wing, whose window panes stared out to the 
shimmering harbour aw.isli with \aehls aiul almost wasliei-l out by 
the rain. This wing was brantl new .nul built on a man-made isl.uul 
off the north shore line of the I long Kong Ishunl linking the old w ing 
b\' an enelosetl britlge. The eoiistruetion work li;is been going on 
da>' .nul night non-stop for the \ear in oriler to eiisuie the new 
wing completed Jusl weeks betore the li.uul-oxxT eert.'mon\'. 

liy 1 1 ..\(» p ui. more th.iu l.< >()( ) quests, ineludinu heads ot st;ite 
and go\ei"umeut, senioi' diii|om.iis Mom o\ri" b> (uld countries and 

?-; ^ 

Il()ni> Kotifi's .loiinicy to Rcuui/iccition 

the United Nations (ienenil Seeretary Kofi Annan, filed into the hall. 
Never had so many international dignitaries <;athered in llon^ Kon^, 
ari>nably the most international eity in Asia, to await history making 
its own ^rand entranee. 1 was leading the Si\K Kxeentixe (^onneillors 
who sat on the stage, on the C]hinese side, in the uppermost row for 
the proeeedings. 

The elimatie eeremony eommeneed at 1 1 .42 p.m. as the British 
and Chinese eeremonial trimipeters entered the hall and stood on 
eaeh side of the stage. Exaetly at 11. 4C) p.m. as the triunpets were 
sounded, representatives of both eountries eoneurrently walked in 
serial rank into the hall respeetively from the two side entranees. At 
the beginning the British played the host and the Chinese the guest, 
a role to be switched at the stroke of midnight. The (Chinese side 
was led by the national leader Jiang Zemin. lie was followed by 
Premier Li Peng, Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, 
Deputy (Commander of the Military Commission Marshal Zhang 
Wannian in full regalia, and finally the SAR Chief Executive Elect 
Tung Chee-hwa. The British side featured IIRH the Prince of Wales 
representing the Queen, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Secretarv'^ 
Robin Cook, departing Governor Chris Patten, and the Chief of Staff, 
General Sir Charles Guthrie. The two parties then sat in two separate 
rows on the two sides of the centre stage, at the back of which were 
two huge national flags hanging on the wall. 

After the ritual gun salute. Prince Charles walked to the British 
rostrum and deli\'ered a speech, citing British achievement in 
securing a prosperous and stable Hong Kong and wishing the coming 
Special i\.dministrative Region continual success under the "One 
Country Two Systems" concept. He pledged full British support for 
the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. 

At 11.56 p.m. the British and Chinese flag guards then marched 

i^ 272 ca>^ 

The llonfi Ktm^ SAR 

into the liall and readied themselves at the foot of the tla^ pt^les for the 
finale. Most notably the (Chinese guards brought with them the national 
and the SAR flags folded whereas the British guards were empt\' handed. 
There were four flag poles with two, one slightly taller than the other, 
on eaeh side of the stage. On the liritish side the British national flag 
was fluttering on the taller pole next to that of the Hong Kong eolonial 
banner in the fan-generated breeze ne.Mr the rafter. 

No less conspieuous was a simpering and shimmering Chief 
Secretary, i\nson (Mian, in an all bright red dress seated in a spot, 
alone like a throne, at the exact middle point between the Ijritish 
and ('hinese platforms, personifying the very spirit of the transition. 
I was surprised that the SAR Chief Kxccutive Designate Tung Chee- 
hwa was not aware of this arrangement until a bemused Singapore 
Prime Minister, (ioh ('hok T(Mig, later mentioned this to him. 

At 1 1 .5*^) p.m. sharp the British, with the playing of "(iod Save 
the Queen", lowered their national flag from their pole along with 
the colonial pennant to be returned to the rnited Kingdom by IIRII 
Prince Charles. This signified the end of 15() years of British rule. At 
this point of time the whole hall of o\'er 4,()()() people was absolutely 
quiet waiting for the final climax to come. At exactly the zero hour 
and zero minute of 1 .lul\- 1*>*>7, the Chinese National .\ntlicm was 
pla>'etl ;iiul at the same time the (liiinese tlagguartls ran the national 
and SAK flags simnltanconsiN' up tiic two poles on the Chinese sicle 
of the stage. The flag with fi\c goKlcn stars next lo the one with a 
white banhinia, both aLiainst a crimson liackiironnd. were llapping 
gentb' in an aitificialK i;eneratctl breeze. The w hole auiiience clajtped 
\igoronsl\ along with I he ( '.hinese leadership in an <t\ ation that lasli^d 
for several miiuiles. Thns, thai w;is ihal, ihe so\ eieii;nt\ peacelnlb 
retnnieil lo its original a nil lighltnl ow iki'. erasing the shanK' ot the 
()pinm Wats in the P'th ci.iilnr\. 




-t . .V 

;%--:1 .?:#^ 

1^. *4^ 


P/afe -/.6 T/je Sovereignty Renirn Ceremony on 1 July 199/. 

lh)n^ Knn^'s .Journey to Rcunifwalion 

Expectcdly, I was oxenvhclnicd w ith mixed emotions, relleet- 
iii^ first on the three years of hard bar;s;ain not for the return l:)ut for 
the terms of reunification, and then the twehe and a half lon^ years 
of transition, throus^h thick and thin, that by then seemed hke a 
flash in time. 1 did not innnii;rate to the British Hons; Koui^. 1 had no 
choice as I was born and raised in Iloui; Kons; in tlic midst of British 
Administration. I led my UMELCO colleagues to uri;e the 15ritish to 
negotiate with the ('hinese (iovernment for the reunification in 
accordance with the \iews, wishes and interests of the majority of 
the Hong Kong people whom 1 had ncxer ever betrayed. All along, I 
aimed for a just and practical solution to the Hong Kong problem, 
bearing in mind the dignity and sovereignty of China, the grace of 
the United Kingdom, and the aspirations of the people of my nati\'e 
city. Somehow, with ups and downs, elations and agonies, I helped 
to accomplish more or less what I set out to do for Hong Kong, for 
which 1 have no regrets and w ill ha\'e none for the remain of my 
day. We, the prodigal Chinese of the territory, were now home again 
with autonomy and also a responsibility to help modernize our 

Outside the hall on the streets and in public squares, tens of 
thousands roared as the neon lights lit up the night as the rain stopped 
for the moment and an incandescent mist hanged over the waters 
and between the high-rises. Cars halted along the Causeway Bay 
corridor and other thoroughfares elsewhere honking horns added 
to the cacophony. A new era was born. 

After the clapping ended President Jiang Zemin walked to the 
Chinese rostrum and proclaimed the establishment of the Hong Kong 
Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. He 
said the date of 1 July 1997 was a great day in the Chinese histor>' 
and that histoiy would remember the great statesman Deng Xiaoping, 

:^ 276 ^^ 

I'IdIc 1.7 /'ii)/)/r Liii(hi.rmL: m Tihik Siiiiin\/i>r the S(n\i\ii:niy mvihs/it 
(.•iiiiiit-ilii-icti on J(> .liiiii. I'>'>7 

i^ J// .^. 

llouii Koufi's .loiinicy to Kcinii/icdtioii 

the architect of the noxel concept "One (Country Two Systems". 
•Han^ also spolvc abont lloni; Kong's future heinj; brighter than its 
past and aliout closini^one chapter anti openini; another. The (Chinese 
President also assured the people of liong Konj^ tliat his (iovernmcnt 
would uphold faithfully the basic concepts of "One (Country Two 
Systems", llon^ Koui; people ruling Ilon/^ Kon;:^, and a high degree of 
autonomy. lie further pledged to prescrxe Ilong Kong's free society, 
capitalists system, way of life and (Common Law practice. .Hang's 
speech was interrupted five times by prolonged applause. 

That ended the ceremony for sovereignty transfer. Thereafter 
the official delegates of both the (Chinese and liritish (iovcrnments 
walked to the centre of the stage, shook hands and posed for photo- 
graphs at 00.12 a.m. on 1 July 1997. Ilong Kong had been recovered 
symbolically at the Convention Centre. 

At the same time about 20 miles to the north, the People's 

Plate 4.S /'c'o/)/c f>culici-infi iu ci conunuiiity ccNfrc wiitcluufi the sovereigitty 
tninsfer on 1 July 1997 

c^' 278 ^ 

The Hong Kong SAR 

Liberation Arni\' elite armoured eoliimns totalling about 4,000 were 
filing aeross tbe Lowu border in tlie rain. The soldiers remained 
rod-straight as their eaxaleade wended through the roads ot the New 
Territories to throngs of tens of thousands of people weleoming their 
entry. The navy was already on the way and the airforee helieopters 
likewise headed south. The rapturous reeeption the PLA reeeixed 
and the utter professional demeanoiu' of the troops belied .all the 
apoealyptie warnings of the Sinophobes and the Demoeratie Party 
as well as its allies. The only regret on the occasion was the absence 
of the late Deng Xiaoping, the architect of ''One ('oimtry Two 
Systems", who unfortunately died in Febniar>' 1997, just four months 
short of the return of I long Kong. I still remember \i\idly today our 
greatly publicized meeting with (Chairman Deng in the (Ireat Hall of 
the People in Beijing on 23 .June 1984. He had then expressed his 
fervent hope to see the restoration of the lost territor>' and the boost 
to Chinese national pride. I belie\e hundreds of millions of (Hiinese, 
in Hong Kong, on the Mainland and elsewhere, were thinking of him 
as they watched on the T\' screens the retiun of the lost territory 
and the inauguration of the Hong Kong SAR. and belie\ing he was 
content in what he had seen in the other work! — a mission one 
third aeeomi")lished on 1 ,hil\- 19<)7. in December 19'><> Macao 
likewise returned to (Ihina. thus le.ixing Taiwan as the only 
unfinisheti business of reunifie.itioii. 

Final Britisli Retreat 

IIKH Prince of Wales the foiniei' I'rilisli cdIdhv togLther 
witli iIk' now former ( 'io\crnor (Ihiis P.itteii the s.ime w;iy ilicir 
ancestors h.ul first aiiixeti in llonii KonLi. on the w.ixes. .Soon .after 
the ceremon\' retiuning tlie so\ereignt\" to (Miin.i Ii.kI concluded .it 

^ 279 ^ 

//o/ii; Kane's .Idiirncy to Rciuiiticddo)! 

the ( loiUL'iition aiul l^xhil^ition (Centre, tlic rcprcsentntiNc ot IIM 
the Queen, I'linee (Mi.'irles, :iirI Patten, onee more a eixihan, slipped 
away and ani\ed at the watert'ront ot'the Tamar Xaxal Base \ia slow- 
moN'in^ motoreade alonii; the esplanade at 00.25 a.m. The\' were to 
l^oard the IIM^ Britdimiii that liad been in moorage for days. 

llimdreds thronged the nearby roadside for a pa rtin;s> glimpse 
of the future monareh and also the departin*; ( ioxernor. Most of 
those waiting at the Tamar were, understandalily, sentimental 
expatriates. In the midst of the farewell erowd stood the lo\'al 
household staff members who had serxed the Patten family at the 
Ciovernment House for the past fixe years. Late in joining the 
procession were senior officials, who had been groomed and 
promoted by the last Governor during his years of office, plus the 
immediate past Executive Councillors, all tediously polite. As a 
matter of protocol, Mce Foreign Minister, Wang Yingfan, representing 
the Chinese Central Government, saw off the hosts-turned guests 
shortly after the stroke of midnight. 

iVfter all the hand shakes, embraces and kisses the British party 
eventually boarded the BritCDinia at 00.40 a.m. Ten minutes later, 
the IIMS sounded a forlorn wail as she slowly left the dockside under 
the escort of a Royal Navy frigate and the Hong Kong Marine Police 
launches, destination the Philippines. A number of Fire Services 
boats were already in the harbour bidding them bon voyage with a 
ceremonial water spray as tears gushed from sentimental eyes and 
the rain resumed. This ended the last page of the final chapter of the 
156 years of British rule in Hong Kong. 

Founding of the Hong Kong SAR 

After the British had acceded in 1984 to relinquishing its sovereign 

c^ 280 ^ 

The Ihrnii Kniia SAH 

and ndministratixe control of Hon^ Kons; at the appointed time ot 
1 .Inly 1997, the (Miinese hej^an preparint; tor their reeoxery of the 
territory. The National Peoples Congress on 4 April 1990 deeided to 
found the Ilon^ Koni^ Special i\dministrati\e Rciiion on 1 .Inly 1997 
with a series of ceremonies. 

The \'ery first ceremony after the sovereignty return was the 
swearing-in scheduled at 1 .M) a.m. It took place on the seventh floor 
in the new win<; of the (lonxention and I^xhihition ('entre, large 
enou/^h to accommodate more than four thousand quests plus a huge 
stage. The ceremony went exactly, except for the rain, according to 
script. President .Hang Zemin at the threshold declared to the li\'e 
audience, including foreign dignitaries from more than forty countries 
and 4, ()()() guests plus billions watching on television in and outside 
(Jhina, that "The Chinese People's Republic Hong Kong Special 
Administrative Region is now established." 

I'hilc l.'f riu Kstiihlislnucitt (\rc))h>uy n/dic IIidil: Kohl: SM< on I .hilv l'>')7. 

^ 2S1 ^ 

//ojiij Ao/i^'ls Ji)unicy to Rciiniticdtion 

President Jianj; of the People's Repiiblie of (^hiiia then went 
b.'iek to his seat on sta.^e whereas Premier Li Pent; walked to and 
stood at the eentre of the staiie. The seene was then set for the 
swearini>-in. The first person to stroll to the rostrum faeini; the 
Premier was the ('hief Exeeiitixe Designate Tun;[> ('hee-hwa, who 
hat! been selected by the Selection (Committee of 400 and confirmed 
by the (Central People's Goxernment. Tinii; swore allegiance to the 
HKSAR of the PR(], the uphold of the Basic Law, and the accounta- 
bility to both the CPG and the HKSAR, as stipulated by the Basic 
Law. He was followed in his stead by ('hief Secretary Anson Chan 
who led 23 principal secretaries in swearing allegiance to the HKSAR 
of the PRC, the uphold of the Basic Law, and the accountability to 
the HKSAR. 

I, as the Convenor of the Executive Council, subsequently 
walked up with my 14 colleagues in tow to owe our fidelity to Tung, 
now the Chief Executive proper. Rita Fan, President of the Provisional 
Legislative Council, conducted the same with her 59 associates. Then 
finally, Chief Justice Andrew Li proceeded to the stage with 36 other 
judges, ethnic Chinese and expatriates alike, to take their oath, in 
this ease, first in Chinese and then English. 

All the swearing-in completed exactly by 1.53 a.m. Premier Li 
Peng then went to the rostrum and deli\ered his address thank- 
ing all those guests for their presence as well as acknowledging the 
work of the members of the Preparatory Committee, the members 
of the Selection Committee and all those who had supported the 
reunification of Hong Kong. He then gave eneomagement to all the 
office bearers of the HKSAR and wished them success in maintaining 
continual prosperity and stability of the territory. Li said Hong Kong 
had then entered a new era in its history and reaffirmed his 
confidence that Hong Kong would have a better tomorrow. 

q^ 282 z^^ 

Tlw Hon^ Kon^ SAR 

Plate 4.10 Tlie S'wearing-in Ceremony for members of the Hong Kong Sx\R 
Executive ('oitncil. 1097. 

The next speaker was the first (Hiief Exeeiiti\e Timii (Ihee- 
hw.i wlio said Ilons^ Koni; after sejia rating from its niotherlaiul for 
\5(y years exeiitualK' reunited on 1 .Iul>' 1 *>'>?. I'roni then on, he 
eontiniied, we would be masters of our own house antl 1k' able to 
deeide our own destiny, lie jijetli^ed the IIKSAR ( loxernment would 
tlo its utmost to preser\e our way of lite, maintain our tree antl open 
eeonoinx', u|iliokl the rule of law . de\elop a demoeiatie iio\ernment. 
build .1 eariivU soeietx'. autl streni;then lionii Ixonti as a world elass 
eosmo|iolitan eit\". TuuLi also saiti he was aware of the neeils and 
wishes of the jK'ople autl reeoL;ni/ed the impoitanee of eo-opei";ition 
and unit\'. Me undertook to leail the <> 5 million enterpiisin^ eiti/eiis 
uuiler the eou(.'ept of "( )ne ( lounl r\ Two SystLius" maiehiui; torward 
for a better futme. 

The SwearinU-in ( 'eiemon\- endt^ti at 2.J?()a.m. Thereafter we 

2S3 ^ 

II())il; l\t))iL;'s .loiinicy to Rciiiiijicdiion 

were ushered into a iiearbN' hall wiiere all the members of" the 
exeeiitixe, lej^islatixe aiul JLitlieial l)raiiehes ot tiie newh' born IlKSAlx 
posted for a historie i;roup photo;t;raph with President .lianj;. Premier 
Li and other leaders ot tiie ilW]. (^liiet" Exeeutixe Tun^ was seated 
on the front row whereas (Hiief Seeretar>' Anson (!Ihan and myself, as 
C^onxenor of the Exeeutixe C^ouneil, xvere both standing ri.i;ht behind 
President Jian^ xxho xx'as seating in the x'er\' middle of the front roxx'. 

Whilst most of us xvere goin^ home or baek to hotel for a fexx' 
hours of sleep before attending the next programme seheduled at 

Plate 4.11 The IIKSAR Chic/ Kxecutivc. Mr. Tuuii Chec-hica. shook hands 

•it'ith cite (luchor, the Excciiti-vc (Jouncil Convenor, ci/ter the S-ice(irini>-in 

(Jere))i(»}v on 1 Julv 1997. 

q^ 284 ^^<: 

r/ic llon^ Konjg SAR 

10. 00 ,', the ProNisional Lei4isl.'iti\c (>)iincil held its hrst meeting 
after the estahhshnieiit oi the SAR at 2.45 a.m. President Rita Fan 
and all her 59 memhers of the PLC plus some 1(S senior ;[;o\ernment 
officials ineluding Finaneial Seeretary Donald Tsang and Seeretary 
for .histiee Elsie Leunj^ were assembled in Meeting Room 201 of the 
Convention Centre. One of the major items debated and passed was 
the Reunification Bill, which dealt with \arious important and urgent 
matters related to the transition. The first meeting lasted for 75 

Just before 10.00 a.m. about 4,500 guests were assembled 
again in the new wing of the Convention and Exhibition (Centre ready 
for the Establishment Ceremony. When the clock struck ten the 
National Anthem was played and then President Jiang addressed 
the audience, lie reiterated the (Central Peoples Go\'ernment"s 
faithfid implementation of the iiolicics of "One (]oinitry Two 
Systems", Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong, and a high degree of 
autonomy for the next 50 years. 

Chief Executixe lung then spoke. He first paid tribute to the 
late ( Ihairman Deng Xiaoping for his great \'ision of and contribution 
to the open-up and moderni/ation of China from the late l*'70s. 
Deng's w idow was iireseiU and seating next to IMesiilcnt Jiang in the 
front row faeing the stage. At the enti of Tung's tribute Dengs widow, 
helped by both Jiang antl Tung's wife, stood up antl ackiiow letlged 
the prolonged apjilausc. 

\\ hen the hall was c|uiet again Tung resumed his oration aiul 
tiepieleil his plan ol ailiniiiistering Iloiii; Kong lie touched on lour 
major areas of housing, eiliie.ition. eKleib and eeonom\ .\ttei' Tung 
was done with his speech N'iee Piemiei and loreiun .Minister (Jian 
Qiehen, representing the ( J'( 1. presented to Tiinu ;i ehei|ue amount- 
ing to I IKS 1**7 billion w hit^h w ;is aeeiunulateil iVoni half of the land 

^ JS5 ^ 

:^ 286 :^ 

The llon^ Konii SAR 

sales proceeds in IIoiijl; Kon;^; tlurin.i; tlie 12-year lon^ transition. This 
amount contributed to the hi;[^h fiscal resene of nearly 1 IKSSOO billion 
as against IIKSAR s annual total public expenditure of about S3()0 
billion in year 2()()(). 

After the cheque presentation the re\'elries and rexiies followed 
and did not stop until about 12 noon. 

The Mandarin Hurdle 

Prior to the Second World War llong Kong was a Cantonese society 
with '^9 per cent of the Chinese population speaking (Cantonese, the 
local dialect of (Canton ( Caiangzliou ). the capital of Cuangdong 
I'rox ince. There were only a few hundred northern Chinese from 
Shandong Proxince employed as policemen, probably because they 
are generally taller and sturdier built than their southern compatriots. 
The influx of Shanghainese and other northerners only began in the 
late 194()s when Communists took control of the Mainland. During 
the early stage most of these arri\'als resided in North Point, then knoxMi 
as "Little Shanghai". From then on tlicrc were more ant! more local 
people speaking what was then gcncraJK' known as .Mandarin. 

During tlie .lapancse occupation ot Iloni; l\ong 1 tied to the 
.Maiiiiaiid aiul worked in the prov inccs of .iiaiig.xi and lluiian. People 
there spoke .Mandarin bnt with liea\ \ local accents ant! slang. 
Nonetheless I managed to i^el in with ni\- rndinieiUaiN Mandarin 
with Cantonese accents. After the Pacific Wai I neither had the need 
nor the opportiinit\- to iiolish nn .Mamiarin nntil the inmiineni retnrn 
of Hong Kong to ( Ihina and \:\\vv ni\ inemiiership in tin.' Pi xliininaiA- 
Working ( !onnnittt.'e ot the ( ihiiiLse ( io\ernment. 

I was not alone in iin ;i|->iialhn!4 .Maniiarin (now known as 
Pntonghna whit^'h means eonnnon l.inuiiaue) hecanse this 

i^ JS7 ^ 

Hong Kdiig's ./oi/nicv to RcimiUcdtion 

shortcoming was prcxalent amonii the relatixcly eldcrh' population 
in Hong Kong. Tlic joke was on me at last in the morning of 2^) June 
1997 when we rehearsed our taking the oath ot offiee from (]hief 
Exeeutixe Designate at the Convention and Kxhihition (Centre. Tung, 
a nati\'e Shanghainese and speaks fluent Putonghua, was usually 
the most beealming person but exen he eould not stop from laughing 
at my reading the pledge of allegiance in w hat 1 figmcd was Putonghua 
and what others thought was mumble jiunble. 

After the rehearsal the attracti\'e and attentixe, then Director 
of Radio and Television of Hong Kong, (Cheung Man-yee, took pity 
on me, or on the audience of 1 July, and took the trouble in sending 
me a box of cassette tapes on basic "pinyin" or phonetics. My helpful 
Executive Council colleagues Nellie Fong and iVntony Leung gave 
me urgent tutelage to correct decades of my Mandarin abuse. They 
were coaching me on 1 July even during the one-hour intcr\'al 
between the sovereignty transfer ceremony and the swearing-in ritual 
to ensure that I would not be the comic relief. 

With a stout heart and a great gulp of air, I said my line 
meticulously, trying not to bungle a single word as I swore my oath 
in front of Tung. After the Swearing-in Ceremony I was surprised to 
hear many people saying to me that the Chief Justice Andrew Li's 
Putonghua was even worse than mine. 

During the rehearsal on 29 June as I had turned into the focus 
of attention and the expected butt of jokes, no one had really listened 
closely and paid sufficient attention to how Chief Justice Andrew 
Li s Putonghua. To be totally objective, he was not much better than 
mine. Whereas I had later practised, Li did not, slinking away for 
tea with friends during the interxal when he could have joined me 
in boning up on our Putonghua. Since the reunification Li took 
regular Putonghua lessons and now speaks it much better. 

q^ 288 ^ 

The Hong Kon^ SAK 

After the eeremony all the prineipal seeretaries. Exeeiiti\e 
CJouneillors, Proxisional Lei^islators and )ud,i>es alike filed int(> the 
nearby hall to prepare for a photo session with the Chinese leaders. 
When we all were in our designated positions the first to enter were 
President Jianii Zemin and Premier Li Peni;. The affable Jiani; sidled 
next to me and said perhaps in jest, and eertainly in ('antonese. 'T 
luiderstand your Putoniihua," to whieh I replied in Putonghua 
"President Jiang, your ('antonese is better than my Putonghua," to 
the laughter of e\er>'one so glad to get on with eelebrating the national 
reunion and get away from my linguisties. 

Xew Era, Xew Honours 

Hong Kong returned to China on 1 July 10<)7 and so entered a new, 
historie era. The SAR (loxernment wanted to encourage ei\ il spirit, 
affirm social \alues, salute role models for the society, and enhance 
cohesion of the conmnmity. The Authorities, thereby, decided to 
introduce a new honour s\stcm to replace the Pritish awards used 
during the colonial days. 

The new honour system came into effect on 1 Jul>' 1 '>*>?, with 
the (Irand Pauhinia .Medal ((1P)M) as the highest honour that could 
be bestowed by the S.\l\ ( 'io\ crnmcnt . The first medal presentation 
ccrcmon\- was hcKI on 2 .hil\ , a tla\" after the ceremonial Chinese 
recovery of 1 long Kong at the ( io\ crnmcnt Mouse. I 'ppcr .\lbcrt Koad. 
The first ( '.hicf lv\ccuti\ c of the S.\l\. Tung ( Jicc-hwa. prcscntcii the 
medals luuicr tiic ga/c of \'icc Premier and iorcign .Minister. Oian 
(Jichen. and in the presence of over 400 invited guests. 

The first ( iraiui Pauhinia Mcilal wa.s awarded to .i do/cn I long 
Kong citi /ens in rccognitii )n ot their indi\ idual com li but ions to the 
cstalilishmcnt of the Special .\dminist rat i\ e Kegion. Tlic\' were, in 

ijt^^C,/dli I 

^ 290 ^^ 

Thv llniiii Kom SAK 

tlic order of nunilier of strokes in the Chinese eharaeter of their 

Ann Tse-kai Lee Q,uo-\vei Simon Li l-()(^k-sean 

Elsie Tu Cha Ghi-ming Tsui Sze-man 

Ghuang Shih-pin,i4 W'on.i; Ker-lee Tsann; Ilin-chi 

Henry Fok Ving-tun^ (]huni; Sze-yuen Lo Tak-shini;. 

hi January 199(S the SAi\ (lovernment formally announeed 
the new honoin-s and awards system for the lioni; Koni; eitizens: 

( 1 ) The Order of the ( Jrand Bauhinia 

This Order has only one class. The Orand Bauhinia Medal 
(GBM) is the highest award under the new honours and 
awards system. Reeipients of the OBM ma\- use the title 
"The Honourable" as prefi.x before and tlie abbrcNintion 
"(11)M" as suffix after their names in Kniilish. 

(2) The ( )rder of the Bauhinia Star 

Tiiis (Jrder consists of three classes, namely, 

(a) The Gold Bauhinia Star ((iliS); 

(b) The Siher i')auhinia Star (SliS); 

(c) The Bronze Bauhinia Star (BliS). 

(3) The Order of llie .Medal of Honour 

This ()rder is in one class only — the .Medal nt lloiKmr 

(4) The ( )rder of the .Metlal for Braxery 

This ( )riler consists of three classes. namcK , 

(a) The .Mctlal for Bra\cr>- (Gold) (.MBG); 

(b) The .\leilal for I'.raxcrv (Sibei) (.MBS); 
(e) The Nknlal for Braxcrx (I'.rou/c) (MBB). 

(5) The ( '.1 lief l^xee'iil i\\"s ( ',( i( tn 

There are two l\ pes ol aw ards under i his i.'ateiior>". namely. 

U(>n<J Kdhu's .loitnicv fo Rcuitificittion 

PIdte 4.14 The nutlior mul Ins Jnoids iii [lie (jovcnuncur Ihiusc (ijtcr rccci-viuLi 
[he GBM Award on 2 July 1997. 

(a) The Chief Exeeutive's Commendation for Government 

(b) The Chief Executive's Commendation for Community 

Whilst tlie Hong Kong SiVR introduced its new honour system, 
nonetheless it retains the Western Justice of the Peace (JP). I 
remember that the Political Affairs Group of the Preliminary Working 
Committee had discussed a few times whether the SAR should retain 
or replace the JP system. Most members of the Group preferred the 
retention of the JP system, stressing that JPs not only existed in 
Britain and the British Commonwealth countries but also in the 
United States of America. We, nonetheless, thought the Chinese title 
was not very appropriate and did ponder for sometime substitutes 
but could not conjure up a better Chinese terminology that could 

^ 292 ^ 

T/ic Iloiifi Kotifi SAR 

reflect quite the tradition and faniiliarit\- ot' the status quo. C]on- 
sequently we aeeepted the full retention of the pre\'ious Justiee of 
the Peace system. 

The Threshold 

The Paradigm Shift 

The British and ('hinese Governments signed the .loint Declaration 
in December 19S4 based on a common \ision. They agreed that 
Hong Komi the British (lolony woidd transform into a Special 
Administrati\e Region of (Tiina on 1 July \^)^)7 under the "One 
Gomitry Two Systems" formula coupled with Iloni; Kony people 
ruling Hong Kong and a high degree of autononn'. The epoch was 
not only for the pcojilc of Hong Kong alone but for the whole world 
in whose gaze the dream would become a reality, pro\ing a bitter 
legacy could be put right by peaceful merms. 

Hong Kong through the transition of more than a dozen yern\s 
had faced a paradox of trying to preser\e man\' features of a \ery 
prosperous, free, modern ami enlightened socictx', biu at the same 
time stri\ing to effect changes either as stipulated in the Basic Law 
or to ensure that the commuuitx tlid not stagnate. 

( )n the |-)()litieal front, the territ()r\- would go from an autocratic, 
archaic colonial regime in which (he ( io\ernor, invariably a Briton, 
would appoint his l'",.\ecuti\ e and begislati\e (louucillors to a more 
open system in which law -mai\eis and also the ( ".hiel l.\ecuti\e would 
all be electctl. .\rticle 1.^ of the liasic Law. I lonu Kong S.\K"s constitu- 
tion, is \er\' explicit In iIk' lieLiinniiiu (lie ( Ihicf l-'..\ccin i\ e ot the 
I long Koug S.\l\ shall iic selected b\- election or thiouuli ion 
hcKI local I >• and Ik' appoiiUed b\ the ( ".eiUial Peoples ( loxcrumcut 

Iloiiii A""^'s Jounuy in lictiuiticdtioii 

This iiiiti.'il process will be cieNeloped step b\' step and tile ultimate 
aim is the seleetion of the (IK by unixersal siitlra,s;e upon nomination 
by a broatlh' iepresentati\'e nominating eommittee in aeeortlanee 
with demoeratie process. Article ()S specifies that the Legislative 
Council shall be constituted by election. The method of f'ormini; the 
legislatinc shall be in accordance with the principle of" gradual and 
orderly jiro^rcss. The ultimate aim is the election of" all the members 
by imixersal suf"f'ra,i;e. 

Economically the Joint Declaration cncoin-a.i^ed an integration 
or symbiosis of the SAR and the Mainland. Even as the finishing 
touches were put to the British and (Chinese accord this process was 
already accelerating. Hong Kong manufactiu-ers made an exodus 
northward the way they had migrated southward a generation earlier. 
The trickle north of the late 197()s, when China started to carry out 
its economic reform and open door policy initiated by Deng Xiaoping, 
had turned into a veritable tidal wave by 19S4. Back then, despite 
the emptying out of some factories, Hong Kong manufacturing still 
employed a million people, roughly a third of the labour force. By 
1997, fewer than 3()(),()()() still earned their keep from manufacturing 
and even those so employed were engaged mainly in adding value to 
products from the Mainland. Hong Kong-owned businesses ha\'e so 
established themselves in the Pearl River Estuary — in hinterland 
cities such as Shenzhen and Dongguan — that they now hire more 
than five million people across the border. The Mainland is now 
Hong Kongs competitive edge and the primary reason for foreign 
investments. One of my recent papers "Reflections on Manufac- 
turing'' summarized the rise and fall of manufacturing in Hong Kong 
during the past 50 years and was published in the 50th Anniversary 
Transacti(»}s of the Ilomi Konii Institution of Engineers in December 

CiT 294 :.^ 

c^ 295 ^r 

Iliinii KouLi's .lountcy to Rcuuiticcitioti 

Ilon.ii Koni; exports, niul particularly re-exports, lia\e surged, 
niakinti an already busy port into the most intensely used in the 
world. While the Mainl.and has eoneentrated on li^lit to niediinii 
industries, the territory' has foeussed on retail, re-export, capital 
finance and banking plus, more recently, information technology 
and telecommunication. The ser\ice industries, which really began 
to grow in the l*>7()s, are now dominant. The know-how and sophis- 
tication of Hong Kong's finance, transport, commerce and toiuMsm 
ha\e tin-ncd the SAR into the primary scrxice hub of Asia. What 
Hong Kong does best, howexer, is scrxicc to the Mainland. Should 
Hong Kong continue with the development in this direction, it would 
achieve its aspiration being the New York and London of an 
economicalh' powerful, resurgent (]hina. 

The co-operation beUveen Ciuangdong Proxince and the Hong 
Kong SAR is approaching seamless. The division of specialties as 
both sides make the best of their adxantages has also narrowed their 
cultural differences, which may not always be wonderful news to 
many Hong Kong women betrayed by their philandering husbands 
with businesses and concubines on the other side. At this rate of 
development, as the Pearl River Delta experiences continuous 
double-digit growth, this region shall mature, in my assessment, in 
another two decades into one of the foremost industrial and 
commercial centres in the world, probably rixalling the Philadelphia- 
New York-Boston Axis, the Kyoto-Tokyo Corridor, and the German 
Rhine Basin. As early as in 1992 in my speech titled 'Tlong Kong's 
New Destiny" delivered at the 2()th Anniversary of the Hong Kong 
Polytechnic, I had already predicted this eventuality. 

Despite the \'ow of "5()-years unchanged", Hong Kong has 
metamorphosed through the transition and into the 21st century. 
The differences between the colonial period and that of the SAR 

^ 296 ^ 

The Hong Kong SAR 

ha\'e been draniatie as new eoneepts, ideas, ways of doin^ business, 
and dealings with t!ie rest of the world biu'st out of the ehrysaHs. 
The SAR has assumed a new identity to yo with its new era. 

hiitially, that is during the 19<S()s, many people were appre- 
hensi\e about their prospeets in the SAR. terrified by their own and 
their parents" bleak experienees on the Mainland and war\- of the 
promises from the (Ihinese leaders who eould not esehew completely 
enough the whimsieal excesses of their predecessors. As a result tens 
of thousands in their phobia emijgrated from Hong Kong, mostly to the 
West. Ilowex'cr as time past and as ( '.h\n:\ continued to progress, more 
and more people were coming to accept the (Chinese so\'ereignt>', ha\'ing 
banished the doubts that some popular politicians had planted in them. 
They began to ha\c confidence in the futiu'c SAR, despite the Sino- 
British confrontation diuMng the last years of the transition. 

The surge of confidence translated into spectacular, and 
spcculatixc, gains in the property and stock markets for the period 
from 1*/^.^ to the time of reunification. The Hang Seng Index had 
reached 1 (),()()() j^oints in December 1995 and tiiis had soared to 
16, .500 points in August 1997. The upward spiral of the l^oiuse was 
more than matched b\' the skyrocketing of jiroperty \alue. At the 
peak A-grade offices and residential real est.ite were fetching at an 
unsustainable, a eraz\- S24.000 per stjuare foot. r>\' the middle of 
1997 Hong Kong had inflatei.1 a inibblc economy and the i">in that 
woukl burst the thinning membrane was ine\itable. The i.|Uestion 
that no one could answer at thai time, was whenV 

The Initial Experience 

People kept up their celebrations on J .Iul\ 1''''7, a da> aftei tlie 

^ 297 ^ 

Ilorifi Kong's .lounicv to RLuniJicalion 

Chinese reeoN'ery ol ll()n;L; K(jn;i;, now known as the Speeial Aclniini- 
strati\e Keiiion. While they continued to rejoiee, few notieed the 
Thai (lovernment liad let the liaht, its enneney, float only to see it 
sink. Tluis the worst Asian financial crisis in recent memory bei;an 
with nnich of lloni; Konii oblixions to its impact and implications. 
For weeks tliereafter economists and other experts were confident 
that llonti Koni; wotild not be scrionsly affected hecanse of its "strong 
fimdamentals". The Ilonii Kon4 (io\'ernment, probably more for 
political reasons than others, joinetl other Asian economies in 
extending to Thailand its share of an emergency loan of one billion 
American dollars. 

By the middle of October that financial tidal wa\'e had smashed 
into Taiwan after having ravaged Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, 
countries that in recent years had done so well out of the boom 
in investments and exports to North America and the European 
Union. The Government of Lee Teng-hui opted not to use its 
enormous reserves to back the new Taiwan dollar, which greatly 

Hong Kong was not spared, regardless of its enormous exchange 
fund and fiscal prudence, which routinely caused rating agencies to 
praise its economy as among the most flexible and competitive 
anywhere. The people finally realized that their bubble economy 
would burst Just like those in the Southeast Asia. The bleakest day 
was Black Thursday, 23 October 1997, when speculators, who had 
already dexastated Southeast Asia, assaulted the Ilong Kong dollar, 
despite its peg to the greenback. The inter-bank rate shot up to 280 
per cent in a flash to deter money draining out of the territory, which 
did not haxe or wish to have other control mechanisms such as the 
ones Malaysia was to adopt. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 
husbanding an exchange fund which included a fiscal reserve of more 

^ 298 ^ 

The Ihm^ Kon^ S.\K 

than IIK.S630 billion (US^80 billion) at that time, could not stem 
the fear, the sheer irrational terror. 

The interest rates went up anti up and the stock market crashed 
with the Ilang Seng Index dropping 6, ()()() points, from 16,()()() in 
.luly to 10, ()()() in October 1997, or nearly a third of its value. The 
property market, which had caused the bubble economy in the first 
place, fell and unemployment rose and rose. During the following 
months the economy that had once been short of labour, despite a 
guest worker scheme, was now in serious recession with the jobless 
rate reaching over six per cent, the highest in recent Hong Kong 
history. The gross domestic product shrank after years of steady 
growth and once double-digit inflation had gone into re\'erse, into 
deflation. Banks that had oxer-extended their property loans fretted. 
Assets were now liabilities and optimism changed to despair. 

The conspiracy against Asian economies deepened. The 
heavily leveraged hedge fund marauders attacked the Hong Kong 
bourse in August 1998 to further drixe down stock prices. The Hong 
Kong Government eventually reacted by haxing the Monetary 
Authority commit more than HKSIOO billion to the defence of the 
stock market, routing the conspirators and retinning confidence first 
to the financial institutions and then to the rest of the economy. 
The recovery so began in late 199,S, thanks in part to the (loxcrn- 
ment's (if nuieh maligned by the foreign media) market jnterxeiition 
and to (Ihina declining to dexalue its own eunenex-. 

l)y year 2()(H) the onee wenrx Lconomx was again robust, 
recording a (IDl' growth rate of oxer 1<» per cent and showinu 
improxed emiijoxnienl prosjieets. The rexolution in intormat inn 
technology, surging exports and (".liina's inuninent aeeessioii to (he 
W'orkl Track' ( )ri;ani/atinn spurretl on llie reenxeix'. xxhieli. hnwexcr. 
is not complete. .Manx people, espeeiailx those trom the 

//o/ii,' Koiiii's .lounicy to Rciniificalioii 

trades, who had lost their jobs, could not tiiui new ones because 
their skills were no loniicr relexant in the know letliie econoni\'. The 
(lox'crnnicnt has to grapple w ith this at a time when ansterit\- is 
t'oreini; it to tighten the budget and prime cxpcnditmx', inchiding 
the education s^rants. 

Ilon.ii Kon^ is not imtamiliar with the boom and bust e\'cles. 
One of the worst was the prolonged recession ot the early I'^TOs. 
The Hani; Sent; Index back in those days before the stock market 
imified had pkmimetcd to 150 points in l')75 from its then peak of 
1,750 in 1^)72. Lhicmployment increased and in\'cstmcnts decreased. 

While such a heaxinii and hcftini; of the economy is as expected 
as the changing of the seasons, there is a fundamental difference 
between the cycle now and that in the past. Back in the l*)70s the 
Hong Kong economy thro\'e on laboiu"-intensi\'e manufactiuing and 
exports. At the time of the oil crisis of the carh' l^>70s, which triggered 
the recession, manufacturing accounted for a third of the CiI)P and 
40 per cent of the employment. Our products were sold to about 
200 countries and territories. Indeed not a corner of the planet 
seemed not to hax'c toys, plastics, fabrics, shoes, and whatever 
without the label of "Made in Hong Kong". In short. Hong Kong's 
economy at that time was global. 

Nowadays Hong Kong mainly re-exports items produced on 
the Mainland, some of which were touched up, \'alue added and 
repackaged in the territory. The economic symbiosis between the 
SAR and the Mainland is so structured that the major cost of 
production line is across the border and the minor cost of admini- 
stratix'c, financing and ser\'icing works done right here. Today, year 
2001, manufacturing is responsible for less than fne per cent of the 
Hong Kong GDP and ten per cent of the work force — a percentage 
diminishing e\'en as I write. The last strike for those local maiiufac- 

^ 300 ^ 

T/if Hong Kong S.\R 

tiirers who are hanging on is approacliing as between 2005 and 2010 
the garment quota that has ;^iv'en Hong Kong textile businesses a 
reprieve will be phased out. What is left ot' our onee proud and 
prosperous manut'aeturing seetor would be in shreds. 

The future of Hong Kong as a serviee eentre is now \er>' elear 
since 85 per cent of the cinrent (il)F is already dcrix'ed from related 
industries. Finance alone contributes to 25 per cent of the (iDP, 
hotel catering and retail another 25 per cent, and personal and social 
scrx'ices some 20 per cent. Hong Kongs role is to ser\e the Mainland 
and the rest of Asia. The financial crisis of 1997 to 199.S actually 
highlighted and accelerated the economic transformation of Hong 
Kong as the strength of the local ciu-rency made the Inst of its 
manufactiuMng c\en less competitive relati\'e to that in the rest of 
Asia. In short, Hong Kong's econonn' is now basicalh' regional and 
not, as in its manufacturing days, global. 

But economic restructuring is not the onh' daunting change. 
The other is political change that also, of coin-sc, signals changes in 
society, a society much more assertive and aware of personal rights 
(rather less so of obligations) than e\cr before. The days of deference 
to authority are ox'cr and so arc those ol the people doinii w hat tlie\ 
eoukl for themsehes rather than clamouring for the authorities to 
do more for them. 

Hong Kong in colonial time was a "utopia" for the ('io\ernor. 
by whate\er name, who liatl the Legislative (Council («> support 
his tiecisions auti the rest of the ci\ il ser\ ice to implement 
them without demur. The ( lo\ ernor. with a mandate trom the 
liritish .Monarch, thafted aiul atKaneeti poheies in the overall and 
perceived interest of Hong Kong withoiu nui«.h resistance Irom 
pressure groujis. These pressure groups bacU in those tiavs consisted 
mainlv of ilisiiaiale. aiul disorgani/etl, activ isis and loi'>inists 

Iloni- Konfi'n Journey to Rciinificutioyi 

who had no phitform nnd no constitutional power to air their 
objections, let alone to block ;t;o\'ernnient policies and disapprove 
public expenditure. 

But ftoverninft the SAR is a totally new ball i;ame. This is 
basically caused by the introduction ot an elected legislature coupled 
with a ('hief Kxceutixe without a part>' to support him in the Legisla- 
tive (Council and a team of senior officials sharing his \-ision, trusting 
each other, acting in solidarity to assist him in the Administration. 
The (ioxcrnment is constantly imder pressure and scrutiny. ha\in,g 
to assist the needy with one hand and subsidize small and mediuni 
enterprises with the other. People previously treated the services 
they received — healthcare, welfare, and housing — as a privilege 
and now they regard these as their entitlements. Gratitude has been 
replaced with easily aroused dissatisfaction. Citizens demand more 
and better services but refuse to pay for these improvements with 
new taxes and higher fees and charges. Some eN'en object to the 
introduction of declaration for those persons who consider them- 
selves not affordable to pay higher charges for hospital ser\ices. The 
SAR must resoh'c this impasse and one of the means to do so is the 
application of the uni\ersal system of party politics, like a kind of 
franchise in the commercial world to run the SAR. This will be one 
of the subjects in the next section. 

The Future 

Partv Politics 

Party politics is essential to any democratic society because it is the 
proven way to govern effectively and accommodate differing views 

and interests. A political party is basically an organization with the 

^ 302 ^ 

Tlw Hong Kong S.\K 

object of securing consent of the people throu;[>h democratic election 
to manage a country or territory in accordance with its manifesto 
for a specified period of time. This may seem oinious but is worth 
reciting here because in Hong Kong a political party may aspire to 
but does not yet to govern. 

A political party therefore has to recruit members and de\elop 
their talents, determine and pul^licize its political manifesto, and 
run for election. Even when a party loses, it can reflect, regroup and 
reinvent for the next election. Such a party can act as the checks 
and balances, that is, the royal opposition, which discusses and 
attempts to amend or reject bills, block new taxes, and \ ct expendi- 
ture proposed by the administrati(Mi. If won, the party will proxide a 
team of different talents to administer the go\ernment in .iccordance 
w ith its manifesto for the specified period with a \iew to ac(.|uiring 
endorsement of the people and w imiing a re-election. 

The alternatixe to such an orderly arrangement would be free 
for all, in which case there would be anarchy, or dictatorship. The 
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has spelt out for itself a 
democratic future in the liasic Law but has not mappcti out the 
contour of politics. This aversion or amitixaienee towartis political 
l^arties rellects histor\-. The (Ihinese ha\e had a cheekeretl experi- 
ence with political parties, most notably the Comnumist Party and 
the Nationalist l'art\- ( Kiiomintang) which, between them, have 
fought, collaborated antl fought some more. 

Hong Kong, in .leeord.niee w ith its liasie Law. is eonnnitte«.l t«) 
an e.xeeut i\ e-led i^oxernuient with ;i democrat ieally-eleeted 
legislature acting as its eheeks aiul balances, lint lor sneh a sxstem 
to work, and work etteet i\ lI\ . the ( ihiet |-!\eL'nli\e has to ha\e his 
senior officials who are able, shaie his \ision. tiiisl each other, act 
in solidaritN' as well as eoine and i^o logi^t Iki" as a team I he ( Ihiet 

^ 304 ^ 

Tlic Ilonti Konfi SAIi 

Executive also needs a political party, which nominates him, assists 
him in the election, stands by him, and helps him shape, explain, 
advocate, defend and implement policies both inside and out of 
the LciS^islativc Council. Ideally he should be able to recruit from 
his party loyal and comiietent colleagues to scr\c as his senior 
officials (ministers). This support was woefully lacking when the 
(jovernmcnt ]K)tched many responsibilities throui;h the SAR's 
teething period diu-ins; which no party rallied to the Administration 
or to the innocent (Hiief Executixe who was takini; the blame for his 
subordinates" bundles. The politicians and the press castigated Tung 
Chee-hwa, even though he had inherited the mandarins, the policies 
as well as the structure antl style of administration from his 
predecessor. If he had a party to champion his case, lie would not 
ha\c appeared so Niilnerablc and isolated, and hapless in w hat had 
been the most critical and determining phase of his initial term w hen 
impressions mattered so much. 

There are some people opposinj^ to such a system of political 
parties. They long for those colonial days in w liicli the goxcining 
process was so tame, easy and chtist. Those da\s arc gone. Hong 
Kong has to join the modern democratic world rather than 
experiment with a sN'stem lliat has no precedent, no parallel, no 
future. What we need urgentb' is a pohtieal part\ law and a policy 
for ilexeloping polities that would nurture oiu' tlemoerac) auel answer 
the ret|uirements and aspirations ol our people. 

Executive (U)uncil Reform 

In eolonial cla\ s the ( i()\ eiiior a nil his senior admiuisi ralois w ere. 
until the eaii\- l'>'M»s. iu\ ai iabl\- loieii^uers w ho (\ pi^'alK' sjioke hardiv 
an\' ( iantonese and li\ xd in splendiil isolation It the ( lox ernor wanted 

306 ^ 

to know whether he was doin^ a decent job or his pohcies were 
appropriate, he consulted his civilian appointees, labelled in man;^ed 
Eni^lish "Unofficials", in his Executive Council. WTiilst some of these 
Unofficial Members were also British expatriates, they tended to 
be company taipans who were \eteran residents of the territory, 
familiar with the turf and its occupants. These advisors were 
invaluable to the Government for they helped the authorities feel 
the public pulse and prescribe the right policies, at least much of 
the time. 

In those days such a (Miinese counsel to the Governor was 
addressed aptly as the "Representative of the Chinese Comnumity", 
and the senior one was of course re\'ered as the "Senior Representa- 
tive of the Chinese Community". I know because 1 was bestowed 
with both titles in succession. Such titles of course conferred status 
but at the same time also imposed very serious obligations on their 
holders who had to be answerable to both the ruler and his subjects. 
There was no free rides. 

Rut from 1 July \997 onward there was a basic chani;e on the 
essential function of the K.\ecuti\e Council. I was the Senior .Member 
of the Executive Council during the P)ritish rule in 1^>.S() luuil my 
retirement in 1*^S.S and I rejoined the Council after the soxereiiinty 
transfer in 1997 as its Con\enor. The title "'Senior Member" was 
used throughout the P)ritisli administration until 1*''M w hen llaroncss 
Lvtiia Duini retired antl i)ame Kosanna W'onii sueeeetied her 1 he 
title was then ehanueii to (".onxenor. I'.\ then most of the principal 
secretaries inehuling the Chief Seeretaiy were alreaiiv Chinese 
possessinii tnll knowledge of local eoiulilioiis The ehanue was not 
only a name bnt a sense of history, of tradition, ol eireunistanees 

When llonu Konu JK'eanie the SAK the Chiet i'.\eeu(i\e who 
supplaiUed the ( iox ernor was not onl\ a loeal bnt hail to ha\e lixed 


Ihiiiii l\i)iiii's .loiinwY (n Rcituiticdlioii 

Plate 4. IS The Unofficiiil Members of the Hong Kong SAR Executive (j)iincil 
at TicuKiiiineii. 1999. 

for 20 consecutive years in Ilon^ Kong. His principal officers also 
had to he Chinese nationals who had claimed the territory as their 
home for 15 consecutive years. While the Executive Councillors of 
the SAR had to he permanent residents as well, they nonetheless 
need not ha\'e lixed here contintiotisly for more than 7 years, which 
is the residential requirement for permanent residency. 

What all this means today is that the C]hicf Exectiti\'e is already 
aware of the conditions in society and could consult his own senior 
officials, if he felt he had the need. Unlike the Governor, he is not 
beholden to his Executi\'e Councillors for adx'ice about the policies 
that could go down well with the public. The counsel of the old is 
now virtually redundant. 

During the time of the British rule the Governor excluded the 
"Unofficials" of the Executive Council from policy formulation, a 

^ JOS ^ 

The lloHfi Kong SAR 

jealously guarded ;[>overnment prerogative. The (Cabinet often did 
no more than analyse and approxe (some eritics say "rubber stamp") 
executive decisions. For years, even before my time and eertainly 
durin;^^ my time, the Executive (louneillors pleaded for more direct 
input into policy formulation but were politch' rebuffed. The 
(iovernor parried off the request with the excuse that his adxisors 
were not full-time and had their own full careers and interests in the 
private sector. The direct and intimate participation in policy 
formulation could inxohe eonflict of roles and interests. The 
GoNcrnor also considered that the public at lar^c would not accept 
such a change or at least that was the excuse. 

The issue cropped up aj^ain soon from my "unofficial" 
colleagues after the SAR Cabinet was established. 1 told them my 
experience but we still made a h;ilf-hcarted effort to get in\()lvcd in 
the formulation of policies. The Administration simply ignored us. 
In my own experience the onh' execption to the rule was in the 
period 19(S2 to 1984 during the lirilish and Chinese talks on the 
fufiu-e of Hong Kong. While the eoinitries negotiated, the Ihitish 
(ioxermnent did brief the Kxeeutive ('ouncil from time to time about 
the jirogrcss, or the lack of it. in the parle>-, and in\ ite our participa- 
tion in formulating strategN' to i- the talks. In the beginning the I'.ritish 
were reluet;int to ineluile us in their eonlKlenee for fear that sensiti\e 
information might be, inaelx erteiitb' or not, leaked oiU but we ne\er 
relenteti in appbing jiressuie on the Prime .Minister. I!\ entualb we 
were trusted because no one in both the Uritish and Hong Kong 
( loNernments eould replaee us tor this fnnelion. .\t the end. the 
ITnoffieiai l-..\eenti\e (^onneillois openb reeomnieuiled the .loint 
Declaiaiion lo iIk' jK-opL' of II on i; Kong after ensuring that the pnblie 
interests and aspirations were met. 

lUit now I Ik- ilonu Kon^ .S.\K is giowing more (.lemoeratie The 

Plate 4.19 Happy retirement card for the author from members of the 
mass media. 1999. 

^ 310 ^ 

The Hon^ K(m^ SAR 

sort ot" country chih ICxccutixc (Council ot old no longer suffices in 
the present climate. The solution is to create a proper Cabinet 
comprising about 15 ineli\iduals, (.iireetly respcjnsible to the (>hief 
Executi\'e. There could be about a dozen members who are 
concurrently senior officials with specific responsibilities and 
command oxer cixil scrxants. The remaining three or so should 
also be fidl-time members though without portfolios, acting as 
Chief Executive s special advisors or "Cabinet Ministers without 
Portfolio". Such a system is preferable to the present amorphous 
arrangement, in which the EXCO members ha\e \'oting right on 
policy decisions but no executive power and no accountability. The 
mirror opposite of this is the senior officials (policy secretaries) who 
have executive power and accountability but no voting right on policy 
decisions. The proposed reform will transform the Executive Council 
into a real Cabinet comprising full-time members with authority to 
formulate, appro\'e and execute policies as well as accountability 
for their success and failure. 

SARs Economic Future 

When Hong Kong was a l)ritish coIohn' it was an isolatetl entit>- an^l 
attempted to be self-sufficient and to confine its dc\elopnicnt within 
its own 1 ,()()() sc|uare kilometres. For this reason importers of rice. 
Hong Kong's staple food, were licensed ami rei|uire(.l to stock up to 
r)-months" eonsuni|")tion as a contingency, in tlic carh" l*>7(>s Hong 
Kong hat! built one of the woilds largest seawater desalting plants to 
safe guaril its fresh water sup|"»l\ in ease the (Chinese (ioxernmeiU 
did not eo-o|")erate as it hati onee hapjiened in l"'o7. Hong Koiiu in 
those tla\s also benefitetl from turmoil on the .Mainknul. wliuli 
Justifietl the isolation ami the inward looking mentality. 

lloiiii Konfi's Journey to Rciniiticdtion 

After reunification witii China as its SAK, Iloni; Koni; can only 
benefit from a stable, inereasiniily prosperous, and rapidly modern- 
izing Mainland. There is no longer any oiisessi\e need for suffieieney 
on its own and for confining dexelopments to within its physieal 

The businessmen are \ery xisionary and daring in this 
paradigm siiift. iloui; Kouii-funded factories in the Pearl River Delta 
eiu-rently emjilo)' about fi\'e million people, mainly working on 
production lines. Ikit still the professional manpower and infra- 
structine required to complement and support these factories in 
the areas of marketins^ and sales, product dexelopment and design, 
corporation administration and financini^, etc. remain in Hong Kong. 
Hong Kong has the know-how, the experience, the contacts and the 
savvy. The Hong Kong SAR is in fact the brain and heart of the 
manufacturing activities in the Pearl Ri\'er Delta, which will likely 
become one of the major manufacturing centres of the world. 

Plate 4.20 The BPF Forum on Hons, Komi SAR'ti Economic Future. 1999. 

q^ 312 ^ 

Tlii^ Ilonii Koriii SAK 

This dixision of hilioiir within a lari;e indiistriahzcd country is 
c|uite common. Nhmy multinational industrial companies, based say, 
in the I'nited States, ha\e their headciiiarters located in New "\ork 
City for corporate financing, accountini; and administration, as well 
as international relations and marketini;. Their shop tloor operations 
ma\- he located in siih-iirhan districts or out of state, e\'en out of the 
country as the companies tap the best and most cost effective, 
wherever the sources. There is no reason why the I long Kong SAR 
should not continue to follow this pattern to benefit from the 
synergetie combination of Hong Kong and the Mainland, particularly 
the Pearl River Delta region. 

Even the siting of Hong Kong's new international airport at 
Click Lap Kok ser\es this purpose, intended or otherwise, as it sits 
astride the estuary of the Pearl River. With the futine construction 
of a bridge connecting Shekou in Shenzhen and Castle Peak in the 
north and cx'cntualh- another one linking Zhuhai on the Pearl l\i\ er's 
western shore .and possibly (Ihek Lap Kok. the Hong Kong Inter- 
national Airport will become the apex for international air-tra\el 
and air-freight in the \'ast area of the i'earl l\i\er liasin. 

For both economic and cnxironmental bcnetits. the case tor 
relocating the container port at Kwai (Ihung to cither northwest ot 
Lantau Island or west of (lastle Peak, awa\- from the deiiseh' 
populatetl areas, is compelling. Such a transfer should tacilitate 
container moxenients in ami out of the Pearl l\i\ei" Delta without 
getting traffic in the wa\- of the peojile. Like the resiling of the Kai 
'L'lk Airport, the mo\ ing out of the Kwai ( !hung container port w ill 
free a large and \aluable paicel of flat industrial land at Kwai Chunu 
in the miilst of the Kow loon urban peninsula toi' commercial, 
residential autl recreational de\elopmenl. 

There is a fmther sui;ges(iou that the I long Koui; S.\l\ shouKi 

Il>mi> KoiiL-'s Jounity to Rcuui/icdtion 

in the l()in;cr term dcxclopnicnt establish a seeond metr()i")<)lis in the 
northeast area of Lantaii Island where, based on the jiresent 
s^oxernnient plan, fiuther lantl will be reelainied for bnildin;L; four 
more eontainer terminals. With the fiitiue eonstruetion of a new 
strates^ie submerged highway linkin;^^ (ireen Island on the Ilong Kong 
Island West to the northeast point of Lantan, the use of this area for 
a second metropolis makes far better sense on longer-term maero- 
ecoiiomie and einironmental benefits than the fonr eontainer terminals. 

Up to now industrial developments in the Pearl Rixer Delta 
are concentrated in the eastern bank due to more efficient land 
transport with the SAR, leaving the western coast much less 
developed. The lands in the counties of Zhongshan, Jiangmen, 
Shunde and Doumen on the western bank are in fact much larger, 
flatter and less expensive than the now o\'er-developed Dongguan, 
Baoan and Shenzhen to the east. The less developed western coast 
is mainly the result of lack of direct and efficient land transport with 
the SAR. With the eventual construction of the Ling Ding Bridge 
linking Zhuhai, north of Macao and at the middle of the western 
coast, with Ghek Lap Kok of the SAR, it could change the whole 
dynamics as it will open up the whole area on the western coast of 
the Pearl River Delta. By then the amenities and acumen of the 
Hong Kong SAR will serve a population of about 30 million on its 
hinterland, which is half as many as in Britain, more than that in 
Taiwan and larger than some countries in the European Union. 

All these elements are the ingredients of a bright economic 
future for the Hong Kong SAR and should be the subject for the 
Commission for Strategic Development presided over by the Chief 
Executive. I have no doubt that Hong Kong's destiny is hitched to 
the emergence of the Pearl River Delta as one of the most, if not the 
most, promising areas in the global economy. 

Q^ 314 ^ifo 

The llotiii Konfi SAK 

The idea ot dcxcloiiiiii; the Hoiii; Ivoiil; cum I'carl Kixcr Dcka 
region is not new. I first mentioned it in my piilihe lecture titled 
"Hong Kongs New Destiny" on 2<) Octoher 1*><>2 during the 2()th 
Annix'ersary of the Hong Kong Polytechnic. The suggestion of 
estai')lishing a second metropolis was also raised in my i^ublic speech 
at the Annual Dinner of the Hong Kong Institution of Kngineers on 6 
March 199<S. 

Rather than he totalh' preoccupied w ith the physical infra- 
structinx\ the so-called hardware. Hong Kong should not neglect 
the scr\'ice industries, arts and cidtin"e (the software) without 
which the city would he a \cry sterile place. Hong Kongs hanking, 
high finance, insurance, tourism, shipping, entertainment and so 
forth must ser\e tlic whole Delta region, the rest of China, and l^ast 

Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan, polyglot place with (Ihincse 
characteristics. Hong Kong peojile ha\c in them the potential to be 
nudti-talented and midti-lingual, fluent in wiitten Knglish and 
(Hiinesc and conxcrsant in Knglish, I'utonghua antl (lantonesc. Ikit, 
sadly, some here ha\e since reunification nniffled Knglish when, 
ironically, on the .Mainland the ( Chinese are clamouring autl 
chattering in the language of uni\ersal eonnneree. science and the 

None alarms me in the erosion of this linguistic adx.intagc 
than in some public ulilities anil government depaitments which 
once printed their bills and notices in both laiglish and ( Ihinese ;md 
w Inch now nonehMlanlK , indiffeieulb . ask I heir customers to choose 
the l-aiglish or (Chinese option. This is a reirourade step and will 
hinder the progress of I Ioul; Koni; as a woiKI eil\'. The ( Canadians lor 
the sake of national nnil\ are enfoicins; a bilingual connnuniix .nul 
a mnltieullural soeietw The beluians likewise lia\e made both l>ii[.,li 


lloiiLi KoHii's .lounicy fo RLiiniticcitiou 

and French otYicial lan,i4ua,i;es. Tnless lloni; Ivoni; is diliucnt, it can 
be surpassed linguistically by Singapore and c\en Shan;iihai, whose 
citizens feel no complex about acciuirins; languages. 

The (]hief Kxccutixc has extolled Hong Kong's prospects and 
exhorted people to emulate their coiuiteriiarts in New York and 
London, which we support. l)Ut we are facing with a \ery difficult 
problem, w Inch did not exist in New York and London diuMng their 
process of change. When their manufacturing industries moved out 
into their hinterland and e\en other states and coimties, their 
industrial workers moxed out together with their factories without 
the restrictions, legal and psychological, of "One ('oimtry Two 
Systems". The people of the SAR lack that sort of instant mobility, 
e\'en though thousands of Hong Kong people are doing work inside 
the ALainland, most as managers and professionals. The unskilled, 
or even the semi-skilled, ha\'e to stay at home and watch their jobs 
vanish, a plight affecting an estimated half a million of redundant 
former industrial workers. 

The Governmeiit and employers here ha\'e to create jobs or 
retrain the people for new ones. This challenge shall daunt and dog 
the SAR for the next two decades or more — indeed could be a 
whole generation — since locals, whose wages are five or more times 
those on the Mainland just north of the border, are no longer competi- 
tive. The Government has been braced for this, accepting the days 
of full employment are behind it and coimting on a modernizing 
China to be its source of growth. But Hong Kong has always adjusted 
with a resiliency that has been its defining characteristic and it will 
have to do that magic again. 

ca^ 316 i!^ 


1. Chronology of Events 

1 Oct 1949 Establishment ot" tlie People's Republic of China. 

Apr 1964 Arrixal ot' Sir Daxitl Trench as the 24th (ioxernor of 
Hong Kong. 

May 1967 The (kiltiiral Rexolution in (Ihina sjiilled oxer into 
Ilonu Kong. 

N()\' 1 97 1 Arrixal of Sir Murray MacLchose as the 25th ( ioxernor 
of Ilong Kong. 

S Jan 1976 Death of the (Chinese Premier Zhou luilai. 

9 Sep 1976 Death of the ( Ihinese ( Ihairman Mao Zeclom;. 

.hil 1977 Re-emergenee of DvWi}, Xiaoping and suliseciueutl>- the 
Nl'Cls approxa! of his economic reform plan and open 
door policx' in I'cbruarx- 1*>*)S. 

.Mar l'>7'> \'isit of (loxernor Mac!, chose to Peijing. 

.May l*^S2 .\irixal of Sir l-Alxxard ^'oudc as the 2()th (ioxernor of 
1 long Kong. 

Sep l'JS2 The first IMId.CC) Deicuaiion to London. 

Sep 1*>S2 I'rimc .Minister That^'hci- talk(.d witii tiic iMiiucsc 
leaders in llcijinu on the iutuic ol I lonu Kong . 

Mar P^S.^ rhatchei's secret icttei- to Premier Zhao Zixang. 

Max- I'>S3 \'isit of X ( >ung protessionais to P>ciiinLi. 

4 ,Iul 1<;.S.^ The First UMEXCO Mission to London. 

12 Jul 19iSv^ The first round of the Sino-liritish ne^(jtiations. 

24 Sep 19S3 The "Blaek Saturday" in Iloni; Konii with the IlKl) 

droiopint^ to *>.()() per l-SD. 

6 Oet 1^)S3 The Seeond UMKXCO Mission to London. 
17 Oet ]')K^ Pe,4,aina IIKDT.cSO to I'SDLOO. 

19 ( )et l*>cS3 The fifth roimd and seeond phase of the Sino-British 


Dec 19(S3 Britain decided to return the soxereiji^nty and 
administration of Hong Kong to China on 1 .luh' 1997. 

K) Jan 1984 The Third UMEXGO Mission to London. 

25 Jan 19cS4 The eighth round and third phase of the Sino-British 

negotiations with new chief negotiators on both sides. 

14 Mar 1984 The Lobo Motion Debate in the Legislative Council. 
6 Apr 1984 The Fourth UMEXCO Mission to London. 

20 Apr 1984 British proclamation to return Hong Kong to China in 

1997 by Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe in Hong 

May 1984 The Second UMELCO Delegation to London. 

Jun 1984 The UMELCO Delegation to Beijing. 

19 Sep 1984 The Fifth UMEXCO Mission to London. 

26 Sep 1984 The Sino-British Joint Declaration initialled in Beijing. 

Dec 1984 The Third UMELCO Delegation to London. 

19 Dec 1984 The signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 
Beijing by Premier Zhao and Prime Minister Thatcher. 

Jan 1983 The Fourth UMELCO Delegation to London. 

c^ 320 ^ 

(Jhronolofy' of Events 

12 .lun 19(S5 The registration of the .Joint Deelaration at the I'nited 

Jul 1985 The t'orniation ot the Basie Law Drafting Connnittee 

by the Chinese Government. 
Oet 1985 The introciiietion of the funetional eonstitueney 

eleetion into the Legislative (]oiineil. 

Dee 1985 The formation of tlie Basie Law ('onsultati\'e 

Committee by the (Chinese Government. 
6 Dee 1986 Death of (Governor Sir Ldward Voude in Beijing. 

Apr 1987 Arrix'al of Sir Daxid Wilson as the 27th Goxernor of 

Hong Kong. 
Jul 1988 The Joint Liaison Group established its prineipal base 

in Hong Kong. 
Jun 1989 The Tiananmen Ineident in Beijing. 
Oct 1989 Announeement of building a new airport on Lantau 

Dec 1989 Britain granted the right of abode lo 50, ()()() Hong Kouii 

4 Apr 1990 The Ni'(] appro\ed the l)asie Law of iloug Kong. 

v"^ Sej-) 1991 Signiug of the .Meinoraudiini of rntlcrstaiubng 

(loueerniug the ( lonstruelion ot the New .\irport b\- 

Johu .Major and Li Peng. 
Oet 19'>| Int roduL'tion of diieet eleetiou into the l.egislat ix'C 

( louneil. 
Mar I'>">2 The ('.liiiiese Government appointed tlie first 14 

Adxisois on lloni; IsonL; .\ltairs. 
,lnl 1*^*>2 Arriw-il of (Juis I'atien as the 2Stli and last Gcn-ernor 

of 1 1( mu ixonu. 

Appendix 1 

Oct 1992 AniKniiieciiicnt by (ioxcrnor I'attcn on his political 

22 Apr 1993 Siiio-Uritish talks on I'attcn's political rct'orm bciian. 

U) ,lul 199."^ Kstablishmcnt ot' the IlKSAK Preliminary W'orkint^ 
Committee by the (Ihinese ( lo\ernment. 

27 N()\- 1993 lireakdown ot' the Sino-l5ritish talks on ]\'itten\s 
political retorm. 

29 ,km 1994 Patten's political reform package passed in the 
Les^islatixe Cloimcil. 

Mar 1995 Formation of thc.ILCi Kxpcrt (iroupon the transitional 
budgets by the Chinese Government. 

26 Jan 1990 Kstablishmcnt of the IlKSAR {Preparatory Committee 
by the C'hinese Gox'crnmcnt. 

4 Oct 1990 Formation of the IlKSAR Selection Committee. 

11 Dec 1996 Election of Tung Chee-hwa as the first IlKSAR Chief 

21 Dee 1996 Formation of the IlKSAR Provisional Legislative 

24 Jan 1997 Formation of the IlKSAR Flxecutive Council. 

20 Feb 1997 Death of Deng Xiaoping in Beijing. 

1 Jul 1997 P>ritain returned Hong Kongs sox'creignty to China and 
the establishment of the Hong Kong SAR. 

Oct 1997 The Asian financial crisis spread to Hong Kong. 

23 Oct 1997 The "Black Thursday" in Hong Kong with the inter- 

bank rate shot up to 2S() per cent. 

1 Jul 1998 Formation of the IlKSAR First Legislative Council. 

^ 322 ^ 

ahronolofjy of Events 

2 Jul 1998 Official openiii;i; of the new International Airport at 
Chek Lap Kok by President Jianj; Zemin. 

Aug 199cS The IIKSAR Government spent liKD12() billion to 
defend the stock market. 

26 Jim 1999 Interpretation by the XF(] Standini; (Committee on 
Articles 22(4) and 24(2)(3) of the iiasie Law. 

:ar .U1 ^ 

2. List of Chinese Names with 
Their English Equivalents 

ANN, Tse-kai $^^ 

GHA, Chi-minj^:^»?K 
CHAN, Anson ^>^'$^ 
CHAN, John mS.W 
CIL\N, Kam-chuen ^IS/^ 
CHAN, Sui-kau [^ftftjJ^fc 
GIL^N, Tou-suen W-'i^mi 
CHAN, Wei W-it 
CHAN, \\'in;i'-kee Ni/}ct)i 
CHAN, Yin^-kin W.^^^ 
CHAU, Sir Sik-niii J.Vj^'ft-" 
CHEN, Dr. Kdward Niiif'i^li 
CllkX. Shou-luiii Ni,.'.f+!t^ 
CHEN, Ziyinii Ni?^i«i 
CHEN, Wif>tvff 
CHENC, ll<.n-k\vaii i5Sl^?^>t|i 
CHKXC, l)r ^' S 'Sl^'j'da 
CIIK( )N(i. StcplKii 'Jk'Milii 
CHEUNC, M.-iii-vcc- 'j'l<ftA(i<^ 
CIIKrNC. Sir ()s\\;iKl 'j|< 'J^ (y 

CHEUNG, Yan-kms ^Afl 
CHEUNG, Yung-hin;t> ^#§ 
CHIANCi. Kai-shek J^^?? 
CHOW, Sehna fSi'i^M^ 
CHUANG, Chung-wen ^®3t 
CHUANC;. Shih-pinsi jffit±¥ 
CHUNG, Dora M.^W> 
CHUNG, Gilhert MStf 

DENG. Xia(.piniif|5/h¥ 
DUNN, liaroness Lydia %Mk\\ 

FAN. Rita mf^M^ 

l-ANG. Sir Il;irrv }] -UuPi 

1"( )|\. Henry NiiiLi-tuiiu Vi' 'Xi-^ 

F( )\(i. Nellie /j 'u I'l i' 

I rXC. Daniel aijM'^fil! 

GAO. Oi.-niU A'jii? 

GAl ), Sli;niU(|n;in I'.'.'j |V.j -^ 

.\l)]>c)ulix 2 

(K)II, Chok Tong 'jk^W 

IK), Kdwarcl Hl^'Ji 
IK), Dr. Kam-tai H^^M 
IK), Kevin f"Jls#WJ1 
IK). I'rof. Patrick {^U^ 
IK), Shinu-liini f"I/f<:^ 
IIU, Chiazhao ^^IS 
IIU, Fa-kuang ^'^^it 
Iir, Weimin *J!#.^ 
IIU, Yaobang.^)»^P 
HUA, Guofeng l^ffl^ 
HUANG, Divan WM^ 
HUI, Yin-fat fF^# 

IP, Simon ^^^ 
IP, Yuk-lam ^^t^ 

JI, Pengtei 

JIANG, Enzhu #M1i 

JIANG, Zemin iCrPK 

IvVN, Sir Yuet-kcung Wi-\^^i 
KE, Ilua tnj^ 
KE, Zashuo tnj^^ifl 
K\VAX, Sir Cho-yiu Pffl.^ 
KWAN, Dr. Simon [IS#H| 
KWOK, Albert IP^>g 
KWOK, Dr. Philip fp;fe^ 
KWOXG, Ivi-chi U^^-^ 

LAI, Alan ^^ 

LAI. King-sung ^:^^ 

LAM, Kam Wl^^W 

LAIT, ProL Siu-kai ^'^ij-^^ft 

LAU. Wong-fat flj^# 

LAW, Fanny MiliU^ 

LEE, Allen P. F. ^mi\l 

LEE, Charles ^HJ^ 

LEE, Cheiik-yan ^^A 

LEE, Cho-jat ^ffl# 

LEE, Dick %U^W 

LEE, Martin ^lil^ 

LEE, Mary ^T^ 

LEE, Sir Quo-wei fiJH# 

LEE, Teng-hui ^l^5tf 

LEONG, Christopher l#^il 

LEUNG, Antony ^I$^a^ 

LEUNG, Bowen ^*^ 

LEUNG, Chun-ying '^U^ 

LEUNG, Elsie Oi-sie ^#b# 

LEITNG, Kwok-kwong '^Uit 

LI, Andrew ^fflf^ 

LI, Chmven ^\^X 

LI, David K. P. ^®ft 

LI, Fook-\vo ^tefO 

LI, Gladys ^^# 

LI, Hou ^tt 

LI. Ilungqiang ^'i^^ 

LI, Ka-shing ^^M 

LI. Peng ^11 

c^ 326 ^.^ 

List ofChitwsc S'dincs zz-ith Their ICn^lish Equivalenta 

LI, Qian^^?^ 

LI, Simon Fooii-scnn ^fg^ 

LI, Xiannian ^'9cfS> 

LI, Zhongying ^M^ 

LIAO, Chciiiizhi ^7^^^. 

LIU, Qian;^ fij?^ 

LO, Andrew ^W^ 

LO, Shuk-chinji BWM 

LO, Tak-shin^ H^.^S 

LO, \'incent M-fM^ 

LU, Ping #¥ 

MA, Lin MWu 

MAO, Junnian €l^¥ 

MAO, Zedong ^#:^ 

X(i, Ilonii-niun ^J^K; 
NO, Pauline f/iltj^M 
N(iAI, Siiiu-kit WPU 

PAN(i, Chun-hoi ^MM 

VIA. I. M. M-^i^ 

POON. StcNcn K. L. if [-"Jclji 

OI, Vvnv, ffrllJ^ 
QlAN,Oichcn $^JW 
OlA( ), ZonUhuai ifT^/iv^fl; 
OIN. Wcnjuu 4^ ^f^ 

SIIAO, Tiamvn i\\'^ kif: 

SlIAO. Voubao SP^i^ 
SHAW. Sir Run-run SI^J^^ 
SIIEN, Stanley tt^M 
SIIIU, Sin-por flP^-^ 
SIU, Gordon W'M^ 
SO, Andrew ^^^ 
SONG, V. K. ^3tM 
SUEN, Michael :f^^^ 
SUN, Nansan I^I^d^ 
SUN, Yat-sen {#.'!' ill 

TAiM, Maria WMM 
TAM. Vivian IfMS 
'LVM, Viu-ehung MW.^ 
TANG, Ping-yuan /i^f'MiSl 
TIEN, Francis HtC^ 
TIEN, James HUtf^ 
TSAX(i. Sir Donald ^^MM 
TSAX(i, llin-ehi ^M^ 
TSAX(i. \\ah-shin<> '^' ^)J# 
TSAO, Peter '}Vifi'^ 
TSri, S/e-man ^l^t<; 
TSri. WillVed fjt.ivJDi 
Tl'. Mrs. KIsie +1: ifel^.tt 

■\'\S(\. I'.ettv .r..iiiii'<4i'» 

TUNG, c:. V. ^VrVU^ 
Tl^VG. Chee-hwa ^ Ail ^^ 

WAX. I.i ,'Ji'l'. 

WAXC. l>W'?<: 

^ JJ7 ^ 

Af>]>cndix 2 

Wi\N(i, ll.-inbin \':'i'AUK 
WAN(;, Kiu-in^ig 
WANG, Lin \'A^ 
WANG, Qiren i^A 
WAN(i, Shuwcn ^UlC 
WANG, ^'in^fan ^^ji 
WONCi, Andrew ^^# 
WONG, Fanny MM^ 
WONC;, Joseph ^^^ 
WONG, Ker-lee M^iT. 
WONG, Lam iff 
WONG, Peter G. i#M 
WONG, Dr. Philip MIC^A 
WONG, Po-yan MUfrk 
WONG, Dame Rosanna ^ 
WONG, Wilfred ^^i$ 
WOO, Prof. Ghia-vvei ^M 
WOO, Peter ^^iE 
WU, Alex ^^t'it 
WU, Annie ^'M'M 
WU, James 1^^^ 
WU, Jianfan ^^ff 
WU, Dr. Raymond -IPIt* 
WU, Xiieqian ^^M 

XL Zhon^xun ^#ilj 

XIAO, Weivun 


XIONCL Shihni tl%x\:'l^ 
XU, Jiatun fl'-^4i 

YANC;, Qi ^itf 
YANC;, Sir Ti-lian;ii Itilcit 
YAO, (kian^^Jk/^ 
YE, Jianyins; i^^'J^ 
YEUNG, Po-kwan ^W^^ 
YIP, Paul MM'^ 
YOUNG, Howard 1§#^ 
YOUNG, Dr. John ^MM 
YU, Kwok-chun ^H# 
YUEN, Dr. Natalus U<^'^ 
YUEN, Susan J^^iJ^Ji 

ZHANG, Junsheng ^vt^ 
ZHANG, Liangdong M^W 
ZHANG, Wannian ^M¥ 
ZHAO, Jihua ^M0 
ZHAO, Ziyangffi^Pi 
ZHENG, Yi iP^ 
ZHOU, Enlai MIB5|5 
ZHOU, Nan Milt 
ZHU, Zushou ^ffl# 
ZHUANG, Xin ®^ 
ZHUGE, Liang t^M^ 

C2?r 328 ^a^ 

3. Biography of the Author 

Sze-yucn Chung (M±7C) hns played an important role in Ilong 
Kong's political, economic, educational and social development for 
over four decades. He joined the Legislati\e Council in 1965 and 
became its Senior Member during 1974-7.S. lie was appointed to 
the Executive Council in 1972 and served as its Senior Member from 
1980 to 1988. During this period he demonstrated his outstanding 
leadership in helping to bring the Sino-British negotiations on Hong 
Kong's political future to a successful conclusion. As a result. Hong 
Kong was able to achieve a peaceful and smooth transition from the 
British to the Chinese sovereignty on 1 July 1997. 

He has contributed significantly to the prosperity of Hong Kong, 
haxingbeen the chairman of many ke>' organizations, inchuling the 
federation of Industries ( 1900-70), the I'roductixity Council ( r'74- 
76). the Asian I'rotluctiv ity ( )rganization ( I9()0-7()). the HIv/l'S and 
the III\/.Iapan I-.conomic ( io-operation (lonnnittccs ( l'>83-88), and 
manv others, spreading over three decades. He has letl main tratlc 
missions overseas helping to pni I long Kong on the woild map. 

Shortl\- after his return from Ijigl.nul. he established in l'*.^.'^ 
Sonea Industries I.imitetl, w hieh has since become the world s lai^est 
mannfaetiirer of electric tlashliuhls. w ith proiliiets e.xporting to more 
than one luuulred eoiintriLs and an emplo\ inent ot neaiK' ,^.<»(Mi |ieo|-i|e. 
I le retiretl from the eomp.un in T'SO as its lv\eeiiti\e ( Ihairman. 

.\))pcn(lix J 

( )n liii;liL'r cclucation, he iiroh.ihh' has uix-.-itcd a worki record 
tor bciiii; rcsponsililc to establish o\cr a period of' 30 years three 
tertiary edueational institutions: the Ilony Kont; I'ohteehnie (now a 
iini\ersity) in 1*^72, the (aty I'ohteelmie (now also a iini\ersity ) in 
19S4, and the Iloni; Koni; Tnixersity of Seienee \' Teehnoloi;y in 
V^'^l. lie has ser\ed as the Founding (Ihairnian of the (lo\ernin,i^ 
C'ouneil of all these three tertiary institutions and is at present tlie 
Pro-(]haneellor of the Ilont; Konii.Uni\ersity of Seienee 6\; Teehnology. 

Sir Sze-yuen is a distiniiuished professional engineer and has 
played a leading role in the development of the engineering profession 
in Ilont> Kont;. lie was the President of tiie Engineering Society of 
Hong Kong during 1960-61. In 1976 when he was the Senior Member 
of the Legislative Council, he introduced the bill to transform the 
Engineering Society into the statutory Institution of Engineers. In 
1994 he founded the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences 
and was its Founding President imtil 1997. 

In 1988, he took up the challenge of re-engineering the 40 
government and subxented hospitals in Ihjng Kong with oxer 
40,000 staff. He created and chaired the Hospital Authority from 
1990 to 1995, integrating all the hospitals into a iniitary system 
with a new corporate culture and decentralized scientific manage- 
ment. These public hospitals now proxide much impro\'cd serxices 
to about 92 per cent of the local 6.5 million population. 

During the 199()s he played a \'ery actixc part in Hong Kong's 
political transition. The Chinese Go\'ernment appointed him as a 
Hong Kong Affairs Advisor in 1992-97, to the Preliminary Working 
Committee in 1993-95 and to the Preparatory (Committee in 1996- 
97 which dealt with Hong Kong's transitional matters. In .January 
1997, he came out from his retirement and accepted the appointment 
by the Chief FLxecutive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative 

^ij^ 330 ^#n 

Biography of the Author 

Region to be the Conxenor ot the Kxeeutixe Onineil. Onee a^ain, he 
played a crucial role in the final stas^e oi the transition and in the 
formative years of the new IIKSAR (j(j\ernment. lie retired again in 
July 1999. 

He recei\'ed his IMi.l). decree in t^ngineerini; in 1951 from 
Sheffield University, England, after furthering his studies there. He 
now holds fixe honorary doctorates and many honorarx' felloxvships. 
He xvas appointed a Justice of Peace in 1963, receixed txxo knight- 
hoods (I\night Bachelor in 1978 and (iPiK in 19<S9) from the P.ritish 
Goxernmcnt, xvas made an Order of Sacred Treasure in 19(S3 iiy the 
Japanese Government, and was awarded the first (hand P)auhinia 
Medal in 1997 bv the IIKSAR Goxernmcnt. 


Illustration Credits 

Plate 2.10— reprinted from The I'MELCO Annual Rcjxirt 1982 (Uon^ 
Kong: OtYice of the UnotYicial Members of the Exeeuti\e and Legislative 
('ouneils. 19(S3). (Courtesy of the IIKSAR (Government. 

Plates 2.12, 2. 14. 2.2.1. and .?. / — reprinted from The I 'MELCX) Annual 
Report 1984 (Hong Kong: Offiee of the Unoffieial Members of the 
Executive and Legislnti\e (^ouneils. 1985). Courtesy of the IIKSAR 

Plates 3.() and .3.7 — (Courtesy of The Hong Kony Tnixersity of Science 
and Technology. 

Plate 3.S— reprinted from The OMELCO Annual Report i9,S7 (Hong 
Kong: Office of Members of the Kxecuti\e and Legislative Councils, 1988). 
Courtesy of the IIKSAR (io\ernment. 

Plate .h 10 — reprinted from//o/(i,i Koim 1990 (Hong Kong: (lo\ernment 
Information Services Department, 1991). Courtesy of the IIKSAR 

Plate 3.12 — reprinted from //o/ii* Kon^ 1998 (Hong Kong: Goxernment 
Information Ser\iccs Department. 1999). Courtesy of the HKS.\K 

Plate 3.14 — reprinted from //ojii; Aojii,* /90J (Hong Kong: (lo\ernment 
Information Serxiees Departnienl, 19'>,"\). Courtesy of the IIKS.XR 

Plates -/.5- /. / /. /. /5 and /. /6 — reprinted from Knterini^ a W-ic: Era: 
The Establishment tit the llotifi Ao/i,g Sf)ecial .\(hnini.stra(ive Refiion of 
the People's Re}>uhlic a/China (Hong Kong: (io\ermnent Information 
Services Department, I ''''7) Courtesy of the IIKSAR (io\ermnent 

The maps on the enilpapers — reproduced \\ ith permission ot The 
Director of Lands, O (lo\ernment of Hong Kong SAR, Licence No. M>/ 



1997 issue: 

awareness, 25 

China willini^ to discuss with 

councillors' reaction, 29 
Den^s deadline to sohe I IK 

issue, 70, 112 
EXCO's debate, 73 
general viewpoints, 34, 49-51, 

MacLehose s meetinL- with 

Den.a, 30-31 
official initiation of discussion, 

UMELCOs debate, 35-30. 45, 

.s-cc also confidence, Sino- 

British .loint Declaration 
"50 years unchainied", 7.^, S.V 
100. 111. 2.S5. 290 

acti\ist, 35, 254. .^o] 
Athisory ( '.< unniit lee ( )ii 

l)i\ersifie.iii..ii. 22. 2''. 31 33 
Africa. 10. 23 
African. IS. S(). 94 

Airport Authority. 1S7-88 

Provisional, 187, 222 
Airport Railway (corporation, 187 
Airport Steerinu (committee, 189 
Akers-Jones, Sir l);i\id. 2.^. 148. 

anarchy, 162. 303 
Ann, Tse-kai: 

as Basic Law drafter. 2 IS 

bestowed (;P..\I. 291 

joined Advisory Committee on 
I)i\ersification. 29. ?<2 

joined Cl'lHK' and as \'ice- 
Chairiuau. 41-43, 25S 

poiuiereti UK's future, 27 
Aiuian. Kofi. 272 
Arculli. Konald. 19 1. Jl 1 
Argentina. 43 
Ashtou. .lohii. 22i^ 
Asia liiiaucial (ientre. 24() 
Asia Week ( niaiia/ine ). 152 

eeououiies. 2''S-9<) 

fiu;mci;ii crisis. 2.W 2''S 
.\ssociaiion of ioiiuer Senior (lixil 

Ser\:mts. 2(i() 


Atkins. lliim|->lii-L.'\- (later Sir), y> 

Australia, .U 

Australian, 4 

Author Anderson (accounting 
firm), 254 

autonomy: lf)4 

siivcn to IIKSAR, 7.\ 100, 111. 

27f), 2'>.'< 
.lianas assiu'.'uicc, 27S, 2.S5 
PRCrs proposal for Taiwan, ,^7 
promised in .Joint Declaration, 

Auxiliary Transport Services, 4 

Bank of China, 139, 246. 253 

Bank of East Asia, 51, 222 

banking, 29, 32, 296, 299, 315 


Baptist College {later I long Kong 

Baptist rnixersity). 50-51 
Barrow, Martin, 210-13 
Basic Law: 

Annexes I and II, 227, 239-40, 

Articles 45 and 74, 227, 235. 


Basic Law C^onsultative 
Committee (BLCC), 159, 
163, 168-69, 17S, 258 
Basic Law Drafting Commit- 
tee (BLDC), 159, 168 
Committee for the Basic Law 
of thellKSAR, 106 
drafters, 159, 161-63, 218 

grey areas, 204 
I long Kong: 

and I'atten's reform. 204- 

207, 210-1 1 
government's role in tlie 
drafting process, 161 
jiosition on I.IXjCO reform, 

176. 196, 198-99 
pronuilgati(jn. 161. 257 
public responses to the 

drafts, 159 

concern on its interpreta- 
tion and implementa- 
tion, 125, 145 
position paper to London, 

proposals to Beijing and 
its pubUc support, 104- 
UMEXCO's stance, 120 
vital legislations before 
sovereignty transfer, 238 

executive-led principle and 

CE, 22^. 244-45. 303 
paradigm shift and demo- 
cratic future, 293, 303 
political set up and legisla- 
ture, 167, 226, 240 
the post of "Chief Secre- 
tary", 267-68 
validity of colonial laws and 
judicial system, 249-50 
prescription to "'through train", 
145. 237 

q^ 336 ^if^ 


PWCanclSC, 222, 251, 254 
Basic Law Lcs'al (lommittec, 105- 

Beijing (central yoNcrnnicnt): 
Britian, relation with: 

Ambassadors and Attache, 

44, 52, 60. 146, l<-»6 

Atkins, 39 
(>arrington, 37 
Cradock, 1.S3 
Heath, 70 
Howe, 81, 110 
MacLehose, 30-3 1 
Major, 184, 186 
I'atten, 199 
Thatcher. 54, 56, 58-61, 

1 14, 128 
Voude, 60 
I IK delej4ati()ns: 
Bl'F, 178 

delegate of younj^ profes- 
sionals, 64-65, 74 
UK Manufacturers Associa- 
tion, 63 
Liberal Party, 211 
TDC, 63-64 
UMELCO. 97-104, 279 
IIKSAK, relalioii with: 

as central i^ox eminent, 10]- 

102, 242, 266 
court of final appeal, 74 
representat i\ e in. 21 I 
.SVC (ilso ( ihin.i. 
P.elsteail, Lord. 60-62 

"l>lack Saturday", 70, /2, .see also 

Black, Sir Robert, 21 
"Black Thursday", 298, .sec also 

Blair, Anthony. 269, 272 
Blair. Tony, see Blair, Anthony 
brain trust, 30, 191 

(Ihina, relation with: 

1990 se\en exchani;e of 

diplomatic letters, 199 
accepted to return UK. 75. 

78,80-81, 111 
Ambassador, 208 
attitudes towards domestic 

affairs. 170. 235 
on new airport project. 183- 

Zhao Ziyansi's \isit. 135 
see (ilso JL(i. Sino-liritish 
■loint Declaration, Sino- 
British Land (lommission, 
Sino-British neyotiations 
on political reform 
(]onser\ati\e Party. 6'>-70. 138. 

192. 2iK^ 
election .ind jiolitieal system. 

ri«>, l(,3_r,4, 2(,4-()5 
former colonies and their mass 

intlu.x to. 8(>. '>!. |(,4 

( iommander of the British 

Lorees. 14 1 
( ".onser\ ati\e ( loxermneiU. 

i^ 3J 7 -a^ 


Foreisin and (lolonial ( )tYicc, 

15, 21 
Foreiiin Ot't'iec, 44-45, 56, 

CO. ,S5-.S6, <)(), '>2-0,^ 
Foi'citin Secretary, .sec 

(larrin.iitoii, (look, Howe, 

1 lurd, I'yni 
Labour (;o\eniment, 21, *>4, 

Minister ot' State, 60, 94, 

116, 12,\ 135 
Ministr\' of lntellii;enee, 11<S 
oxerseas ei\il serxants, 21, 

Permanent rnder-seeretaries 

of State, 264 
Prime Minister, 262, 264-65, 

see also Blair, Heath, 

Major, Palmerson, 

Privy Council, 64, 74 
Secretaries of State, 264 
Wliitehall appointees and 

officials, 23, 54 
Hong Kong, relation with: 

early position on soxereignty 

and proclamation of exit, 

47, 7<S, 81 
final hours of ruling, 26(S-69. 

271-73, 276, 278-80 
moral obligation and com- 
mitment, 47, 122, 130, 

133, 200 
position on political reform, 

112, 175-76, 237, see also 

Major. Thatcher 

relation with I'MFLCO, 60 
role after 1997, 84-85 
scc((ls() P.DTC. P,X(), 
expatriate. Hong Kong 
P)ill. llong Kong inter- 
national Airjiort. man- 
darin. Nationality Act, 
Patten, right of abode 
parliament, 68, 84, 94, 135, 
166. 175, 2^)4-65 
Anglo-Hong Kong and Anglo- 
China All Party i'arlia- 
mentary Committees, 86 
House of Commons, 47, 83, 
125, 133, 164, 209 
Foreign Affairs Commit- 
tee, 123 
House of Lords, 83, 126, 
162-64, 202 
Life Peer, 107, 212 
Members of Parliament (MP), 

86-88, 92, 133 
Parliamentary Ministers, 54 
honour system, see GBE, Knight 

JP system, 292 
press, 58, 85-86, 128 
royal family: 

Charles, Prince of Wales, 

269, 272-73, 280 
Queen Elizabeth, 94, 111, 
131-32, 148, 163-64, 166, 
223 272 280 
Queen \'ictoria. 14 
Tories, 68, 203 
Britannia (roval vacht), 280 

^ 338 ^ 


l^ritisli Coiiimonuu.iltli, C)(), '>4, 2^)2 
British Council. 11-13 
British Dependent Territory 

Citizens (HDTC), 84, 95, 120, 

125, 133, 141, see also passport 
British National (Overseas) 

(BN(0)), 95, 133. 141.. see 

also passport 
British Nationahty Act, .see 

Nationahty Act 
British nationals, S4. 116, 133, 

British Overseas Citizens. 94 
Brown, WiUiam Charles, 80, 85 
"butter" sokition. .see delegate of 

yount; protessionals 
Bush. President (ieorge. Senior, 


Bush, President (ieor^e \\'.. 166, 


community. 29, 2 1 2 

in early 20th centiuy, 1 

migration to mainland. 294 

practice. 1S5. 297 

c|ualiticatiiin aiul cjuota in S(] 
( iategorx- 1 . 253. 256 
Business and I'Totcssion.-il letlera- 

tion ot Hong Kong ( lU'l' ). 1 78, 

185. l'>2 

attendetl I'ritish state banc|uet. 

;ittitudes l(i\\; 'through 
tr.-iin"", 2.^ I 

r>ritish .uui .l.ip.inese, '><> 

liritish passpcjrt benefieian,', 

l)ritisli relayed (China's assur- 
ance to. 16. 31 

exodus, 27 

participation in politics, 178. 
192, 194 

x'ision in paradigm shit't. 312 

Canada. 122 

(Canadian. 4, 3 15 

(Canton. 287 

Cantonese, 1. 287, 305, 315 

C]hinese leaders who speak. 63, 
98. 289 
capital, 3. 18. 29, .^2. 52. lOl. 296 
capital city, (Chinese pro\incc. 5, 

9, 215-16. 287 
capitalism. 73. 77. 80. 1 11, l6l 
CLarrington, Lord. 37 
Castle Peak. 313 
Cha. Chi-ming, 216. 2<M 
Chan, Anson, 189. 221. 235. 2()8. 

273. 282. 284 
Chan. .lohn. 242 
Chan. K.ini-ehueii. 51, 55. 122 
Chan. Sui-Uau. 214 
Ch.ui. Tou-sueii. 20 Wei. 220 Wing-kee, 214. 2<)1 ^■i^g-lun. 81. S5. 123 
Charles. IlKll Prince. 2<.o. 272-73. 


Chau. Sir Sik iiin. 21 22, 25-27, 

Chek I.:ip Kok. 182. 18'), ,M3 14. 

i«^ XVi ^ 


sec (tlso lloni; Koiii; Inter- 
national Airport 
Chen, Dr. Kdward, 4<> 
Chen, Shoii-huu, 32, \4') 
Chen, Ziyini^, 25<S 
Chen, Zuo'er, 231, 254 
Client;, llon-Uwan, 151, 154 
Chenj^, Dr. V. S., 50 
Gheons;, Stephen, 04, ()6, 7C), Ml, 

,S5, V)\ 
Cheuni; Koni; (iroiip, 222 
C^hevmi", Man-yee, 2SiS 
Cheung, Oswald {Icitcr Sir), 33, 51, 

85, 90, 93, 117 
Cheung, Yan-kmis5, 81, 85, 123 
Cheunii, Yim^-hinti, 5, 9, 12-13, 

19, 93, 259 
Chiaiiii, Kai-shek, 7 
C^hiang Kai-shek University, 8-9 
Chief Executive (CE): 

at GBM Presentation Cere- 
mony, 289 

at IIKSAR establishment cere- 
monies, 272-87 

candidates named by Wan Li, 

CE Designate and staff, 246-47 
Office, 246, 261 

dual loyalty, 226 

duties, 106, 227, 238 

forbade political affiliation, 228 

method of election and terms of 
office, 161-62, 167-68, 234- 
35, 293 

rounds of elections and results, 

sec (dso Tung (]hee-\\ah 
( ;hief .lust ice, sec (k)in-t of Final 

( lliina: 

(Chinese l*eo|")le's Political 
Consultatixe (Conference 

and Chung, 39, 41, 169, 178 
and SC, 253, 255-5(^ 
Standing Committee mem- 
ber, 260 
\'ice-Chairman, 43, 216, 258 
(Comnumists, 11, 13, 15, 174, 
287, .see also CCP 
found PRC, 13 
(Constitution, 63, 66-67, 125, 
159, 163, 209 
Article 31, 50, 73, 111 
democratic reform, 172 
economic reform and open door 

policy, 28, 36, 80, 149, 294 
Great Hall of the People, 56, 63, 
98, 128, 180, 184-85, 218, 
259, 279 
Hong Kong, relation with: 

assurance of future, 73, 102 
authority to interpret Basic 

Law, 145 
liaison office in IIKSAR, 208 
position on electoral 

arrangements, 201-202 
potential interference in 
local affairs, 109, 112, 
123-24, 170, 173 
principles for reunification, 
63, 72-73 

c^ 340 ^ 


responsible tor toreit;ii attairs 
and defenee, 1 1 1 
Military (Commission, 141, 272 
National Anthem, 273, 285 
National Day, 112,219 
National People's Congress 
and GE, 242 

decision on HKSAK estab- 
lishment eeremonies, 2<S1 
decision on IIKSAR 

legislature, 239 
endorsed Deng's economic 

reform, 28 
established BLCC and BLDC, 

established I'WC, 218, 221 
established PC, 250-51. 257- 

plan tor reimitication with 

Taiwan, 37 
promulgated Basic Law, 106, 

ir>l, 238 
resolution on SC constitu- 
tion. 25 1 . 25.^, 255 
national |"iritle. 27'' 
national security, 145 
President, .sec .liang Zemin. Li 

Sjiecial l^cononiic Zone. .V). 14'J 
State Council, 43. 15'>. 178 
I- iuauce .\linistr\ . 2.^ 1 
Foreign .Ministry, I'X), l'''>, 

20L 231 
IIoin; Koiiii ;uul Maeao .\tt.iirs 

arrangement to monitor 
transitional budgets, 
228—29 2?> 1 
blamed London tor failure 
of negotiations. 200- 
Deputy Director, .sec Chen 
Ziying, Li IIou, Li 
Director, .see Ji Pengfei, 

Liao Chengzhi, Lu Ping 
in\itations to Join (]PPCC, 

meetings with British 

delegates, 81 
meetings with UK dele- 
gates, 63, 66,98, 102, 
104. 178, 185, 211 
meetings with Patten, 

position on direct elec- 
tion, 142. 145 
,scc also llt)ng Kong .\ffairs 
.\dvisors, PC, PWC 
N.itional .Security lUucau. 74 
Premier, .sec Li I'enti. Zhao 

Ziyang. Zhou Lnlai 
\'ice Premier, .see .li PenUfci, 
Qian (Jicheu 
see u/.so Beijing. ( '.\:. \)cni}. .Xiao- 
ping. Hong Kong Interna- 
tional .\irport. .ILt i. PC. 
1'1..\. l'\\( :. Sino-British 
.loint Decl.iration. Sino- 
Brilish L.ind ( lonunission. 
Sino-British ueuoti.itions on 



political rct'onii, Xinhua 
News Ajieiicy 
(]hinn Liulit .S: Power, (S7, 212 
China News A^eney, 104 
China Spring (magazine), 174 
Chinese Chamber of Gommeree, 

Chinese Communist Party (CCP), 
28, 64-65, 71, 74, 122, 170, 
173, 210, M),^ 
Politburo, 05, 172 
Chinese University of Ilonj; Kons>, 

50, 95, 151 
Chongqini;, 5 
Chow, Selina: 

founder of C^o-operative 
meeting with Heath, 71 
meeting with Lu in Beijing, 211 
position on Lobo Motion, SI 
Resource Centre and Liberal 

Party, 64, 101 
UMELCO delegation to London, 
85, 93, 123 
Chuang, Chung- wen, 27 
Chuang, Shih-ping, 291 ' 

Chung, Dora, 12 
Chung, Gilbert, 19 
Chung, Lily, 12 
Chung, Sir Sze-yuen: 
early days: 

career shift, 18-20 

first voyage to England, 11- 

jobs in 1940s, 3, 7-10 
wartime participation and 
exile, 4-5 

economic \ision, 29C), ,"^1 1-1 () 
education, 2-^. 1 1-12 
educational contribution, 148- 

40, 151-54 

children (Dora, Cilbert, 

Lily), 12, 19 
parents and siblings, 1-2 
wife ((]heung Yung-hing), 5, 
9, 12-13, 19, 93, 259 
national honours: 
GBE, 130 
GBM, 289, 291 
Ivnight Bachelor, 131 
Order of Sacred Treasure, 331 
political loyalty, ISO, 276 
political nexus: 

I'ritish government: 

attended state banquet, 

meetings with Thatcher, 
51-56, 58, 61-62, 128, 
Chinese government: 
as UK Affairs Advisor, 

180-81, 185 
as PWC member, 217-18 
declined political appoint- 
ments, 39, 41-43, 169- 
70, 178 
first meeting with Lu, 98 
first visit to Beijing, 97-98 
meeting with Deng, 98- 

secret meetings with Xu, 
95-97, 139-145 

^ 342 ^ 


colonial goxernment: 
as LEGCO and EXCO 
Senior Member, 33 
be^inninj;, 21-22 
meeting with Fatten, 194- 

95, 203 
relation witii ^'oucle, 146- 

retirement, 132. 137, 142 

as H;XC0 (]on\enor, 2<S2 
refused to \ie tor CVl, 241- 

swearing-in, 282 
political views: 

P.asic Law, LSI, 208-209, 

UK political system, 180-81 
IIKSAR political develop- 
ment, 209-10, 228, 302- 
303, 30,S, 307-309, 31 1 
last year ot transition, 244- 

pace of democrati/ation, 

1 (^2-(^^ 
Patten's politieal ret'orni, 

PWC estahlisliineiu, 215-17 
(lity I'olyteehnie {hitcr ( ;it\- Liii- 

versitN- of llonu Konm, 14''. 155 
City I'liixersily of iloiii; Koui;. 14"' 
Clajiue, Douiilas (Idler Sir), 22 
Clauiie, Lady. 25'' 
class, .social, i 7. ''5. I 7(). 2o(). 2S.\ 
( lliiiton, I'resiileiil Pill, 1 o7 
Cock, P., 3 

commerce, 04, 296, 315 
(Commission for Strategic Dexclop- 

ment, 314 
Common Law, 161, 249-50 
confidence, public: 

in IIKSAR j4o\ernment, 250 
in Ilont> Konj4: 

crisivS, 65-66, 72, 170 
Denj^'s opinion. 101, 103- 

in 1960s, 27-28 
in 1970s, ^2 
in 1980s. 45-47, 69. 100. 

in 1990s, 176, 182, 297, 299 
opinion poll, 108 
in Tung's office, 228 
sec (ilso "Black Saturday", 
"Black Tlunsday" 
conscription, 125 

colonial goxcrnance strategy, 23 
method to elect CK, 111-12. 
U.l. 234-35. 251. 2'>.^ 
ofa(irccii Pa pel. 142-4,^ 
of the iiill on .\irport ( impora- 

tion, PS.S 
of the draft Basic Paw and 
public responses, 15'' 
coiu.iincr teiininal. 2('(>. .M.^-14 
( lontemporary (Ihinese .\rchitec- 

tural Art P.\hil->ition. 1 5S 
Coinentioii of pso.s. i |. Jo. 47 
( !on\ ent ion oi Peking;, I 1 
Cook. Robin, 2(.''. 272 
( ;o-o|ierati\ c Resource (Icntre 



(Uucr Liberal I'aity), 04, /6, 

CH)rrii|iti<)ii, 1 72, 266 
cosmopolitan, 1 16, 2S.^. ^\5 
Court ot' Appeal, 24'^)-r>() 
Court ot" Final Appeal and Judi'es, 

74, 106, 23H. 247 
Cowperthwaite, Sir John, 24 
Cradock, Sir Percy, ,^6, 77, IS.^ 
Cultural Revolution (China), 27- 

currency, 69-70, 20S-')9, ."^01 

Davies, Derek. 2')-M), 32 
Daya Bay Nuclear Power, 133 
de-colonization, 4S, 94 
defence (Hong Kong), 4-5, 111 
delegate of young professionals, 

64, 74-75 

"buffer" solution, 65-66 
Democratic Party, 65, 189, 210, 

215, 240, 279 
democratic reform, 13S, 172, 175- 

76, 200, .see a/.so Patten, poli- 
tical reform 
democratization, 143 — 14, 177 
Deng, Xiaoping: 

assurance of UK's future, 30 

deadline to resolve IIK issue, 
70, 112 

death, 106, 279 

his widow attending IIKSAR 
establishment ceremonies, 

initiation of economic reform, 
2cS, 36, 294 

Heath, 70 
Howe. SI, 30-32 
Thatcher, 56, 5S-60, 128 
UMELCO, 97-104 

jiosition on PLA in HKSAR, 141 
l)iai)yutai State (iuest House, 128 
dictatorship, 303 
Director of Audit, 154, 157 
District IJoard: 

passed the electoral arrange- 
ment reform bill, 201-203 

Patten's reform and China s 
reaction, 138, 195-96, 198, 

support for UMELCO and the 
draft .Joint Declaration, 91, 
Donald. Alan (Icitcr Sir), 52, 56, 60 
Dongguan, 294, 314 
Dunn, Lydia (later Baroness): 

as LEGCO and EXCO Senior 
Member, 168, 190, 235 

at 'Wjude's funeral, 148 

declined inxitation to join 
BLCC, 169-70 

"Lady First" incident, 53-55 

led task force to support delega- 
tion, 88-89 

meeting with Deng, 97-104 

meetings with Chinese officials, 
95, 97, 139-40 

national honours, 107, 175 

retired, 307 

"Solio" incident, 116-17 

^ 344 ^ 


tendered resii;ii;itii)ii to I'atten 
and was "re-apiiointed", l'>3 

UMVAAX) delegations to 
London. 51, 123-26 

East Asia, ^]5 

eeonomie prosperity, sec prosperity 
eeonomy, 15, 32, 65, 206-207, 
234, 283, 2<S5 
bubble, 297-99 
dctlation, 299 

InHation, 155, 157, 297, 299 
recession, 16, 101, 233, 299- 

recovery, 2S, 186, 299 
regional. 30 1 

restructuring and transforma- 
tion, 148, 301 
.sec also global 
Election Conunirtcc. 198-99, 211, 

226, 239-40, 257 

polities, 191 

tloul)le-seat, double-\'ote. 19f) 
first past the post. \()A 
preferential voting, U)4 
proportional representation, 

U.4. 209, 210. 215 
single-scat, singie-xotc. l'>h. 
20 1. 208 I o 
electorate. I(.7. !0(,. 2 I O. 2 l.V 253 
emigration, SS 

einironmcnlal bciic'tils, M.^ I I 
Europe. 3o, 13. ''.V 20'» l<i 
ICuropean I 'nion, 2''.S. .\ 1 \ 

E\ans, Sir Richard, / /. 118 
Evercady (American company). 

Executive Council (EXCO): 
appointment, 23-24, 111 
functions and members' 

background, 2^. 36, 307 
meeting with l>elstcad in UK, 

meeting with Howe in UK, 81, 

83, 110 
position on: 

GE election method. 234 

Hong Kong Bill, 133 

JL(i, 109 

•loint Declaration. 75. 1 13- 

LEdCO direct election. 1 12. 

rST. 151 
realigned by Pattens reform. 

138, 192-94, 205, 258 
reaction to 1997 issue, 73 
relation with British govern- 
ment. 3(t9 
relation \\itii local connnunity. 

34. 194 
Senior (Chinese .Member aiul 

Senior .Member, sei' (lli.iu 

Sil\-nin. ( Ihung S/e-\ ueii. 

Ly<.lia Ihiini. ^uel-l\eimg. ( llio-\ in 
.svi' m/.so IMKXCC ) 
i;\eeuti\e ( iouneii ( lll\S.\R) 
at l-.s(alilisiimeiit (".eremony. 

2.S2. 2M. 2S'' 



nt S()\'crcii;nt\' Kcturn (Icrc- 

moiiy, 272, 2S() 
eli;in,i;c of t'liiiclioiis, 3()7-3()(S, 

members" li.-iekijround and 

i"ec|iiiremeiU, 3()cS 
expatriate, 1-3, 23, 34, 280, 2S2, 

307, .see (ilso mandarin 
exports, 15. 20, 2')(k 2<)')-300 
export-oriented and -dri\en, 

10-17, 140, 151 
to Russia, At'riea, North 

Ameriea. S, 10, 208 

Falklands, 43, 52 
Fan, Rita: 

as Provisional LEGCO 

President, 240, 282, 285 
as PWC Security Specialized 
Group Convenor, 218, 222 
joined Tunic's campaign team, 

position on Loho Motion, 81 
UMELCO delegation to London, 

wept when informed of British 
retreat, 76 
Fang, Sir Harry, 80 
Far Eastern Ec<)U())i}ic ReviL"w 

(magazine), 20, (i5 
Federation of Hong Kong 

Industries, 22, 26 
Federation of Industries, 27, 149 
finance, 32, 73, 206, 301, 315 
financial crisis, 301 
Financial Times (newspaper), 152 

I'M re Ser\'iees, 280 

Kok, Henry Ving-rung, 216, 218, 

258, 20 1 
Fong, Nellie, 187, 218, 231, 254, 

Ford, Sir l)a\id, 220-21 
foreign affairs, 50, 111 
Foshan, 1 
free society, 58 
Fung, Daniel, 249 

"Gang of Four" (China), 28 

Gao, Qiang, 231 

Gao, Shangquan, 187, 218 

Gavshon, Arthur, 58 

General Flectric C'ompany, 212- 

13, 258 
CJierman Rhine basin, 296 
GKN (British company), 13 

market and economy, 17, 21, 
300-301, 314 

media, 98 

problems, 45 
Goh, Chok Tong, 273 
Gordon, Leslie, 32 
Gordon, Sir Sidney, 33 
Goronwy-Roberts, Lord, 94 
Government Information Services, 

Grand Bauhinia Medal (GBM), 

289, 291 
Grantham, Sir Alexander, 21 
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 

17, 299-301 
(iuangdong, 1, 215, 287, 296 

c^ 346 i5=s 


(iuan;^zhou, 5, 15, 206, 215-U) 
^uest worker scheme, 299 
guilds, 140, 25.^ 
(kithrie. General Sir Charles. 272 

lladdon-Cave, Sir I'hihp. 23, 29- 

,^1, 45, SO, 86 
ilanji Seng Index, 70, 297, 299-300 
Ilangzhou, 219 
Heath, Sir Edward, 48, 70-72, 92- 

93, 1 12 
Heilongjiang, 9 
Iler Majesty's (ioxernment (ilM(l). 

.see Britian 
HeungYee Kuk. l2^, 222 
High Court and judges, 64. 122, 

238, 240, 249 
Ho, Edward, 65 
lio. Dr. Kam-fai, 80 
Ho. Kevin. 2.^2 
IIo, Frof. Patrick, 242 
IIo, Shing-him. 98 
Ilollingworth. (llare, 50 
Hong Kong: 
go\ ernnient: 
ei\il serxiee: 

ei\il ser\ ants. 67. 1 7(). 

222. 22 \. 266. 31 1 
eonnnitnieni ;mu1 '■joeai- 

izaiion ' polie\\ .M 
introtluetion ol politieal 

.ippointnient. 267 neiilralitx', 262. 

.sei' m/so e\ii;iiri:ite. 

gosernanee strategy, 22i 
"lame duek" administration. 

policy of neutrality towards 

(Chinese politics, 138, 170, 

struetiu"e, 23 
see also District Board, 

PLXCX), Hong Kong (Gover- 
nor, Hong Kong Monetary 

Autliority, LECiCO 
history. 13-18,31 1 
ceded to Britain, 14 
foreign exchange reserves, 

.lapanese oeeiipation. 4. 14- 

race relation. 1 
scciilso IIKSAR 

"anti-Communist" activities, 

138. 174 
(.listrusted (Ihinese go\ern- 

incnt, 73. 77. 105. 122. 2'^7 
linguistic ;ul\ant;ige aiul its 

erosion. ,M 5- 1() 
politieal worries And 

demands, KM. 124-25 
social \ ;iluc .ind its changes, 

30 1-302 
sup|">ort for Beijing student 

mo\ emciu, 1 72-7.^ 
sujiport for liic ilr.ift .loinl 

Dccl;ir;iii(>ii, 122 
support for INll I.CO. SS-«)2. 

wS' .M7 y>^ 


work cllucs, 1 7 
sccdiso 151 )T(:, P.NO, 

Natioii.'ilitN' Act, jiassport, 
rii;ht ol ;ii)()cle 
iloiii; Kons; Affairs Ad\'is()rs, LSO, 

193, 2\(y. 22cS, 24>\ 25S 
lloiii; K()ni;i\' Siiani-hai Ikinkiiit; 

C'iOrporation, 2'> 
Ilonjii Koni^ A\'iati()ii Achisory 

Board, 22 
ll()ii,a Koni; I'.ill (UK), ]^^, 135 
Hong Kong Chinese Bank, 27 
Hong Kong (Chinese Manufacturers 

Association, 63 
Hong Kong Conxcntion and 

Kxhibition Centre, 261-62, 26<->, 
271, 280, 281, 285, 288 
Hong Kong Electric, 149 
Hong Kong Governor: 

relation with liritish goxern- 
ment and jiower, 21, 111 
see also Black, Cirantham, 
MacLehose, Patten, 
Trench, Wilson, Youde, 
Mark Young 
Hong Kong histitution of Engi- 
neers, 294,315 
Hong Kong International Airport, 

Memorandum, 183 
official opening, 189 
published white paper on 

Airport Corporation, 188 
Study Panel on Airport's 

recommendations, 187-88 
time schedule, financial 

arrangement and cost, 182- 
85, 187-88 
see also (]liek Lap Kok 
Hong Kong Management 

Association, 242, 244, 260 
Hong Kong Manufacturers 
Association, 6,^-64, 66 
Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 

Hong Kong Ohserxers, 35, 50-51 
Hong Kong One ('ountry Two 

Systems Research Centre, 258 
"Hong Kong people running Hong 

Kong", 66, 70, 278, 285, 293 
Hong Kong Polytechnic {later 
Hong Kong Polytechnic 
University), 148-49, 296, 315 
Hong Kong Prospect Institute, 

Hong Kong Reform (]lub, 35, 50 
Hong Kong Special Administratixe 
Region (IIKSAR): 
economic enxironment and 
socio-political change, 293- 
94, 296-302 
economic future, 311-16 
establishment ceremonies: 
Establishment, 285, 287-89 
So\'ereignty Return, 271-73, 

276, 278-79 
Swearing-in, 281-84 
honour system, 289, 291-93 
first GBM Presentation 
Ceremony, 289, 291 
political set up, 167-68 
see also CE, EXCO (IIKSAR), 

^ 348 ^ 


Provisional LE(i(]0 
Hong Kong Telephone, 22, 51 
Hong Kong Textile Achisory P.onrd. 

Hong Kong Tourist Ass(jeiati(jn, 

Hong Kong University of Scienee 
and Technology (UST), 151-54, 
157. 222, 266 
Campus Project Management 

Committee, 155 
cost overrun, 154-55, 157 
Governing Council, 158 
University Planning Committee, 

UST Planning Committee. 151. 
154, 158 
llf)ng Kong's future, question of: 
during (Ailtural KeNolution. 27 
economic futiue. ,M 1-16 
significance of technology and 
economic transformation, 
158, 301 
sec also 1*>'>7 issue, eoiitidenee 
Hong ixong-.lapan iiusiness ('.o- 

ojieration Conunittee. 41 
ihjspital Authority. 260 
housing, 17, 37, 285, .^02. .see also 

real estate 
Howe. Sir Geoffrey: 

annoimcetl IWitisii retreat. 1 .V^ 
meetings in l.oiuloii 

IMld.CC ). .S7-<'0. '>2. 12.V 

UMKXCO. 72. 1 16 

\isit to Pjcijing, 81. 110 
visit to Hong Kong, 81. 110 

Hu. Chiazhao, 9 

Hu, Fa-kuang, 80 

Hu, W'eimin, 9 

Hu. Vaobang, 170 

Hua, Guofeng, 28 

Huang, Diyan, 253 

Hui, Yin-fat, 213 

human rights, 125, 138 

Hunan, 8. 287 

llurd. Douglas {hiter Baron). 138, 

inunigration. 27. 85-88, 93, 122. 

133. 175 
Independent Commission against 

('orruption, 229 
India. 1 1 
Indian. 4. 94 
Indonesia, 298 
indiustry, 15-16, 19, 22. 32. 151 

migration of. 29. 294 

.see also m.inufaeturing. textile 
infonnatioii teeiuiology. 29(^1, 20^^ 
Inno\.iti\ e .\rt .\\\.ird. .see 

( loiUemporary ( Miinese 

.\rehiteetural .\rt Kxhibition 
Institution of .Meeiianieal 

P.ngineers (IK). 13. 31 
liUernational Cloxenant on Civil 

ami Political Rights. 13S 
imestnieius, loi, 2o,S. 300 

lorcign. 37. 2' '4 
Ip. Simon. 2 1 I 
Ip. ^'uUdani. 1 1 

;tfr 34') :^ 


"Iron Lady", .sec Thatclicr 

Jacobs, Sir Piers, 1S6 
Japan, 3, 41, 2,S<) 

invasion and oeeujiation, 2-7, 
9-10, 14-15. 27. 2S7 
Jardine and Matlieson. 29, 66, 

21 1-13, 269 
Ji, Pensfei, 39, 81, 98, 104-103, 

Jian^, Knzhu, 208, 218 
.lianii, Zemin: 

at IIKSAK establishment 

ceremonies, 272-89 
cont'irmed SAR model was 
designed tor Taiwan, 50 
"hand-shake with Tung" 

incident, 259-60 
ot't'iciated new airport opening, 
Jiangmen, 314 
Jiangxi, 5, 7-10, 287 
Jiejiang University. 219 
Jihn, 9 
jobless rate, 299, see also 

Joint Publishing (IIK) Company, 

judicial system, 250 

Attorney General (later Secre- 
tary for Justice), 189, 247- 
48. 267 
Secretary tor Justice, 267, 285 
see also Court of Appeal, Court 
of Final Appeal, High Court 

.Justice of the Peace ( JP), 22, 2')2- 

Kadoorie, Lord, 87 

Kai Tak International Airport, 19, 

Kan, Sir ^'uet-keimg: 

.accompanied M.'icLchose to 
P.eijing, 30 

as KX(X) Senior Member and 
retirement, 29. 33-34 

bestowed double knighthood, 

chaired TDC and IllvlBCC, 41, 

complained to London on right 
of abode proposal, 94 

declined invitation to join 
CPPCC, 41-42 
Ke. Una. 66 
Ke, Zashuo. 254 
Keswick, Henry, 66, 212. 269 
luiight Bachelor (UK), 131-32 
Knight Grand Cross of the Most 

Excellent ( )rdcr of the British 

Empire (GBE, UK). 130-32 
knowledge economy, 300 
Korean War, 15 
Kowloon Lions C^lub, 23>2 
Kowloon W'hampoa Shipyard, v^-4, 

Kuomintang, 11, 13, 213, 303, see 

a/.so Nationalist Party 
Kwai Chung, 313 
Kwan, Sir Cho-yiu, 41 
Kwan. Dr. Simon, 154 

^ 350 ^ 


Kwok, Albert, 65 
Kwok, Dr. Philip. 05 
Kwonii, Ki-chi. 2.'^2 
Kyoto-Tokyo corridor, 206 


l)liie- and white-collar workers, 
91, 107 

cheap and abundant, 16, 29 

employed in nianutactiirini;, 294 

industrial and unskilled 
workers, 316 

labour-intensi\'e, 17, 151,, "^00 

qualification and quota in SC^ 
{]atej>ory 3, 253-54, 256 

uiieniploynient, 299 

.sec also truest worker scheme 
Labour Ad\'isory P)().ird, 214 
Lai, Alan, 232 

Lai, Kinii-simi;, 10, 4.^, 6()-67 
Lam, Kam, 24<S 
"lame duck" administration, .see 

IIf)nii Konsi 

cost ;muI suiiplx', 29, 151, 206- 
207. 31.^14 

j^rantcd to new airport. 1.S7 

lease, 47. 52. 121 

proprietN ami inheritance rii;hts 
o\er. ,^7 

transactions. 30-31, 2S5 
Lantau island. 1S2. 314-15 
Lau. Prof. Siu-kai. 22.^ WonU-l'at. 1S7. 222 
Law. l-anny. 246 
Lee. Allen: 

as LEGC( ) Senior Member and 

resignation, 190. 2?>5 
effort to amend Pattens reform, 

207. 211-15 
founder of C^o-operative Re- 
source Centre and Liberal 
Party. 64. 189-92 
leader of the delegate of young 

professionals. 64, 74 
position on Lobo Motion, SO 
UMELCO delegations to 
London, .S5, 123, 175 
Lee, Charles, 261 
Lee, Cheuk-yan, 173 
Lee, Cho-jat. 254 
Lee, Dick, 50 
Lee, Martin, 64, 157. 215 
Lee, Mary, 65 
Lee. Quo-wei ( /af cr Sir), 29. 32, 

95. 97. 123. 139. 291 
Lee, Teng-hui. 29.S 
Legg, Dr. Keith, 32 
Legislati\e Coimcil (LLCCO): 
appointment system, 2.^. 144 
composition. LSI. 22,^-24 
tlcb.itc on tile draft .loint 

Declaration. 121 
direct election. 1 12. 142. 144. 

154. 175. 1S9 
ilutics. 23. 2() 
Klcctoral College. 113. 251 
fimctional constituencies. 140. 
1()3. IS''. P'l. 19(,. PJS. 211. 
jiassed 1''''4 elections reform 
bill. 20.^ 

^ JSI ^r 


passed LKdCO rctorni bill, 204 

Senior Menilier, sec ()s\\alcl 
(Mieuiii;. (Miuiii; Sze-yuen, 
Lydia Dunn, Allen Lee, Lolio 

"throusili train ' and derailment, 
145, 19S-W, 207, 211,215, 
2.^7, 247, 251 
Legislatixe Couneil (IIKSAR): 

method ot' eleetion and terms ot 
olYiee, 113, 1()7-()N. 22(, 

power, 227 

pri\'ate members' bills, 227 

votinj^ procedure and system, 
163, 168, 227 
Leons^, Christopher, 65 
Leimy, Antony, 2(S(S 
Leimi;, Bowen, 214 
Leunti, C^hun-yin^, 218, 242, 258 
Leuuii, Elsie Oi-sie, 267, 285 
Leun4, Kwok-kwoui^, 65 
Li, Andrew, 65, 282, 288 
Li, Chuwen, '^7, 142-43, 248 
Li, David Kwok-po, 222 
Li, Fook-wo, 30, 32, 51, 55, 109. 

Li, Gladys, 249 
Li, IIou, 66, 98, 104, 145 
Li, Hungqiang, 74 
Li, Ka-shing, 222 
Li, Peng, 180, 184, 272, 282, 284, 

Li, Qiang, 74 
Li, Simon Fook-sean, 122, 218, 

242, 249, 258, 260-61, 291 
Li, Xiannian, 128 
Li, Zhongying, 98 

Liao, (Ihengzhi, 43, 6v^ 

Liaoning, 9 

Liberal Party, 64, 164, 189. 191, 

204, 207, 210-12 
liberty, 67-()9, 73. 92. 1 1 1 , .see 

(dso personal freedom 
Ling Ding bridge, 314 
Lingnan laiix'ersity (dhina). 5 
"Little Shanghai". 287 
Liu, Qiang, 231 
Lixerjiool Tnixersity, 258 
Lo, Andrew . 261 
Lo, Shuk-ehing, 254 
Lo, Tak-shing, 80, 85, 93, 163, 

222 291 
Lo, Vineent, 178. 185. 187, 192, 

194, 216, 222 
lobbyists, 301 

Lobo Motion, 78, 80-81, 121 
Lobo, Roger {later Sir): 

bestowed knighthood, 131 

retired from LEGCO, 139, 168 

UMELCO delegation to Beijing, 

UMELCO delegations to London 
51, 55, 85, 123, 126 

,scc also Lobo Motion 
London, sec Britain 
Lowu, 279 
Lu, Ping: 

a deal with Liberal Party, 211- 

as PWC and PC Vice-Chairman, 
218, 258 

formed Budget Expert Group, 
228-29, 231 

q^ 352 O^ft 


interHow with (vhunj; Szc-yuen, 

178, 181, 193-94, 204-206, 


BPF, 178, 185 

delegate of young profes- 
sionals, 66 

UK Affairs Advisors. 216 

Patten, 199 

UMELCO. 98, 104 
position on direct election, 142 
position on reserxe for IIKSAR, 

Luce, Richard, 116, 123, 135 

Ma,, 95 

(China's acts to take back, 48, 93 
during (Cultural Revolution, 27 
during wartime, 4-7, 10, 1.^ 
geographic location, 248, 314 
one-off identification paper to 

liritain, 93 
rctiu-ned to (Ihina and first SAR 

annivcrs;ir>', 50, 279 
McLaren, Sir Koiiin, 19f) 
MacLehose, Sir Miirra\- {l(i(cr 
appointeil ( lining as l-,.\( '.( ) antl 

LKdCO Senior Member, 28 
as .Ml' meeting r.MllLCO, 80- 

87, S'J 
meeting wilii Deng, .^O ,^2 
most aware about the lieuinniui; 

of Sino-bril isii luuol iai k )ns, 


reformed LLCiCO, 224 

retired to Scotland, 44 
MaeW'hinnie, Sir(iordon, 155 
Major, John: 

appointed Patten as UK (iover- 
nor, 177, 192 

endorsed Pattens reform, 138, 
195, 204, 212-13, 226 

position on PW'C, 221 

signed new airport memoran- 
dum, 184, 186 
Malaysia. 2.^. 298 
Manchester, 12-13 
Manchuria, 3, 9-10 
mandarin, 22-23, 34, 220-21, 223, 

2^5, 247, 264, 305, sec also 

.Mandarin, 287-88, .see also 

manufacturer, 20-21. 294 
manufacturing, L'^-lO. 148,294,312 

e.xport-orienteel ;iiul -tlrixen. 17, 

industries, 151. .^16 

ialiour-iiUeiisix e. 151. ,"^00 

.sector, 148-4'*. 3()1 

.sec (ilso industry, textile 
.\lao, .Iiumian. 13*' 
.\lao, Zedong. 28, 56 
mass metiia: 

ami-(!hina stance. 246 — 18 

a\()iiied by politicians, 9() 

c|uippe(.l .Mien Lee as Chungs 
chosen heir, ol 

reports on liaiisitioii neiiotia- 
tious, 20t». 220. 2.M 

:^ 353 ^^ 


reports on UMKL(X)s licijing 
visit, 102 

role ill loc.'il politics, 194 

role in Joint Declaration 
negotiations, 67, tS8-S9, 

sided with Tnited Democrats, 

speculation on ('K election, 
257, 260 

sec also press 
Mathews, .lereniy, 247, 249, 267 
Medical Council, 65 
Meetinsi Point (later Democratic 

I'arty), 1S9 
metropolis, second, ,^14-15 
military, 59, 111, 269 
militia, 141 

Miufi l\i() (newspaper), 73, 14<S 
Mirror (magazine), 242 
mobility, 316 

multinational industrial com- 
panies, v^l3 
municipal coiuicils, 196, 19S, 

201-203, 20S, .s-cc also Urban 


Nanchang, 9 

Nanjing, 9 

National Tea (Corporation, <S 

Nationalist Party, 303, .see also 

nationaHty, 122, 132-33, 141, 175, 

Nationality Act (UK), 34, 92, 94, 


New York, 45, 2'>6, 313, 316 
Newbi,!ii;in,U, l)a\id, 2<>, .^2 
Ng, I lonii-num, 2 bS 
Ni", Pauline, cSl 
Ngai. Shiu4iit, 30, 32, 222 
Xixon, Richard, 1 2S 
North America, 36, 29(S 
North Point, 2S7 

Ohsci'vcr (ncwsjiaper, LTK), 5cS, 

oil crisis, ,^00 

"one coimtry two systems", 137, 
272. 27S-79, 284-85, 293, 

opinion poll: 

on 1997 arran,i>ement, 50-51, 

on the draft .loint Declaration, 

on UMELCO's Beijing visit, 107 
on UMKL(]()s position paper, 
91, 116 

Opium Wars, 14, 27.^ 

Oriental ( )\erseas (shipping com- 
pany), 246, 259, 261 

Pacific War, 2S7 
Palmerson, bord, 14 
Pang, ( ;hun-hoi, 213 
paradigm shift, 151, 293, 312 
party politics, 167, 302, .sec also 

political party 
passport, 34, 93, 125, 138, 176 

British Citizen, 92 

IIKSAR. 141 

Qi>r 354 >fr 


see also IJDTC, liNO, travel 
patriot, 102, 2K) 
patriotic duty, ^), 15<^, 244 
Patten, Alice, VK^ 
Patten, (Christopher: 

appointed Tunt; to ICX(X), 25(S 

arrival, ISC), l'>2 

at Soverei.iinty Return (-erc- 

niony, 27 1-7.^ 
departure, 268-69, 279-80 
dissohed UMELGO, 195 
family (Laxender, Alice, Laura), 

lost Bath parliamentary seat, 

13S, 192 
ordered officials not to co- 
operate with PWC and Pro- 
visional LE(X:0, 221-22, 247 
Policy Address and its late 

deli\ery to Ik'ijini;. 193. 196, 
political reform pncka;i;e: 
aimouneement, 186 
fi\e main features, 19,S-<>(). 

Liberal Party's effort to 
amend, Lontlon inler- 
\eneil and l.j-.t i( !( ) final 
vote. 210-15 
passed 19<>4 elections reform 

hill. 203 
passetl I.IKKK) retorm hill. 

2o4. 207 
secnretl support tr( >m 
London. \'>r> 

see also Sino-P.ritish negotia- 
tions on political reform 

political stance, 193 

rcalii^ned executive and 

let;islati\e branches, 192-95 

refused to act as "caretaker 
governor", 203 

visit to Bcijinji;, 199 
Patten, Laura, 193 
Patten, Mrs. La\cndcr, 193 
Pearl River Delta (China), 248. 

294, 296. 312-15 
Pei, 1. M., 246 
People's Liberation Army ( PLA. 

China). 125. 141. 278 
Peoples Republic of China, .see 

"Perennial Temporary Lciiislator", 

22. 24 
jicrsonal frectlom, 64. 125. .see 

also liberty 
Philadelphia-New York- Bos ton 

axis, 29(, 
police. 27. 141. 224. 2S() 1 '.ranch. 1 is, 173 
political atK isor. 30, 77. 174. 220 
political party; 

embryonic, 35 

llK.S.\Ks aversion towards. .^(K^ 

in a dem<.cracy. IM. P'l-02, 
205. 2(i(). ,V»2-3o.^ 

law for. 22s. 3o5 

relation w ith civ il ser\ ants .md 
executive, 2o|. .V)5 
political reform; 

P>.S1 ( iiven Paper. I''S5 W iuic 

^ .155 Wfr 


Paper and \^)Hi Circcn paper, 
hasie models, 204-66 
direet election: 

China's position, 112, 142, 

to LKCUX), 112, 144, 154, 
U)3, 175, 1.S9, 194 
political re\ie\v and popular 

demand, 142-43 
rcpresentati\'c i4o\ernment, 

123. 141 
Sino-British consensus on the 

pace of, 237 
trend, 181 
White l*aper on Representatixe 

Government, 175 
See also democratic reform. 
politicians, 135, 154, 225, 247, 

297, 305 
poll, see opinion poll 
Polytechnic Planning CJommittee, 

Poon, Steven, 191, 212 
Portman Intercontinental Hotel 

(London), 86, 123 
Powell, Sir Charles. 213 
Powell, Enoch, 133, 135 
Preliminary Working Committee 

composition, 218 
establishment, 186-87, 215-18, 

legal status in UK, 219-21 
liaison office in UK, 219 

relation with l>ritis!i and UK 

g()\ enuuents. 221-22 
recommendation on PC's 

comjiosition, 257 
specialized groups and 
convenors, 218 
Kconomic Specialized 
(iroup, 187, 229, 231 
Study I'anel on Airport, 
Political Specialized (iroup: 
established Provisional 

LEGCO, 237-40 
decided to retain JP 

system, 292 
position on executive-led 
government, 223> 
Preparatory Committee (PC): 
applications for SC, 255-56 
Chairman and \'ice-(]hairmcn, 

confirmed CE election result, 

establishment, 215, 217, 25(J- 

Hong Kong Communication 

Office, 255 
Selection Committee Group 
and its subgroups, 251, 253- 

recommendation on SC, 
tasks, 251 

work acknowledged by Li Peng, 

Q*^ 356 i^ 


cont'crences, <S3, 97, 102-103, 

inter\ic\v with Budget Kxpert 

Group, 231-32 
reports and stance on: 

(Chinas inxitation ot' Chung 
and DuiHi to join ( ;i*l'(X], 
MacLehose and Voude's 
P>eijin4 visits, 30, 60 
Provisional LECiCO, CE 
election and Tung. 24.S, 
257, 305 
United Demoerats and 

Patten's reform, 190, 205 
pressure groups, 301 
primary service hub ot' Asia. 296 
Prior, Lord, 212-13 
professional association, 140 

British passport beneficiary, 

exodus, 27, 101 
fimetional constituencies aiui 
pohtical api")ointniciit. 192, 
qualification and quota in S(' 

Category 2, 253. 256 
racial composition. 3 
worUing in the ma in la ml, .Mo 
.sec a /.so delegate ol \<>ung 
propaganda, 6(), f)9, 72, 77, S7, 

190, 204. 22i) 
l")roiicrt\\ .^7. H) 1 , 1 7S 
boom. I 4''. 1 55 

market, LS, 28, 186, 297, 299 
prospects, 29, 297, 299, 316 

balance between democrat- 
ization and, ^M 

dependent on jieoples confi- 
dence, 45, 47 

public perception, 124 

purpose of Joint Declaration 
negotiations, 56, 58, 68-69 

UMELGO's p()sitif)n and con- 
cern, 48, 53, 67. 80-81. 84 
Pnnisional Legislati\e Coimcil: 

at IIKSAR establishment 
ceremonies, 282 

election method, 256 

logistics arrangement, 249-50 

passed Keimification Bill, 285 

purpose of establishment and 
mandatory works. 237 — 10 

question of legitimacy. 240, 
Putonghua. 44, 287-89, 315, .see 

(ilso Mandarin 
Pym. Francis {Udcr Sir). 52. 50 

Qi, Feng, 43. 66 

Qian, Qichen. 207-208, 218. 257- 

59. 272. 285. 289 
(Jiao. Zonghuai. 1.^'' 
Q\n. Wenjun, 22iK 258 
(Jing l>yn;isty. 74 

K.idialion Board I I IK i^ox ermncui I. 

r.idi... S<) 

i«^ Xf? ^ 


Radio aiul TclcNision ot Iloii.i; 

Koni-, 2<ScS 
Reagan, President Ronald, 44, 167 
real estate, 31, 2*^7, sec (ilso 

Red Army (Cliiiia), 13 
Red (niard ((Ihiiia). 27 
re-exports, 2')f., 300 
refntiees (from (]hina), 14, 1(), 52, 

77, 105 
retail, 2*K), 301 
reunion, 37, 53, 2S9 
right of abode (in I'K), ^)4, 122, 

Roosexelt, President Franklin, 4 
Rowse, Mike, 2.^2 
Royal Academy of Ens^ineering 

(UK), 31 
Royal Ilong Kong .loekey Club 

( Rl IKK ], /afcr I long Kong 

Jockey Club), 152, 154-55, 157 
Royal Hong Kong Observatory, 271 
"royal opposition", 104, M)3 
Royal Society for Life Saving, 2 
rule of law, 5N, 73, 111, 283 
"running Hong Kong the Hong 

Kong way", 67 
Russia, 8 

Sandberg, Michael {hitcr Lord), 

29, 32, 85 
Sanya, Hainan Island, 228 
Sargant, Maurice, 85 
Sears, Justice, 249 
Second World \\'ar, 94, 287 
Selection (^onnnittee (SC): 

applications and election 

results, 255-56 
formation, 251, 253-55 
results oi i'Ai elections, 282 
task, 246, 251, 256 
\\()ri\ acknowledged by Li Peng, 
ser\ice industries, 296, 315 
Shandong, 64, 287 
Shanghai, 2, 11, 142, 248-49, 258, 
refugees and industrialists from, 

16, 18, 21 
TDC delegation to, 64 
Shanghainese, 287-88 
Shao, Tianren, 218 
Shao, Youbao, 187 
Shaw, Sir Run-run, 174 
Sheffield, 12-13 
Sheffield University, 12 
Shek Kip Mei fire, 17 
Shekou, 313 
Shen, Stanley, 261 

adx'antagcs, 151 

as UK's hinterland, 294, 313- 

as Special Economic Zone, 36, 


Election Committee, 240 
PC, 262 

Provisional LEGCO, 248-49 
Tung and Lu, 260 
PLA stationed in, 141 
Shiu, Sin-por, 258 

^ 358 ^ 


Shui On (Iroup. 17.S. 222 
Shundc. 314 
Sichuan. 5. 44, 98 
Singapore, 11, 273, 316 
Sino-British .loint Declaration: 
Annexes I and II, 109. 1 13. 144. 


House ot (>)mmons' debate. 

proclamation ot exit. 7.S. SI 
Thatchers letter to Zhao 

Ziyang, 68-69 
visits to Beijing, sec Beijini; 

initiated the discussion. 37 
objection to UMEXCO's 
in\olvement, 62-63 
p(xsitions, 47—48, 58-61. 63- 

principles tor seciuMiiii IlKs 

future. 72-73 
"luiited front" strateiiy. ,S1, 
63. 77 
deadline tor at;rceinciu. 7(), 112 
first joint statement on negotia- 
tion. 5() 
functions and liackdrop, 2,^, 43- 

initiallinii ccrcmonx :\nd public 118-1'> 
"microphone diploniac\ " . ')7 
iiciiotiation teams 
phase 3. 77. i 1.^ 
phases I ani.1 2. (>'>. 72 

phase 1 (rounds 1 to 4), 69, 
72. 76 

phase 2 (rounds 5 to 7), 72, 

phase 3 (rounds 8 to 22). 86, 
ratifications and tendered to 

UN, 114 
signing ceremony, 128 

reaction. 1 19-26 
Sino-British .loint Liaison (iroup 
ad\ice on transition ceremonies, 

Budget Expert (iroup. 22*^>-33 
contribution to Basic Law 

drafting, 161 
"mirror image" life. 1 Id-l 1 
piupose of establishment. M. 

terms of reference. 110-1 1 
Sino-British Land Commission. 

Siiio-Britisii negotiations on 
political reform: 
diplomatic cunning and faith. 

negotiations ( 17 roimds): 

iKginning. 2oo. 2o4 

breakdown. 2ol. 2o7 

Cliina blamctl failure on 
l.oiulon. 2(M 

reasons for failure. 2(»l-2ti2 
release of sexen excli.nige «)f 

diploui.itie letters. 1'>>>-200 



see also Patten 
Sinopholic's, 247-4(S, 279 
situation ot' extreme almorniality, 

Sin, ( lordon, 1 SS 

small and medium enterprises, 302 
So, Andrew, SO, 12.^ 
social protest, 27, lol, 172-7,^, 

social stability: 

balance between demoenit- 
ization and, 137 

dependent on people's confi- 
dence, 45, 47 

importance of ha\'ing a strong 
execiitixc, 210 

public perception, 124 

purpose of .loint Declaration 
negotiations, 56, 58, 68-69 

UMELGO s position and con- 
cern, 48, 53, 67, 80-81, 84 
social unrest, 27, 100, 102 
Societies Ordinance, 219-21 
Soho (London), 117 
Sonea Industries, 20 
Song, V. K., 18-20 
South China Morning Post (news- 
paper), 91-92, 107, 109, 169, 

229, 242, 247 
South Sea Textiles, 149 
Southeast Asia, 298 
sovereignty (over UK): 

Britain accepted to return IIK, 
78,80-81, 111 

China's reassertion of, 59, 61, 
100, 102, 113, 145 

tlifferenee in priority, 6/ 
l^eople's inclinations, 50-52, 76, 

return, 271, 273, 279, 281, .see 

also IIKSAR 
'I'hateher's beijing \isit, 47 
transfer. bS4, 217, 233, 240, 
245, 249, 267, 278 
Soxereignty Transfer Plan- 
ning ('ommittee, 206, 216 
sec (dso brox'isional LE(i(](), 
P\\'(], Sino-british .loint 
troop deployment, 141 
S S Canton (ocean liner), 11 
St. .lohn's Ambulance, 2 
St. ,Iohns University (Shanghai), 2 
St. Paul's College, 2, 1 1 
stock, 31, 70, 186, 297, 299-300 
Straehan, Ian, 232 
Suen, Michael, 246 
Sun, Nansan, 254 
Sun, Yat-sen, 173 
Survey Research Hong Kong 

Limited, 50-51, 91, 107, 122 
Swaine, John (later Sir), 122 
Swift, II. W., 12 
Swire, 51, 70, 95 
Sir Adrian, 66 
.lohn, 66 
synergetic combination. 313 

Ta Kiiuii Fao (newspaper), 80 

Taihe, 5, 7 

taipan, 29, 269, 307 


^. 360 ^ 


deportation ot suspected agents, 

during Asian financial crisis, 

durin;^ ei\'il war, iS, 13, 15 
plan for reunification, 37, 50 
target of national reunification, 
28, 279 
Tarn, Maria, 81, 85, 93, 110, 123, 

133, 222 
Tani, \'i\ian, 201 
Tani, Viu-clnmg, 222, 251 
Tamar Naval Base, 269, 271, 280 
Tang, Ping-yuan, 149 
telecommunication, 296 
Tele\ision liroadcast, 174 
textile, 16, 21, 61-62, 301 
Thailand, 298 

Thatcher, Margaret, Baroness: 
at IIKSAR establishment 

ceremonies, 269 
Argentine attack antl popular- 
ity, 44 
"Lady l-irst" incidence, 53-55 
letter to Zhao Ziyang, 68-69 

(^hiuig in London, 61-62 
('.hung on the jilaiie, 128 
Dcui; in I'lcijing. 54, 5(). 58-()l 

rMLL(:( ) ill UK, 50 

UMKLCO in Lomlou, 51-53. 

125, 175 
TMKXCO in Luiulon. 72. 1 K. 
Zhao Ziy.ini; in London. 1,^.^ 
memoirs and stance on 1 IK 
ilcmoci.Ki/atioii. 177. 2i lo 

think tank, 29. 31. 191. 217 
Three Kingdoms period ((Hiina), 

"three leggcd-stool". 100 
Tiananmen Square, 13 

incident, 138, 161, 170, 172- 
75, 182, 184 
Tien, Francis, 80 
Tien, James, 192 
tourism, 211. 296, 315 
Townscnd. Dr. Henry. 189 
Trade and Industry Ad\ isory Board 

(liK government). 22 
Trade Development Council (TDC), 

22, 26, 41-42, 63-64, 66, 271 
transition, regime: 

l>ritish retreat and founding of 
HKSAR, .sec Britain, IIKSAR 
pre-transitional period: 

Dengs conmicnt. 101-102 
suggestion to extend the 

period of. 05 
UMLL('()"s jTrimary concern, 

sec (list > 10')7 issue. Sino- 
British .loint Declaration 
transitional period: 

co-o|")erati\"e phase. 1,^7, sec 

(//so Basic Law . .11,(1 
confront;Uiou,il jMiasc. 13"'. 
l'>2. .sec (ilsi) I'aticn, Sino- 
British neuotiaOons on 
political reform 
period ol ilisirusi . I. Vs. 17<i. 
see (j/so Hong Kong 
IiUcrnalional .Xirjiorl 



shadow iiox'crnniciit, 245 
transport, 290, 314 
tra\'el document, 95, 1,"^,^, 141, .see 

(ilso passport 
treachery, 207, 212 
Treaty ot'Xankini;, 14 
Trench, Sir David, 22. 24, 27-28 
troop, 102, 125. 141, 1 7.^, 270, see 

also I'LA 
Tsan^, Sir Donald, 235, 2S5 
TsanA, IHn-chi, 201 
Tsans;, W'ali-shin^, 5 
Tsao, Peter, ()3 
Tsuen Wan, 16 
Tsui, Sze-man, 242, 200, 201 
Tsui, Wilfred, S5, OS 
Tu, Mrs. Elsie, 254, 201 
Tung, Betty, 259 
Tung, G. Y. 258 
Tung, Chee-hwa: 

annoimeed CE candidacy and 

campaign team, 260-61 
at (IBM Presentation Cere- 
mony, 280 
at HKSAR estabhshment cere- 
monies, 272-87 
attitudes towards poUtieal 

appointment, 267 
biograpliy, 258-50 
Policy Address, 158 
relation with EXCO, legislature 
and the administration, 228, 
303, 305, 307-308, 309 
won and established CE Office, 

246, 261-62 
see also CE 

uneiiipl<»\inent, 2?>?>, 299, sec also 

jobless rate 
I'nited Democrats (later Demo- 
cratic Party), 189-9 1 
United Kingdom, see l>ritain 
United Nations, 15, 48. 93, 1 14, 


Human Rights Commission, 139 
United States of America, 18, 64, 

lOf), 313 

American presidential ciun 
congressional paradigm, 164 

Congress, 166-67, 227 

House of Representatives, 

166, 200 
Senate, 166, 200, 227 

constitution, 158, 166, 265 

.IP system, 292 

political system, 164, 193 

President, 166-68, 227, 245, 
265-66, .see also G. Bush 
Senior, C. W. Bush, (Clinton, 
Reagan, Roosexelt 

ruling parties, 246 

Supreme Court, 166 
University and Polytechnic Grants 

Committee (later University 

Grants Committee), 151, 157 
Unixersity Cirants Committee, 

151, 154 
University of California, Berkeley, 

Unixersity of Hong Kong, 2, 5-7, 

50, 151, 157 
Unofficial Members of the Execu- 
tive and Legislative Councils 

^^ JhJ ^ 



advocate for taster democrat ie 

reform, 1 75-77 
dissolution, 194 
expeditions to London, 51-5.^. 

85-90, 122-26, 132-33, 135 

appeal tor public support, 
immediacy of reaction to 1997 

issue, 29-30 
lobby for right of abode 

package, 175-76 

Deng in Beijing, 97-103 

Heath in UK, 70-72 

Howe in UK, 81, 83 

Ji Pengfei in Beijing, 103-106 

Thatcher in HK, 56, 58 
mistrusted by British and 

(Ihincsc governments, 60, 77 
position on 1997 issue, 34-38, 

45-49, 60-61 
position papers: 

a statement w itii eight con- 
cerns and two demands, 

on II Ks tuture, 83-84 

on nationality, 1,^2-.^.^ 

three projiosals on HKs 

future, |(»0 KH. KU l()'» 
role ;intl timelion. .V5-,Vi 
self-iilenlit\ . 77 
I'nolYicinl Members ol I lie l.xeeii- 

ti\e ( loiiiKii (rMi:x(:( ))-. 

liiKil ( 5i li ) t.\pLdil ion to 
London, I 11. I I'. 

position (Ml Sino-British 

negotiation, 61-63, 69 
recommended the draft .loint 

Declaration to IIK, 119-21 
second expedition tf) London, 

secret meetings wirli Xu. 95-97 

unrest, .see social unrest 
Urban Council, 23. 123, 138 

\'ict()ry ()\er ,lapan Day, 15 

Walker. I'rof. Anthony, 157 

Wan, Li, 242 

W'anchai \'oeational Seliool. 4 

Wang. IWngzhang. 174 

Wang. I lanbin, 258 

Wang, Kuang. 95 

Wang, Lin, 231 

Wang. Qireii. 187 

Wang. Sluiwen. 218 

Wang, Vingfan. 258. 280 

Watkins, (leiieial (iu\-, 155 

way of life. 25. 37, 64, 73, 7o. SO, 

111. 2S3 
Wen W'ci I'o (newspaper). 80 
Wesley-Smith, Peter, 50 
Westminster moilel. lo2. lo4 
Wliile Hotel (( ). 

Whitworth I'ri/e. 13 
Wilson, Da\ ill {lnli.r l.ord): 

as IIK ( 'io\ crnor. 174. IN2 

as leatler of I'.ritisli neuotiaiion 
team. I 1.^ 



as jiolitical achisor to 

Macl.chosc, M) 
recalled liy Loudon, 13N, 177, 
ISr,, 1<)2 

Wilson, Harold, 2(U 

Wing On P.ank, 65 

woman, ( lliinese, 10-1 1 

Wong, Andrew, 5(1 

Wong, Fanny, 22'), 242 

W'ong, .Joseph, 49 

W^ong, Kam, 6,"^ 

Wong, Ker-lee, 291 

Wong, Lam, SO 

Wong, Peter C, NO, 133 

Wong, Dr. Philip, 222, 231 

Wong, Po-yan, SO, 1S9, 222 

Wong, Dame Rosanna, 307 

W^ong, Wilfred, 253 

Woo, Prof. Chia-wei, 153, 155, 
222, 261 

Woo, Peter, 242, 260 

worker, sec labovn- 

W^orking Committee on Produc- 
tivity, 22 

world city, 315 - ^ 

World Light Manufactory, 10, IS 

World Trade Organization, 299 

Wu, Alex, SO 

Wu, Annie, 261 

Wu, James, 27, 30. .U, 149 

Wu, Jiangfan, 2 IS 

Wu, Dr. Raymond, 242, 261 

Wu, Xueqian ,81, 135 

xenophobe, 86, 133 

Xi, Zhongxun, 64-65. 74 

Xiao, W'eiyiiii, 2 IS, 251 
Xingi|uo, 9 

Xiiiluia News Agenc\'. Hong Kong 
as de facto Ohinese embassy in 

UK, 39, 95, 219 
lieijing appointed UK Affairs 

AcKisors to support, ISO 
Deputy Director, .sec Li 
Chuwcn, Qi Feng, Qin 
Wenjun, Zhang .lunshcng 
Dejiuty Secretary General, .see 

Chan Wei, Vang Qi 
Director, see Wang Kuang, Xu 

.liatim, Zhou Nan 

Allen Lee to lead young pro- 
fessionals to Beijing, 64 
Kan, Ann and Chung to join 

CPPCG, 39, 41-43 
UMELCO to Beijing, 95-97 
membership in: 

Budget Expert Group, 231 

PC, 258 

PC Selection Committee 

Group, 254 
PWC, 217 
refused to register PWC office in 

IIK, 219-21 
secret meetings with UMELCO, 

95-97, 139-45 
social protest at IIK 

headquarters, 172 
Stanley \'illa. 143 
Xiong, Shihui, 9 
Xu, .liatun: 

ii^ 364 -aJT 


dispute with I'MKLCX) on 
Deng's comment, *^(S, 103 

tied to l\SA. 77, 106 

host dinner for I'MELC^O, 80 

invited Chung and Dunn to join 
l',L(]C, 169 

secret mectin,t>s with TMICLCX), 
95-97, 139-45 

Yang, Qi, 97-98 

Yang, Sir Ti-liang, 195. 242, 260 

Yangtze, 5 

Yao, (luang, 72, 77 

Ye, .lianying, 37 

Yeung, Po-kwan, 81 

Yip. I'aul. 261 

^oude. Sir Kdward: 

accompanied Thatcher to 

Beijing, 56, 60 
announced British retreat to 

arrival, 43. 146 
as British negotiation team 

senior member, 58, 69 
biography, 44 
called I'MKLCO to discuss 

rii.itchers licijing \isit, 47 — 18 
(.lealh and tuneral. 146-48 
economic \ ision anil 

established I'ST, lis. 151, 
153-54. 158 
inc.\prcssi\ c to rMI!l.(l()'s 
conl'licl w illi I kalli, 72 
Icil l'Mi;i.( :( ) dekualions to 
London. 51 55. S5. 1 I 1, 1 is. 

on (>himg"s GBE award, 130. 

reformed LEGCO, 224 
suggested L'MH^LCO to form 

delegation. 49 
trips to London and .lapan, 48, 
95. 126 
Youde, Lady Pamela, 44, 146 
Young, Howard, 211 
Young, Dr. .lohn, 50 
Young, Sir .Mark. 15 
Yu. Kwok-chim. 261 
Yuen, Dr. Natalus, 65 
Yuen. Susan. 22. 27 

Zhang, .lunsheng. 219 

Zhang, Liangdong, 231 

Zhang, Wannian, 272 

Zhao, .lib ua, 231 

Zhao, Ziyang. 39. 56, 68-69. 81, 

128, 135. 172 
Zheng, Yi. 218 
Zhongshan. 3 14 
Zhou. Kniai. 28 
Zhou. N.IU: 

as (ihinese tc.ini chief negotia- 
tor. 77 
as PC \'ice-Cbairman. 25.S 
as PWC \'ice-Cbairman. 2 is 
as .Xiidiua News .Xgcuey's 

Director. 181. l'>3-*>4. 204- 
205. 22'> 
attcntlcil bntisb st.itc bani|ue(. 

iuiii.ilkd the (.haft .loint 
Dccl.ualion. lis I') 

;*^ 3(y5 -.^ 


iiict UK AtYairs Adxisors in 

(iiinn^zliou, 2U)-17 
iinitccl ( ;luin!4 to join \'\\'( :, 2 1 7 

Zhu, Zuzlioii, 23 1 
Zlniaiii;. Xin, 74 
/Iiiil;u, IJaiit;, 14<S 

Canada-Hong Kong Resource Centre 

I Spadina Crescent, Rin. Ill • Toronto, Canada • M5S lAl 



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Jlapeng Liedao 

Senes AR/18/IRS 
Edition 6 2001 

114- JOt 

nj Offica. Lands C«p*(tm«n1 
repfodudioo by ptin m ion only 

Sir Sze-yuen Chung is not only a veteran politician in Hong Kong, 
but an important figure in the development of Hong Kong in the 
past four decades. During that long period, he has played a 
significant role in Hong Kong's political, economic, educational 
and social development, first when it was a British colony and 
then a Special Administrative Region of China. Indeed he is 
probably the only native son of Hong Kong who was closely and 
actively involved in the entire process of transferring Hong Kong's 
sovereignty back to China. 

The memoirs, written by Sir Sze-yuen Chung himself, record 
his personal experiences in Hong Kong's political scene in the two 
decades between 1979 and 1999 and his role in the Sino-British 
negotiations and the subsequent twelve and a half years of transition 
from British colonial rule to the first Chinese Special Administrative 
Region having a high-degree of autonomy and practising "One 
Country Two Systems". Under his outstanding leadership, he 
helped to bring the Sino-British negotiation on Hong Kong's 
political future to a successful conclusion. Then with his assistance 
and advice, Hong Kong was able to achieve a smooth and peaceful 
transition on 1 July 1997. 

This book is a valuable source of information on this important 
period in the history of Hong Kong. Some of the information has 
not been published before. It will be of interest to all those who 
wish to know more on what had happened during these pivotal 
years, which have determined the future course of Hong Kong. 



- 'OO.OOi 


ISBN qbE-nqb-DDa