Talks to resume after policy speech

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 September, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 September, 1993, 12:00am

SINO-BRITISH negotiations on next year's electoral arrangements have been suspended until after the two foreign ministers meet in New York, and the Governor's policy speech on October 6.

The 12th round ended in Beijing yesterday with British chief negotiator, Sir Robin McLaren, saying: ''We have not made as much progress as we would have liked.'' He did not say whether the two-day session had laid any constructive foundation for the meeting on Friday between Douglas Hurd and Qian Qichen.

He said it was decided the talks would resume on October 11 and 12.

In Hong Kong, a vice-director of Xinhua (New China News Agency), Zhang Junsheng, said the responsibility for failing to reach an agreement on the electoral arrangements should not rest with the Chinese side.

''No agreement has been reached because [the British side] has not returned to the track of the three principles and has raised issues which have fallen outside the scope of the 1994/95 arrangements,'' he said.

While Britain maintained the criteria for legislators in the 1995 legislature to serve beyond 1997 should be spelt out before going on to the discussion of functional constituency polls and the election committee, the Chinese side insisted on the reverseorder.

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Sze Cho-cheung said he would send a report to Mr Hurd before Friday.

A deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Wang Qiren, told a delegation of the Jardine Matheson Group that the political row would not affect Hong Kong's economic prosperity.

Director Sir Charles Powell said after the meeting the group had conveyed to China its concern on the slow progress of the Container Terminal Number 9 project which should not be further delayed.