Hurd calls for co-operation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 1994, 12:00am

BRITISH Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd yesterday called on China for renewed co-operation on the transition of Hong Kong.

Mr Hurd was speaking on his arrival at New York to attend the UN General Assembly where one of his key meetings will be with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, tomorrow.

Mr Hurd said he hoped he and Mr Qian could 'chart a course for renewed co-operation between Britain and China' on issues that needed to be settled before 1997.

'We have shown, I think, throughout this, our sincerity in wishing that the transfer of sovereignty . . . should take place in circumstances so that Hong Kong can continue to succeed.

'It's one of the world's most successful places. It's the most stimulating place I ever go to.

'But that success is the result of certain characteristics, certain facts about Hong Kong. And if those assets are preserved, then Hong Kong will succeed,' he said.

Mr Hurd's remarks were received cautiously by Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang, who was accompanying Mr Qian: 'His remarks sound nice. But we'll have to see what action he actually takes.' In Beijing, the British Ambassador to China, Sir Len Appleyard, played down expectations for the Hurd-Qian meeting.

He said it would be unrealistic to talk of any breakthrough, adding it was important for the two sides to rebuild relations over a period of time.