• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 1:12pm
NewsHong Kong

Lost in translation? Beijing accuses Chris Patten of 'reckless disregard for the truth'

Ex-governor spoke of democracy’s bad press; Foreign Ministry tell of democracy suppressed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2014, 5:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 March, 2014, 1:03pm

Beijing's Foreign Ministry representative in Hong Kong has accused Britain's last governor of the city, Chris Patten, of a "reckless disregard for the truth" and "confusing black with white".

It follows Patten's remarks in an RTHK interview during a visit to the city last week in his capacity as chancellor of the University of Oxford.

When asked whether he thought Hong Kong people would ever rule their own city, Patten said: "Yes, I do, and I suspect sooner rather than later …even though democracy, or the advance of democracy, has been given a bad press in the last few years."

When asked how it has gone 30 years after the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Patten said: “I think it’s gone pretty well, not perfectly. I’ve always taken the view, as you know, that we should have done rather more before we left Hong Kong to entrench political change and greater accountability.”

In the question-and-answer format on the website of the Office of the Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong, Patten was quoted as saying "the city's democratic development has been suppressed in the last few years". The statement was only on the Chinese version of the site and not on the English version.

The office's statement concluded: "[The remarks] deserve our vigilance. We strongly oppose the interference of Hong Kong's internal affairs by foreign governments and the related people."

It added: "We advise the people concerned to pay attention to what they say and do."

Meanwhile, an adviser to Beijing on Hong Kong affairs, Professor Lau Siu-kai, said yesterday that support from at least half the members of the nominating committee should be a minimum requirement for chief executive candidates in 2017.

The suggestion flies in the face of pan-democrats' call for a low nominating threshold.

Lau, vice-president of the National Association of Study on Hong Kong and Macau, also addressed former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's proposal for 317 committee members to be directly elected.

He said the idea "could exert too much pressure" on the committee and thus be unacceptable to Beijing.

Chan also suggested candidates should be able to go forward after securing support from a tenth of the committee members. Lau said that if the nomination process was to reflect the committee's "collective will", as Basic Law Committee members have said it should, "I think the minimum requirement would be for the candidate to get more than half of the nominating committee's endorsement".

Yesterday saw 14 groups form an alliance to press for public nomination as an indispensable element in the 2017 election.



More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Ant Lee
"reckless disregard for truth" seem to describe the chinese government perfectly.
More lies from Beijing and their lackeys in HK.
sudo rm -f cy
If anything, I found Patten overly restrained in his criticism of China.
Beijing comes across as being very insecure these days. They have a comment/complaint about the tiniest issue. Strange.
A perfect picture of British failure. No wonder.
Dai Muff
You look a bit petty when refusing to mention the name of the programme Mr Patten was on, SCMP. It is called "The Pulse". And as the piece was subtitled, and is still available on the internet, there is NO possibility this was an honest mistake by the CCP.
Talking about "confusing black with white", no one could do it better than Chinese Communist Party; including communism itself. Recently Elsie Leung Oi-Sie's "may" means "must" is a classic example.
the ccp has a major dislike to Mr Patton, his comments whilst obviously had an underlying meaning really didn't deserve this kind of rebuke from the the foreign ministry (his remarks are a bit below their pay grade), he has now been relegated to a foot note in history and has very little actual political power.
The Party would not know the truth if it walked up, smacked in the face, and handed them its business card.
1e)-(("[De opmerkingen] verdienen onze waakzaamheid Wij zijn sterk gekant tegen de inmenging van binnenlandse zaken van Hong Kong door buitenlandse overheden en de bijbehorende mensen.".)) 2e)-((minste de helft van de leden van de benoemingscommissie een minimale eis voor chief executive kandidaten in 2017 zou moeten zijn.)) 3e)-(( 317 leden van de commissie rechtstreeks worden verkozen's.))? I don't know what here really means, but if I read this, OH MY GOD, I feel like this, a communisme talk and corrupt, and make the people scare, just like, if u are not for me, U are death! Am I the only one who feeling this? Or did I read him in wrong way? Mr. Patten say right word, it's really not ENOUGH demoncratie in HK! Demoncratie is means FREEDOM in EVERYWHERE with no scare, no hiding, no killing! But I am scare for what I'm saying here! Maybe i will be kill too or punish too? CN must not twist around someone's words in his own words, we are not a stupid little kids, who treated us like a little fool (listen or i will punish u!). CORRUPT! not freedom! Who are Mr. Lau and Mr. Chan? Communisme too? They talk like a very stern, strict, severe words, so it's like now the government are communisme too? HK-people u must fight now for u own freedom, 7 miljoen people will win this struggle! Up to U! (don't forget the history of MAO, why CN now under the level of the world and why HK up (level) to the world!) U know better what I mean!? THANKS British 100y! Freedom of Speech...



SCMP.com Account