PROBLEMS over reporting the territory's human rights situation to the United Nations after 1997 would not exist if its way of life and civil liberties were maintained, said Mr Patten.
He was replying to legislators who asked why China should continue to submit reports when it was not a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
'There is no doubt whatsoever about the reporting obligation,' he said. 'The only doubt is whether China will continue to decline to accept that obligation or whether Chinese officials will recognise it.' A clear statement from China confirming it would fulfil the obligation would help boost the confidence of Hong Kong people, he said.
Britain would continue to stress the importance of the obligation to the Chinese side at every level, such as the Joint Liaison Group.
And the Governor promised the progress of discussions would be included in the report to the UN next summer.