Chris Patten

Sir Percy Cradock, former Foreign Affairs Advisor to the British Prime Minister. Photo: SCMP

Old master Thatcher's lesson in realism on handover

The two British architects of Hong Kong's return to China are now dead. First it was Percy Cradock. Now, it's his boss Margaret Thatcher. Yet, the logic of their arguments for preserving Hong Kong's way of life by not confronting but by negotiating with Beijing and securing guarantees from it is still with us. It still very much underlies the thinking of the more intelligent and principled people from the pro-Beijing camp in Hong Kong.