Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind says it is vital in the next few months for China to show by words and deeds its intention to honour promises to Hong Kong. Beijing should demonstrate its intention to respect the wishes and quality of life of Hong Kong people. Mr Rifkind was responding yesterday to questions about what London could do to boost the confidence of Japanese investors in the territory. He said the question of Japanese investment in Hong Kong was connected to the question of confidence. 'We welcome the fact that confidence remains good in Hong Kong. Of course, there is a degree of nervousness as the transition approaches; that is inevitable under the circumstances.' Mr Rifkind was quoted as saying during a meeting with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on Sunday he did not think China would intentionally cause confusion in Hong Kong. But hitches in the transition could not be ruled out because China did not know how free economies worked. He was more upbeat yesterday. 'I have a considerable degree of optimism with regard to Hong Kong. 'If we have a concern, it is that the Chinese Government, because they come from a different system with different values, may on some occasions not fully understand what makes Hong Kong so successful. 'That in order to be a successful economy, Hong Kong needs to preserve its way of life and that way of life is a free way of life.' In Hong Kong, Zhang Junsheng , a vice-director of Xinhua (the New China News Agency), said it was improper for Mr Rifkind to make such remarks. 'How can he say we . . . do not understand the market economy of Hong Kong?'