The current visit by the British Foreign Minister responsible for Hong Kong, Mr Jeremy Hanley, has been overshadowed by demonstrations over the Diaoyu Islands, the rush of nominations to join the Selection Committee and speculation on who will be the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). However, the British Government must not be allowed to forget its obligation to the Hong Kong people, who will be delivered to communist rule next year. When Mr Hanley meets legislative councillors this afternoon, he will be asked how Britain intends to deal with the litany of unfinished business relating to the handover. Despite condemnation by Chinese officials that Britain is trying to interfere with the setting up of the SAR Government, the British are being consulted because the Chinese regard British co-operation as important to a smooth transition. A member of the Preparatory Committee told me the committee is merely an advisory body since many decisions are made only after consulting Britain. Mr Hanley's recent visit to Beijing came in the wake of Beijing's latest attacks on Britain for interfering with the selection of the Chief Executive. Yet Chinese officials chose to discuss this very topic with Mr Hanley. Hypocrisy aside, it is evident the British have far more say on the subject than Hong Kong people. Meanwhile, Mr Hanley must be mystified by the media which treated the announcement by Sir Ti Liang Yang that he wanted to be Chief Executive as if a candidate had entered an electoral race in a democratic society. Sycophantic commentators have also bent over backwards to echo denials by Chinese Government officials that Beijing has decided on who will get the top job. Given that the Chief Executive will be named by the Selection Committee in late November, is anyone seriously suggesting that the Chinese leadership has still not made up its mind? In my opinion, Beijing has picked shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa. Chinese President Jiang Zemin gave Mr Tung his seal of approval with the famous handshake in Beijing in January. Mr Tung resigned from the Executive Council in June to pave the way for his appointment. Mr Tung may be a reluctant candidate but he is financially too indebted to the Chinese Government to be able to say no. It is also obvious that both Mr Tung and Beijing do not want a contested election. Since the choice of the Chief Executive is such an important decision, the Chinese will not take any chances. My forecast is that only Mr Tung will be nominated. He will then be selected by 'consultation'. In the spite of the hype generated by the media, most Hong Kong people know only too well that the choice of the Chief Executive will be made by Beijing and Beijing alone. This reality has left them feeling powerless and alienated. Many people have the sagging feeling that Hong Kong's lifestyle and the rule of law will be undermined after the Chinese takeover. Faced with such feelings of resignation, frustration and resentment, Beijing's strategy is to stir up excitement and create a feel-good atmosphere. Creating an illusion about a contested election is part of the scheme. Another is the so-called olive branch to the Democrats. The Chinese have said the formation of the Selection Committee is the first real step towards democracy, so the charade must go on. The Hong Kong people may be too smart to fall for such a ploy, yet they must learn that they will never have a say over their own destiny if they do not have the courage to stand up for their rights.