Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans says the British Government has been too slow in bringing democratic institutions to Hong Kong. On yesterday's RTHK Radio 3's Letter to Hong Kong, he said: 'I for one think, frankly, that the moves to democratise the institutions of government, to codify fundamental and political and civil rights came far too late, making it far too easy for the cynics in Beijing and elsewhere to have their day.' He praised Governor Chris Patten's move to introduce a more representative form of government. Mr Evans, deputy leader of the Australian opposition, hailed democracy and human rights as something to be enjoyed by everyone. 'Everyone, as a matter of basic, fundamental, universal, human rights - wherever they live, and under whatever system of government - should be able to talk openly and write openly, be it with friends or family or through the news media, about what they think is wrong about the way in which they are governed,' he said. 'It is not a matter of Western values versus Asian values.' He called on China to honour its pledges after the handover to allow Hong Kong people to rule Hong Kong as well as to keep the territory's democratic process going. Mr Evans warned that the international community would be less confident about Hong Kong if China failed to keep its promises. Mr Evans also revealed his early links with the territory. He said that his uncle, a former Australian Air Force pilot, was hired just after the war by Cathay Pacific Airways, now the territory's flag carrier, to fly its very first aircraft.