More active American involvement is likely in Hong Kong during and after the handover, according to former local Xinhua (New China News Agency) director Xu Jiatun. Mr Xu said it was probable despite China's warning against foreign interference. He told Newsweek: 'The United States has considerable interests in Hong Kong. Some Americans have no confidence in China. Adding to that are Britain's hopes that Washington will get involved. China does not want Hong Kong to become a political card, but the possibility of the US playing this card gets bigger.' Mr Xu, who defected to the US in 1990, was optimistic about the handover but said the key lay with how China dealt with groups. He said China would suffer politically and economically if it did not handle Hong Kong well. 'If Hong Kong's economy crashes, Beijing would have to put up $250 billion to subsidise it.'