No matter that Annex II of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong, which provided for the establishment of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, stipulates that the body 'shall not be an organ of power'. Anyone who had followed the ups and downs of Sino-British relations up to 1997 found that the body was anything but what it was meant to be. The smooth transfer of sovereignty called for discussions between its past and future sovereigns. In areas such as ensuring the continual applications of international treaties to Hong Kong after 1997 and the conclusion of air services agreements, for example, the work of the JLG was necessary and valuable. Most of the time, however, the JLG was more a tool for China to keep an eye on the departing British administration to ensure it would not do anything against what Beijing considered to be the Hong Kong people's interests. But what really was in the best interests of Hong Kong? Suffice to say that at times Beijing got it right, while at other times London deserved the accolades. Yet, the truly remarkable occasions were when the two sides came out with agreements which were roundly condemned in Hong Kong. The composition of the Court of Final Appeal and the retention of the Official Secrets Ordinance were notable examples. Throughout its 15-year lifespan, there was never any doubt China had the upper hand in deciding what negotiators would 'liaise' about as they took turns to meet in Beijing, London and later Hong Kong. While both could propose items for discussion, it was the Chinese side which disposed. So given Beijing's attitude towards the case of British National (Overseas) passport holder Wu Man, apprehended in Thailand for crimes allegedly committed in Hong Kong and sent directly to the mainland, no one should be surprised if nothing concrete would come out of talks on the matter. As diplomats from both sides exchanged their final rounds of pleasantries today, Hong Kong officials who had attended the JLG discussions as members of the British and then the Chinese team are probably the ones who feel most relieved.