From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1981 Hong Kong's political adviser, David Wilson, returned to the city to announce that Mount Kongur, a peak in Xinjiang's Kunlun range, had been successfully climbed for the first time. Dr Wilson (who was soon to become governor of Hong Kong) had climbed as high as 6,000 metres, leaving mountaineer Chris Bonington's team 1,719 metres short of the summit, which they reached shortly thereafter. Dr Wilson said he took part in the climb 'purely in a private capacity because I have a love of mountains'. Fluent in Mandarin, he was responsible for conveying the news of 'Kongur's conquest' (as per the accompanying headline) to the Chinese Mountain Association in Beijing. The message was conveyed via walkie-talkie, horseback and then by the telephone of a road gang working on the Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan and China. An editorial said that 'Hongkong has a particular reason for feeling pleased that a team of British climbers succeeded in climbing Mt Kongur. Not only was there a Hongkong representative in the early part of the climb, but it was sponsored by a leading Hongkong company, Jardine, Matheson.' The Sohar, a replica of an 8th century Arab trading vessel, sailed into Hong Kong from Guangzhou. 'The vessel had sailed to Canton [Guangzhou] from Oman to prove that Sinbad the Sailor's legendary voyage to the Orient is rooted in fact,' said a caption to a picture showing only the vessel's bowsprit. Deng Xiaoping , 'still regarded as China's top leader', guaranteed Louis Cha Leung-yung, chairman and president of Hong Kong's Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao, 'that China's present policies will continue'. The Post reported that 'in the past three years, Mr Deng has been setting aside what he regards as unrealistic and divisive policies by the late 'great helmsman' [Mao Zedong] to concentrate on unity, modernisation and improving living standards'. Deng was speaking after a meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee, which had chosen his ally, Hu Yaobang, as the country's official leader and demoted to vice-chairman Hua Guofeng, Mao Zedong's chosen successor. Other 'great tasks' facing the mainland 'were the struggle against 'hegemonism', China's word for the Soviet Union, and to safeguard world peace - and to reunify Taiwan with the mainland'. Hong Kong risked being drawn into the controversy over South Africa's Springbok rugby team's tour of New Zealand, Michael Chugani, now an occasional columnist for this newspaper, reported from London. In reply to a question tabled in the House of Lords, the British government 'has said firmly it will not instruct the Hongkong government to block the South Africans' on their way home after the tour ended in two months' time. The controversy divided the Commonwealth and triggered angry riots in New Zealand, where the Springboks played their first match - 'an unconvincing win against Poverty Bay', with jeering anti-apartheid demonstrators shouting insults from the touchline, as shown in a picture published in the Post. The question of whether the Springboks would be allowed to return home via Hong Kong was tabled by Lord Brockway, who as the MP Fenner Brockway had been under MI5 surveillance for 40 years because of his close links to the Communist Party. Lord Brockway 'often asked questions about Hong Kong in the Upper House', Chugani reported. This time, Lord Brockway inquired about 'the Colony's position' in light of New Zealand Prime Minister Brian Muldoon's (ostensible) opposition to the tour 'and the fact that the Australian Government had refused the South Africans transit permits'. In reply, Britain's Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington said 'South Africans did not need transit visas for Hongkong and made it clear the British Government would not ask the Hongkong Government to refuse transit facilities'. Chugani wrote that if the South Africans did return home via Hong Kong, this would expose the colony to sharing with New Zealand the risk of being 'shunned by the Commonwealth countries'. In the end, the question of Springboks in Hong Kong proved moot: the South Africans went home by the same route along which they had come to New Zealand, via the United States.