Hong Kong Ex-Governor: To Resist Elections Is ‘Spitting in The Wind’

Natasha Brereton-Fukui | 11 November 2013 | Wall Street Journal

Any erosion of Hong Kong’s economic independence could not only threaten its desirability as an international financial center but hurt China as well, the last governor of the former British colony said in an interview, adding it was inevitable that the authorities would have to give residents greater sway over how the territory is run.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal during a trip to Singapore, Chris Patten – who governed Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997 – said the core challenge for Hong Kong had always been to combine its openness with the Chinese success story.

“The only thing [Hong Kong] doesn’t have is the right to elect its own government, and sooner or later it will have, because you can’t give people control over all the economic and social decisions in their lives but not allow them to determine who collects their rubbish or how their children should be educated or how their health service should be run,” Lord Patten said. “Anybody who tries to resist that is, I think, spitting in the wind.”

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