Monday, 4 May 2015

Patten's Foe Passes Away

Those were the days: Chris Patten and Lu Ping, verbal sparring partners
Lu Ping, Beijing's top official who oversaw the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, died on Sunday night of cancer. He was 87 years old.

He jointed the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in the late 1970s and became director of the office in 1990. Lu also served as deputy secretary general of the Basic Law Drafting Committee from 1985 to 1990, which is now Hong Kong's mini constitution.

Lu was best known for calling former governor Chris Patten in 1993 a "sinner for 1,000 years" for tweaking the electoral system to allow more Hong Kong people to elect lawmakers.

However, 15 years later, he reversed his judgment on Patten, by praising him on Phoenix TV, calling the former governor a brilliant and resolute politician.

He retired as HKMAO director days after July 1, 1997, but still closely watched what was happening in Hong Kong.

Many locals were annoyed with his pro-China comments, saying things like, "Those who do not recognize they are Chinese should look at what is written on their passports, or they should renounce their Chinese nationality", criticizing those fighting for Hong Kong independence.

Nevertheless in a 2009 interview, he said Hong Kong should stop relying on Beijing and improve its competitiveness.

Six years later he is still correct.

Did no one in the Hong Kong government heed his advice?


  1. Here is an excerpt from HK Government's Digital 21 strategy: " Information and communications technology (ICT) is not only a key enabler underpinning Hong Kong’s thriving economy, it is also taking shape as an economic sector in its own right. The 78 000 strong workforce constitutes roughly only 2% of the total labour force, but contributes around 6.1% of our GDP. We have come a long way since issue of the first Digital 21 Strategy in 1998 setting out the blueprint for ICT development in Hong Kong..."

    HK Govt. sounds not-so-bad after all? Trying to promote competitive business sectors, to replace "real estate" parasites.

    1. Hi Anonymous -- But what exactly does the information and communications technology sector do? Are they the ones selling us smartphones or are they building websites or what?

  2. No, no -- selling is for private, "for profit" sector.. Governments (here & elsewhere) have policies for future growth. HK Govt, like others, does have contracts for software services, awards for innovation, etc. Just visit their websites for information.