November 11, 2005

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Patten Shows HK How It's Done

I get nostalgic every time I read about former Governor Chris Patten. I didn't always agree with what he tried to do, but his touch with the local people was Clintonesque. The former Conservative Party Chairman that ended up as Hong Kong's last Governor by being voted out of office ended up being the most savvy politician to have graced the city's political stage in modern times. He always knew when to talk tough, when to tell jokes, and when to give totally unprepared Hong Kong Chinese people big bear-hugs.

I like him particularly when he strongly advocates my deep belief that Hong Kong is a mature society that is ready for democracy, as he did yesterday:

"This is an extraordinarily mature society," the popular ex-governor, who is on a four-day visit, told business leaders. "People are asked to make very difficult choices everyday of the week. They are capable of making more."
Of course, he knows better than anyone that this city, wealthier than virtually any borough in Britain, has had the requisite capacity to make decisions for some time. But time has mellowed his tongue and shown him the value of tact with respect to China (and his former subordinate), as shown in a Q&A session reported by the Standard:
Asked during a talk at Hong Kong University later Thursday for his views on the latest reform package proposed by Chief Executive Donald Tsang, Patten ducked the issue.

"You know my view on democracy very clearly. If you don't, you must be living on Mars, or maybe in Pyongyang," he said. "I'm not going to set myself up as a football referee and comment on his [Tsang's] performance, but I'm sure Tsang will do the best possible job for Hong Kong."

Fei Peng for Chief Executive in 2012!

posted by HK Dave on 11.11.05 at 08:41 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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Chris Patten Swoops Through Hong Kong
Excerpt: So Simon picks up the Chris Patten article in The Standard. For those with Real Media or Windows Media you can check out this morning's Backchat at RTHK3 with Michael DelGoyer, Philip Bowring of FEER/SCMP/IHT/NYTimes, and joining at about the 14 minute ma
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The Gov.
Excerpt: I could actually picture him with a sportcoat emblazoned with GOV on the back, just like Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles. Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, returned to the territory to sell his book and talk to the people. Simon World has a p...
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Tracked: November 11, 2005 03:42 PM


I moved to Guangzhou in the summer of 1996 and I was captivated by Gov Patton's final months in office. A very saavy politician that really grew and nurtured the trust of the Hong Kong people. The best memory I have are of watching TVB News in Guangzhou...and when they would begin to show a report of one of his walk-abouts, the censors would put up the test pattern and cut off the report. Beauty.
Chris Patton for UN Secretary General!

posted by: GZ Expat on 11.11.05 at 03:33 PM [permalink]

"Such is the end of empire," :D

Looks like "James Hewitt's son" will be the next king. A new dynasty

posted by: sun bin on 11.14.05 at 01:04 PM [permalink]

Well, time has revealed which Briton had better intentions, was a better diplomat, and cared more about the city of Hong Kong.

posted by: HK Dave on 11.14.05 at 01:31 PM [permalink]

oops...the above comment was supposed to be for the old prince. sorry :(

posted by: sun bin on 11.14.05 at 06:40 PM [permalink]

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