Thatcher: Fears about HK proved groundless
[ 2007-06-20 16:33 ]
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
has said her fears that Hong Kong's economy could not prosper after the
handover have proved to be largely groundless .
British f ormer PM Margaret Thatcher
She said she has not been disappointed by Hong Kong's development since
Britain handed over the former colony to China a decade ago.
"I think we must be realistic," Thatcher said in an interview broadcast
Tuesday by British Broadcasting Corp. radio.
"Let's think over a moment how great our private worries were about
what would happen in Hong Kong after the handover. Now those worries have
largely proved groundless."
Britain formally withdrew from Hong Kong on June 30, 1997.
Thatcher, who was prime minister when the deal on Hong Kong's future
was signed in 1984, said the "one country, two systems" principle devised
by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping was the key to an agreement about
"'One country, two systems' was developed some years earlier as an
approach to the issue of Taiwan." Thatcher said, adding the practice at
first did not seem to her as the way ahead for Hong Kong.
"What I wanted was a continuation of British administration. But when
this proved impossible I saw the opportunity to preserve most of what was
unique about Hong Kong by applying Mr. Deng's idea to our circumstances.
Thatcher, 81, has made few public comments or appearances since
suffering a series of strokes five years ago. This month, however, she
taped a message to British forces to mark the 25th anniversary of the
Falklands War with Argentina, as well as being interviewed by the
no ground or foundation;