October 9, 1998

Martin Lee Meets with British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Says "Too Early" to Judge the Success of "One Country Two Systems," "Disappointed" at Emphasis on Trade

In a private meeting this afternoon, Democratic Party Chairman Martin Lee told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that it was too early to judge the "one country, two systems" arrangement a success and expressed his disappointment with Great Britain's emphasis on good relations with China for the sake of trade.

Martin Lee commented after the meeting:

"Fighting for democracy is essentially a matter for the Hong Kong people, but I don't like foreign visitors to Beijing to make our work more difficult. I'm afraid the Prime Minister's statements in Beijing and here in Hong Kong have sent a very dangerous signal -- that establishing so-called ëgood relations' with Beijing is more important to Great Britain than following through on its commitments to Hong Kong.

"The ëone country, two systems' policy will truly be tested during a time of great stress on the mainland leadership. Judging it a success now is premature.

"The record voter turn out in the May 1998 Legislative Council Elections and the majority support given to pro-democracy candidates show democracy in Hong Kong should be accelerated. Great Britain's failure to recognize violations of the Joint Declaration, such as the establishment of the Provisional Legislative Council, is a great mistake and allows Beijing to feel that future violations of the agreement will not be challenged."

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