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."