Hong Kong Diaries
Chris Patten Interviewed by Rana Mitter
Friday, 16 September 2022
£7 - £15
The last British Governor of Hong Kong and former Tory party chairman Lord Chris Patten talks about the five years he spent in the colony, its handing over to the Chinese, and subsequent events. He also reflects on the current state of UK and world affairs and on the Conservative party.
Patten talks about the way the British colony was run and what happened as the handover approached. This includes fresh insight into negotiating with the Chinese, how institutions of democracy were strengthened and how he sought to ensure a strong element of self-government would continue. He reveals how his opponents included not only the Chinese but also British businessmen and civil servants anxious to stay on the right side of Beijing.
Patten is Chancellor of Oxford University. He was MP for Bath between 1979 and 1992 and served in the cabinets of both Margaret Thatcher and John Major. He was Governor of Hong Kong between 1992 and 1997 and European Commissioner for External Relations from 1999 until 2004. The Observer described him as ‘the best Tory prime minister we never had’.
Here he talks to University of Oxford professor of the history and politics of modern China and director of the university’s China Centre Professor Rana Mitter, author of China’s Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism.