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Some 36 years ago a woman who would come to be known as Hong Kong's "Iron Lady" gave Margaret Thatcher a test on morals. (Nikkei Montage/AP/Reuters/Jiji/AFP)
China up close

Hong Kong Iron Lady's nightmare scenario comes true

In a 1984 news conference, Margaret Thatcher shot down Emily Lau's concerns

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- When Margaret Thatcher visited Hong Kong in 1984, just after reaching an agreement with the Chinese on the return of Hong Kong, she attended a news conference where a reporter put a tough question to her.

"Prime Minister, two days ago you signed an agreement with China promising to deliver over 5 million people into the hands of a communist dictatorship," Emily Lau asked. "Is that morally defensible, or is it really true that in international politics the highest form of morality is one's own national interest?"

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