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Politics

Britain 'delusional' over Chinese democracy: ex-Gov. Patten

Former top U.K. official hoped for best when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997

Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, does an interview ahead of the publication of his memoirs "The Hong Kong Diaries." The book's release coincides with the 25th anniversary of the former British colony's handover to China.   © AP

LONDON/HONG KONG -- Britain was "delusional" for thinking China's economic rise would guarantee its transition to a democratic nation that would respect Hong Kong's semi-autonomous status, the city's last colonial governor says.

Chris Patten, who governed the former British colony for five years, recently recalled being asked why the world's oldest parliamentary democracy was handing back a territory with civil liberties to a country with no such guarantees.

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