Beijing intervention would be a 'catastrophe' for China and HK, Chris Patten saysLocal | 13 Aug 2019 3:11 pm
Hong Kong's last British governor Chris Patten cautioned that if China intervened in Hong Kong it would be a catastrophe and that President Xi Jinping should see the wisdom of trying to bring people together, Reuters reports.
Patten said it was counter productive of the Chinese to warn of "other methods" if the protests did not stop.
"That would be a catastrophe for China and of course for Hong Kong," Patten told BBC radio. "Since President Xi has been in office, there's been a crackdown on dissent and dissidents everywhere, the party has been in control of everything."
Patten said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson should ask U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton who is in London this week to get Washington to agree that it would be a "catastrophe" if China was to intervene in Hong Kong.
"I very much hope that even after 10 weeks of this going on, the government and President Xi will see the sense in establishing a way of actually bringing people together," Patten said.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said today the city's recovery from protests
could take a long time and that she would be responsible for rebuilding its economy "after the violence eases.''
"There is a degree of frustration and anger at the government refusing to give any sensible ground at all which probably provokes more violence," Patten said.
"I can't believe that any rational person in Carrie Lam's position would actually argue the case against a commission of inquiry," he said.
"What's clearly needed is a process of reconciliation. It's the only way I think you'll put a cap on this and get back to peace and stability in Hong Kong."