SHANGHAI: The current US
administration has dangerously undermined traditional international politics,
and China and India must be encouraged to take on greater roles in solving
That was the message former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten delivered
yesterday in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
"I don't think that the transatlantic community, America and Europe, yet
understand sufficiently strongly that there isn't a big issue that we face
globally today that we can tackle unless China and India are not only part of
the solution but also the leadership of the solution," said Patten, former EU
commissioner and current member of Britain's House of Lords and chancellor of
the University of Oxford.
"For 50 years we've been used to calling the shots when it comes to
determining the global agenda; we can't do it any more. North Korea, Iran, the
environment, sharing out the world's commodities We need a rules-based system of
economic and political governance, and it's got to involve centrally China and
Visiting as part of a tour to promote his memoir "Not Quite the Diplomat,"
Patten or to give him his full title, Lord Patten of Barnes spent four days in
Hong Kong before arriving in Shanghai on Monday.
A controversial figure during his time as governor from 1992 to 1997 he
oversaw the handover of Hong Kong back to China Patten hit the headlines once
again on his latest visit to the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
This time he said it was an out-of- context quote on a new tax policy that
set the fur flying and had the former Conservative politician's literary agents
rubbing their hands with glee.
But despite the ups and downs of his governorship, Patten, 62, looks back on
the period with affection.
"I had a wonderful life in Hong Kong, and I think whether or not people
agreed with what I did, I think they recognize that I was completely committed
to Hong Kong, that I loved Hong Kong and I've gone on speaking very positively
about it ever since," he said.
At a speech to paying guests at the Glamour Bar on Shanghai's Bund last
night, he told the audience that he regarded his five years in the region as the
greatest privilege of his life.
"I think Hong Kong has a terrific future, and that future will obviously
benefit from economic progress... and help economic progress (on the Chinese
mainland)," he said.
But his main focus was on the need for improved international co-operation
and China's ever-increasing global importance.