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Talks Stall on HKs Future

Talks Stall on HKs Future

BEIJING (AP) - China indicated Feb. 18 it will not resume talks with Britain over

the future of Hong Kong until the colony's government abandons a democratic reform

plan.

The last round of negotiations on the British colony's transfer to China in 1997

ended in December with a Chinese threat to boycott future talks unless the proposals

made by Hong Kong governor Chris Patten were dropped.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Li Jianying said at a news conference the reform package

must be abandoned "to resume the cooperation" between the two sides. Recent

rumors that were planted sent Hong Kong's stock market on a roller coaster the past

week.

Beijing opposes Patten's plans, fearing more freedom in Hong Kong will feed dissent

at home.

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