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Patten changed the definition of functional constituencies, which the Chinese government no doubt viewed as a way of introducing democracy by sleight of hand, creating a status quo different from what had been agreed in the Joint Declaration.

But it's surely wrong to say that he changed the Basic Law itself, because it only came into effect after the handover and was never part of the laws of the British colony of Hong Kong. The Basic Law was drafted on the basis of the Joint Declaration, but Britain was not involved in writing it.

by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 11:43:28 AM EST
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