China

Lu Ping: Chinese official who oversaw Hong Kong handover dies

Lu Ping 1993
Image caption Lu Ping helped draft Hong Kong's mini constitution - the Basic Law

Lu Ping, the Chinese official who oversaw Hong Kong's transition from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, has died at the age of 87.

Beijing's chief negotiator in the years before handover, Lu was known for his hard-line stance.

He notoriously called Hong Kong's last British Governor Chris Patten a "sinner for a thousand years" for making the territory's elections more democratic.

Lu also helped draft Hong Kong's mini constitution, the Basic Law.

Lu was appointed director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) in 1990 and retired in 1997, just days after the handover.

He continued to comment on Hong Kong's future saying in a 2009 interview that the city should stop relying on favours from Beijing and improve its competitiveness, according to the South China Morning Post.

The interpretation of the Basic Law has been widely debated in recent months with some arguing it allows for Hong Kong to eventually have its leaders nominated by the general public.

However, China decided last year that candidates in the 2017 election must first be approved by a pro-Beijing committee, sparking more than two months of street protests by pro-democracy activists.

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