25 February 2020

Chris Patten

The last British Governor of Hong Kong; a former EU commissioner for external affairs; Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
  • Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last colonial governor, oversaw its return to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997. Photo: HKEJ

    20 years after the Hong Kong handover

    - Jun 29, 2017 11:05am
    Twenty years after Hong Kong changed from being governed at arm’s length from London to Chinese sovereignty, it still remains one of the freest and most successful cities in Asia. Is that because of the guarantees...
  • Menacing noises from China, together with the Hong Kong government’s failure to attempt a sensible dialogue with its critics, have driven many democracy activists to extremism. Photo: AFP

    Hong Kong’s independence trap

    - Dec 8, 2016 12:49pm
    Nearly 40 years ago, when I visited Moscow for the first time, my initial reaction was surprise. The hotels and restaurants were so poorly run that it seemed shocking that the military could be run competently...
  • Narrowing the yawning divide in British society will be a major challenge for Theresa May. Photo: Reuters

    Why Brexit won’t benefit those who chose it

    - Aug 31, 2016 9:29am
    Britain’s new prime minister, Theresa May, has a monumental task ahead of her: fulfilling British – or, more accurately, English and Welsh – voters’ demand to “Brexit” the European Union, and managing the far-reaching consequences of...
  • Will Britain, after leaving the EU, still be a country with a tolerant and plural society, proud of its institutions and its constitutional traditions, and admired for its values throughout the world? Photo: Bloomberg

    Britain in search of a country

    - Jul 22, 2016 9:31am
    The Brexit vote has smashed much of the infrastructure of Britain’s economic and political relations with Europe and the world. Those who campaigned for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, largely on the basis...
  • The decision to leave the EU will dominate British national life for the next decade, if not longer. Photo: Reuters

    A British tragedy in one act

    - Jun 27, 2016 4:31pm
    Thursday night is said to have been momentous for those who campaigned to leave the European Union and turn Britain’s back on the twenty-first century. On that, at least, I can agree. As Cicero wrote: “O...
  • The Republican Party’s establishment is scrambling to convince itself that Ted Cruz (left), an arrogant, bullying extremist, is not as ghastly as they have always told people he is, because it fears Donald Trump even more. Photo: AAP

    What’s wrong with normal?

    - Apr 27, 2016 9:40am
    In Britain these days, one can’t avoid hearing and seeing more and more about the wretched campaign to spit in the face of the world (and of reality) and quit the European Union. Visiting the United...
  • The Hong Kong government thinks that because students took part in pro-democracy protests in 2014, their universities should be brought to heel. Meanwhile, freedom of speech is threatened by booksellers being disappeared. Photo: HKEJ

    Academic freedom under attack

    - Feb 23, 2016 8:13am
    I would wager that I have been chancellor of more universities than anyone alive today. This is partly because when I was governor of Hong Kong, I was made chancellor of every university in the city....
  • In a tolerant society, there is no reason Christians celebrating the festival of Christmas should give offense to anyone else. Photo: Bloomberg

    A very tolerant Christmas

    - Dec 22, 2015 8:02am
    Christmas is coming – and has been, it seems, since mid-autumn. And just in case there was any sign of flagging, we now have Black Friday, an export from the United States, when we are all...
  • 'Unite against barbarism!' is scribbled in French on a wall in Paris. Photo: AFP

    The fight against terrorism is everyone’s

    - Nov 23, 2015 8:59am
    I traveled to Paris from London last Monday. It takes two-and-a-half hours by train. We are neighbors, our histories and populations intertwined. My 10-year-old granddaughter will go there next week with her parents as a birthday treat....
  • The meeting between Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Xi Jinping underline the cordial but wary nature of the relationship between Taiwan and the mainland. Hong Kong's example suggests what reunification might entail. Photo: Reuters

    A Chinese dinner for two, and a lesson from Hong Kong

    - Nov 11, 2015 10:41am
    A great deal of water has flowed through the Taiwan Strait in the 70 years since the leader of China’s Communists, Mao Zedong, met the leader of his nationalist opponents, Chiang Kai-shek. So the recent meeting...
  • Pope Francis, accompanied by President Barack Obama, greets children upon his arrival at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington DC for his first US visit. Photo: Reuters

    Coming to America: Why Pope Francis visit is an epic event

    - Sep 23, 2015 9:45am
    It’s a dollar to a cent that Pope Francis’s visit to the United States will be one of the biggest news stories of 2015. Take the sheer number of American Catholics, add the diplomatic skill of...
  • Jeremy Corbyn won't win a general election for Labor, a reality that has caused some Conservatives to respond to his victory as though they had won the lottery. Photo: Reuters

    Why Britain’s populist fantasies are dangerous

    - Sep 15, 2015 10:22am
    The election of Jeremy Corbyn as the new leader of the British Labor Party is a reminder that life is rich with paradox. Globalization — the web of travel, technology, trade, and information that binds the...
  • A failed nuclear deal with Iran would have inevitably caused other countries in the region, probably beginning with Saudi Arabia, into a race to acquire nuclear weapons. Ten countries, including North Korea, have them. Photo: Huffington Post

    What could happen if the Iran nuclear deal had not been made

    - Jul 17, 2015 9:40am
    Let us give praise where it is richly deserved. Despite all the criticism they faced, US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, stuck doggedly to the task of negotiating a deal with...