Beijing Official Lu Ping Dies At 87

May 4, 2015 – China’s former top representative in Hong Kong – who once branded the colony’s last British governor Chris Patten a “sinner for a thousand years” – has died aged 87, the government said earlier today.

Lu Ping, who oversaw the territory’s return to Chinese rule, passed away in a Beijing hospital yesterday, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) said in a statement.

Lu was appointed in 1985 as deputy secretary general of the Basic Law Drafting Committee, which drew up Hong Kong’s post-handover constitution. He was promoted to head the HKMAO in 1990 and retired in 1997 after the handover that year.

Lu was known for his hardline stance and denounced Patten at the height of a row over democratic reforms in Hong Kong, as the governor sought to widen the territory’s electoral franchise despite virulent Chinese opposition.

In 2009, he said in an interview that Hong Kong should stop relying on favours from Beijing, warning that the city risked falling behind its neighbours Guangzhou and Shenzhen and China’s financial hub Shanghai, according to reports.

“To be honest, Hong Kong has already been marginalised,” the newspaper quoted Lu as saying at the time.

Hong Kong saw more than two months of mass protests last year after China ruled that candidates in the city’s 2017 poll for chief executive must first be approved by a pro-Beijing committee.

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