Peking officials hint deal on return of Hong Kong

China is ready to agree to a long transition period of British rule over Hong Kong if Britain first recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the territory, the Wall Street Journal said, quoting pro-Peking sources here.

The sources said visiting officials from Peking told them the interim period could last 25 to 50 years, and it would gradually lead to the transformation of the British colony into a self-governing special administrative zone of China.

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