News In Brief

British official off to speed Hong Kong's China transition

Sir Geoffrey Howe, the British foreign secretary, embarked yesterday for Hong Kong on a mission to speed up negotiations on an agreement to return the British crown colony to Chinese rule. China insists on an accord by September.

Much of the territory of Hong Kong was ceded to Britain by China in a series of treaties dating back to 1843. The colony is scheduled to revert to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

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