The Chinese authorities were willing to deal with Lord Pattern, the last British governor of Hong Kong as the colony was returned to them. They should be prepared to accept him now as an intermediary between themselves and the people of Hong Kong who seem to find rule by fellow Chinese a lot less congenial than colonial rule from Britain whose governor took the trouble to learn Chinese.
It is not a matter of despatching a gun-boat or two to the Far East, it is a matter of showing the free world’s concern about our friends in HK to mainline China at a time when China needs to be getting on better with her neighbours. She also needs to be reminded how useful to her HK has been, left in a useful condition by a former colonial power with which Hong Kongers can continue strong and useful ties. Left to their own devices the people of Hong Kong could also help their mainland neighbours. Better surely persuasion rather than coercion.