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OTTAWA, Sept 25 (LSN) – The Canadian Press reported yesterday that Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s last British governor, wrote in a recent book entitled “East and West” that Canadian support of last year’s proposed UN condemnation of human rights abuses in China was withdrawn by direct order of Prime Minister Jean Chretien despite the wishes of Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and other cabinet ministers. While the Canadian government had supported such a resolution for six years, it withdrew support at the crucial hour – after Chinese officials threatened Canadian business opportunities in China, the book alleges.  “Lloyd Axworthy … had been told in Peking by (Chinese Premier) Li Peng, so it is reliably said, that if Canada went ahead and supported the resolution the Chinese would take power-station projects away from Canadian firms,” wrote Patten. “Mr. Axworthy, to his credit, was outraged. So were several of his cabinet colleagues when he reported this back to them. But with Mr. Chretien, the prime minister, arguing on the other side, the decision went against Axworthy. Game, set and match to Li Peng. Canada, too, then opted for quiet dialogue.”  The Prime Minister’s Office has denied the allegations saying “There is no basis to Mr. Patten’s assertions.”

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