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Lord Patten warns China against hard-line approach to Hong Kong

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Lord Patten, Hong Kong's last British governor, listens to a reporter's questions during a promotion event of his new book First Confession in Hong Kong (AP)

Lord Patten, Hong Kong's last British governor, listens to a reporter's questions during a promotion event of his new book First Confession in Hong Kong (AP)

Lord Patten, Hong Kong's last British governor, listens to a reporter's questions during a promotion event of his new book First Confession in Hong Kong (AP)

Hong Kong's last British governor has urged Chinese president Xi Jinping not to treat the city's residents as dissidents.

Lord Patten's comments come amid flaring tensions over calls for independence on the semi-autonomous region's college campuses.

He was the UK's top official in Hong Kong until Beijing took control of the colony on July 1 1997.

In a speech during a visit to the city, Lord Patten said he hopes Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who took office earlier this year, will advise Mr Xi to refrain from taking a hard-line approach.

"I hope that she makes it clear to Beijing that talking about democracy in Hong Kong is not an act of subversion," he said.

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