It is remarkable to note in passing that following New Labour’s landslide electoral victory in 1997, the toryite leader of the Labour Party – Tony Blair – actually chose to leave Chris Patten in place, presumably as his naturally rightwing political leanings, or so Blair thought, represented the New Labour ethos exactly. Of course, not to remain insular and Eurocentric about this serious matter, the British rightwing made use of Chris Patten to eulogise a dying idea of the despicable institution of ‘empire’, and inflicted Patten’s ignorance upon the Chinese people of Hong Kong, who had to continue to kowtow to the continuous injustices inflicted physically and psychologically upon them by the presence of foreign invaders, and their proselytising Judeo-Christian church. The measure of Chris Patten’s Eurocentric ignorance, racism, prejudice, and discriminative attitude, can be found with just a superficial reading of his memoirs of his time lording it over the Chinese people. He is unrepentant and fully committed to a ‘Little England’ mentality that simultaneously reduces the rest of the world to an uncivilised and as of yet unChristianised mess that is just waiting for people like him to save it from its own innate, inferior barbarism. It is true that by the time of his tenure, Hong Kong had been preparing for reversion back to Chinese rule for some time, and the British military and police forces were keeping a low profile so as not to antagonise the local Chinese population, or trigger the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from prematurely coming over the border and freeing the area by force.
‘Cen Xue Lu led an extraordinary life. He was directly involved within the Nationalist political and military movement that sought to end the imperial order and establish a modernisation of China very much in the Western model. He developed a reputation for sound and accurate scholarship, and later in his life became very interested in the Buddhist religion. He participated directly in the war against Japanese imperial aggression inHong Kong, and after 1949 assisted in the preservation of the Xu Yun biographical text. His diligence in the task of developing it allowed a Chinese readership to remember and learn about Xu Yun – at a time when Chinese traditional culture was being destroyed. This text, when translated into English (and other European languages) swept through a receptive Western world, bringing the life of Xu Yun to a new audience. Cen Xue Lu not only edited the Xu Yun text, but also protected it from external attack. His contribution to the preservation of Xu Yun’s memory is pivotal and vital. Without Cen Xue Lu’s presence in the world, it is unlikely that the Xu Yun text would have survived as it has to the present day. In this achievement, Cen Xue Lu should be remembered with respect.’