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Hong Kong Governor Undergoes Heart Operation

February 3, 1993

HONG KONG (AP) _ Gov. Chris Patten successfully underwent a 3 1/2 -hour heart operation today to dilate two arteries.

Mike Hanson, Patten’s spokesman, said the operation at Queen Mary Hospital to enlarge the arteries using balloon catheters went smoothly and that the 48- year-old governor ″looks fine.″

Hanson said Patten first complained of chest pains two weeks ago and would remain hospitalized for two more days.

In medical terms, Patten underwent percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. His ailment is common to people who smoke, have high cholesterol diets or suffer from high blood pressure.

Patten, a former smoker nicknamed ″Fat Pang″ in Cantonese, has been at the forefront of a war of nerves with Beijing over his plans to increase democracy in Hong Kong before it reverts to Chinese rule in 1997.

The British colonial government is expected to present the package on constitutional reforms to the Legislative Council for ratification in two or three weeks in what promises to be another showdown with Beijing.

Zhou Nan, China’s top official in Hong Kong, suspended his personal attacks on Patten on Tuesday night by telling reporters he hoped Patten ″would regain his health at the earliest possible date.″

Beijing opposes Patten’s reforms because it fears more freedom in Hong Kong will feed dissent at home.

Patten, whose populist style contrasts sharply with the accommodating style of his predecessors, assumed the governor’s post in July.

Update hourly