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EDIT CONTAINS 4:3 MATERIAL Various heads of state from across Asia offered their condolences Tuesday after the passing of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Thatcher a great prime minister.... In China, where Ms. Thatcher negotiated the return of former British colony Hong Kong to Communist China in 1997, officials called her a remarkable politician. Thatcher was the country's first and only female prime minsiter. She served three terms in office and was considered a polarising figure in the history of British politics. Australia's first female prime minster Julia Gillard spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Beijing. (SOUNDBITE)(English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, JULIA GILLARD SAYING: "Margaret Thatcher was a women who changed history for women." Thatcher died after suffering a stroke. She was 87 years old.