The Chinese Takeover Of Hong Kong Essay

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The Chinese Takeover Of Hong Kong Essay, Research Paper The Chinese Takeover of Hong KongBy: Trevor Moore The history as to who controls Hong Kong has been debated for nearly 170 years. In the 1830s, the British sale of opium to China was creating a nation of drug addicts. Because of this, the Chinese imperial government banned all imports of opium to China. Many private British ships continued to sell opium to China and eventually conflict erupted. The Opium War (1839-1842) ended with the defeat of China and the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. The treaty gave the British the right to trade with the Chinese from five Chinese ports and ceded “in perpetuity” a small island off the southern coast of China, Hong Kong. As a result of a British victory in 1860, Kowloon

Peninsula was also ceded “in perpetuity” to the British. The area known as “New Territories” was leased by China to the British for 99 years, as an outcome of the second Anglo-Chinese Convention of Peking in 1898. Hong Kong was administered as a British Crown Colony and remained so until the Japanese occupation during WWII. After Japan’s defeat in 1945, Hong Kong once again became a British colony. In 1949, when the Chinese Communist Party came to power, they proclaimed that Hong Kong was part of China stolen by the British Imperialists and that it was merely “occupied” by Great Britain. When the People’s Republic of China gained a seat in the United Nations in 1971 it protested Hong Kong and Macao being listed as colonies by the General Assembly’s Special

Committee on Colonialism. The people of Hong Kong wanted to continue to remain governed by the British and not ruled by the communist of China. The 1997 expiration date of the New Territories lease was approaching and something had to be done to ensure their way of life. Fear of business investments in the New Territories increased as 1997 drew closer. By 1980 the British colonial government felt it had to do something to protect its investors. The British pressed for an agreement with the Chinese on the future of the colony and the rights of its people. China and Great Britain came to an agreement in September 1984 to return all three parts of Hong Kong to the P.R.C. on July 1, 1997. Hong Kong would become a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of

China. To oversee the transition and to protect the people the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group and the Basic Law were created. The Basic Law was finalized in 1990 and was to serve as a “mini-constitution” for governing Hong Kong after the takeover by China in 1997. The SAR government is to be composed of local inhabitants and an elected legislature will be responsible for making the laws of the SAR. Although China’s NPC reserved the rights to approve all laws written between 1990 and 1997, Hong Kong’s judicial and legal system will remain nearly identical. Local authorities will enforce Hong Kong’s laws and instead of British troops, Chinese troops will occupy military bases in the SAR. The Joint Declaration and Basic Law permit China to rule Hong Kong but allows it to

be independent in controlling its own finances, budgeting, and revenue. It also guarantees Hong Kong’s residents freedom of speech, press, publication, association assembly, procession, and demonstration. The free flow of capital and the right to form and join trade unions and to strike is also secured. Hong Kong will have the right to make agreements with other nations, partake in international organizations, and issue its own travel documents to citizens and visitors. This ensures Hong Kong’s “capitalist system and lifestyle” for the next 50 years. While in Hong Kong in October 1997, I spoke with Fiona Tang. Miss Tang is a 22-year-old clerk and a lifetime resident of Hong Kong. She said there has not been a big change since the British turned over Hong Kong to China and