U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pressure British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874–1965) to return the island to China as a concession for its support in the war, but Churchill refused. If you’re not already a British … While the People's Republic of China rejected the democratization of Hong Kong, the region had become enormously lucrative. With the heavy British hand that still remains in Hong Kong, many expats feel as if it is a home away from home. But before Hong Kong was returned, the UK and China made an agreement to introduce "one country, two systems". Victoria's government decided to forcibly export opium from the British-colonized Indian subcontinent to China. As a result, Hong Kong became a crown colony of the British Empire. On Jan. 1 of this year, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand the resignation of embattled chief executive Leung Chun-ying and universal elections for his replacement. "There is a growing mood of protest against and opposition to China, which has to do with the huge pressure and interference Beijing imposes on Hong Kong," Poon said. In 1836, the Manchu Qing government undertook a major policy review of the opium trade, which had been introduced to the Chinese by first Persian then Islamic traders over many centuries. There, opium would then be exchanged for tea. Learn how Hong Kong has changed since then, including for travelers, and where the city might be headed. China’s civil aviation authority issued a warning to Hong Kong’s carrier, Cathay Pacific, about the involvement of its staff in protests. However, Britain did not possess sufficient silver to trade with the Qing Empire. If they want to remain in the UK for a longer period or for a purpose other than as a visitor, BN(O)s have to apply for a UK visa. Some things were unsatisfactory. Under the terms of its 1997 handover to China, Hong Kong was guaranteed the continuation of existing freedoms of expression and association for 50 years. "That interference is getting more and more obvious, and more and more serious.". British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997. British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997. There was a high demand for Chinese tea, silk and porcelain in the British market. Viceroy Lin Zexu took on the task of suppressing the opium trade. After the agreement, Britain began to implement a broader level of democracy in Hong Kong. On Dec. 19, 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang (1919–2005) signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which Britain agreed to return not only the New Territories but also Kowloon and British Hong Kong itself when the lease term expired. The primary motive of British imperialism in China in the nineteenth century was economic. At the time, most of Britain didn't view opium as a particular danger; to them, it was a medicine. The retrocession is considered by some to definitively mark the end of the British Empire. Such a survey is certainly not allow to be done officially. What You Should Know About Unequal Treaties, The Fall of China's Qing Dynasty in 1911–1912, The History of Putonghua and Its Use Today, Conflict Theory Case Study: The Occupy Central Protests in Hong Kong, Timeline of World War II From 1939 to 1945, The Future of Hong Kong: A Hong Kong 'Belonger's' View. The lease ended on July 1, 1997, and since then tensions between the democratically minded Hong Kong population and the People's Republic of China have continued, although Hong Kong remains functionally separate from the Chinese mainland. Some things were unsatisfactory. After the war Churchill decided that, despite American pressure, and the claims of Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist government in China, Hong Kong would remain a British colony. Their big ships and military might meant China had little choice at the end of the first opium war. Several times in the first half of the 20th century, Britain considered relinquishing the lease to China because the island simply wasn't important to England anymore. In practice, few did. This is partly because the the declaration reflected the value that the British placed on Hong Kong. No, the ship has sailed on that one. But before Hong Kong was returned, the UK and China made an agreement to introduce "one country, two systems". Hong Kong was first incorporated into China in 243 BCE, during the Warring States period and as the Qin state was beginning to grow in power. In 1997, the British handed Hong Kong back to China, the end of a 99-year lease and an event that was dreaded and anticipated by the residents, Chinese, English, and rest of the world. Hong Kong has always had lots of British values. As a result, the British were given the island of Hong Kong and trading rights in the ports of Canton and Shanghai. However, my vision is that of a European. After the Joint Declaration was signed, power shifted to the Chinese. Many see the island territory as a feisty place corrupted by Western political thought, a legacy of its time under British rule. Half a million people in Hong Kong went on marches to protest. Although British imperialism never politically took hold in mainland China, as it did in India or Africa, its cultural and political legacy is still evident today. In 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang negotiated the underlying plan for the lease to end, such that Hong Kong would remain a semi-autonomous region for a 50-year period after the lease ended. Democratic and human rights have been major issues since the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1997. We have law and order, the English language, some common cultural values and regulations. Hong Kong includes 426 square miles of territory in the South China Sea, and it is today one of the most densely occupied and economically independent parts of the world. The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 dictated the terms under which Hong Kong was returned to China. There are several buildings that remain from the colonial period as well, standing as a living testament to the British rule that was once exercised over Hong Kong. If they want to remain in the UK for a longer period or for a purpose other than as a visitor, BN(O)s have to apply for a UK visa. An informal online poll by a Hong Kong newspaper inspired by a recent referendum in the Falkland Islands shows that 92 percent of readers who voted … He did not want to damage Hong Kong’s enormous economic value, but he was prepared to weather any storm to erase the shame of the unequal treaties. "The government didn't interfere with the media; it respected Hong Kong's local culture, so people naturally gave their allegiance to the British," the user wrote. He said the government had paid more attention to public opinion and traditional freedoms under British rule and that the gap between rich and poor had been narrower. "The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of Modern China." He said recent disputes between Hong Kongers and their compatriots across the internal border such as the buying up of infant formula milk by mainland traders had exacerbated the problem. Hong Kong's British governors pressed for outright ownership, but the Chinese, while weakened by the first Sino-Japanese War, negotiated a more reasonable cession to finally end the war. The treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British. There were few advocates for decolonisation of Hong Kong from the British rule during the post-war period, notably Ma Man-fai and the Democratic Self-Government Party of Hong Kong in the 1960s but the fruitless movement ceased to exist without substantial support from the public. If you’re not already a British national (overseas), you cannot apply to become one. After the war Churchill decided that, despite American pressure, and the claims of Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist government in China, Hong Kong would remain a British colony. The first democratic government in Hong Kong was formed in the late 1980s, consisting of functional constituencies and direct elections. Post-Handover Identity: Contested Cultural Bonding Between China and Hong Kong. On July 1, 1997, the lease ended and the government of Great Britain transferred control of British Hong Kong and the surrounding territories to the People's Republic of China. Britain invaded the Chinese mainland and occupied the island of Hong Kong on Jan. 25, 1841, using it as a military staging point. Just like the British, Hong Kong still drives on the left side of the road. It was given to them in perpetuity. At the end of World War II, Britain still controlled Hong Kong, although the Americans continued to pressure it to return the island to China. Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese from 1941 to 1944 during World War II but remained in British hands throughout the various Chinese political upheavals of the 20th century. China’s rulers already revile Hong Kong’s independent streak. In 1949, although the victorious PLA had been fully prepared to march to the border and retake Hong Kong, the enclave was allowed to remain under … Today, it is considered one of the most significant financial centers and trade ports in the world. After 1997, Hong Kong's capitalist economy and way of life - including its legal system - would remain unchanged for 50 years. Kallie Szczepanski. Hong Kong vs. China: What's All the Fighting About? That legally binding lease was to last 99 years. The culture in Hong Kong is different from mine in Europe. The Communist party, for example, throttled back on the promises it had made about Hong Kong… British Hong Kong was a colony and dependent territory of the British Empire from 1841 to 1997, apart from a brief period under Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945.The colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War.The island was ceded by Qing Empire in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843. The Communist party, for example, throttled back on the promises it had made about Hong Kong… A new China's national security law appears to be convincing even more people to leave. It was an isolated island, surrounded by areas still under Chinese control. Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese from 1941 to 1944 during World War II but remained in British hands throughout the various Chinese political upheavals of the 20th century. As Hong Kong’s former colonial power, Britain played a primary role in the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty more than two decades ago. Anxiety over the city's political future sparked an "Occupy Central" movement in the downtown business district last year, with participants calling for universal suffrage by the next election. All … In March 1839, he became Special Imperial Commissioner in Canton, where he ordered the foreign traders to surrender their opium stock. Hong Kong legislator and political activist Leung Kwok-hung, known by his nickname "Long Hair," said that while the poll wasn't a scientific survey, it gave a snapshot of public sentiment towards Beijing in the years since the 1997 handover to Chinese rule. The British grew increasingly worried about the security of their free port in British Hong Kong during the second half of the 19th century. The reason they returned the small islands along with the rest of Hong Kong has a few reasons. Before the British government handed Hong Kong over in 1997, China agreed to allow the region considerable political autonomy for fifty years under a … I do not know the real situation there in Hong Kong. It was like so many other places around the world, a stolen plunder of empire, an … The reason being, Britain was the dominant global power when vehicle traffic started to take off in the early 1900s, and laws stated that, for British colonies, all vehicles must drive on the left. The poll comes shortly after comments from China's new leadership at the National People's Congress (NPC) session, calling on Hong Kong to be patriotic and to put their trust in Beijing. There were politicians in England such as William Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898) who did recognize the danger and objected strenuously; but at the same time, there were men who made their fortunes, such as the prominent U.S. opium trader Warren Delano (1809–1898), the grandfather of future president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945). Definition and Considerations. The stability of those changes became doubtful after the Tiananmen Square incident (Beijing, China, June 3–4, 1989) when an undetermined number of protesting students were massacred. An informal online poll by a Hong Kong newspaper inspired by a recent referendum in the Falkland Islands shows that 92 percent of readers who voted think Hong Kongers would prefer a return to British rule. One commenter said: "Sixteen years after the handover, pro-British feeling is still pretty strong," while another said, "This result should worry anyone who loves China and loves Hong Kong.". Media commentator Poon Siu-to said that, even without the poll, it was clear that Hong Kong people felt the city had gone downhill since the handover. For a period of 50 years after the end of the lease, Hong Kong would remain a free port with a separate customs territory and sustain markets for free exchange. It announced that up to three million Hong Kong Chinese who hold British ... prefer living in the west and apply for the right to remain. For this reason, many expats experience a minor culture shock upon relocating and adjust rather quickly. China, however, was experiencing an opium crisis, with its military forces suffering direct impacts from their addictions. The Imperial Japanese occupation of Hong Kong began when the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Young, surrendered the British Crown colony of Hong Kong to the Empire of Japan on 25 December 1941. Option? the value that the British grew increasingly worried about the security of free... 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