Hong Kong Handover

The handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked the last of the significant colonies to leave the British Empire. There were still various islands and dependencies scattered around but none of them had the economic size and significance of Hong Kong. The handover was a fairly tawdry affair as the Chinese refused to participate in anything other than a perfunctory ceremony. As far as China was concerned, Hong Kong represented the last vestige of British humiliation towards China and the sooner the British were gone the better. Fortunately, China did not wish to completely kill off the capitalist goose which laid the golden eggs and were prepared to allow certain rights to Hong Kong with a 50 year transition period. Hong Kong was allowed to keep its judicial system, financial system and far more press freedom than on mainland China. However, it was not permitted to have a democratic government.

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by Stephen Luscombe