//
you're reading...
Daily History

December 19 1984 Britain and China sign Hong Kong return agreement


Hong Kong Return TreatyOn December 19th 1984, in the Hall of the People in Beijing, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an accord committing Britain to give Hong Kong back to China in 1997. In return, China incorporated terms pledging a 50 year continuation of Britain’s capitalist system. Hong Kong, a small peninsula and group of islands extending out from China’s Kwangtung province, was leased by China to Great Britain in 1898 for 99 years.

In 1839, in the First Opium War, Britain marched into China to crush resistance to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of war was to occupy Hong Kong, a lightly inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China gave up the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi. In 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War. At the end of the Second Opium War (1856-1860), China was forced to give up the Kowloon Peninsula, adjoining Hong Kong Island, along with other area islands.

Britain’s new colony flourished as an East-West trading centre and as the commercial gateway and distribution centre for southern China. On July 1, 1898, Britain was granted an additional 99 years of rule over the Hong Kong colony under the Second Convention of Peking. 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.

On December 19, 1984, after years of negotiations, British and Chinese leaders signed a formal pact approving the 1997 turnover of the colony in exchange for the formulation of a “one country, two systems” policy by China’s communist government. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called the agreement “a landmark in the life of the territory, in the course of Anglo-Chinese relations, and in the history of international diplomacy.” Hu Yaobang, the Chinese Communist Party’s secretary-general, called the signing “a red-letter day, an occasion of great joy” for China’s one billion people.

At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was peaceably handed over to China in a ceremony attended by numerous international dignitaries, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A few thousand citizens of Hong Kong protested the turnover, which was otherwise celebratory and peaceful. The chief executive of the new Hong Kong government, Tung Chee Hwa, did enact a policy based upon the concept of one country, two systems, thus preserving Hong Kong’s role as a principal capitalist centre in Asia.

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “December 19 1984 Britain and China sign Hong Kong return agreement

  1. Reblogged this on China Daily Mail.

    Posted by China Daily Mail | December 19, 2012, 15:25
  2. Raises the question – if Maggie had said “Up yours, you Commie rats, we’re keeping it!”… what then?

    Posted by Gregoryno6 | December 22, 2012, 03:21
  3. From what I understand of the treaty Britain was only obligated to hand over some of the Hong Kong territories but decided it would either be easier to hand it all back or simply impractical to keep part of Hong Kong when the rest reverted to Chinese rule.

    Posted by Stephen Liddell | December 26, 2012, 02:24

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: February 12 1912 Last Emperor Of China Abdicates « Craig Hill - February 12, 2012

  2. Pingback: February 12 1912 Last Emperor Of China Abdicates « Craig Hill - February 12, 2012

  3. Pingback: February 12 1912 Last Emperor Of China Abdicates | China Daily Mail - March 4, 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,942 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

  • RT @danilic: From friend in UK "the first 10 minutes of the BBCs 9pm news tonight was dedicated to Australia’s appalling commitment to clim… 1 hour ago
  • While the Chinese government's stated aim is to lift their people out of poverty, the Australian government seeks t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 9 hours ago
  • RT @marquelawyers: As it turns out, The Australian Way is to dodgy up a pile of bullshit the night before your assignment is due and try to… 15 hours ago
  • So the Courier Mail and the Daily Telegraph published a fairly positive and in depth analysis of The Australian Dem… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 16 hours ago
  • RT @TamePunk: “[we] would not see it as one that aligns directly to what Grace is wanting to achieve. [The Healing Foundation] are broader… 23 hours ago

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Cadence Column: Asia, October 25, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, October 25, 2021

Taiwan was thrust into a position without being asked. In 1971, the United Nations removed the Taipei-seated government known today as “Taiwan” and switched to recognizing the Beijing-based government known as “China”. The Taiwanese were elbowed out of the global forum. Now, the US is working to bring Taiwan back in, but not the same […]

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade policies have come under strong criticism during a review at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US accused China of “skewing the playing field” by using “unfair trade practices” such as preferential treatment for state businesses. Meanwhile Australia said the country’s behaviour was “inconsistent” with its WTO commitments. China said it was committed […]

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

The world is waking up to the fact that maybe being dependent upon China for its goods is not such a good idea. In 2019 at about the same time the US was closing on the trade deals with China, COVID emerged in China. In 2019 China’s economy was also beginning to slow down. COVID […]

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

A NASA official told Congress on Wednesday that the United States needs more nuclear spacecrafts in order to compete with China. “Strategic competitors including China are aggressively investing in a wide range of space technologies, including nuclear power and propulsion,” Bhavya Lal, NASA’s senior advisor for budget and finance, told the House Science, Space, and […]

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s […]

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

“Let’s fight a ‘people’s war’ against the spies, so that they cannot move a single step and have no place to hide!” That was the rallying cry of a Chinese military newspaper on social media over the weekend, as Beijing urges public vigilance against American espionage following the launch of a CIA mission center dedicated […]

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

As China struggles to control the latest surge of power shortages, the government seems to be hoping that the public will have short memories for how it has dealt with similar problems in the past. After months of downplaying the power crisis and recommending partial fixes, central government authorities belatedly acknowledged the spread of electricity […]

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end. But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, […]

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China is upgrading its nuclear missile-equipped submarines to make them harder for rival powers such as the US to detect, reports suggest. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has redesigned its type 094 submarines to make them quieter, The South China Morning Post reports. Defence experts believe the Chinese 094 submarine can carry and launch the […]

Could China’s economy collapse?

Could China’s economy collapse?

For almost half a century, Chinese officials have overseen one of the greatest economic transformations in human history. The country has gone from collectivized farms and famine to world-leading tech companies and gleaming megacities connected by superfast trains. More than 800 million Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as the Communist Party and its leader […]

%d bloggers like this: