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Abstract

When Governor Sir Murray MacLehose visited Beijing in 1979, Deng Xiaoping told him privately that the Chinese government must recover its sovereignty over Hong Kong.1 This incident marked the beginning of the 1997 question, which Beijing regarded as “a question left over from history.” At the end of the Opium War with the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, China ceded Hong Kong to Britain. After British and French troops occupied Beijing in 1859 and 1860, and destroyed the Summer Palace, the Qing government had no choice but to sign the Beijing Convention, which granted Britain the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island. In 1898, following the French, who had demanded a ninety-nine year lease of Guangzhou Bay, the British asked for a similar lease of the New Territories, which included 235 islands and two bays, up to the year 1997.2 The Chinese Communists never recognized the above treaties that the Qing government signed with the British. The expiration of the lease of the New Territories on June 30, 1997, however, forced Beijing to finally settle the Hong Kong question.

Keywords

Chinese Communist Party British Government Special Administrative Region Business Elite Unite Front 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Cindy Yik-yi Chu 2010

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  • Cindy Yik-yi Chu

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