On July 1, 1997, The British returned Hong Kong to Mainland China. How many people around the world know Hong Kong’s history?
To understand, it helps to learn that negotiations to return Hong Kong to China started in 1979, but what happened in 1839 is also important.
Imagine if Russia had invaded the United States in the 19th century and after crushing America’s military, they occupied the area where New York City is located and kept it for 156 years while using it as a trading hub to export cocaine and heroin without restrictions into the United States until every American family has one or more members that were addicted to these horrible drugs. That is what happened to China.
The video is included to learn what happened to Hong Kong and not as an indictment of China.
History dot com reports, “In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China (forced) ceded the island to the British, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.”
Hong Kong’s territory was acquired from three separate treaties: the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the Convention of Peking in 1860, and The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, which gave the UK control of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon (area south of Boundary Street), and the New Territories (area north of Boundary Street and south of the Sham Chun River, and outlying islands), respectively.
Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, the control on the New Territories was a 99-year lease. The finite nature of the 99-year lease did not hinder Hong Kong’s development as the New Territories were added to Hong Kong.
What about the allegations that the people of Hong Kong lost their freedom when the British returned the city and its territories to China in 1997? We’ll deal with that in Part 2 on August 8, 2018.
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