Changes in the colony

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Changes in the colony

A time for reflection

 “ Now, Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong, that is the promise and that is the unshakable destiny.”, said the last British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten, on 1st of July, 1997, the date of the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong. The sunset farewell of the British officially ended 156 years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong is now basking in the atmosphere of unity and celebrating her ten years of reunification. It may be a good time for every Hong Kong citizen to re-evaluate and consider retrospectively things they have accomplished and to look back and evaluate the development during these ten years, after the British hand over of Hong Kong to China.

When did British rule begin?

During the first stage of Hong Kong’s development, Chinese culture was very much in evidence. In the 1860s, Hong Kong was conquered by Britain. The Qing Dynasty, under the Emperor Guangxu, was forced to sign the Treaty of Beijing and The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898. Such an historical agreement provided the power for the United Kingdom to have control over Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories for 99 years. Although Hong Kong was under the rule of Britain for almost a century, it still retained its own unique culture. Instead, Hong Kong was able to integrate the epitome of the British and Chinese cultures.

What is the opinion of the Hong Kong citizens toward the new ruler, compared to the old one?

During these 156 years, Britain helped to develop Hong Kong from a poor village to a well established international city, with the most advance infrastructures. Some Hong Kong citizens think that the British government rules better than the Hong Kong people do. While some of them beg to differ as they strongly believe that the Hong Kong government has a new perspective and approach to lead her citizens to a better future.

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Didn’t Hong Kong citizens oppose the rule under China?

Yes. In the early 90s, China was still adapting the insular policy. Due to the lack of confidence in the Chinese government, particularly after the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989, Hong Kong citizens were terrified that the communists may over rule the Hong Kong government and abolish all the capitalist policies and end the separate legal system. In order to gain back the confidence of the hand over, Deng Xiaoping (paramount leader of the People's Republic of China) proposed an idea “One country, two system”, for the successful reunification of ...

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