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Hong Kong History

Hong Kong was part of the empire before as a direct consequence of the 19th – century coming under British administration Opium Wars. The conflict arose from Chinese resistance to allowing their ports to trade in opium produced in British – controlled India. The British used force on two occasions in the late 1850s and 1830s to impose their business will. When peace terms were drafted in 1841 in the First Opium War was ended by the Treaty of Nanking, which, the Emperor of China agreed that Hong-kong Island ought to be ceded to Britain and five other ports certified for foreign trade.

The conditions under which the reversion took place were settled for an agreement signed by the Chinese and British Governments in December 1984. Also as confirming the conditions of previous agreements, the 1984 agreement contained guarantees to the future of Hong-kong, particularly that the territory would have a higher degree of autonomy, particularly in the financial area, where its current system would be mostly left intact. The slogan ‘one region, two systems’ was coined from the Chinese to explain the future regime and its connection with mainland China. Only in the fields of defense and foreign affairs would the new Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong be subject to the diktat of Peking.

The point of contention in the period prior to handover was political representation. Under the regime, democratic representation was kept to a minimum and executive powers were firmly retained by the Governor. The system has survived, mostly intact, since the departure of the British in July 1997.

Beijing selected the shipping tycoon Tung Chee Hwa to fill the post of Leader with powers comparable to those of the Governor. A pro – Beijing political party created shortly before the hand-over the Democratic Party for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), took charge of the LegCo the primary election held under Chinese rule in May 1998. The effect has-been more or less repeated in polls. The nature of the electoral franchise and the limited powers of the LegCo imply that no serious opposition might be mounted to the policies of the administration. In June 2002, Tung Chee Hwa was confirmed in a second term of office as chief executive.

The timing for the program was unfortunate in around the Asian economic crisis hit the area just months following the territory had changed hands. Initially, it appeared that Hong Kong would come through largely unscathed: in fact, the economy has been depressed for most of the past five years (see Economy section). This has given rise to some political discontent and the self – confidence that previously characterized Hong-kong is currently waning seriously. Since 2003 there were protests calling for a far more democratic and representative sysyem of Government. On March 10 2005, Mr Tung Chee Hwa – resigned as Chief Executive for reasons of had  announced he ill heath. Relative to basic regulation, the Chief Secretary Donald Tsang, became Acting Chief Executive. He was appointed by the Central Peoples Government in Beijing for a two – year term on Jun 21 2005. China is pushing the administration to introduce an anti-subversion legislation, principally to combat the Falun Gong Christian religious sect.


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