Hong Kong 1997: The Path to Decolonization and the Handover to China The narrative of Hong Kong’s path from its status as a British Crown colony, to decolonization and the handover of sovereignty to China, is one of the most significant in modern Asian history. This essay will, in exploring the economic, political and social aspects of the transition period – from 1985 to 1997 - argue the thesis that this period is as important for what did not happen as for what did happen. As will be seen, for both the citizens of Hong Kong and for much of Asia this period of transition to Chinese sovereignty was marked by high anxiety as to whether the Chinese would respect its Basic Law with regard to Hong Kong’s limited...
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