Hong Kong under Chinese Sovereignty: A Preliminary Assessment

  • Brian Hook


In 1984, after protracted negotiations, the UK and China initialled an agreement on the future of Hong Kong.1 In the context of the agreement, the future was distinguished from the past by specific references to what would happen to Hong Kong after the expiry of the 99-year lease on the New Territories on 30 June 1997.2 During the negotiations, the UK had reluctantly conceded the inevitability of returning both ceded and leased territory to Chinese sovereignty.3 Accordingly, the past was separated from the future by a transition period of some 13 years. This transition period was, in practice, to be divided into two sub-periods. The difference between the two was to be reflected in the intensity of the interaction between the sovereigns and by the increasing level of consultation and co-operation as the date for the handover approached.


Chief Executive Selection Committee Direct Election Independent Commission Against Corruption Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 
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  1. Chief Executive’s Office 1997 Civil Liberties and Social Order (Gongmin Ziyou he Shehui HKSAR). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government, 8 July.Google Scholar
  2. Hong Kong Standard 1997, ‘Baby Sung, Diplomatie Xinhua chief to stand ‘for sake of HK’, 14 November.Google Scholar
  3. Hook, B. 1993 ‘Political change in Hong Kong’. China Quarterly, 136 (December). South China Morning Post, various.Google Scholar
  4. South China Morning Post International Weekly, 1 March 1997.Google Scholar
  5. Wong Man-fong 1997 China’s Resumption of Sovereignty over Hong Kong. Hong Kong:Google Scholar
  6. David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. Yeung, C. 1997 ‘Two systems face to face’. South China Morning Post, 15 November.Google Scholar

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© Brian Hook 2000

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  • Brian Hook

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