December 19 1984 Britain and China sign Hong Kong return agreement


Craig Hill Training Services

Hong Kong Return TreatyOn December 19th 1984, in the Hall of the People in Beijing, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an accord committing Britain to give Hong Kong back to China in 1997. In return, China incorporated terms pledging a 50 year continuation of Britain’s capitalist system. Hong Kong, a small peninsula and group of islands extending out from China’s Kwangtung province, was leased by China to Great Britain in 1898 for 99 years.

In 1839, in the First Opium War, Britain marched into China to crush resistance to its interference in the country’s economic, social, and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of war was to occupy Hong Kong, a lightly inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China gave up the island to the British with the signing of the Convention of Chuenpi. In 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed…

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