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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - The Handover.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS385H1
Professor
Chin Lim
Semester
Winter

Description
HIS385 Lecture 9 MAR21/2014 The Handover - Negotiating the Sino-British Joint Declaration • Margaret Thatcher’s visit to Beijing (Sept. 1982) o Validity of treaties insisted  Victory in Falkland Islands War (June 1982)  British ↑ o Tried to prolong British administration in HK  Her visit was a failure but successful in such a way that it marked official negotiation between British and China - 1982-1984: formulation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration • HK not represented in negotiations • “Three-legged stool” refers to the situation of sides  Britain, China, HK o In reality, 3 uneven legs • Governor participated but represented Britain and not HK - Sino-British Joint Declaration, Dec. 1984 • Negotiation process not smooth o People of HK were nonetheless able to voice their opinions via expressing confidence in stockmarkets, value of real estates o Regardless of condition of negotiation, joint declaration was completed  One of the 2 documents to outline the future of HK stipulations point to HK’s future beyond 1997 • HKSAR under authority of PRC o Chief Executive of HKSAR o HKSAR with high degree of autonomy  part of the law after the joint declaration finished o Existing conditions unchanged for 50 years • Joint Declaration provided what to expect after 1997 • In HK, majority realistic – independence not an option o Uneasiness with post-1997 future because it was uncertain o Fluctuations in stock market, property market  To show their sentiments, expressed via stock markets, etc. o HK business industry discouraged  Most company chose to remain but HQ transferred out of HK to have stability/distance from the handover o Emigration to Western countries ↑ due to uneasiness of their uncertain future - Basic law of HKSAR • 1842-1997: HK’s constitution = HK charter o After 1997: Basic Law of HKSAR • Drafting period: 1986-1990 • Joint Declaration principles o “one country, two systems”  foundation of basic law • 2 committees created: (1) Basic Law Drafting Committee  59 members: 36 (China), 23 (HK)  HK members: professional and business sectors  Had to draft the law (2) Basic Law Consultative Committee  180 members  Served as a group of advisers  provide consultation to the Draft committee  HK residents: professional and business sectors  A way to gauge public sentiments, gather opinions from the different people in HK  No role in the actual drafting, strictly concerned with drafting • Both committees under PRC control o 2/3 majority  if there’s a need to alter a stipulation in the documents, 2/3 would have to support the change to go through o HK representatives = conservative & pro-China  More than half supported pro-Chinese sentiments  Preferred status quo because they wanted to continue the prosperity in HK since democratization would lead to instability in HK  China indirectly controlled the committee - Basic Law completed (Apr. 1990) • HK’s constitution = “one country, two systems” as guiding principle • HK people ruling HK • More extensive - Continuation under the Basic Law • Executive-led system (introduced by British) o Final decision made by Governor and Chief Executive • Executive Committee advisory role retained  formed the cabinet of the Chief Executive • Civil Service intact (introduced by British) o Backbone of bureaucracies o Idea of meritocracy continue with administration of HK  Recruitment of officials based on abilities • Social and Economic systems o Private ownership and free market o Financial and monetary systems - Changes introduced by the Basic Law • Sovereignty transferred from British to PRC after 1997 o Under British colonial rule  top civil servants were British  Emphasis on local Chinese as top civil servants ~ emphasis on local residency • Elected Chief Executive, 5 year term o Election Committee (800. 1200) o British governor appointed  Term depending on performance and on London (?) o Chief Executive “represents” HK people - Joint Declaration and Basic law as Legal Formulations of HKSAR (after 1997) • There’s a difference between the two: o Joint Declaration = international document – a treaty between two countries o Basic Law = Chinese legislation (domestic) – had nothing to do with the British  Based on PRC constitution  The only institution authorize to interpret its content is the National People’s Congress in China  Government of HK not allowed to interpret/clarify the Basic Law – limit the high degree of autonomy HK was assured  Allowed the PRC to i
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