The Handover of Hong Kong

Essay by tmlim June 2005

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Hong Kong: After the Handover

Hong Kong is a bustling metropolitan city with "one of the world's freest economies, as well as the world's 10th largest trading entity and 11th largest banking center." ( Although Hong Kong is now under China's ruling instead of Britain's, life has not changed much. On July 1, 1997 Hong Kong ceased to be a British colony, but a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. Many Hong Kong people were worried whether Hong Kong would be able to function as it was when it was a British colony and whether would China interfere with the way Hong Kong was run. There were many worries about the economy of Hong Kong, would it be as strong as it has always been. Concerns about corruption in businesses, the political freedom and freedom of speech in Hong Kong were also on the minds of the people. Hong Kong was under the scrutiny of the rest of the world.

There were many anxieties and opinions about the future of Hong Kong. It has been eight years since the handover and many might wonder was Hong Kong better off as a British colony or as a Special Administrative Region of China. There have not been many significant changes in Hong Kong; life has been relatively unchanged after the handover. But what is Hong Kong really like now and what is the extent of involvement that the Chinese government have in Hong Kong?

Presently, as stated in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the territory has been granted autonomy as well as retaining its own legal system, currency, customs, immigration authorities, and rules of the road. However, national defense and foreign affairs are controlled by the central government in Beijing. The legal system follows the common law tradition established by the British...