At midnight on 30 June 1997, Britain will end its century and a half of colonial rule in Hong Kong, leaving China to resume sovereignty over the fabulously wealthy city-state and its six million people. The terms of the handover are to be those set down in the "Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong", initiated by Britain and China in September 1984 after two years of intense and secret negotiation. A treaty unparallelled in peacetime, the Joint Declaration provides for the retrocession of Britain's last major colony to Communist rule, in exchange only for China's promise of good behaviour towards the people it thus inherits.;"The End of Hong Kong" offers the first substantial account of the diplomacy behind that settlement, including much hitherto-confidential detail about the negotiations and their political background. It tells how Britain first urged China to address the Hong Kong question in the late 1970s; how China evolved its strategy for regaining the territory; how Downing Street and the Foreign Office fought for a continuation of British rule, but were compelled instead to pledge a British withdrawal; and how Hong Kong itself was persuaded to accept the inevitability of Chinese sovereignty. Robert Cottrell explores how, even now, with four years of British rule still remaining, the terms of the 1997 settlement are allowing China prematurely to assert its power over Hong Kong, undermining what remains of British authority there and obstructing evolution towards a more democratic political system. Hong Kong, he concludes, is being left at China's mercy. If, against all the apparent odds, China does preserve the territory's capitalist system and personal freedoms after 1997, then the Joint Declaration will rank among the most courageous and enduring foreign-policy achievements of the Thatcher era. But if Hong Kong is crushed by Communism, then the treaty will count for little more than an epitaph to which Britain's name is appended.
This edition is in very good condition, tightly bound with clean white pages. The cover is also in very good condition with no blemishes.