The Basics

While Mike Rowse was talking last week about Deng Xiaoping and his legendary indifference to the color of mice, I realized that I may have assumed that you are all well acquainted with Hong Kong's history and such terms as "The Basic Law" and "one country, two systems." But maybe not? For those who want to know the issues and what it was like around the time of the handover in 1997 when Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty, you might want to read some of the news stories from around that time and some of the articles written during the 10th anniversary in July. They should give you the basic background. I included the following readings for later in the semester, but you might find it useful to read these sooner:
Here is an Asiaweek cover story that appeared nearly two years after the handover. It deals with Hong Kong's struggle to reinvent itself after getting hit by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98.

For those who want to read about how the Hong Kong government works and recent political reforms, you should read this paper which was produced by the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in the U.S. and Civic Exchange, a think tank in Hong Kong.

If you would like to watch clips of the handover ceremonies ten years ago, you can view these on YouTube. First, the British farewell and then the handover ceremony itself.