Author: Elżbieta Potocka
Year of publication: 2007
Source: Show
Pages: 86-115
DOI Address:
PDF: ap/10/ap1006.pdf


In 1997 Hong Kong returned to China after 156 years of the British colonial rule as a Special Administrative Region of the PRC. In the past the city has been served China as a bridge between the centrally commanded economy of the Mainland, which suffered various restrictions in its foreign trade and free market economies of the West. To preserve existing position of Hong Kong and the Westernised style of life of its inhabitants a special formula of „one country – two systems” was set up and its principles were included into the “Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong” of December 1984 and into the “Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” of 1990. Implementation of these documents is crucial to both parties. In practice, these agreements are implemented most vigorously by Hong Kong big business community which have profited very much from a large scope cooperation with the Mainland.
The territory of Hong Kong has a particular international status with many prerogatives similar to these of a state, to name only its right to negotiate and conclude international treaties as „Hong Kong, China”.
During last 10 years of Hong Kong under motherland’s jurisdiction Beijing did its utmost to respect a „high degree” of HK autonomy as required by these agreements. However, from time to time the Central Government had to remind some Hong Kong local politicians, who demanded more freedom or democracy for the territory, that Hong Kong is only an administrative part of China. As PRC leaders insist, this enclave has almost unlimited economic liberty, but still has to wait for more democratic solutions as a universal suffrage, for instance. In general, however, the integration of Hong Kong with the motherland progressed rather smoothly during the last ten years.

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