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A Documentary History of Hong Kong

Government and Politics

Steve Tsang

Publication Year: 1995

This volume analyses the evolution of a unique brand of politics in Hong Kong. It examines how a Crown Colony system responded to the demands made of it by its Chinese and British residents in the shadow of the often volatile politics of modern China.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii-viii

Impending changes in the political status of Hong Kong have in recent years brought about considerable interest in Hong Kong studies. Despite the very active publication of academic works and general books about Hong Kong in the last few years, there is still a need for a good scholarly general history which takes account of overall changes in Hong Kong's politics, society, external relations, ...

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pp. ix-x

The first day of July 1997 will see the end of 156 years of British rule in Hong Kong, starting from the occupation of the island of Hong Kong by the Royal Navy in January 1841. It will also mark the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, albeit under an arrangement known as 'one country, two systems'. Some will no doubt choose to commemorate the former while others may wish to celebrate the latter ...

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pp. xi-xii

In undertaking this project I have received generous support and help from friends, colleagues, and institutions. I wish to thank particularly Dr David Faure and Ms Susan Henders for their invaluable comments on the draft. I am also grateful to Mr Alan Bell, Dr Alan Birch, Mrs Claire Brown, Professor Louis Cha, Professor Edward Chen, Dr John Cheong,, Mrs Ann Delehaye, Professor Glen Dudbridge, ...


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pp. xiii

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pp. 1-14

Britain detached the island of Hong Kong from China and turned it into a Crown Colony in order to serve British interests, which initially were primarily commercial. Advancement of the interests of the Chinese Empire or of the Chinese inhabitants there was certainly not part of the British motive. Equally certainly the British had no objection to it should their occupation prove to be advantageous to the Chinese ...

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CHAPTER ONE: Constitutional Framework

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pp. 15-56

British possession of Hong Kong began on 26 January 1841 in the course of the First Anglo-Chinese War (1840-43) when Commodore Sir Gordon Bremer of the Royal Navy occupied it on the instructions of Captain Charles Elliot, the British Plenipotentiary in China and Chief Superintendent of China Trade. Elliot acted on the basis of the Convention of Chuenpi, which he ...

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CHAPTER TWO: Representation and Democratization

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pp. 57-104

As Chapter One has demonstrated, Hong Kong was founded as a Crown Colony with a political system that was authoritarian rather than democratic. Established primarily as a trading post and a naval station, Hong Kong was not intended by its founding fathers to develop into a miniature of democratic Britain, the metropolitan country. However, this was not on its own sufficient ...

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pp. 105-140

This chapter follows closely from the last one since the issue of political advancement at times involved not only developing the Legislative Council but also reforming the Executive Council, or introducing changes at the municipal level. This chapter focuses on the evolution of the Executive Council and the question of developing one or several municipal councils ...

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pp. 141-194

This chapter is not concerned with documenting comprehensively the origins and evolution of the entire Hong Kong civil service. It focuses instead on the four most important issues, beginning with the founding of an independent civil administration. This will be followed by a section o n the cadet or administrative service which constitutes the backbone and the ...

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CHAPTER FIVE: Channels for Communication and Political Participation

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pp. 195-234

The Legislative Council has been the most important channel of communication between the government and the people in Hong Kong. It is also the parliamentary body for public participation in politics. The evolution of the Legislative Council and the various attempts to reform it have already been documented in considerable detail in Chapter II. In this ...

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CHAPTER SIX: Political Culture

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pp. 235-270

The emergence of a distinctly Hong Kong political culture has proved to be a long and agonizing process. Throughout the nineteenth century and until the Pacific War in the middle of the twentieth century, the Chinese and the non-Chinese communities maintained only limited contacts. As the debates over constitutional developments in Chapter Two have illustrated, politics ...

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CHAPTER SEVEN: The China Factor

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pp. 271-304

After the offices of the Governor of Hong Kong and the Plenipotentiary and Superintendent of China Trade were separated in 1859, the question of what kind of contact Hong Kong should maintain with the Chinese authorities emerged. At the diplomatic level, a formal channel was established with the appointment of a British Minister to the Court in Peking, which was ...


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pp. 305-312

E-ISBN-13: 9789882201064
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622093928

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 1995