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The handover of Hong Kong by China is an unprecedented issue in the colonialism history. Although the colonial system in the Far East was disassembled after the World War II, the British sovereignty over Hong Kong lasted until 1997. The Hong Kong Island became a British territory in 1842 as a result of Nanjing Treaty that ended the First Opium War. The treaty obligated China to open its harbors to foreign trade ships, give some important prerogatives to the western merchants, and settle the diplomatic procedures according to the western pattern. At that time, a cession of a small rocky island was not concerned as an important matter for the Qing government. The Nanjing Treaty was followed by other humiliating agreements, called ‘the unequal treaties,’ that allowed the United Kingdome to extend the colony with the Kowloon Peninsula (1860), and to lease the New Territories for 99 years (1898).
For few decades, the Chinese government did not demand the reunification, because they had to focus on the internal problems and international situation. In spite of this fact, the Chinese authorities have never acknowledged the loss of Hong Kong. On the Chinese maps, the colony was always marked as an ‘occupied territory,’ and since 1965, the word ‘colony’ was no longer used also at the United Nations forum. Using the term ‘refugee’ for Chinese people coming to Hong Kong was solved in the same way.
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