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Hong Kong's Prospects, China's Promises

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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As our train passed through the flat, grayish city of Nanking last December, a retired Chinese high school principal spoke about the uncertain future of his home, Hong Kong. What would happen to one of the world's great colonial anachronisms when Great Britain's ninety-nine-year lease ran out in 1997? After months of secretive negotiations between China and Great Britain, the former schoolmaster was optimistic: The Chinese Communists were too smart to risk undermining Hong Kong's stability by, say, moving in troops. They understood that to act precipitously toward always-anxious Hong Kong could mean chaos, and they appreciated the economic benefits of preserving Hong Kong as a window on the West for trade, technology, and capital.

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Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1984

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