14 Sep China Britain Agreement On Hong Kong
The agreement signed in 1984 was to last until 2047. But the UK says the deal – known as the joint statement – is under threat because the territory has passed a new law that gives China comprehensive new controls over the people of Hong Kong. One of the major achievements has been to ensure the continuity of independent justice in Hong Kong, including agreements in the areas of commercial shipping, civil aviation, nuclear materials, whaling, underwater telegraph, space and many others. It also approved a network of bilateral agreements between Hong Kong and other countries. Within the framework of these agreements, the continued application of some 200 international conventions to the HKSAR after 30 June 1997 was concluded. Hong Kong is expected to continue to participate in various international organizations after the handover. The signing of the joint declaration sparked some controversy in Britain, with British Conservative Party Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher agreeing with the Chinese communist government, represented by Deng Xiaoping.  In the White Paper containing the joint statement, Her Majesty`s Government stated that «the alternative to the adoption of this Agreement is to have no agreement,» a statement intended to refute criticism that the statement has made too many concessions to China and highlights China`s considerable influence during the negotiations.  The list included Hong Kong government officials, members of the Legislative and Executive Council, presidents of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered Bank, prominent businessmen such as Li Ka-shing, Pao Yue-kong and Fok Ying-tung, as well as Martin Lee Chu-ming and Szeto Wah. Hong Kong`s autonomy was guaranteed by the «One Country, Two Systems» agreement, enshrined in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by Zhao Ziyang, then Chinese Prime Minister, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Pressure for political reform intensified after the 1991 Legco elections, when 18 of the 20 seats elected by direct universal suffrage were won by the United Democrats and other liberal candidates. The new (and last) governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, has therefore tried to increase the participation of the population in the political process, remaining within the framework of the joint declaration and the Basic Law. In October 1992, Patten proposed that in addition to the 20 seats elected by direct universal suffrage, the functional constituencies would be elected by the entire Hong Kong staff of 2.7 million and that there would be direct elections to local authorities in the Territory. Although, or precisely because the proposals were well received in Hong Kong`s liberal political circles, the Chinese reacted extremely negatively by accusing the governor of violating the agreement that all new agreements were to «converge» with the Basic Law and of trying to increase British influence and undermine Chinese control after 1997. In a demonstrative move to highlight its ability to determine events in Hong Kong before 1997, Beijing blocked deals on a gigantic new airport project by refusing to honor certain contracts, effectively delaying its completion until handover. In another allegation of authority, the Chinese government established, in June 1993, the Preliminary Working Committee (PWC), which was to be entrusted by the SAR Preparatory Committee for transitional political, governmental and legal agreements before and after 1997, called the «second furnace». (20) From the outset, however, the two parties had different conceptions of the evolution of the process. . . .