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High Degree of Autonomy: The Reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese Sovereignty.

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Master's thesis,

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At midnight on June 30, 1997, the British colony of Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty and it became a Special Administrative Region SAR of the Peoples Republic of China. The Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong calls for maintaining Hong Kongs lifestyle and high degree of autonomy for fifty years after its transition to the Hong Kong SAR. The primary research question that this thesis will attempt to answer is How has the concept of high degree of autonomy been operationalized since its inception in the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong This thesis argues that during the period of time from the signing of the Joint Declaration to the actual reversion to Chinese sovereignty the negotiations over the concept of Hong Kongs high degree of autonomy established the framework for the post-reversion way of life in Hong Kong. This thesis looks at this issue in three areas - the political arena, the security environment, and the economy. This thesis also examines the situation in Hong Kong one year after reversion and answers the question, Has China lived up to its promises in these three realms of autonomy This period marks the start of a new political and economic experiment for China. China is attempting to regain the sovereignty of Hong Kong peacefully without disrupting its economic, social, and political systems under the framework of the Joint Declaration. The reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty will be a test of Chinas one country, two systems concept.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science

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