British Chinese Relations
Following the transfer of Hong Kong from the British effectively ended many remnants of British imperialism in China, and in the process ended much of Britain’s involvement/power in Asia. The turnover has also given China control over one of the world’s leading financial institutions, thus improving not only its economic standing but also its ability to use soft power. The opposite could be said for the effects on the United Kingdom, where the turnover effectively halted their control over the economic powerhouse and ushered in a new era of Anglo-Chinese relations, yet this is not necessarily a bad thing. Since the turn over of Hong Kong from England, relations between China and the United Kingdom have improved and a larger bond has come about. Before I can begin to speak on the effects of “The Turnover,” I must first give a history of the events that made the turnover possible. Due to the trade imbalance between China and the United Kingdom in the 1800s, the UK thought it might be advantageous to sell opium to the Chinese. Within a few years, the UK had gotten China addicted to opium and was starting to close the trade deficit. This in tern made the Qing dynasty officials very angry and they decided that they would disallow the importation of Opium into China. The British saw this act as an insult and in return they attacked China. This act started the first Opium War. Due to the Qing Dynasty’s limited armada, the British effectively wiped out the Qing forces and took possession of the land where Hong Kong currently is. The possession and occupation would not be “legally” binding until a treaty signed in 1898 that leased the land to the British for 99 years. Following the fall of the Qing dynasty and the rise of the Republic of China in 1912, the relationship between China and the United Kingdom still remained fairly unequal. At this time, the British Empire was still the world’s hegemonic leader and they were...
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