Passage to Reunification: From 1990 to 1997

Christine Loh

in Underground Front

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028948
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207653 | DOI:
Passage to Reunification: From 1990 to 1997

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This chapter shows that the local party machinery went all out to counter that “sinner for a thousand years”—Chris Patten—although it had limited success in denting the governor's popularity with the public. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started to create a fifth column of Mainland foot soldiers in Hong Kong to protect Beijing's interests, especially during election time. The post-Tiananmen doubts and the crisis of confidence are described. In addition, the compromise on political reform is examined. Moreover, the CCP's conspiracy theory and the crisis of legitimacy are explained. To shore up confidence in Hong Kong, the British government announced the British Nationality Scheme in December 1989 in order to “give those selected the confidence to stay in Hong Kong up to and beyond 1997”. Chris Patten was the last governor of Hong Kong. Without anyone knowing what he would do at the time, Patten was going to surprise Hong Kong—and Beijing—with his first Policy Address in October 1992. He exploited grey areas and found room in the Basic Law to introduce more democratic elements in the system. The public perception of the pro-China elites is illustrated.

Keywords: Chinese Communist Party; Hong Kong; reunification; Chris Patten; British government; Beijing; political reform; conspiracy theory

Chapter.  14616 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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