Why Did the British Give Hong Kong to China? | China Uncensored

Why Did the British Give Hong Kong to China? | China Uncensored

On this episode of China Uncensored, no backsies in the Hong Kong handover to China. Hi, welcome to China Uncensored. I’m your host Chris Chappell. Well, you asked for it, so here it is— the reason why the British gave Hong Kong back to China those 20 years ago. Hong Kong today is under a weird policy called “One Country, Two Systems,” where even though it’s part of China, it’s governed separately. Mostly. So you have freedoms in Hong Kong that could land you in a labor camp in the rest of China. So why does the People’s Republic of China have these two contradictory systems of government? And why did Great Britain give Hong Kong back to China in the first place? Well, once upon a time, everyone wanted stuff that was made in China. Because no one made better quality stuff than
China. But China didn’t really want any of the cheap junk made by other countries, like say, Great Britain. Which sucked for them. But then, in the early 1800s, the British figured out something everyone wanted: drugs. Specifically, opium. The Chinese tried to just say no to drugs and threw a bunch in the water. As an American, I guess there’s something about British goods that makes people just want to throw them
in the water. Anyway, the Chinese destruction of opium led to the First Opium War. And the British won Hong Kong Island! The British had so much fun, a few years later, they decided to have a second Opium War. And the British won Kowloon! Then China lost a war with Japan and the British thought, what the heck, let’s take some more land— as the British liked to do in those days. And that’s how the British Empire ended up with the New Territories. This time though, they technically only leased the land for 99 years, as a concession to the Chinese. 99-year leases were a standard way of owning property in Great Britain, so they probably assumed a 99-year lease really meant “sort of forever.” Kind of like the way teenagers borrow money from their parents. Do parents really expect to get that money back? Little could the British have imagined that a future government of China would insist that the 99-year lease should expire, with no option for renewal, on July 1, 1997. So for more than a hundred years, the British built up Hong Kong’s industry and commerce. It eventually became a major financial hub
in Asia. The quality of living was completely different from mainland China, which had been seized by Communist rule. But by that point in history, owning colonies overseas was getting less and less fashionable. According to a cache of colonial records the British government declassified in 2014, “the Brits [were] mulling granting Hong
Kong self-governance in the 1950s.” But the Chinese Communist Party did not like the idea of a democracy on their border. So they sent a threatening message to Britain that they would “not hesitate to take positive action to have Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories liberated,” from the oppression of self-governance. In other words, the CCP threatened to invade Hong Kong if the British made it democratic. But at the same time, the Communist Party wanted the Brits to stay and rule, so China could use Hong Kong to “trade and contact people of other countries and obtain materials.” So the best thing the British could do for Hong Kong at the time was… continue to colonize them. Awkward And the Communist Party was perfectly happy to let the British build Hong Kong into the financial hub of Asia. Because ultimately, the Communist Party had a plan: to take back Hong Kong in 1997. But wait a minute, you say. It was only the New Territories that were
on lease! Britain would still get to keep Hong Kong
Island and Kowloon, right? Well, here’s the thing: If the British had insisted on keeping Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the Communist Party could just make life extremely difficult for the people there. Like by shutting off their water. Because almost all the water comes from China and the New Territories. So rather than let its people die of thirst, or terrible B.O., the British were forced to deal with the practicality that when the lease to the New Territories was up, they’d have to give up Hong Kong and Kowloon as well. Plus they didn’t want to fight the People’s Liberation Army. But the British told the people of Hong Kong, “Don’t worry. It’ll be totally fine. The Chinese Communist Party will respect your
freedoms.” It’s like when you tell your kids you’re going to Disneyland, but really you’re taking them to the dentist. The dentist from Little Shop of Horrors. But wait, didn’t many of the colonies that belonged to the former British Empire get to become independent? Like Fiji and the Bahamas and like 50 others? Why was the only option for Hong Kong to revert to Chinese rule? Because of a very, very sneaky move by the CCP. In 1971, the United Nations had the great idea to recognize the People’s Republic of China— and not the Republic of China in Taiwan— as the one true China. And one of the first things that the new Chinese ambassador to the UN did, was to send this letter to the United Nations Special Committee on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and People. Ok, I know this sounds boring, but trust me, it’s about to get really interesting. The letter said that Hong Kong and Macau should not be considered colonies at all. Nope, they’re just part of Chinese territory occupied by the British and Portuguese. Nothing to see here. And the select committee decided that was okay with them. Buried in paragraph 183 on page 64 of volume 1, of their five-volume, thousand-plus-page annual report, the committee removed Hong Kong and Macau from the list of non-self-governing-territories. In a separate document, the committee referenced China’s letter as the direct reason for their decision. Why was this a big deal? Well, later in 1972, the UN adopted resolution 2908, which was a resolution largely about supporting decolonization. Part of the resolution was approving the special committee’s report. You know, the one that was over a thousand pages long that I’m sure everyone definitely read. Just like you thoroughly review the terms and conditions on your smartphone every time they change and carefully consider whether to agree to them. No way do you just hit accept and move on with your day. That would be irresponsible. The resolution passed 99 to 5. Basically, the Chinese ambassador to the UN buried an obscure line in a long document, so that when the UN members voted to support the independence of colonized people worldwide, Hong Kong and Macau were no longer on the
list. This technicality completely changed the destiny of Hong Kong— because they no longer had the legal right under the United Nations to be independent. So with this legal manipulation, plus threats to cut off the water supply, the British had no choice but to hand over Hong Kong to China. In 1982, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Beijing, and began negotiations over the future of
Hong Kong. At first, the British hoped that even if they had to legally give Hong Kong back to
China, they could still be involved in administering the territory. If the Chinese wanted. To which the Chinese side said, “Nope!” They made it clear that the Communist Party’s sovereignty over Hong Kong was the most important thing. After two years of negotiations, the Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed in 1984, establishing the handover of Hong Kong, and the “One Country, Two Systems” model. You know who weren’t part of the negotiations? The people of Hong Kong. And many were justifiably upset about it. To Britain’s credit though, before they were forced to leave Hong Kong, they tried protect many of Hong Kong’s freedoms. The last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, even expanded the legislative elections to make them more democratic. Chinese Communist Party condemned Patten for that, and called him a “liar,” “snake,” “prostitute,” and “tango dancer.” Presumably not all at once. And so in 1997, the British left Hong Kong. And the rest is history. But for those of you worried about the future of Hong Kong after our last episode on what’s happened in the last 20 years under the Chinese Communist Party’s rule, don’t worry! It turns out, we were completely wrong. Hong Kong is just as great as it used to be, according to this news article in the respected British newspaper The Telegraph… an article that just happened to be written by China’s ambassador to the United Kingdom. And as we now know from this episode, Chinese ambassadors are very trustworthy. So what do you think of China’s “interesting” way of getting Hong Kong? Leave your comments below. And remember, we can’t keep making China Uncensored without support from viewers like you. And where else would you get to see obscure UN documents from 45 years ago? Please, contribute to China Uncensored, by going to our website on Patreon. You can get cool gifts when you make a contribution. Thanks for watching this episode of China
Uncensored, once again, I’m your host, Chris Chappell. See you next time.

100 thoughts on “Why Did the British Give Hong Kong to China? | China Uncensored

  1. Hong Kong should've been given independence a long time ago before the Chinese communist government demanding for Hong Kong.

  2. Fuck Chinese Communist Party!!
    I hope that the HK revolution spreads to other provinces in China and let's watch China disintegrate!!!!

  3. You can't invade nations land and later decolonize and give a freedom. Its absurd. So it's not a sneaky move

  4. In some things a totally agree with you… but don't act like hk was so great under the British. It was same shit as it would be under Chinese rule. But checked a few videos of yours; but you pretty much against mainland China. As a journalist you need to be neutral. And for the haters im born and raised in HK

  5. Because it was an stolen property, stop stealing, European are thefts
    They run are around try to steal every lands in this planet, , while they are useless to God ,but the love God lands.

  6. Wait, is it not the UN committee who accepts the letter of China to state that Macau and HongKong to be part of their territory. It is also the UN who accept it and bury those paragraph which state MACAU and HongKong to be a non self governing territories. And the adoptation of resolution 2908 is also by UN committee. Who is chairing the UN at those times? If UN is as democratic as you guys says they are, China should have only one vote and have no way of alter and modify all these. UN committees are the one to decide and Others should voice for HongKong and Macau ppl. If not, that means The WORLD just does not care about hongkong and macau. And now all wanna blame CHINA? makes no sense to me. Excuse that UN law makers does not read all the pages does not justify. It is their job to read through all those to approve or against it. If they does not read it through, is it not shows that the WORLD just does not care about them? Funny how this is CHINA fault again. Why no one blame the world for not fighting for them? Why British and Portuguese representatives who were also there in the UN committee did not voice out for their colonies if they so care about them as every one deemed them to be? Why Hongkong and macau ppl can not voice out themselves, because those british and portugese did not give democratic freedom to hongkong and macau. Who were to blame here? Why only give it to them when they are about to leave but not sooner? To me, seems like the colonizer should be at fault. Come on, I rented your house for 5 years. when the lease finish, i have to move out. But i then ask if can i come back once in a while to this house and make some changes, will you allow? I would not. But China knows the problem and therefore came out with a solution together with british on "one country, two system" model. Why Hongkong have no representative during this discussion? HongKong ppl should be blames. They should start protest and voice out during this time. Yet, they themselves just does not care and take everything for grated. So many people were involved in this issue, yet china were to be blame. This channel are very bias and are always one sided.

  7. I grew up. In Hong Kong , my father worked for the British government, Thank you for bringing the plight of Hong Kong to the USA,. Something has to be done before it is to late. Does nobody remember tiananmen square? The Chinese government is brutal and unwavering when it comes to these issues. They will exercise their power on the people of Hong Kong and it will be devastating.

  8. I grew up. In Hong Kong , my father worked for the British government, Thank you for bringing the plight of Hong Kong to the USA,. Something has to be done before it is to late. Does nobody remember tiananmen square? The Chinese government is brutal and unwavering when it comes to these issues. They will exercise their power on the people of Hong Kong and it will be devastating my mom wrote this….

  9. British cutting the chord and leaving their colonies going to shit or to the prey of communists is all too regular. Just ask an Indian, or Rhodesian, or Zambian, or a Seychellois, or Grenadan, etc. etc. etc.

  10. Cant wait till everyone in America gets so sick of demacratic socialism agenda and everyone over runs washington then watch those demons shit demacrats do nothing but distroy distroy distroy we are getting sick of them and if canadians enjoy socialism stay home your not all that
    God Bless America and President Trump MAGA 2020

  11. Reading history, watching tv documentaries and now you tube, the Queen of England do not give away invaded Islands and colonized countries for nothing. China is one of the Bank Cartels and so is the Queen. Go figure!

  12. Why did China Give Hong Kong to Britain –
    Britain lost money due to the huge demand for Chinese tea.
    Britain Drugged China with Opium to win the trade in the early 20th century. Britain started a war and invaded China. China lost and had to sign Nanjing Treaty and losing Hong Kong!

    Learn history guys!

  13. I mean, I don't think the Hong Kong, nor anyone else in the world actually cares what the UN thinks about if Macau, and Hong Kong are colonies, or not. It wouldn't really change the idea that independence is on the menu. Kind of like how Catalonia, Scotland, and various other parts of western countries all want independence, and have a legal basis to do so. They're not colonies, they're core parts of these countries, and they're leaving because they have their own distinct identity.

    The only reason why Hong Kong and Macau not being listed as colonies mattered was for the possibility of independence, and no one should be legitimately using that as a claim for why they can't ever become independent.

  14. And this is why the United Nations is Garbage; Why the fck would you even LEGALLY allow a thousand page document???
    More over how does a SINGLE hidden sentence in a thousand page document; Have ANY weight to it.

  15. Search for UN child rape and you will see that the UN gets caught up every few years and then swears it will never happen again. The UN should not just be dissolved, it should be destroyed.

  16. Without China, Hong Kong is nothing at all. Shut the tap and food supply, Hongkees will be back to the fishery port days. 🤣


  18. It’s crazy how humans fight for countries. So I finally understand why Britain “own” China/Hong Kong. Now, china wants to own Hong Kong. 😞

  19. because Hong Kong belongs to China, British occupied it for some period but now it's time to give it back where it belongs

  20. Chris, it's time for you, Shelly and Matt to make a return trip to Hong Kong…if you can get in.
    And, oh, don't forget an update on Schenzen…if you can get OUT.
    Seriously, your coverage of the initial protests were World-Class.
    Keep up the excellent work and support of the people of Hong Kong!

  21. As usual….another China bashing video from you. Please…it takes two to clap and yet all blame is on China. China is always the bad guy! Why do you hate the Chinese so much I wonder? Is it because your heart is filled with hate?

  22. As a man from Arizona, ill make sure all of those CCP benefactors who swarm our beautiful grandcanyon in droves ive never even seen before, know and understand the worlds stance of thier aggressive movements. Ill be wearing pro hongkong tshirts and maby even a bumper sticker which i hate bumper stickers, but i dislike the CCP even more, keep up the good work CU.

  23. Britain was stupid to assume that China would cease to exist in 99 years. Qing Dynasty would, but China as a nation, one way or another, wouldn't.

  24. WOW!! CLICKBAIT TITLE MUCH? Read about the ILLEGAL OPIUM WARS 1&2. Brits (MI6 and CIA) should go home and worry about the shit show that is brexit. Also get rid of the damned zionist that control that lump of land.

  25. I see your dumbass keep making up your own opinion talk something you don't understand about, Hong Kong was China is China in the colonial period they were in contract at a point in time that the British must return Hong Kong back to China that wasn't a choice, and in time of returning the Brit at one more Claus through the policy that China must allowed Hong Kong to keep their own governing system , I'm not sure how long that going to last.

  26. Don't fucking say gave it back to China dumpass. It has been a land of china. The British invaded China and took it. Fuck…

  27. No mention that the British never gave the people of Hong Kong any say on how they were to be governed or that they were not allowed to protest.

  28. Did the Brits do anything right in the colonies they INVADED?????? In any case, the deferential way in which the HKers reminisce about the British rule suggests that they enjoyed slavery in an almost masochistic way………..go figure!!!!

  29. The Lease from China on 87% of the land of Hong Kong ran out in 1997. After that, the land legally returned to China's Rule.
    Why did Britain give India back to the Indians? Why did Britain give Kenya back to the Kenyans? Why did Britain give Egypt back to the Egyptians? Why did iBritain give Pakistan back to the Pakistanis?
    Why did Britain give back the lands that they ruled up until WW2, and which they had taken by force? The British did not want to be fighting one losing war after another.

  30. I feel like the people of Hong Kong should have had a democratic election to decide whether they wanted independence to go with China or say with Britain and if think most people if they had the choice would say with Britain because democracy freedom and everything else that Britain offered to them

  31. Hong Kong does not belong to China, how arrogant, it belongs to its own people, it always does, it is time for people of HK to taste the possibility of establishing its own independent country or state, maybe join up with Taiwan, there's many options, especially with the help of other nations.

  32. Trump needs to withdraw the US from the United Nations and kick their sorry asses out of NYC. NYC could use the buildings to house the homeless, serving hot Chinese meals.

  33. Sorry but the UN never has and never will override the US Truman Doctrine or Monroe Doctrine or any other Decision about a US Ally abd/or its Prohibition against Chinese Communists invading US Allies like Hong Kong Our Ally since 1841! Hong Kong not the UK! Doubt that? Made in Hong Kong was American long before Made in China ever was! China has violated the 2 System 1 Country Treaty by Infiltration of PLA Communist Forces & attacking Hong Kong against Our Treaty. President Donald J. Trump needs to just Tear Up that piece Scrap of Paper created by Chinese Bribery & Coercion like he did Iran's & let US go from there!

  34. As the start of the video stated: Britain sold drugs to China and waged war once Chinese realized drugs are so harmful and stopped buying them… that makes the Britain in the rest of the story sounds awfully injustice.

  35. Annswer: They had No Choice at all. The People's Liberation Army would've torn them a new asshole if they refused.

  36. All I can say is we are crying everyday since we are under the rule of China. HK ppl deserve democracy and independence. We have been fighting for it for the past ten years. God bless HK.

  37. The Brits were idiots. If they wanted to give back to the owners, they should have given it back to Taiwan, which is the closest representation of the former Qing Dynasty rather than give it to the communists in mainland. The Brits were hoodwinked.

  38. GB Empire pointed a gun at their heads for burning up their opium drug stores…it was either they pull the trigger or give me your land

  39. Idea For Hong Kong: Consider carefully made petition, and send to combination of nations, the UN and to China mainland that express the autonomy of Hong Kong should be respected, and even continued due to following: Hong Kong was part of different political system during the mid to late 1800s , all the way to the time of 1997, and to now; and during the time of 1971 to 1972 (a key time of a UN error concerning Hong Kong region), the UN and UK did not properly consider the opinions of citizens within Hong Kong regarding their preference of governing, and not properly considering Honk Kong's unique culture identity, and human rights. In effect, errors were made by the UN, the UK, and the China Mainland, by either indirect or direct fundamental misunderstanding of the language of human rights in the charters of UN articles for human rights, and for political rights of the Hong Kong citizens, who are also indigenous persons of that region. Therefore, the region of Hong Kong needs respect of its autonomy, and it is respectfully requested this is formally acknowledged by free nations. <Video on Short History of Hong Kong Creation & Mishandling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=092pV3OvDwA >

  40. The Chinese communist party and the United nations are both evil and the 2 biggest threats to democracy on the planet..

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