mike029 wrote:From my understanding part of the reason the British decided to hand Kowloon and HK Island back when the New Territory lease was up to avoid basically the destruction (or more appropriately, implosion) of HK. Considering half the population of HK lives in the New Territories, a massive amount of people moving into Kowloon and HK Island at once would be too much to handle. Plus they would have to secure a new border (between Kowloon and New Territories and the water in the east of HK island) that was never patrolled before and didn't have the proper infrastructure to patrol effectively.
To save Hong Kong? is that why the Brits colonized the place? Actually the reason British handed back HK Island and Kowloon along with New Territory is because Deng told the Brits to hand the whole thing back or else. New Territory being inseparable from the rest of HK aside, it' kind of a ridiculous notion that Britain could point to some Unequal Treaty from centuries earlier as the reason they should still own a colony half way around the world from Britain after they've already given up the majority of the colonies of the British Empire in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere, and after China was so nice to wait until the lease on New Territory has expired to ask for it and rest of Hong Kong back.
This of course didn't prevent Britain from asking for the next best thing, which is to continue British civil administration on Hong Kong post hand-over. As if China can have "sovereignty" on Hong Kong, while Britain would still be running the place. That is really a stupid idea and of course it was emphatically shot down by Deng. I'm surprised the Brits even asked for it, like they were expecting anything other than to get laughed at and outright rejection.
The Brits colonized HK to make money in China. Duh. If the place implodes, they lose all their money.
Also, I highly doubt the British were afraid of the 1983 Chinese military. Starting a war with Britain means starting a war with the US, so I doubt that would have ever happened. It's about MONEY, like it always is. It's better to have an HK where westerners can base operations for China than having to operate within China.
If you were the Brits and had spent the last 150 years building HK into the AMAZING city that it is today and economic center of Asia, would you want to give that up to the CCP? To compare HK to any Mainland city (or even Taipei for that matter) is ridiculous. So the Brits are just supposed to use all their skills, money, and drive to build up HK, just to give it back free of charge to the CHINESE?
Considering all the UK money (and other western money) tied up in HK, I would want the British to retain Kowloon and HK Island, considering that's the center of HK. However, if the place implodes from overpopulation (from people NOT wanting to live in New Territories, China), everything (including all investment) goes down with it. The next best option is British administration, which didn't happen, and then the third best option is "Special Administrative Region". Look at how many people went to apply for BN(O) passports before the handover as some clue about the 'right to self determination' that people always talk about when talking about TW and Mainland.
Finally, using the logic of "the British shouldn't base their current territorial claims on past treaties", China should stop claiming the entire South China Sea just because it was mapped by the Yuan Dynasty 800 years ago.