By Steve Tsang
From a little-known fishing group on the outer edge of China, Hong Kong constructed into one of many world's so much outstanding and cosmopolitan towns after a century and a half British imperial rule. The background of Hong Kong, from its career by means of the British in 1841 to its go back to chinese language sovereignty in 1997, is an interesting tale of East assembly West. This e-book addresses the altering relatives among the neighborhood chinese language and expatriate groups in 156 years of British rule, and the emergence of an area id. It explains the significance of China as an element in its improvement and the origins of the so-called "1997 problems," therefore reading the underlying purposes for the increase of a liberal society devoted to the guideline of legislation with no democracy.
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Additional info for A Modern History of Hong Kong
5 In its desire to open China, the British Empire enjoyed the support of other leading Western powers, particularly the French and the Americans. To the French, who trailed far behind the British in the China trade but were much m o re suppor tive of the e vang elical effo r ts of their countrymen, higher priority was put on establishing proper diplomatic relations. 6 The United States of America, which alone among the Western powers was entitled under the Treaty of Wanghia (1844) to have its terms revised, by July 1856 felt the two most important issues were to secure diplomatic representation in Beijing and to extend American trade as far as possible all over China.
This was intended to redress the clear anomaly where most senior colonial officials could not communicate with the overwhelming majority of the local population. This scheme was to ‘supply the Civil Service in Hong Kong with an efficient staff of Interpreters’, by recruiting young graduates from Britain to receive intensive training in Cantonese and written Chinese for two years, before deploying them on a fast track in the civil service. 53 It followed the introduction of a Civil Service Commission in Britain itself six years earlier for the recruitment of government officials on merit rather than by patronage, and a painful inquiry into the misconduct of Registrar General Daniel Caldwell, upon whom the colonial government had previously depended heavily in dealing with the local Chinese community.
Hong Kong was the choice of Elliot and was subsequently embraced by Pottinger. Elliot explained his preference for Hong Kong rather than somewhere else in East China: Reflection and experience have satisfied me against all my preconceptions and personal wishes, firstly, that Settlement at this point of the Empire is necessary; and secondly that Settlement to the Eastward, will only be productive of an indefinite protraction of hostilities in China, at an enormous expence, and thus defeat or most seriously retard the very purposes for which it is undertaken – purposes assuredly susceptible of accomplishment through a quiet possession of that Settlement to the Southward with which we cannot dispense.
A Modern History of Hong Kong by Steve Tsang