China Agreement With Hong Kong

Opinions about Hong Kong`s future after 1997 are highly contradictory, with most people confident about the economic prospects but not optimistic about the chances of preserving existing standards of the rule of law and political freedoms. The best prospects for Hong Kong lie in the fact that the territory`s long-term prosperity is in China`s interest and that China`s leaders have an interest in using Hong Kong as an example or “trial” in their reunification efforts with Taiwan and in their general foreign relations. It is essential that Beijing act by recognizing that Hong Kong`s different nature means it must be governed differently from the rest of China, or that a mass exodus of skilled people and capital will undermine the territory`s viability. The British government has become louder on this issue, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accusing China of “gross and monstrous” abuses. It is expected that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under pressure from politicians from all parties, will soon sanction at least four Hong Kong officials, but will not discuss the details, as they do not want to warn anyone in advance who could be affected. Since 1 January 2004, 273 categories of products (according to the nomenclature of Chinese law) originating in Hong Kong are no longer subject to import duties on mainland China. It includes many products related to watches, jewelry, textiles and clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the electronics and electrical industry. Customs duties on imports from the PRC on some of these products remain high: from 27% to 35% for jewellery, from 18% to 22% for cosmetics, from 14% to 23% for watches and from 5% to 30% for electrical and electronic products. The agreement should be extended to other product categories from 1 January 2005, as proposed by Hong Kong exporters and approved by the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities. As of 1 January 2006, all exports of products originating in Hong Kong will be exempt from import duties. Despite the finitude of the New Territories` leases, this part of the colony was developed just as quickly and was heavily integrated into the rest of Hong Kong. As the lease ended and serious negotiations over Hong Kong`s future status approached in the 1980s, it was deemed impractical to separate the ceded territories and return only the New Territories to China.

In addition, due to the scarcity of land and natural resources on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, significant infrastructure investments were made in the New Territories, with the break-even point well above 30 June 1997. [5] The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed in Beijing on December 19, 1984 by the Prime Ministers of the People`s Republic of China and the Government of the United Kingdom. The Declaration entered into force with the exchange of instruments of ratification on 27 May 1985 and was registered by the People`s Republic of China and the Governments of the United Kingdom at the United Nations on 12 June 1985. The Government of the United Kingdom shall be responsible for the administration of Hong Kong with the aim of preserving and maintaining its economic prosperity and social stability until 30 June 1997, and the Government of the PRC shall cooperate in this regard. Given the government`s commitment after Deng Xiaoping to pursue economic reforms and china`s continued integration into the global economy, it is highly unlikely that Beijing will take any policy measures that it knew would jeopardize the strength of Hong Kong`s economy. . . .

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