Talk:Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong

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Many links pointed to handover can be changed to be pointed here. Great job Jerry. :-) — Instantnood 16:08, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)

Need copy-editing category[edit]

Improvements to the English have been made by many contributors. I do not see anything wrong with the English now. Ought not the administrators remove this article from the "need copy-editing" category? PM Poon —Preceding undated comment added 08:39, 31 July 2005.


I was able to find alot of the references in a number of books. There was 1 link about canadians moving back to Hong Kong in numbers. I could not find any solid statistics on it. So it was deleted. Benjwong 06:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


This article, along with several others in the Hong Kong/Macau cluster uses 'table' in its British meaning of 'to propose for consideration' instead of its exactly opposite American meaning of 'to remove temporarily from consideration'.
I'm familiar with en.wp's rules about these issues, but this does seem like a special case; what might we do to disambiguate this?
--Baylink 21:33, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

  • There are two instances of the term, one in the "Major events ..." box and one in the British concession section. I'm piping each to Table_(verb)#Commencing_discussion.
    There's another option, which should be used only after those more familiar with British & Hong Kong legislative language speak their minds: pipe a less technically precise term over the same link.
This would permit Brits who think to themselves "What, 'brought forward'? If they mean 'tabled', why don't they just say it?" to follow the link, and then say "Oh, of course: the bloody Yanks!".
Conversely, Yanks too bloody-minded or too bloody ignorant to bother looking at a link piped as "tabled" (when they damn well know that tabling a bill pretty much kills it), will still get the drift, and may even read the wonderful Table (verb) article (at the risk of losing their sense of identity in the shock of learning something about the rest of the world -- but hey, you can't make an omelet...).
But of course, as i say, my acting on my guess that "brought forward" makes sense across the puddle would make it a reckless guess.
--Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Cultural references[edit]

"*Chinese American rapper Jin Auyeung has a song called 1997 in his Cantonese album ABC, which he makes references to the handover, bus uncle, 10 years of Hong Kongs return to China."
"Bus Uncle" is an internet meme, and "Hong Kongs" should be "Hong Kong's"... I checked the rapper's page on Wikipedia and also did a google search, there does not appear to be any other known correlation between "bus uncle" and this singer. The grammar also doesn't make sense. I'm led to believe this paragraph is, in whole or part, vandalism. Can someone with more knowledge take a look?
-- (talk) 04:54, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

Titling issues[edit]


I've removed the words "the sovereignty" from the title and lead sentence to try and be NPOV about the PRC and UK positions. The Joint Declaration signed by both makes an assumption of Chinese sovereignty. That's as close to a source as we can get, and as a primary source, is unimpeachable. The article discusses the sovereignty issue in the text through the context of a narrative historical review of events.
In any case, since "sovereignty" and who held it has some dispute, it's easiest, best, and most neutral to simply title the article without the term.
-- SchmuckyTheCat 15:59, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

The new title is misleading - do you think you could have discussed the move, first, and tried to find a better solution? I have moved the article back. As stated on WP:AN/I, this title gives "an initial impression that Hong Kong was put on a barge by the UK and shipped to the PRC in 1997". I am not expert, but it seems "Transfer of the sovereignity of" was better than just "Transfer of", and it's a big enough change that an arbitrary move is not helpful. Proto:: 23:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • "Change" could have done the job, and perhaps better (since by even the most PRC-generous interpretation there was a change in the degree and kinds of sovereignty actually exercised by China). What seems to have resulted -- rename [back?] to Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong -- may be worse than my "change" suggestion, but not significantly so. And dropping "sovereignty" was quite bad, so good that it's back, even tho not clearly agreed upon on this talk page.
    --Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia should be descriptive of actual facts. The fact regarding the subject matter of this article was that the sovereignty over Hong Kong was exercised by the United Kingdom. The UK relinquished the sovereignty over Hong Kong at 23:59:59, June 30, 1997, as promised in 1984; and the PRC, acting as successor to the Ch'ing Dynasty, resumed exercising sovereignty over Hong Kong at 00:00:00, July 1, 1997. Whether or not the legitimacy of British sovereignty over Hong Kong before 1997 was recognised by the PRC is irrelevant in determining the page title.
Instantnood 23:17, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
The title of this article should be the Resumption of Chinese Sovereignty Over Hong Kong. First and foremost, these words are clearly stated in the Joint Declaration. Secondly, it was a resumption and not simply a transfer. A transfer has the meaning that someone that was mine is now yours if I transfer it to you. There is no implication that you had it before. Resumption means continuation and more appropriately fits what happened to Hong Kong in 1997. The title should be changed.
--DietEvil (talk) 15:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Insisting in that fashion that highlighting a continuation and "having [had] it before" means communicating that the the article is about the least encyclopedic aspect of the change: a legal distinction that the CCP would like our readers to swallow even tho it is a matter of theory and face that in itself matters only to the CCP and a Taiwan faction, and can be stated in a simple sentence (but requires either two, or a compound sentence, if NPoV is to be maintained). Everyone who was there when Hong Kong passed to British control is dead, whether they "had" it or not. The dynasty that signed off on it is no longer of any political significance, even if their descendants can be identified. Continuity is a legal fiction, not much more significant than the difference between defense and defence, but the article is about changes that are far more momentous, and far more complex.
    --Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The effort to get the perfectly NPoV or objectively accurate term in few enuf words to be effective as the title is hopeless. "Sovereignty" is ambiguous enuf (embracing de facto control, international recognition of control, lack of challenge thru the international court system against the exercise of most of the powers of sovereignty) that only language in the article can resolve the objective ambiguity.
    And BTW, if legality is your standard, see the compelling argument in Henry V that Elizabeth II, in addition to being Duke of Normandy, is queen regnant of France -- the deposing of Louis XVI and XVII being irrelevant acts against usurpers of the crown, and the abdications of Napoleon I and III acts of usurpers.
    --Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Oops... The title of this article has been renamed as "Hong Kong Return" in zh-wiki...[edit]

The title of this article in Chinese Wikipedia was "Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong " (香港主權移交) in the past, but they have changed it to "Hong Kong Return" (香港回歸) recently. Does Chinese Wikipedia violate WP:NPOV?
-- (talk) 10:48, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Many people do say 香港回歸, therefore it is at least real.
Benjwong (talk) 03:14, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
The current title of this article is not specific. For instance, Japanese occupation of Hong Kong can also be considered as "Transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong", a transfer from Britain to Japan.
--Quest for Truth (talk) 16:33, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure. It isn't really a 'return' or 'resumption' of sovereignty, because the PRC are an illegitimate rebel government and the ROC are technically the proper government of China, but since the PRC were given the chair of the UNSC who knows? Apparently the communists think themselves the successors to the Qing Dynasty, and although Mao was a syphilitic nutcase who enjoyed deflowering virgins in the tradition of Qing Emperors, Mao's was never a legal government. Still, what do the treaties say? (talk) 02:54, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The admittedly irrelevant reference to Mao's unverifiable personal life is a disgraceful affront to WP's standards of discourse.
    --Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Sovereignty of ... vs. sovereignty over ...[edit]

In secn "Oops... ...", User:Instantnood used the construction "sovereignty over Hong Kong [emphasis added by Jerzy]", and User:DietEvil attributed a similar construction to the Joint Declaration. (DE is, BTW, wrong in saying we are bound by that document (potentially the worst of PoV, since it surely embodies the explicitly negotiated compromise between the self-interests of the two principals, to the neglect where necessary of all other interests that exist in the world, not least those entailing recognizability of the truth. If that's not clear, then know that a crucial duty of diplomats is to lie.)
What the accompanying article is about is not the sovereignty of Hong Kong -- you can probably use "Hong Kong" in a sense where the sovereignty of Hong Kong includes Kowloon and the New Territories -- but about who has sovereignty over Hong Kong: it was under the sovereignty of the UK, and is now under the sovereignty of the PRC.
A mistranslation from Chinese is possible, American and British English differences does not hint of a difference, and this talk page clearly shows the correct usage has had zero attention, so i am going forward without waiting for further discussion. There are about a dozen and a half Rdrs, which i will bypass, but reversing them (if my fix is rejected is even easier than my own task.
--Jerzyt 12:39, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


Isn't "Handover" the most common name for this event? As in, "Handover of Hong Kong" or "Hong Kong's Handover"? Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:42, 16 February 2010 (UTC)j

of course it is, when the drug dealer/robber speaks of having to return his ill gotten treasures to their rightful owner, you bet he's going to play some word game in order to cover up his ugly past and also as a last spite to the victim. He will say it's a "handover", not a "return" or "reunification". He will pretend he's the rightful owner along, he's just being magnanimous giving to someone else, like handing over a 2nd car to a cousin or a charity.

Perhaps you had better read how Hong Kong became a British territory in the first place. Also when you take a car and give it a huge upgrade to help make it one of the best in the area some would be glad. :) BritishWatcher (talk) 17:03, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you should stop looking at the world through your European-centric glasses. And funnily enough, Hong Kong has seen the biggest waves of migration during the years of British imperialist rule, resulting in major economic downturn. Isn't it funny how Hong Kong becomes the economic centre of Asia immediately after it is returned to China? It says something about the British doesn't it? A robbery is a robbery is a robbery. There can be no denying that Hong Kong was given to the British as they terrorised the whole of China in the Opium Wars and metaphorically held a gun to every Chinese in the world. (talk) 10:00, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


How come the British did not hold a referendum to let the people of Hong Kong choose their own future? They could have provided 2 simple choices: remain a British colony or become part of the People's Republic of China.

Why wasent this done? Was it ever even discussed? Cfagan1987 (talk) 03:14, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Because Chinese government at the time of 1984 discussion between Britain and China, refused to discuss about holding a referendum in Hong Kong saying Hong Kong is legally recognized in China as Chinese terrority which was "stolen" by the British and would never change.

Mainland china was already charging HK something like 200X the water fee of what singapore charged malaysia for water. From a resource standpoint, the negotiators were in trouble from the start. Hence the very weak 1984 meeting. Benjwong (talk) 07:20, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
The British had stolen Hong Kong from China in the Opium Wars, where they forced the Chinese to buy and consume Opium so that they could make money. The British had no way of taking the moral high ground with their typical inhumane history of imperialism. In a more non-biased way, the British negotiators simply didn't have any way of saying they were right, and China was wrong. Even suggesting a referendum probably would have lead to China taking it by force anyway... Thank God for China, or else I'd still be languishing under the boots of the British. (talk) 10:29, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Is that why you live in Australia, then? -- (talk) 21:37, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

More importantly, how come the British did not hold one single referendum in the 150-year colonial history of Hong Kong to let the people choose a governor? Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 15:04, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Not even Australia or Canada elects their governor and they're fully sovereign states. bit of a reach --MichiganCharms (talk) 02:49, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Even MORE importantly, why are the people of Hong Kong STILL not allowed full elections, free from external meddling, to choose their own leaders? Seems to me like the people are still 'languishing under boots', its just the wearers that have changed. But then I expect its really MORALLY OK to deny basic human rights to your OWN people as this is not a display imperialism, from whence all the worlds evils seem to spring. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

War preparations[edit]

Though this is obviously old news, currently the article makes no mention of official disclosures of war preparations by the PRC in the case the negotiations failed. How would this be properly integrated into the article? -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 17:17, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Should European Union roadway standards be replaced with Vienna Convention?[edit]

Because all signs in the EU follow the Vienna convention, the EU standard is to implement the Vienna convention. Swissnetizen (talk) 17:08, 10 January 2016 (UTC)