9789887792802

Farewell, My Colony Last Days in the Life of British Hong Kong

by
  • ISBN13:

    9789887792802

  • ISBN10:

    9887792802

  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2018-11-06
  • Publisher: Blacksmith Books

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Summary

In the heart of Beijing, a large digital clock marked off the seconds until July 1, 1997, when the red, five-star flag of China would be hoisted over Hong Kong – and the grand but untried idea of “one country, two systems” would be put into practice.

Farewell, My Colony is a real-time journal of the end of an era by an objective observer. American journalist Todd Crowell captures a unique moment in history as Britain stoically soldiers through the last months of its 156 years of colonial rule, China waits restlessly to resume its sovereignty, and Hong Kong buzzes with endless speculation.

He tells how Hong Kong's Chinese and expatriates, taipans and cagemen come to terms with the impending change of rule. He mingles with the rich and famous and common people alike. A long-term resident, he votes in elections controversially called by Governor Chris Patten. He then follows the selection of a rival legislature, and of Patten's successor, shipping magnate Tung Chee-hwa, as the first chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The city's pulse is charted by his pen, through to the pomp, circumstance and partying of the day of handover itself. Now, 20 years later, Crowell has updated this valuable historical record with reflections on what has happened to Hong Kong since 1997.

Author Biography

Todd Crowell is an American journalist who has worked in Hong Kong, Thailand and now Japan, where he serves as country correspondent for Asia Sentinel.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2017 edition
Introduction
September 1995: An election in Hong Kong—the incredible shrinking governor—many ways to “fix” an election system
January 1996: The shrinking harbor—Who will be Hong Kong's first Chinese chief executive?—the old British hongs adapt—the coming of the PLA
March 1996: Getting “travel insurance”—the legislature will be disbanded—what is there to celebrate?
May 1996: At the races—what to do with the “R-word”—Patten chastises businessmen—Hong Kong's patriots
June 1996: The professional demonstrator—can a good Christian be a good citizen of China?
July 1996: One year to go—coolie work—how is confidence holding up?—the end of Rennie's Mill
September 1996: Joining the Selection Committee—the frontrunner—don't rule out the great survivor—an overture to the democrats—an election in Macau
October 1996: Patten's swansong—the Taiwan community—a big deal about a small island—worries in the press
November 1996: The candidates on display—a “real” campaign—the Selection Committee meets—it isn't over until it's over
January 1997: The fateful year—tale of two legislatures—another political bombshell—the rule of law
February 1997: Deng Xiaoping dies—what now for the Democrats?—bound for Blighty—Hong Kong's shame
March 1997: Spring rite of passage—colonial nostalgia—the children's crusade—Cat Street worries
April 1997: A demo in support of demos—Martin Lee meets Bill Clinton—Americans in Hong Kong—what now for Xinhua?
May 1997: Red chips—it will be a long night—trouble with the dream team?—the “last” June 4 remembrance
June 30, 1997: Red flags over Hong Kong—fresh PLA jitters—solemn and dignified—farewell, my colony
Epilogue: July 1997: Dark clouds—“a new era, a new identity”—post-mortem
Afterword: July 2017: No longer a colony, where is the special administrative region heading now?

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