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  • Raviteja asked: Why the British handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997? What were the terms and conditions?

    R. N. Das replies: Hong Kong was acquired by Britain in three stages after defeating China in the Opium War. The first was Hong Kong Island, which was ceded to the Great Britain in perpetuity by the Treaty of Nanking on August 29, 1842. The Kowloon Peninsula was leased to Britain by the Convention of Peking in 1860, and the new territories on a 99 year lease under the Second Convention of Peking in 1898. China regarded these treaties as unequal, imposed on China under the duress of ‘gun-boat diplomacy’.

    As the 99-year treaty was to expire on July 1, 1997, both Britain and China started negotiations in early 1980s. The historic joint declaration on the future of Hong Kong was signed on December 19, 1984 between Premier Zhao Ziyang and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Under the joint declaration, an innovative “one country, two systems” was devised, under which Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty while retaining its political and economic system. The tenets of the joint declaration were later elucidated in the Basic Law, under which the present Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is governed.

    Less Brussels, more La Manche*? The Case of Anglo-French Defence Co-operation

    The question is not whether bilateral co-operation among member-states is a substitute for common European defence.

    November 25, 2010

    Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review

    The review shows a remarkable shift in the strategic thinking of UK from that of the Cold War frame to a more independent contemporary assessment with a focus on non-conventional threats.

    November 25, 2010

    Beyond the Summitry: David Cameron in India

    What is new for the observers of British foreign policy after the new coalition government came into power, is the endeavour to reposition Britain in a fast-changing global scenario

    August 03, 2010

    Climate Change and Foreign Policy: The UK Case

    Climate change has acquired high priority in the United Kingdom's foreign policy. It has in recent years raised the issue of climate change at various international forums, such as G-8, the European Union and the UN Security Council. This article examines how and why climate change has become one of the core components of UK foreign policy, and in so doing analyses the interconnections between foreign policy and climate change, and interactions between domestic and international politics.

    May 2010

    Turbulence Rocks Islamic Republic

    Although Iran’s regime is under no immediate danger of being toppled, it however faces a growing number of internal and external threats which will necessitate prudent redressing.

    January 08, 2010

    Climate Change and Foreign Policy: The UK Approach

    Event: 
    Fellows' Seminar
    April 24, 2009
    Time: 
    1030 to 1300 hrs

    David Miliband is not Right

    British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, arrived in India on his two-day visit on 13 January, barely a month and a half after the carnage in Mumbai. His visit was controversial for what he said during the visit and it was made worse by his article that appeared in The Guardian on the last day of his visit. It even provoked the normally restrained Ministry of External Affairs to comment that it could do without Miliband’s “unsolicited advice” and that his views were only “evolving”.

    January 22, 2009

    David Miliband’s visit to India

    An article by the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, in The Guardian (January 15) in which he suggested, “resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms, and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders” evoked swift responses in the media, political and foreign policy establishments in Delhi. The Ministry of External Affairs was quick in its response that, ”Mr. Miliband is entitled to his views, which are clearly his own and are evolving”.

    January 20, 2009

    Rising Cost of the Global War on Terror

    The Global War on Terror (GWOT), now into its sixth year, has become one of the most expensive wars in American history. GWOT covers three military operations: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which broadly covers Afghanistan but ranges from the Philippines to Djibouti; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), which is meant to provide better security for US military bases and enhanced homeland security; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) which began with the build-up of troops for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The cost of these operations has phenomenally increased over the years.

    January 01, 2008

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