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Before World War III
Ceded to Britain at the conclusion of the Opium Wars in 1841, Hong Kong was one of the crown jewels of the British Empire in Asia.
The colony was occupied by the Empire of Japan during World War II. Following Allied victory in 1945, the colony was returned back to Britain. By that time, the Chinese Civil War had restarted. After the Communists took over the Mainland, the colony received an influx of Han Chinese refugees escaping the PRC. Hong Kong faced a possible PRC invasion during the Korean War. The United Kingdom officially recognized the People's Republic of China as legitimate government of the mainland in 1950; yet tensions between UK and the PRC continued because there were cases of PRC incursions in to Hong Kong as well as the kidnapping of Chinese refugees in the colony.
In the 1960s, the Triads remained a prominent criminal organization in Hong Kong. The Triads ran several illegal operations in the colony.
On September 1982 during Margaret Thatcher's state visit to China, Deng Xiaoping remarked that Chinese forces could easily take Hong Kong. After failing to renew Hong Kong's lease, the two countries agreed that Britain will administer Hong Kong until 1997.
World War III
Prior to the war, the Chinese government's crackdown of the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 was met with condemnation internationally. In Hong Kong, citizens took to the streets and protested the CPC's actions. Hong Kong was the ultimate destination for Chinese dissidents escaping the Communist Party's authorities. There were also former PLA soldiers and paramilitary police officers who joined these dissidents escape to this British colony. From there on, these dissidents escape to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe. This operation, codenamed Operation Yellowbird, was clandestinely carried out by the CIA and MI6.
Initially, China was neutral during the war. Still, British Forces Overseas Hong Kong was placed on high alert. On March 1990, the United Kingdom's worst fear was confirmed when China entered the war as an ally of the Soviet Union. Chinese forces proceeded to attack allied countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region. Hong Kong and the Portuguese colony of Macau was not spared. While Macau quickly because of the lack of Portuguese military forces, the BFOHK put up was resistance they could against the Chinese. They fought of bravely for three weeks before surrendering due to the lack of supplies and ammunition, in what is now known as the Fall of Hong Kong. This was one of the humiliating and demoralizing battles for the United Kingdom.
Hong Kong was later liberated by the Commonwealth Realm with American naval and air support. Unfortunately, just as it was predicted, the city was heavily damaged due to heavy urban warfare in the first and second battles.
The crown jewel of the British Empire was heavily damaged but the damage was not absolute. Following the war, basic commodities were prioritizes, as well as utilities like water and electricity. The new Chinese successor state promised to provide these necessities since the PRC was directly responsible for the attack on the colony. Because the new China, dubbed as the Chinese Federated Union operates in a democratic style of government, the UK and CFU were back on the negotiating table by 1994. Even though China attacked Hong Kong, the British were well aware that responsibility fell to the former communist party. The two sides agreed to follow the terms of the Sino-British joint declaration signed in 1984.
Transfer of Sovereignty
In a widely-televised international event, the ceremony for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong ran from June 30, 1997 to the midnight of July 1, 1997. Present in the ceremony on the United Kingdom side was Governor Chris Patten, Prince Charles, and other officials. President Zhao Ziyang and various Chinese officials were also present. British Hong Kong troops farewell ceremony was held. Governor Chris Patten began his speech with "Today is a day of celebration, not sorrow." The Handover Ceremony officially began 30 minutes before midnight.. The Prince of Wales read a farewell speech on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. Moments before midnight the British national flag and Hong Kong colonial national flag were slowly lowered to the British national anthem "God Save the Queen," symbolising the end of British colonial rule in Hong Kong. As the clock stroked 12:00, the Flag of the Chinese Federated Union as well as the flag of the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region was raised, following the national anthem of the Chinese Federated Union. President Zhao Ziyang gave a speech expressing his optimism for the "one country, two systems" implementation, promising to Hong Kongers that the authoritarian laws of the former PRC will no longer apply to the new democratic China.
The 1997 Hong Kong Spectacular featuring Causeway Bay to Victoria Harbour formal Central, Hong Kong fireworks display began the following day as the last holdout of the British Empire in Asia was finally returned to China.