Decolonizing Hong Kong before 1997

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Event Date


Book Talk: Decolonizing Hong Kong before 1997

Date and Time:  April 26, 2024 at 5:00 PM PST/ 1:00 AM UK / 8:00 AM HK

Co-sponsors:  UC Davis East Asian Studies, UC San Diego 21st Century China Center, UC Irvine Long US-China Institute, UC Berkeley Center for Chinese Studies, Pomona Asian Studies Program, UC Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies

Register here 

About the Event

Author Chi-kwan Mark (Royal Holloway, University of London) will be joined by discussant Mark Hampton (Lingnan University, Hong Kong) to talk about his recent book, Decolonisation in the Age of Globalisation: Britain, China and Hong Kong, 1979-89. Chi-kwan Mark explores how Britain and China negotiated for Hong Kong's future, and how Anglo-Chinese relations flourished after 1984 but suffered a setback as a result of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

This event is organized and hosted by Global Hong Kong Studies at University of California.

About the Book

Decolonisation in the Age of Globalisation: Britain, China and Hong Kong, 1979-89

(Manchester University Press, 2023)

In the 1980s, Britain under Margaret Thatcher actively engaged with China in order to manage Hong Kong’s decolonisation and promote economic globalisation. During the negotiations over Hong Kong’s future, British diplomats aimed to ‘educate’ the Chinese in the nature of free-market capitalism. In this talk, I will examine Hong Kong’s ‘long decolonisation’, characterised by administrative and financial autonomy since the 1960s, in the age of globalisation. Although Hong Kong’s economic globalisation did not make de jure decolonisation inevitable by 1982, the Anglo-Chinese negotiations took place against the backdrop of the weakening of economic ties and sentimental bond between Britain and Hong Kong. Although, by 1984, Britain could not preserve the ‘forms’ of sovereignty and administration in Hong Kong after 1997, Thatcher was eager to keep the substance of a capitalist system that could be insulated from socialist China.

Decolonisation in the Age of Globalisation: Britain, China, and Hong Kong, 1979-89

About the Speakers

Chi-kwan Mark (Author)

Chi-kwan Mark is Senior Lecturer in International History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He studied at the University of Hong Kong, and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford. He is the author of Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations, 1949-57 (2004), The Everyday Cold War: Britain and China, 1950-72 (2017), and Decolonisation in the Age of Globalisation: Britain, China and Hong Kong, 1979-89 (2023).


Chi-Kwan Mark


Mark Hampton (Discussant)

Mark Hampton is Associate Professor of History at Lingnan University (Hong Kong). He is the author of Visions of the Press in Britain, 1850-1950 (2004) and Hong Kong and British Culture, 1945-97 (2016), and co-editor of Anglo-American Media Interactions, 1850-2000 (2007) and The Cultural Construction of the British World (2016). He is general co-editor of the forthcoming 6-volume Cultural History of Media (Bloomsbury), as well as volume co-editor for the nineteenth-century volume. Since 2005, he has been a co-editor of the journal Media History.

Mark Hampton