FAREWELL TO 99 YEARS IN HONG KONG - DATED 12th, FEBRUARY, 1997 - Signed by The Right Honourable The Baroness Margaret Thatcher
The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, commonly known as the handover of Hong Kong (or simply "the Handover", also "the Return" in mainland China) was the transition of control over the former British colony of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. The returned territory comprised Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, which were respectively ceded to Britain in 1842 and 1860, as well as the New Territories, which were leased for 99 years from 1898. The transfer was arranged to coincide with the expiration of this lease on the previous day, 30 June 1997. This event marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong, and is regarded by some as the end of the British Empire.
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