Britain quickly re-established this unofficial part of the agreement and attacked Kowloon Walled City in 1899 to find it abandoned. They didn`t do anything with it, or the outpost, and the question of ownership of Kowloon Walled City was directly in the air. The outpost consisted of a yamen, as well as buildings that grew up in sparsely populated neighborhoods from the 1890s to the 1940s. The high-profile efforts of the British government in Hong Kong to increase democratic participation in the territory`s government therefore appear to have been too little, too late. Negotiations with China on the transfer of sovereignty began at a time when unofficial representation at Legco was only symbolic and was limited to selected elites. After the 1984 agreement to allow the Chinese government to develop a basic law, there was little that could be done to reform the system outside the framework of the law. The provisional legislative power will remain in force until 1998 or 1999 and, although China has committed to introducing a two-stage Legco where half of its direct voters will be elected, it remains to be seen how such regulation will actually work in practice. China`s foreign minister said the elections “embody democratic, free and open principles” and that anyone who meets China`s criteria is allowed to run. (22) Eligibility could be limited to a number of parties or, more likely, candidates could be required to insult themselves for a restrictive promise that would exclude anyone who might be critical of the SAR or the Beijing authorities. The future of a truly elected government in Hong Kong is a very open question. Critics have called it the “end of Hong Kong” – what do we know, and what do people fear the most? Some political analysts felt that an agreement was urgently needed, as there were fears that Hong Kong`s economy would collapse untreated in the 1980s.
Concerns about land ownership in the new leased territories also contributed to the problem. Although discussions on Hong Kong`s future began in the late 1970s, the final date of the joint declaration was influenced by factual and economic factors rather than geopolitical imperatives.  During the 2014 Umbrella Revolution, a campaign against perceived violations of mainland China at HKSAR, Chinese officials concluded for the first time that China considered the joint declaration “invalid,” according to a British MP.  This conclusion was found to be “manifestly erroneous” by a senior Hong Kong lawyer and rejected by the British Foreign Minister, who stated that the document was a legally binding agreement that had to be respected.   Rita Fan, then Hong Kong`s only representative on the Standing Committee of the National People`s Congress in Beijing, stated that responsibility for the UK`s oversight had expired and that the joint declaration did not provide for universal suffrage.  The Chinese revolution of 1949 confronted Hong Kong with a potential crisis, but when the new Communist government decided, for strategic reasons, not to withdraw what it considered to be part of China, the region experienced a new growth spurt.
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