China was concerned about the rapid increase of opium in China; the Chinese Government sought to eradicate the drug trade. Chinese officials at Canton confiscated opium belonging to British merchants and trade was banned. This led the two nations to war. China subsequently lost the war, as it couldn't defeat the British Navy. Hong Kong was forcefully given to Britain in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking. In 1898 a 99-year lease of Hong Kong to Britain was signed. This meant that Hong Kong would belong to Britain for 99 years and after this 99 years Hong Kong would be handed back to China.
The British attitudes towards the hand over of Hong Kong were quite serious and emotional. The British were not only upset about the hand over but also proud as they had built up Hong Kong from a small fishing port into a thriving rich country with major businesses, "Hong Kong used to be desolate, but became the empires greatest prize"- BBC News Report. The British felt that the hand over in 1997 was a poignant day to reflect on the time they spent in Hong Kong. The British were quite upset about the hand over this is represented by the fact that the 'Last Post' was played when the British flag was been taken down.
The 'Last Post' is played at funerals' and Remembrance Day and other sad occasions. Chris Patten also portrayed the British attitudes towards the hand over. Chris Patten was the governor of Hong Kong for 5 years and on the day of the hand over he was very emotional, not only was he emotional but his daughters were crying as well this shows that British saw the hand over as a day of sadness. Chris Patten made a final speech in which he suggested that Britain would watch China and its running of Hong Kong. "Hong Kong people are to run Hong Kong" this could also be implied as a threat towards China so then they don't take over or change China.
Prince Charles could also represents the attitudes of Britain towards the hand over. He also made a speech in which he said, "Hong Kong people know best what is good for Hong Kong". It is almost as if Prince Charles was making a distinction between China and Hong Kong. He also wants China to remembers the joint declaration "One country, two system". Throughout a BBC News Report suggestions were made that once Hong Kong was handed back to China, it would invade Hong Kong. "Chinese troops cross into Hong Kong" This also shows the attitudes of Britain towards China.
The fear that China would invade Hong Kong is represented by the fact that Hong Kong people were demonstrating and the news reported that; "The police didn't stop demonstrators, not today any way". This suggests that the Chinese police may do something in the future but they weren't going to do anything on the day. In the above comment there is a threatening tone which is to remind people that the events of the Tienanmen Square massacre could happen again. Also in the British press it was reported that "China's charm survives first 100 days"- Sunday Times.
This suggests that China has held up for 100 days by putting on an act, however the true identity will soon begin to show in the future. However the media could be slightly biased. This is because the media is the attitudes of Britain. So the media wouldn't portray China as anything but cruel. The Chinese attitudes towards the hand over were quite different. China was happy and proud of the hand over as they thought it bought the end of an age of humiliation and shame this is because China was forced to give Hong Kong up due to Britain being stronger.
This was represented by the fact a party was held in Tienanmen Square on the day of the hand over to which 100,000 people attended, however security at the party was heavy this could suggest that they didn't want ordinary citizens to attend. The majority of the Chinese people were also happy with the hand over as they felt China and Hong Kong were together again. The Chinese thought the hand over washed away a century of humiliation as China forcefully gave up Hong Kong to the British.
However, this information could be biased as the government invited the people who attended the party. So they were probably told what to say as ordinary citizens were kept away from the party. In a BBC news report it was commented on that the hand over was a "Realisation of a 100year long dream". This means that the Chinese have finally got Hong Kong back after 100years. It is difficult to understand what the Chinese public actually thought of the hand over, as the communist party wouldn't allow interviews and those who did give interviews were instructed on what to say.
The Hong Kong attitudes towards the hand over were mixed, as the Hong Kong people were uncertain about their future. The Hong Kong residents held mixed attitudes some felt sadness and other felt doubt about their future. This is because China is communist and Hong Kong is capitalist and some Hong Kong residents thought that China would turn Hong Kong communist too. British residents living in Hong Kong (who are also known as ex-pats) thought they would be treated as 3rd class citizens. In the BBC News in 1997 it was reported that the Hong Kong residents reflected solemnly on the hand over.
The Hong Kong residents wanted to maintain democracy and freedom and speech. This is similar to how Tony Blair felt as in a speech in China he mentioned that China should stick to the agreement and Hong Kong should maintain democracy and Freedom of speech. However, some Hong Kong residents were in favour in this reunion with China. This is because they felt that Hong Kong was forcefully taken off China by the British in 1842 so they thought it was only right that China got Hong Kong back.
Overall the British attitudes towards the hand over were sadness and pride as they had built Hong Kong up and now they were giving it up. The British were also suspicious of China and thought the Chinese were going to change Hong Kong into a communist country. The Chinese felt triumphant about the hand over as they thought it ended an age of humiliation and shame. Finally the attitudes of Hong Kong towards the hand over were mixed, as the people were unsure and doubtful about the future of Hong Kong.