Reviews 275 Steve Tsang, editor. A Documentary History ofHong Kong. Volume 1, Gov- ernment and Politics. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1995. xii, 312 pp. Paperback $27.00, isbn 962-209-392-2. Hong Kong became a British Crown Colony in 1841. Today, it is the United Kingdom's last significant colonial possession. Since 1945, its six mülion inhabitants have transformed an impoverished and largely immigrant community into a major player in the global economy, despite an absence of any significant financial or development assistance from the British Government. Its GDP per head exceeds that of the United Kingdom, Canada, or Australia. It is the fifth largest banking center in the world, and the eighth largest trading economy. Although a thoroughly sophisticated open society, its political development has been much slower. As late as 1985, Hong Kong's political institutions were still a faithful mirror of the classical imperial system of Victorian Britain, and fhe colonial legislature's first direcdy elected members did not appear until 1991. On June 30, 1997, British rule ends, and sovereignty wül revert to the People's Republic of China, whose people have a GDP per head of only 2.5 percent of their Hong Kong compatriots and whose political leaders
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 30, 1997
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