In this chapter students have learned about China’s efforts to modernize its economy. They have also learned that in 1997 control of Hong Kong returned to China after 150 years of British rule. While Hong Kong has faced restricted political freedom, it is maintaining its market economy. In this activity students will take a closer look at Hong Kong before and after its transition from a British colony to a Chinese Special Administrative Region.
Students will use information from two CNN Web features to evaluate the transition of Hong Kong as it was returned to Chinese control. Students will answer four questions and then use what they have learned to write diary entries from the perspective of a resident of Hong Kong both before and after the handover.
- Students will be able to identify causes and effects of Hong Kong’s transition from British to Chinese control.
- Students will be able to evaluate the success of the “one country, two systems” plan in Hong Kong.
- Students will be able to write diary entries from the perspective of a Hong Kong resident before and after the transition.
Applied Content Standards
Standard 1: The geographically informed person knows and understands how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process and report information from a spatial perspective.
Standard 4: The geographically informed person knows and understands the physical and human characteristics of places.
Standard 10: The geographically informed person knows and understands the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth's cultural mosaics.
Standard 11: The geographically informed person knows and understands the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface.
Standard 12: The geographically informed person knows and understands the processes, patterns, and functions of human settlement.
Standard 13: The geographically informed person knows and understands how the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of Earth's surface.
Student Web Activity Answers
- The mood was generally optimistic. Reasons included the fact that more businesses were moving to Hong Kong than leaving, Chinese leaders had agreed to allow Hong Kong’s economic leaders to remain in charge, and Hong Kong was backed by $64 billion (U.S.) in foreign reserves.
- Some people were concerned by future Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa’s plans to roll back some civil liberties and individual freedoms.
- The Hong Kong media have become less outspoken and lively, many refraining from criticizing the top leadership in the SAR. Some attribute this process of “self-censorship” to a fear of offending and a desire to maintain friendly relationships with Chinese officials in the SAR and Beijing.
- There are growing concerns that people’s freedoms are being eroded. The government has tightened rules on holding demonstrations, pushed the Falun Gong spiritual movement to take a lower public profile in Hong Kong, and delayed moves to expand representative government. The Tung administration is also planning legislation to outlaw subversion against China.
- Students’ diary entries will vary but should include some information on the political and economic background of Hong Kong and China.
Go To Student Web Activity