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The Hong Kong protesters forgot why China ceded Hong Kong to the British   

Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests

There is a series of ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong against the fugitive offenders. The Hong Kong Government proposed the legislation amendment bill.

The protests arose over concerns that such legislation would blur the demarcation between the legal systems, also known as one country two systems in Hong Kong, subjecting Hong Kong residents and those passing through the city to de facto jurisdiction of courts controlled by China.

The bill was first proposed by Secretary for Security, John Lee in February 2019. The first protest happened on 31 March with a peak estimate of 12,000 pro-democracy protesters. The movement gained stronger momentum.

A protest march held on 16 June was attended by nearly 2 million people, according to organisers. They even stormed the Parliament building.

On 9 July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam pronounced the extradition bill dead. She called amendment efforts a “total failure. Lam gave no assurances that the bill would be completely withdrawn, or that any of the other demands of protestors would be addressed.

My aim for writing this article

My purpose for writing this piece is to remind the Hong Kong protesters that they are testing the patience of the Chinese Government. Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Government have not forgotten the humility China had suffered in ceding Hong Kong and part of Kowloon to Britain when China lost the opium war about 200 years ago.

The British sold opium

When I was a boy before the Japanese invaded Malaya in December 1941, I remember the British had an opium sale outlet near my house along High Street, Kuala Lumpur. In fact, my grand uncle smoked opium.

In the nineteenth-century Britain had an insatiable appetite for Chinese tea, but the Qing Dynasty and its subjects did not want to buy anything that the British produced and demanded payment in gold and silver. The government of Queen Victoria did not want to use up any more of the country’s reserves of gold or silver to buy tea. But decided to forcibly export opium from the British-colonized Indian subcontinent to China. Opium would then be exchanged for tea.

China’s government objected to the large-scale importation of narcotics into their country by a foreign power. China was experiencing an opium crisis, with its military forces suffering direct impacts from their addictions. There were politicians in England such as William Ewart Gladstone who did recognize the danger and objected strenuously; but at the same time, there were men who made their fortunes, such as the American Warren Delano, the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Opium Wars

When they discovered that banning opium imports outright did not work—because British merchants simply smuggled the drug into China—the Qing government took more direct action. In 1839, Chinese officials destroyed 20,000 bales of opium. This move provoked Britain to declare war in order to protect its illegal drug-smuggling operations.

The first opium war lasted from 1839 to 1842. Britain invaded the Chinese mainland and occupied the island of Hong Kong on Jan. 25, 1841, using it as a military staging point. China lost the war and had to cede Hong Kong to Britain in the Treaty of Nanking. As a result, Hong Kong became a crown colony of the British Empire.

Leasing Hong Kong

The Treaty of Nanking did not, however, resolve the opium trade dispute, and the conflict escalated again, into the Second Opium War. The settlement of that conflict was the first Convention of Peking, ratified on Oct. 18, 1860, when Britain acquired the southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island (Ngong Shuen Chau).

The British grew increasingly worried about the security of their free port at British Hong Kong during the second half of the 19th century. It was an isolated island, surrounded by areas still under Chinese control. On June 9, 1898, the British signed a deal with the Chinese to lease Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the “New Territories”—the remainder of Kowloon Peninsula north of Boundary Street, more territory beyond Kowloon into the Sham Chun River, and over 200 outlying islands. Hong Kong’s British governors pressed for outright ownership, but the Chinese, while weakened by the first Sino-Japanese War, negotiated a more reasonable cession to finally end the war. That legally binding lease was to last 99 years, that was up to 1,997.

How I started to invest in the Hong Kong stock market?

In 1987 when China gave notice to the British Government to recover the sovereignty of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong people panicked because they were afraid that the Communists would soon come to rule them. Almost all the investors rushed to sell their holdings. I took advantage of the situation and made a kill.

The first stock I bought was Hong Kong Realty and Trust (HKRT) selling at HK$ 3.00 while its cash value per share was HK$ 10.00. The controlling shareholder of HKRT was a Jew called Willock Marden. Just before the crash, HKRT sold a multi storey Building namely Willock House. That was why HKRT had HK$ 10.00 cash per share.

During the crash, there were so many cheap sales. I only need guts and bravery to make money.

Currently the Hong Kong stock market is dropping quite rapidly. If the protest continues, the stock market will crash thus creating another buying opportunity to make another kill.

 

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