Hong Kong, China and the deep roots of the ongoing crisis

  • October 05, 2020
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Zoom virtual meeting


Olivier Courteaux

Olivier Courteaux holds a Doctorate in History from the University Paris IV-Sorbonne.  He specializes in the history of 20th century international relations, with a particular emphasis on conflicts.

He has taught at various institutions in Ontario including York University/Glendon College, Ryerson University and the Royal Military College in Kingston. He is currently lecturing at the Life Institute (Ryerson University).

Olivier is the author of The War on Terror: Canada’s Dilemma (2009)Canada between Vichy and de Gaulle, 1940-1945, (published in English in 2013 and in French in 2015) on Franco-Canadian relations during the Second World War, and Quatre Journées qui ébranlèrent le Québec on Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1967 “Vive le Québec Libre”, in 2017.

Hong Kong, China and the deep roots of the ongoing crisis

When the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to China in July 1997, thus ending over 150 years of British rule, the hope in the West was that Beijing would abide by a "one country, two systems" policy. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and China's premier Zhao Ziyang allowed Hong Kong to maintain a level of political and social autonomy. In 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China with its own "mini constitution", which included free speech and the freedom of assembly.

Clearly, China has chosen to put an end to Hong Kong's special status. This lecture will explain the deep roots of the crisis by looking back at the history of Hong Kong since the cessation by China of the island to the British, in 1842, until the present. The consequences of China's most recent decisions when it comes to its relations with the West, and especially the United States, will also be discussed.

This event is part of the Fall 2020 Speaker series. 

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