HISTORY

Moments of fate: Signing of draft agreement on Sino-British Declaration in 1984

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 September, 2014, 6:29pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 September, 2014, 6:29pm
Zhou Nan, chairman of the Chinese negotiating team, and Sir Richard Evans of the UK sign the draft agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Sep 26, 1984 in Beijing. Photo: P.Y. Tang Richard Evans, leader of the British team for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, speaks during the initialling ceremony of the draft agreement at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 26, 1984. Photo: P.Y. Tang (From left) Sir Paul Bryan, Lady Pamela Youde, Sir Alan Huggins, Sir Patrick Nairne and Justice Simon Li attend a Legislative Council meeting to listen to Governor Sir Edward Youde's speech following the signing of the draft agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Sep 26, 1984 Governor Sir Edward Youde gives a speech at the Legislative Council Chamber regarding the initialling of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.  Photo: C.Y. Yu Chairman of the Chinese negotiating team, Zhou Nan, and the leader of the British team, Sir Richard Evans, shake hands after signing the draft agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Photo:  P.Y. Tang Richard Evans (left), leader of the British negotiating team for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and Zhou Nan, the Chinese team leader, shake hands after the initialling of a draft agreement. Photo: P.Y. Tang Zhou Nan, Chairman of the Chinese negotiating team, puts his signature to the Joint Declaration. Photo: P.Y. Tang Sir Richard Evans, British Ambassador to China, puts his signature to the Joint Declaration. Photo: P.Y. Tang Demonstrators protest following the initialling of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on September 26, 1984.  Photo: Sam Chan Zhou Nan, leader of the Chinese negotiating team for the Sino-British Joint Declaration, speaks at the initialling ceremony of a draft agreement of the Declaration. Photo: P.Y. Tang Attending a cocktail reception after signing the draft agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Sep 26, 1984 are (from left) Richard Evans, Ji Pengfei, Hong Kong Governor Sir Edward Youde, Zhou Nan, leader of the Chinese negotiating team, and Li Jusheng, Vice-Director of the Hong Kong branch of the New China News Agency. A news stand in Hong Kong advertises the issue of Newsweek reporting the initialling of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Photo: C.Y. Yu In Beijing, the British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, and the Chinese Premier, Mr Zhao Ziyang, sign the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Dec 1984. Photo: P.Y. Tang Li Ka-shing returns to Hong Kong from Beijing on December 20, 1984, after witnessing the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Photo: Yau Tin-kwai Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping shakes hands with the British Prime Minister, Mrs Margaret Thatcher, on December 21, 1984, after the signing ceremony of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Photo: Sunny Lee One of several demonstrators outside the Government Secretariat protest against the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on December 21, 1984. Photo: Sunny Lee Pro-democracy demonstrators, led by Legislative Councillors Martin Lee Chu-ming (second left) and Szeto Wah (third left) and political activist Lau Chin-shek (fourth left), march towards Kai Tak Airport on December 6, 1987. Pro-democracy demonstrators gather in a San Po Kong church before marching to Kai Tak Airport on December 6, 1987. Photo: Oliver Tsang British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher shaking hands with Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang at the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Photo: Peter Tse
Chinese leader Jiang Zemin shakes hands with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind after their meeting in Beijing on January 8, 1996 about the handover of Hong Kong to China. Jiang Zemin shakes hand with Prince Charles at the handover ceremony at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 30, 1997. Photo: Robert Ng Chinese President Jiang Zemin is greeted by Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa on arrival at Kai Tak Airport on June 30, 1997.

Thirty years ago, on September 26, 1984, senior representatives from the Chinese and British governments signed a draft agreement of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Beijing, paving the way for the restoration of Chinese sovereignty over Hong Kong. The official handover would happen almost 13 years later, on July 1, 1997.  

Photo editing by Jean Lin, Evangeline Lam