- Hin LungLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
The signing of the Joint Declaration by the Conservative Party government of Margaret Thatcher was a cause of controversy in Britain at the time: some were surprised that the right wing Prime Minister would agree to such an arrangement with the Communist government of China represented by Deng Xiaoping. The Joint Declaration would also have to have been signed by HM Queen Elizabeth II and the President of China, Li Xiannian.
However, many commentaries pointed out that Britain was in anextremely weak negotiating position. Hong Kong was not militarilydefensible and received most of its water and food supply from Guangdong province in mainland China.It was therefore considered economically infeasible to divide HongKong, with the UK retaining control for Hong Kong Island and Kowloonwhile returning the New Territories to the PRC in 1997, if noagreements could be reached by then. As mortgages for property in HongKong were typically fifteen years, without reaching an agreement on thefuture of Hong Kong in the early '80s, it was feared that the propertymarket would collapse, causing a collapse of the general economy in Hong Kong.Constraints in the land lease in the New Terrorities were also pressingproblems at that time. In fact, while negotiation concerning the futureof Hong Kong had started in the late 1970s, the final timing of theDeclaration was related to the land and property factors.Source(s): wiki