Cindy Yik-yi CHU (Hong Kong Baptist University), Hong Kong, the United States, and Business Concerns, English/23 pages, February 2011.


This article examines the essence of America’s Hong Kong policy in the 1990s, which lay in the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. In order to do so, it analyzes the contents of the Act, the background, the reactions, and the aftermath. It argues that there were similarities between the Act and the two Open Door Notes (1899-1900), in terms of their motives and ultimate objectives. While the Act appeared almost a century after the Open Door Notes, the United States on both occasions reacted to the same concerns. In the 1890s, as well as in the 1990s, the country aimed to promote America’s economic interests in East Asia, and to compete with other governments. In 1992, the United States was well aware of the booming China market, the economic opportunities in Asia, and the role of Hong Kong as a communication center in the region.
The preservation of the status quo became the motive in outlining the Hong Kong policy of the United States. Thus, the development of American interests was the fundamental objective of the 1992 Act. This was not unlike the fear of losing out in the China scramble in the late nineteenth century that drove Washington to draft and promote the Open Door Notes. In the 1890s, Americans just began to recognize the importance of the China market. In the 1990s, they already became the vested interests.