QUOTE (VJDay @ Jun 27 2011, 02:08 PM)
Face saving measure for the Portuguese, which had to concede to Chinese demands for transfer of sovereignty, lest face unilateral resolution on the issue of sovereignty by the PRC (ie. war).
Is does take a great deal of stomach to concede to the nullification of Qing dynasty era treaties, no matter how unequal they were, they were still legally binding international laws and treaties, so China allowed Portugal/Britain a face-saving way to leave their former colonies relatively in tact post-transfer of sovereignty, since it's not just about holding colonies, it's about returning capitalist colonies back to a Communist dictatorship, which is pretty hard if you ask me if you are a European state, but you simply have no choice, because China can easily unilaterall resolve the issue of sovereignty if negotiations didn't take place because East Asia is China's territory.
What can Portugal, with a population 1/10 of Guangdong, do if China wanted war? China was nice to give Portugal a face-saving means of exiting.
That's right. Thatcher said, after the Falklands war, that maybe Britain could unilaterally hold Hong Kong. Deng straight up told her he can march the army in there tomorrow and there'd be nothing she could do about it. And he was right, called her bluff, and Thatcher was so shaken she tripped on her way out.
When Portugal didn't agree to leaving its colonies (Goa, India) India just marched the army in and took over. Portugal knows how things work in cases of tiny cities being held.