HONG KONG -- The agreement signed Wednesday to turn Hong Kong over to Chinese control in 1997 consists of eight articles, three annexes and an 'exchange of memorandums' that will be legally binding and maintain Hong Kong's capitalist character for at least 50 years.
Among its main points:
-Hong Kong will be known as a special administrative region and 'will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defense affairs.'
It will be vested with executive, legislative and judicial power and the site of final judicial appeal, now the Privy Council in London, will be shifted to a new body in Hong Kong.
-Basic rights and freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong will be preserved, including the capitalist lifestyle. Hong Kong will remain an international financial center with free movement of people and capital.
-Hong Kong Chinese will become citizens of the People's Republic of China but those eligible for British dependent territory status may still obtain British travel documents.
-A joint Chinese-British liaison group will be formed to ease the transition between now and 1997. It is being set up for information and discussion purposes only and will have no power in Hong Kong.
-Land leases will be preserved for 50 years after 1997.