Event Details

The rise of China and the fall of Hong Kong to authoritarian rule are told with unique insight in this new history by Michael Sheridan, drawing on eyewitness reporting over three decades, interviews with key figures and documents from archives in China and the West.

The story sweeps the reader from the earliest days of trade through the Opium Wars of the 19th century to the age of globalisation and the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. It ends with the battle for democracy on the city's streets and the ultimate victory of the Chinese Communist Party.

How did it come to this? We learn from private papers that Margaret Thatcher anguished over the fate of Hong Kong, sought secret American briefings on how to handle China and took the hard decision to hand millions back to Communist rule in exchange for guarantees of freedom - a pledge that did not last.

The Gate to China tells how Hong Kong opened the way for the People's Republic as it reformed its economy and changed the world, emerging to challenge the West with a new order that raises fundamental questions about progress, identity and freedom.

*US Edition is published by Oxford University Press*


  • Kelly Falconer (MODERATOR: Founder of Asia Literary Agency)

    Kelly Falconer

    MODERATOR: Founder of Asia Literary Agency


    Prior to founding the agency, Kelly Falconer was an editor of fiction and non-fiction, working in-house and as a freelancer for publishers including Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Virgin Books, Constable & Robinson and Granta Magazine, as well as for agents and for a prominent literary scout. In 2012 she was the literary editor of the Asia Literary Review, and has contributed to the Financial Times (FT), the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) and the Spectator.

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  • Michael Sheridan (Foreign Correspondent and Author)

    Michael Sheridan

    Foreign Correspondent and Author

    Michael read history at Jesus College, Cambridge, and became a foreign correspondent in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He first reported from Hong Kong and China in June 1989 and later served as Far East correspondent for The Sunday Times (London) for twenty years, covering the rise of China, the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 and the city's fight for democracy.

    Earlier he worked for Reuters, ITN and The Independent, reporting on war in the Middle East, global diplomacy and European politics, with postings in Rome, Beirut and Jerusalem. His work has also appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, The Tablet, Vanity Fair, The Australian and the Hong Kong Economic Journal. He is author of a 1994 book Romans: Their Lives and Times.

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General Admission

These tickets are for an in-house event on the second floor and grants you access to the Club for the evening in Paddington London.

Standard Price £15
Member Ticket

These are available to full paying members only the nominal £5 fee is redeemable for a drink voucher on the evening.

Primary Member Price £5
Online Ticket

Online participation via ZOOM link for this In House Event, for a nominal donation.
Ask questions by raising your virtual hand or submit questions in advance.

Primary Member Price Complimentary
Standard Price £3
Show & Supper (Sold Out)

This Ticket buys you entry to this event and a post event dinner in the Clubroom.
What you get:
1 Standard In House event ticket
1 Course - from our Club Classics Card
1 Glass of house wine OR draught.

Standard Price £25