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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Typhoon by Charles Cumming

Typhoon by Charles Cumming is a spy novel set in Hong Kong and China at the time leading up to and after the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong.
I tend to get a bit confused when reading spy novels with all the code names and name changes, but Typhoon was an intriguing read.
Under cover as an employee of the large firms moving into China, operatives from the British MI6 and the American CIA have set up spy rings, many of which are based in Hong Kong with access to China. Things dramatically change when Hong Kong is changed from British Rule to Chinese. The story revolves around Joe Lennox a Secret Service agent for British SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) MI6 and Miles Coolidge an American CIA officer.

Hong Kong History:
During the First Opium War  Britain invaded Hong Kong which was then a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of China. The opium was Britain's answer to importing tea to Britain without draining the crown's coffers by exchanging China tea with opium from India (another British colony). The Chinese government objected to this practice of bringing large quantities of narcotics into the country. To end the trade war, China ceded the island to Britain as a Crown Colony via the Nanking Treaty.
Because Hong Kong was such a small area, surrounded by smaller islands, rather than risk another battle, the British agreed to a lease with China. There were two leases, the second one added the islands (New Territories) ending in ninety-nine years with the agreement that Hong Kong would remain capitalist with the political freedoms they had lived under during British rule.

1 comment:

K9friend said...

Sounds interesting!

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