Between 1927 and 1949, a civil war in China was fought between the Nationalist ROC-led government led by Chiang Kai Shek, and the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. These two forces put their differences aside to fight off the Japanese in WW2. However, they turned on each other soon after when unable to resolve their differences. The incompetency of the communist army led to them making many mistakes, allowing the nationalists to retake the mainland and forcing the communists to retreat to Taiwan. After securing his authority in blood, Kai Shek set about remaking China in his image, instituting a system of "democracy with Chinese characteristics". As such, China retained close ties with western nations, spurring the false promises of the Soviet Union upstarts.
In this scenario, British leaders are more far-sighted about their dealings with China, understanding that it will become the dominant economic power of the world in the 21st century, rivaling the United States in power after experiencing a record boom in growth. To get in on the action, they intend to retain the British colony of Hong Kong, a dependent territory of the British Empire since it was seeded to them by the Quing Empire after the Opium War in 1841. This would keep Britain very close to China, allowing it to be first in line to benefit from its economic growth. Unfortunately, this territory was ceded to Britain for a period of 99 years, at which point the territory would legally be returned to China. This acquisition had always been a sore spot for the Chinese people, who saw their country being exploited and dominated for decades by various foreign powers. This anger and resentment came to a head with the boxer rebellion, which helped bring down the Qing Empire.
Britain needs a way to make this lease permanent, similar to Northern Ireland becoming part of the UK. Failing that, it would at the least want to extend the lease as part of the Commonwealth of Nations, a political association of 54 member states, nearly all of which used to be territories of the British Empire. What set of circumstances need to occur in order to bring about this eventuality?