All of Hong Kong was handed to China at midnight on 1 July 1997 with the promise that the city could maintain its unique way of life and separate government and laws for a period of 50 years.
Last century was very disastrous for the United Kingdom, dozens of its ex-territories all over the world preferred to split for living in the mode of independence from the British Crown. Whether was it the right decision, the history only is able to tell. On July 1, Hong Kong is marking 20 years since the territory was handed from Britain to China, bringing an end to more than 150 years of colonial rule.
Chinese president Xi Jinping will also make his first visit to Hong Kong since coming to power in 2012, in order to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover and swear in the city’s new chief executive.
Hong Kong and Britain: 20 years ago
Twenty years ago Hong Kong was not entirely integrated with the rest of mainland China, that meant many institutions established during colonial rule were maintained under a framework known as “one country, two systems”.
Prince Charles, the son of monarch Elizabeth II, was at the handover ceremony 20 years ago together with them-PM Tony Blair. Both men travelled to the city to mark the transfer of sovereignty. The witnesses said that Prince was deeply sad with such loss, in a diary he kept during his time in Hong Kong that was later leaked, he referred to the Chinese leadership as a “group of appalling old waxworks”.
As of today, China has offered no clarity on what will happen to Hong Kong beyond 2047, when the pledge that Hong Kong could keep its own government and laws expires.