Hong Kong’s 20th Anniversary
July 1st of 2017, marks the 20th anniversary of the handover in Hong Kong that took place back in the summer of 1997.
Before Hong Kong was handed back and was no longer a British colony, the Chinese and British governments had many of discussions of how to handle the transition of power from the British to the Chinese. They had agreed that there would be 50 years where Hong Kong would be able to hold their own civil liberties and have their own judicial system. This idea coined the term, “one country, two systems”, meaning that Hong Kong was a part of China, but it would have a totally different set of rules and a different government system than what the rest of China has.
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, came to Hong Kong on a three-day trip to celebrate the return of the former British colony. President Xi Jinping did a number of activities in Hong Kong, including a visit and inspection of the People’s Liberation Army base. This was the biggest military display that was put in by the Chinese soldiers in Hong Kong since they entered into Hong Kong on a number of boats, aircraft, and armored personnel carriers 20 years ago. There were many people that were welcoming them in and waving flags, while others were very worried as the Tiananmen Square crackdown had happened just a few years earlier.
Xi Jinping had also sworn in the latest chief executive, Carrie Lam, which was also said to be his highlight of the entire trip. Mrs Carrie Lam is Hong Kong’s first female chief executive has promised to build a cabinet with new members, but so far she has been filling her cabinet with veteran officials from previous administrations. She was not someone that many of the young people of Hong Kong would have voted for if they were given the chance this time around. She was one of the most disliked candidates during the campaigning process but was voted in by a committee of 1,200 people, most of whom were pro-Beijing.
Today marks the day twenty years ago, where Hong Kong began its own system. No longer a British colony, but not entirely China either. With only 30 years remaining before the “one country, two system” ideology is scrapped, many are thinking about the future of Hong Kong and what will become of it. Many Hong Kongers, mainly the younger generation, are making a huge effort to try and resist the change that China will enforce. What will happen next, no one here is quite sure, but it will come eventually.