Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Decade of "One Country, Two Systems"

While China enthusiastically celebrates the 10-year anniversary of Hong Kong's return to "the motherland", tens of thousands of the territory's citizens marched through the streets of the city.

They along with former Chief Secretary Anson Chan demanded universal suffrage, and called for Radio Television Hong Kong or RTHK to be allowed to continue broadcasting. And the fiery Cardinal Joseph Zen made his debut at this year's march, after Pope Benedict XVI called for the Chinese government to allow Roman Catholics on the mainland to freely practice their religion.

While daily life in Hong Kong is basically the same, the former British colony has moved closer in line with the mainland. And for some Hong Kongers, it's an uneasy feeling.

On June 30, 1997, they were proud to become Chinese. But at the same time, they were switching masters.

I remember Prince Charles soaked as he stoically stood in the pouring rain; Chris Patten bowing his head, and President Jiang Zemin beaming in his proudest moment.

There was the fear of the People's Liberation Army storming into the city, but thankfully that was unfounded. And the last of the Union Jacks disappeared from view.

It was one huge party, but soon after with the Asian Financial Crisis and avian flu, the honeymoon was over.

I love Hong Kong because it's so resilient. And I hope the people continue to fight for what they believe in.

1 comment:

ks said...

10 years ago fortune magazine has predicted the death of hong kong. now with the prosperity of hong kong, once again hong kong has rebounded from the verge of disintegration. it has survived political upheavals, social unrest, econmonic disasters, sars. in the 10 year anniverary celebration of hk returning to china chairman hu jin-tao -playing ping pong, holding babies, visiting ordinary people's home show china is learning fast the western ways of politicians. it is a good start. they are on the right track and should be congratulated.