JULY 1ST: SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE ESTABLISHMENT DAY
IT’S THE 20TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
“Together, Progress, Opportunity”- The themes for the 20th Anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong by the United Kingdom to Mainland China in 1997.
History: In the Early 1800’s, Great Britain chose to colonize Hong Kong primarily to exploit the local resources and labor. One of the biggest local resources that the British gained a profit from were the poppy plants that were used to make opium. The British started selling opium to the Chinese, and the Chinese soon became quite addicted. This led to an uncontrollable epidemic which resulted in many problems for the Chinese people and the government.
The Chinese decided to confront Great Britain about their concerns, which lead to a small war breaking out called the “Opium War.” The Chinese army was no match for the size of British army resulting in a Chinese loss. This lead to The Treaty of Nanjing which granted the British exclusive control of Hong Kong for 99years.
Much later in 1984, the future of Hong Kong was declared in the Sino-British Joint Declaration which governed Hong Kong under a system called “One Country, Two Systems.” In the end, the UK formally handed over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and Hong Kong built itself up to become the unique place it is today!
Festivities: Some festivities of Saturday include: flag raising ceremonies, cultural performances, a vibrant fireworks display, and a visit from Chinese President Xi!
Word has it, this is set to be the most expensive fireworks event since 1997 with a projected cost of HK$ 12 million (just over US$ 1.5 million). One of the best free views to see the fireworks will start at 20:00 in Victoria Harbour.
See you there!
You might also be interested in some of these related articles incorporating Hong Kong’s History: