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It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the event that dominated headlines at the time. 30 June 1997 was the last day that sovereignty in Hong Kong resided in United Kingdom. 1 July 1997 was the first day on which China re-acquired that sovereignty. Many colonial powers have returned control of their former dominions to the inhabitants. The situation in Hong Kong, with sovereignty transferred to a different country, was unique. Portugal then reached a similar arrangement with China in relation to Macau, but that grabbed less attention as the transfer took place on 1 January 2000 (a date on which there was considerable competition for headline news).
I have many vivid memories of the time. Rain is one such memory – almost as much rain as fell on INTA when it was held in Hong Kong in 2014. I also remember Chinese troops pouring over the border (only to return the next day – not to be seen again). Others will have their own memories, but for readers under 35, perhaps a brief history will help place the event in context. (more…)