Hong Kong opened a new chapter in its eventful history at the stroke of
midnight on June 30, 1997 when it rejoined Mainland China from which it had been
separated for more than 150 years.
The handover — as the historic event is commonly called — of British rule to
Chinese sovereignty was marked by the lowering of the British and Hong Kong flags
and the hoisting of the Chinese national and Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region flags in their place, a ceremony that was carried out with great protocol.
The changeover allows Hong Kong people to maintain their lifestyles, rights and
freedoms for 50 more years from that date, as enshrined in the Sino-British Joint
Since that date, Hong Kong-Mainland relations have become markedly firmer;
the city's economy is robust; tens of thousands of Hong Kong people now work and
live on the Mainland; Hong Kong's social stability is a model in the region; and Hong
Kong and the Mainland are growing economically stronger by the day.