Friday, 30 June 2017

Memories of 20 Years Ago

Jiang Zemin shakes hands with Prince Charles during the handover ceremony
Twenty years ago, what were you doing?

I was in Hong Kong witnessing and being part of history.

All signs of British colonialism are removed
At the time there was apprehension, wondering what life would be like under Communist rule, and how much things would change in Hong Kong.

Everyone there at the time remembers the rain. It was torrential. We wondered if it was a sign from above that this transaction was not a good idea.

But we we through with it, watching on the big screens with Prince Charles giving a speech, the last governor Chris Patten receiving the British flag as if it was taken from the casket of a dead soldier.

And then he boarded the Royal Yacht Britannia and sailed off under a massive explosion of fireworks in Victoria Harbour.

Last governor Chris Patten receiving the British flag
The People's Liberation Army came into Hong Kong and people worried they might come charging in with tanks.

But they instead kept relatively low key though their crossing over the border was very symbolic of the change in power. The changing of the flag is one thing, seeing soldiers literally coming in is another.

The next day on July 1 there were parties everywhere which seemed odd, but what else is there to do anyway? I went to the cocktail party at The Peninsula Hong Kong and we wondered what we were celebrating.

The PLA comes across the border at midnight July 1
Foreign journalists had parachuted in and were probably hoping for death and destruction, but we don't do that in Hong Kong.

And then life went on... or so we thought...

No comments:

Post a Comment