July 1 is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day, or Establishment Day, which is celebrated annually since 1997.
The holiday commemorates the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Hong Kong’s territory was acquired by United Kingdom from China through three separate treaties: the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the Treaty of Beijing in 1860, and The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, which gave the UK the control of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon (area south of Boundary Street), and the New Territories (area north of Boundary Street and south of the Shenzhen River, and outlying islands), respectively. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, the control on the New Territories was a 99-year lease.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration was signed by the Prime Ministers of the People’s Republic of China and the United Kingdom governments on December 19, 1984 in Beijing. The Declaration entered into force with the exchange of instruments of ratification on May 27, 1985. In the Joint Declaration, the PRC (the Republic of China) Government stated that it had decided to resume the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong (including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories) with effect from July 1, 1997, and the UK Government declared that it would restore Hong Kong to the PRC with effect from July 1, 1997. In the document the PRC Government also declared its basic policies regarding Hong Kong.
In accordance with the “One country, two systems” principle agreed between the UK and the PRC, Hong Kong would become a special administrative region where the socialist system of PRC would not be practized, and Hong Kong’s capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for a period of 50 years from the date of handover. The Hong Kong handover ceremony officially marked the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom. It was an internationally televised event with the ceremony commencing on the night of June 30, 1997 and finishing on July 1, 1997.
In commemoration of the day, we introduce you to lovely people from Hong Kong and a Japanese who is related to the area.
*Click the photo below and read their stories!
“There are really so many treasures in every place in Japan.” – Chiu Yin Mei, Catering Chef/Food and Beverage Public Relations Expert