Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day


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Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

July 1
Formerly an occupied territory of the United Kingdom, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on July 1, 1997. The day is reserved for official celebrations of Hong Kong and its unique "one country, two systems" arrangement with its mainland ally.
Large crowds observe the anniversary by turning out for an official flag-raising ceremony displaying the emblems of Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China. There is also a parade featuring traditional drumming performances and dragon dance troupes. For the 10th anniversary in 2007, the regional government coordinated a series of events, including a ceremony that swore in Hong Kong's new chief executive, Donald Tsang.
An alternative tradition has developed since the transfer of power in 1997. Dissenters mark the occasion by holding a massive march in which they protest against the Chinese government with demands that it commit to democratic practices like universal suffrage and the protection of freedom of speech. In response to the passage of a controversial national security law by Hong Kong in September 2002, an estimated 500,000 people marched on July 1 in protest from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the government headquarters in Hong Kong's Central district.
CONTACTS:
Hong Kong Tourism Board
115 E. 54th St., 2/F
New York, NY 10022-4512
212-421-3382; fax: 212-421-8428

Celebrated in: Hong Kong

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