Wednesday Night #800 Hong Kong handover

Written by  //  July 2, 1997  //  China, Geopolitics, Herb Bercovitz  //  No comments

2 July 1997
On July 1, 1997, over a hundred and fifty years of British rule ended in Hong Kong as it returned to China. During its complex history, Hong Kong has grown from a nearly uninhabited island to a thriving, living city with over 6 million residents.

Hong Kong handover

“The story of this great city is about the years before this night and the years of success that will surely follow it.” The parting words of Chris Patten, Hong Kong’s former governor, in his farewell speech at a British ceremony on June 30. (Chris Patten ‘s Speech at Farewell Ceremony of Hong Kong Handover)

Hong Kong handover: Patten wipes a tear as Last Post sounds
‘I have relinquished administration of this government’

The Day Britain Returned Hong Kong to China
On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong, a fervently capitalist and increasingly democracy-minded British colony, came under the control of China, a Communist nation that values stability over individual freedoms. The New York Times looks at the forces that have shaped Hong Kong and at the story unfolding as this dynamic city-state undergoes a radical change of leadership.
Some video clips

The 800th Wednesday night sees Hong Kong to be mired in a severe economic slump.
They will get along with each other like Québecers.
An end to the “noon day sun”
For more on Hong Kong

Dear David
I want to confirm to you what you undoubtedly already know, namely how enjoyable last Wednesday evening (#800) was at 33 Rosemount Avenue. Several of the guests have spoken to me about the timeliness of the topic of Hong Kong and your own remarkable skill in condensing two days’ audio-visual material into a fascinating, yet complete video. This left adequate time for interesting, informed discussion. The presence and differing views of Hung-Chieh (Craig) a Taiwan native and Khim Chong born in Singapore and educated in Taiwan, added the sense of balance, a sort of multidimensional view of the event.
I understand that your tapes may be borrowed, and I certainly urge any Wednesday-nighters to do so so that they may recapture a little of the magic of the evening.
To round off a most memorable Wednesday night, Harriet Solloway‘s return visit reminded us of the continuing frustrations experienced in Africa to-day, and to those of us who remember the regularity of Harriet’s attendance in past years, of her sparkling, enthusiastic presence.
Thanks for a wonderful evening,
Herbert Bercovitz

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson,
It was a great night. The questions and comments given by those sagacious participants made the memorable #800 Wednesday Night an unforgettable experience for me.
I have to thank you for giving me the chance to express my opinion, in front of all wise and accomplished people, on the handover of Hong Kong. It’s interesting for me to observe how Canadians look at Taiwan at this critical moment in history; by some accounts, Taiwan would be the next Hong Kong, returning to the so-called motherland. Certainly, a few Taiwanese have the same worry that the reversion of Hong Kong would stimulate Chinese government to launch earlier its idea of “liberating Taiwan”. Most Taiwanese, however, have no that kind of fear. Taipei (the capital city of Taiwan) Stock Exchange soared two days before the handover, breaking 9,000 points to the highest in the last 7 years; on July 1st, a demonstration in Taipei asserted that “one country, two systems” can not and will not be accepted by Taiwan people, telling Chinese government and the world that Taiwan, a realistically independent country, will not be the next Hong Kong. Nevertheless, as a part of Chinese, Taiwanese are glad to see that Hong Kong belongs to Chinese again since the surrender of Hong Kong was a shame in Chinese history. In addition, I believe Taiwanese hope to see that the economic and political systems used in Hong Kong will be learned by Chinese government and then be enjoyed by people in the mainland.
Thanks again for giving me such a wonderful night. Craig
Craig H.C. Chou MBA ’97
McGill Univ.

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm