Daisy Li Yuet-wah, 33, journalist THE feeling was one of joy because the signing of the Joint Declaration marked the end of British colonial rule over Hong Kong. I didn't foresee the problems that would arise. In fact, I thought what was written inside the agreement was not bad. Ten years later, the joy still exists because Hong Kong, as a modern city, should progress and this is a move in the right direction. But the feeling now is more complicated. As a journalist, I'm worried whether our freedom of speech will be jeopardised. Not that the fear has grown larger, but we are more aware of it now. The Basic Law has turned out to be less satisfactory since it has become very hard to honour the agreement in both matter and spirit. As journalists, we are in the frontline of breaking news. Though June 4, 1989, was a drastic event, it is not the only one that has increased our awareness of the Joint Declaration [and its associated problems]. The drafting of the Basic Law and the Xi Yang case have also highlighted the difficulties. Richard Lau, 31, financial controller I CAN'T recall the actual event, nor how I felt about it. But since then, there have been a lot of problems . . . a lot of contentions between Britain and China on the interpretation of the document. Ten years ago, I had just graduated [from college] and all I had to worry about was getting a job. Now I have a family, therefore, if I stay here, I have to take a chance on the possible impacts the takeover will have on our economy. It is a risk I am not prepared to take. Any impact would not only be on me but also on my family and I can't ignore the issue. My decision is to leave Hong Kong. Jan Lamb Hoi-fung, 27, radio DJ and recording artist with Soft and Hard Core Kids I KNEW about the agreement but did not know what it really was in detail. I thought it was rather superfluous, it was never up to us to decide [our future] . . . it is amusing that some people can get together and lie together, it's not worth believing. It will be very interesting to see how  will affect both radio and the media, it will be interesting to see the differences between our CDs recorded before 1997 and our first CD after the takeover. Eric Kot Man-fai, 27, radio DJ and recording artist with Soft and Hard Core Kids I WAS a Form Five graduate when the Joint Declaration was signed. I don't know whether I have simply grown older, or whether it was the 1997 factor, which has changed my outlook on life. For instance, I no longer have long-term plans (unlike my father's generation). Although I say to myself I won't leave Hong Kong and everything will be fine, I have reservations about my future. Ten years ago, I thought the Joint Declaration was something important but didn't know what it was exactly about. Now I think politics is a bleak and frightening thing. We are simply numbed now after a decade of having politics hammered into our heads. Andrew Lui, 29, self-employed businessman I WAS a student 10 years ago and was aware of the signing of the Joint Declaration. But right from the start I had little confidence in the Chinese Government. In the 10 years since the signing I have thought that what was agreed in black and white was one thing, but what the Chinese would do in practice was another. I have set up a business rather than taking on a full-time job because I want to earn as much money as possible and then leave Hong Kong. The urge to leave was never greater than after June 4, 1989. Lee Cheuk-yan, 37, chief executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions THE Joint Declaration has lost its meaning. It's an international agreement and it is clear now that the Chinese side is using the Basic Law as a means to interpret, or to bend, the meaning of the Joint Declaration. Ten years ago, we thought the prospect of electing our own Legislative Council meant full democracy. What we didn't know was that there were so many interpretations to the term 'election'. What's more the British have tagged along with the Chinese by remaining silent. The whole agreement is a big lie. The Joint Declaration is not something workers discuss. They only know that it is the end of democracy. Anders Yuen Chi-man, 34, nurse I WAS already a nurse 10 years ago and this historical event is happening during the prime of my life. As far as I was concerned when the Joint Declaration was signed it promised stability. A decade ago I was optimistic because of the way China was opening up economically. We presumed that by 1997 China would have the same outlook as Hong Kong had in 1984. Today, China is still way behind in terms of politics. After June 4, 1989, a lot of nurses decided to leave. I have chosen to stay but I am disappointed. Even now, Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong is still talked about, but this is clearly no longer the reality. The Pattern reform package has caused much controversy and political bickering between the British and Chinese. The legal and judicial systems for post-97 have not been talked about. There has been no progress and development in this area. I am disappointed. The British Government is just thinking of its own interests and not acting in the interests of Hong Kong people. There are problems which should be discussed now but that are being left alone. Now, the British and Chinese just interpret the Joint Declaration the way they like, and therefore view it very differently. As Hong Kong people, we are frustrated as no government has asked us how we would interpret the agreement. Chan Hung, 44, primary school teacher THE Joint Declaration called for one country, two systems. It meant Hong Kong could keep its lifestyle the way it had always been. We welcomed the document but at the same time were very suspicious. Over the last 10 years, we have gone from co-operation to complete breakdown. Now the two countries are not co-operating at all. We can see that the Hong Kong way of life is expected to change as China has already set up its own powerful policy-making bodies. I feel disappointed that our three-tier government will be dismantled after 1997. How is this going to help us? Should we bear the consequences of their bickering? I seriously doubt whether one country, two systems is going to work. Our election criteria will be changed [to a way that suits the Chinese government]. But, one good thing that has come out of this is that Hong Kong people are more politically aware and mature than they were 10 years ago.