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Hong Kong Basic Law

Why Hong Kong must do all it can to protect ‘one country, two systems’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2018, 2:02pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2018, 2:02pm

I am writing in response to the article, “Government is rewriting history of Hong Kong, one inconvenient phrase at a time” (May 1), which said the official protocol office has changed its website to erase any mention of a “handover of sovereignty”.

We in Hong Kong have used the phrase “handover of Hong Kong” for decades. The handover ceremony of July 1, 1997 was a memorable event in modern Hong Kong history, which signified that Britain no longer ruled us as a colony and returned the sovereignty of the city to China. 

The changes in the website of the Protocol Division, and the proposed removal of the words “taking back” from school textbooks to describe the resumption of sovereignty by China in 1997, ignored Hong Kong’s history.

Most disappointing of all is the reaction of some Hong Kong people. They still believe in the “one country, two systems” principle and do not realise that the central government is interfering in Hong Kong politics and turning two systems into one. 

Calling 1997 event ‘handover’ belies ‘substance of momentous occasion’: Hong Kong No 2 official 

I think everyone in Hong Kong has to protect Hong Kong’s history and its unique political structure. As an educator or student, we need to know and preserve the history of Hong Kong by studying and teaching it as part of the school curriculum. As a lawmaker, we need to protect “one country, two systems”. So does everyone else in Hong Kong.

The unique history and political structure of Hong Kong make Hong Kong special and enable the city to command a high international status. If we do not preserve and protect our home, then we do not deserve it.

Owen Mak, Tseung Kwan O