2010 Some protesters attending the July 1 rally carry colonial flags, the first time that a relatively large number of these flags has been sighted since the handover. Since then, the British Hong Kong flag has become a common sight during the annual demonstration. 2011 Chinese studies scholar Chin Wan rises to prominence after the publication of his book “Hong Kong City-State Autonomy.” He advocates for more autonomy for Hong Kong, and holds that it should also distance itself from mainland China. Chin enjoys a growing, loyal following on the Internet. 2012 October 1st A few dozen citizens—who bring along British-Hong Kong flags—protest at the Liaison Office (which coordinates affairs with mainland China) in Sai Wan on China’s National Day. They chant slogans such as “We are Hongkongers, not Chinese.” October 12th The former director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Lu Ping, writes a letter to the editor that is published in the South China Morning Post. In the letter, Lu warns that Hong Kong will be a “dead city” without support from the mainland. He also asks if Hongkongers know where their drinking water comes from. He also calls supporters of Hong Kong independence “sheer morons.” October 24th Chen Zuoer, former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, remarks during a chat on an Internet forum that pro-independence sentiments have spread like a virus in Hong Kong. Chen, who was a key negotiator during the handover process, says he feels hurt when he sees Hongkongers waving the colonial flag; he thinks the flag should be placed in museums instead. He adds that Hongkongers should be grateful to China’s central government because it gave tremendous help to Hong Kong during the SARS panic and 2008’s financial turmoil. October 28th RTHK program City Forum discusses the topic of Hong Kong independence. Facebook group “We are Hongkongers, but not Chinese” spokesman Danny Chan and Beijing loyalist Lew Mon-hung are among the guests invited to the debate. Scuffles break out in the audience. November 1st Lu Ping makes a second comment about rising pro-Hong Kong independence sentiments in an email interview with the South China Morning Post. He says that Hongkongers who refuse to identify themselves as Chinese should leave Hong Kong; it makes no difference, he claims, since China is a populous country. November 8th Lu Ping makes a second comment about rising pro-Hong Kong independence sentiments in an email interview with the South China Morning Post. He says that Hongkongers who refuse to identify themselves as Chinese should leave Hong Kong; it makes no difference, he claims, since China is a populous country. Read the Feature story to learn about the recent controvercy surrounding Flag Flying in Hong Kong.