20th anniversary of Hong Kong handover: a look back at 1997 in pictures

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 10:42pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 May, 2017, 1:21pm

As Hong Kong prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its handover from Britain to China, we take a look back at the major news stories that shaped the city during that time and how the South China Morning Post reported and presented them.


Starting with 1997, we will reflect, in weekly instalments each covering a different year, on the final days under colonial rule and the dawn of a new era to the present day.

As the celebrations marking the change of sovereignty came to an end, huge new challenges soon lay ahead for the special administrative region in the shape of the Asian financial crisis and the spectre of bird flu.

Moving into a new century, worse was to come with the deadly outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome and even more economic woes with the global financial crisis. Yet the city stood firm and has continued to prosper.


On the political front, with a fourth chief executive due to take the reins, we will see how previous leaders managed growing political divisions in society, which escalated in the 2013 Occupy movement.

But closer ties with the mainland continue to be built through ambitious infrastructure projects such as the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.