Hong Kong’s first major health and political crises since the handover came in 2003, when the city was hit by the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome and fervent protests over a proposed national security law pressed by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa after he was re-elected unopposed. An estimated 500,000 residents took to the streets on July 1 to express their fears over the loss of freedoms. In the face of overwhelming opposition, the government was forced to shelve the bill. A trade pact signed with mainland China after the epidemic paved the way for greater access to markets over the border, helping to boost the economy. Mainland tourists began arriving in greater numbers, snapping up products from luxury handbags to toiletries. But the closer integration also fuelled anxieties over the economy growing too dependent on the mainland, fears that came as the city was trying to find the right balance between local autonomy and central authority under the principle of “one country, two systems”. Amid mounting criticism over his performance, Tung resigned in 2005, citing failing health, and was succeeded by veteran civil servant Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. Tsang’s first years of governing were marked by the opposition camp’s deep scepticism of his proposed constitutional reforms, which they felt did not go far enough.