HONG KONG, 1997-2002

Publication: China Brief Volume: 2 Issue: 13

By Willy Wo-Lap Lam

When Chinese President Jiang Zemin arrives in Hong Kong on June 30 for what could be his last official visit to the Special Administrative Region (SAR), he should have ample reason to feel pleased.

A wave of patriotism seems to be sweeping the land. Newspapers can’t find enough space to run messages congratulating Beijing and the SAR on the fifth anniversary of the July 1, 1997 transition. Preparations are underway for festivities such as a performance by the People’s Liberation Army song and dance troupe, as well as a gaudy display of fireworks on Handover Day. More important, Falun Gong protesters will be very much out of harm’s way. Top cadres of Beijing’s Ministry of Public Security have told the SAR police that demonstrators, particularly Falun Gong affiliates, must be out of Jiang’s earshot or field of vision. As of early June, Hong Kong’s immigration authorities have increased vigilance to ensure that U.S.-based Chinese dissidents will be barred from the SAR.