'Hong Kong Is Our Home': Hong Kongers Twenty-Five Years After the Handover

'Hong Kong Is Our Home': Hong Kongers Twenty-Five Years After the Handover
Christopher K. Tong
This article outlines the evolution of Hong Kong consciousness from the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 to the Handover to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and to the pro-democracy movement of 2019-2020. Whereas Hong Kongers were worried about the disappearance of their culture, way of life, and economic competitiveness in the prelude to the Handover, they confronted a spectrum of opportunism, ethno-nationalism, and recolonization as Hong Kong was gradually assimilated by the PRC. While official narratives tend to portray the governance of Hong Kong as being attacked by a minority of protesters during this period, this article shows that it was rather the maturation of Hong Kong consciousness that was being demonstrated in the process. Protest art, slogans, films, and music functioned as purposive expressions of Hong Kongers’ desire for more political rights, including universal suffrage, freedom of speech, and the rule of law. Meanwhile, the collective will of Hong Kong people was time and again reflected in elections for the Legislative and District Councils. However, the enactment of the Hong Kong National Security Law in 2020 has drastically altered the legal and legislative infrastructure in the city. This article explains how the cultural logic of expiration, first experienced by Hong Kongers in the 1980s and 1990s, has evolved over the twenty-five years since the Handover. Written for a broad audience, this article offers a succinct introduction to Hong Kong for students and non-specialists and advances a fact-based counternarrative for scholars of modern China.

Publication date

1 Dec 2022 – 31 Jan 2023

Journal title, volume/issue number, page range

Education About Asia, 27/3, 5-10






National politics
Art and Culture