'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 before and after the Handover, from the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 to the pro-democracy movement of 2019-2020. Before 1997, Hong Kongers were largely worried about the disappearance of their culture, way of life, and economic competitiveness. However, as the People's Republic of China integrated the former British colony post-1997, Hong Kongers responded with a mix of acceptance, ambivalence, and even activism. Whereas official narratives tend to emphasize economic opportunity and ethno-nationalism in post-Handover Hong Kong, this article shows how Hong Kongers became more politically engaged over this period. Protest art, slogans, films, and music offered purposive expressions of Hong Kongers’ desire for political rights such as 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. The cultural logic of expiration, first experienced by Hong Kongers in the 1980s and 1990s, finds a new iteration twenty-five years after 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