July 1st, 2012, in Hong Kong: The very first time, the pre-1997 colony flag was re-introduced by Hong Kong people. It’s a symbol of pre-1997 good old days and showed how much people dislike the Chinese government.
People in Hong Kong have a long history of mistrust of China.
This city, after all, was a colony of the British Empire for more than a century, and has only been under Chinese rule (under one country two system, to be precise) for a mere 15 years.
In this city, you seldom hear anything bad about Britain (because most have no idea), but you hear a lot of bad things about China, particularly the Chinese Communist Party.
We just don’t trust them.
While the mistrust of the political class of China continues in Hong Kong (and will certainly continue for much longer), the doubts on the strength of the Chinese economy and the doubts on the ability of the political class to manage the economy have more or less evaporated after 15 years of Chinese rule.
It used to be that Hongkongers would go to China to purchase really cheap stuff.
Now, it is the Mainland Chinese who come to Hong Kong to buy really expensive stuff.
Places in China which were farmlands are now full of modern buildings.
Infrastructure in large cities is getting better, sometimes even better than Hong Kong.
Before the transfer of sovereignty, Hong Kong was already a rich city while China was a very poor country. China used to be poor, dirty, relatively uncivilised, you name it.
Today, it’s almost as if this city would have died if the Chinese economy did not grow at the rate it did in the past decade.
China today, especially for big city like Shanghai, is just like Hong Kong: modern, international, classy.