On this day 13 years ago…

…Hong Kong was no longer under sovereignty from the United Kingdom and was handed over to the People’s Republic of China.

Today is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day. Quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Basically, on July 1st 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (or HKSAR) was established as it was returned to the People’s Republic of China.

People often say to me “I thought Hong Kong was China.” I usually reply with, “It isn’t.” It is a country on its own. You’re probably wondering, “But how? You just said it was given back to China.” In the same way, colonialism worked with the British and the Caribbean, and even the British and Hong Kong, a country remains a country on it’s own. Or, at least, that’s how I see it.

To be clear, when people think of China, they think of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) because that is what China is portrayed to be…and that is exactly what China is. It’s a country and a region on its own. Hong Kong is not a part of the PRC. And, hence, it isn’t the same thing as China. The PRC has two special administrative regions: Macau and Hong Kong. They are a part of, yet separate from China. Get it? =)

At the Shanghai World Expo, you would find that Hong Kong and Macau have pavilions of their own as they are countries with cultures and practices of their own. But you would find that they also stand right beside the China pavilion as they are China’s special administrative regions.

Get it now? =)
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