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Hong Kong & China Reunification Anniversary

Posted by Maureen Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's been over a year since my last visit to Hong Kong, yet I still pine for it. So to appease my need for insane traffic, constant noise, pollution, and indescribable Chinese food, I keep myself up to date with Hong Kong news and culture. Ever since the calendar turned to June, I've noticed an increasing amount of international news stories on Hong Kong, and soon realized it was in preparation for the 10 year anniversary of the reunification of Hong Kong and Mainland China on July 1. Some call it a celebration, others an unfortunate political shift.
Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's Chief Executive (President or PM type figure) published a very nice letter about the milestone, speaking quite joyously of the occasion in a way that will certainly create a lot of eye-rolling among Hong Kongers who have been there since the turnover. The best part of the article was his mention of the fireworks display, which if anything like their Chinese New Year display, will certainly be the best in the sky. Read his letter here.

I was living in HK when Donald Tsang became Chief Executive. He's known for his trademark bowtie and ever-cheerfulness. Additionally, he replaced Tung Chee Wha, who was so disliked by the end of his stint that he was reduced to bobblehead toys.

Meanwhile, I also read a story about Hong Kong pollution. In the 18 months I resided there, I think there were three days where the skyline was bright and clear. I am also fairly confident that my lungs probably look like I was a smoker for that amount of time as well (for the record, I was not.) Nonetheless, I'm baffled by the data representing how many individuals, investors, and businesses are either pulling out of Hong Kong or choosing not to move there in the first place solely based on the extreme pollution levels (seen in said article). At the very least, at least they have Freddy the Animated Chinese Weatherman to at least warn them of dangerously high pollution levels each day.Mmmm. . . breathe it in. I love this city.

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