Hong Kong marks 27th anniversary of handover to China

Hong Kong has marked 27 years since its handover to China from Britain. Chief Executive John Lee said coinciding with the anniversary, Beijing will be gifting two giant pandas.

The Hong Kong government held a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary on Monday. The flags of China and Hong Kong were raised in the presence of former Hong Kong chief executives and government officials.

Lee delivered a speech and stressed his achievements including the enactment of the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance in March, which cracks down on acts endangering national security.

He stated that it is time for Hong Kong to move from stability to prosperity.

He then said, "Hong Kong has the distinctive advantages of enjoying our country's strong support, while being closely connected to the world."

He mentioned sharpening Hong Kong's competitiveness, saying, "We will also integrate into our country's development."

On past anniversaries of the handover, pro-democracy protesters critical of the Chinese government took to the streets.

But protest activities have been severely suppressed since China's national security law for Hong Kong came into effect in 2020.