On this day in 1997 the United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.
The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China referred to as “the Handover” internationally or “the Return” in China, took place on 1 July 1997, and marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong.
The handover ceremony was held at the new wing of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on the night of 30 June 1997.
The principal British guest was Charles, Prince of Wales who read a farewell speech on behalf of the Queen. The newly elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, the British Foreign Minister Robin Cook, the departing Hong Kong governor Chris Patten and General Sir Charles Guthrie, Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom, also attended.
Representing China were the President of the People’s Republic of China, Jiang Zemin; and Tung Chee-hwa, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
This event was broadcast on several television and radio stations across the world.