Hong Kong has been marking the tenth anniversary of its return to China after more than 150-years of British rule. Celebrations began early with Chief Executive Donald Tsang sworn in for a second term in office by China’s President Hu Jintao. Tsang pledged to resolve the issue of universal suffrage during his new term
Hu promised to fully support Hong Kong in promoting democracy although China’s parliament has ruled out direct elections until at least 2012. Since the handover, Beijing has given Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula – but the ruling Communist Pary has maintained a tight grip on the pace of democratisation.
But not everyone has been celebrating. The Chinese President’s visit added extra significance to the annual protest march by thousands of pro-democracy activists. Polls show that most Hong Kongers want democracy as soon as possible.