Hong Kong: British Colonial Legacy and the New Era Under Chinese Rule with Adrian Cheng

Hong Kong: British Colonial Legacy and the New Era Under Chinese Rule with Adrian Cheng


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Hong Kong has long been an epitome of Eastern and Western cultures. It became a far-flung colony of the British Empire in 1841 after the First Opium War. In 156 years, the British had transformed Hong Kong from a “barren rock” with a population of several thousand into a metropolis with over 7 million residents. How has Hong Kong evolved from a small agro-fishery society in southern China into an international financial hub? So why did the reunification with China in 1997 bring about dilemma and anxiety among Hong Kong citizens? How has the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong eventually erupted into a wider anti-government protest movement, rocking the city for months in 2019? To truly understand the current situation and challenges facing Hong Kong, we need to trace back the history of nineteenth-century Hong Kong.

The seminar will begin by exploring the life, interactions, and challenges among the residents and the colonizer in nineteenth-century Hong Kong. The conversation will then delve into the development of Hong Kong in the early twentieth-century and its struggle under Japanese occupation during the Second World War. Then it will continue to explain the post-war economic boom, the evolution of a unique Hong Kong identity, and key events leading to the handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997. As promised by China, under the notion of “One Country Two Systems”, the way of living and freedom which Hong Kong citizens had been enjoying would remain unchanged until 2047. We will analyze whether such a promise has been kept, and how the relationship between Hong Kong citizen and China has changed since the handover. The seminar will conclude by discussing the legacies of colonial rule, the challenges facing Hong Kong’s reintegration with China, and look into the cause and effect of the protest movement in 2019.

Led by a Hong Kong-born and bred history lover, Adrian Cheng, this interactive seminar will explore how British colonial rule had transformed Hong Kong from a fishing village into an international financial hub, and the colonial legacies leading to current challenges facing Hong Kong’s reintegration with China. If participants were next to visit Hong Kong, they will look at the city from a different perspective beneath the skyscrapers and shopping malls.

Adrian was born and bred in Hong Kong. After receiving his MSc in Environmental Technologies from Imperial College London in 2009, he worked in various capacities from consultancy to government department in Hong Kong, focusing on environmental sustainability and ecological conservation. Adrian enjoys retracing the overlooked history and gems in the intriguing city of Hong Kong. He has been actively involved in historical and cultural heritage conservation projects locally through providing tours for both locals and visitors and has sought out many of the city's hidden corners. As a photographer in his free time, the street-markets and authentic neighborhoods offer records of the traditional character of the city in the midst of rapid urbanization. For the more active explorer, Adrian is familiar with the numerous hiking and heritage trails that the urban jungle of Hong Kong has to offer.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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K
K.
Good overview of the modern history of Hong Kong
C
C.B.
Amazing

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.
Good overview of the modern history of Hong Kong
C
C.B.
Amazing