Silent protests as sun begins to set

Chris Patten, the Governor of Hong Kong, yesterday warned those who will run the colony after it returns to Chinese sovereignty not to tinker with the existing system of government.

He said that Hong Kong was like a Rolls-Royce. "I don't quite see the point of lifting the bonnet to tinker with the engine." He maintained that the territory needed governing "with a light touch".

The start of the last hundred days of British rule was marked yesterday with triumphalist celebrations in both the colony and Peking.

But Britain and China remain locked in disagreement over arrangements for the transition of power. Negotiations which ended last week failed even to agree arrangements for the advance stationing of Chinese troops in the colony.

In Hong Kong, thousands of people took part in a series of events to mark the landmark day, while in China students gathered under the clock in Peking's Tiananmen Square which counts down the seconds until the handover of power. As the clock hit the 100-day mark, they chanted: "Come home, Hong Kong".

Thousands of children were mobilised in the territory to take part in a symbolic "run to the motherland". Others participated in tree-planting ceremonies and watched lion dances. A television opinion poll indicated that 63 per cent of those interviewed were confident about the return to Chinese rule, although a larger number expressed doubts over the long- term future.

Tung Chee-hwa, who will head the first post-colonial government, went out of his way to stress that his priorities were things like housing and care for the elderly as opposed to wider political issues.

Zhou Nan, director of the Xinhua news agency, or China's de facto mission in Hong Kong, said Peking had faith in the abilities of the post-colonial regime. "The central government places great trust in the future Hong Kong government. I think all sectors in Hong Kong should give their full support," he said in an interview with a local Cantonese-language station.

In Peking, the People's Daily newspaper devoted much of its front page to the historic occasion and the role played in it by the nation's paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, who died last month aged 92 before he could see his dream fulfilled. "At this moment we think even more fondly of Deng Xiaoping," it said.

In Hong Kong, a handful of demonstrators, their mouths taped shut in what they said was a symbol of things to come, took up position in Victoria Park, waving placards silently to condemn China's violent military crackdown at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Meanwhile, Mr Patten and Martin Lee, leader of the Democratic Party, the colony's largest party, welcomed the initiative taken by The Independent in bringing back to life The World of Lily Wong, a political cartoon strip which was abruptly terminated in May 1995 by the South China Morning Post, the colony's largest English-language newspaper.

The death of Lily Wong, created by the Hong Kong-based cartoonist Larry Feign, was widely seen as an indication of growing Chinese influence over the colony's media. The strip will be appearing in The Independent until 30 June, the last day of British rule.

Welcoming the reappearance of the strip, Mr Patten said: "Like a lot of other people in Hong Kong, I used to follow the world of Lily Wong every day. I really missed her when, for whatever reason, she disappeared from our lives about two years ago. I am glad to hear she is making a comeback in Britain."

Mr Lee said that the strip had "enabled Hong Kong people to see humour even in the face of blackest events, such as the Tiananmen Square crackdown. I am delighted she will continue to do so. Unfortunately, the Chinese leaders and Hong Kong newspaper proprietors don't love Lily Wong as much as the people of Hong Kong do".

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Analyst - London - £22,000

£20000 - £22000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chel...

KS2 Primary Teacher Plymouth

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

Primary Teacher Cornwall

£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers ...

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album