Letter: Chinese farewell to Britain

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The Independent Online
Sir: One's most lasting impression, after a week in Hong Kong prior to, during and after the handover ceremonies, has to be that there was no evidence of fear, sorrow, exhilaration or triumphalism among the population: only a collective sigh of relief that the transition had been a peaceful one. The general mood seemed to be "Now we can get back to living our normal lives again."

It was said by one commentator that there was not a dry eye in the place. If true, this was not due to tears of sorrow or joy, but the climate - the wettest in the Territory's history for over 50 years.

As for the much-mooted tensions that were to be aroused when the British and American official delegations left at midnight, before the inaugural ceremonies began, no one even noticed their departure.

Sir FREDERIC BENNETT

Aberangell, Gwynedd

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