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While the world watched the fireworks and celebrations occurring in Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, a far sadder event was, in fact, unfolding. The people of Hong Kong, most of whom had originally fled from China -- the country which was now taking over -- have simply never experienced the basic human right of self-determination. Rule was shifting from a colonial power which had denied the people of Hong Kong their basic human rights for virtually all of its 155-year administration, to a country which, immediately upon assuming sovereignty, made it clear that democracy would remain but a dream.

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57 The Humanist 22