On this day in 1984 – December 19 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang signed an agreement that committed Britain to return Hong Kong to China in 1997.

A painitng by Ma Baozhong, “19 December, 1984” showing the signing in 1984 of the Sino-British Joing Declaration is seen in Hong Kong, 26 June 2007. Sotheby’s will hold an auction of reunification art to mark the 10th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Photo: Mike Clarke/AFP.

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.