The territory has seen tumultuous times since July 1, 1997, with economic turmoil, outbreaks of disease and more recently, pro-democracy protests
The Chinese flag is raised by People's Liberation Army soldiers to signal Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty after 156 years of British rule, in Hong Kong, July 1, 1997.
A small investor watches share prices inside a bank in Hong Kong, Dec. 1, 1998. Hong Kong surprised markets with a $15 billion intervention in August 2008, saving the city in the crisis.
A mourner wears a mask to ward off the SARS virus while attending a funeral in Hong Kong, May 22, 2003. Hong Kong was the hardest hit by the flulike SARS virus when the WHO declared a pandemic in March 2003. Tse Yuen-man, a 35-year-old doctor, received highest honors at her funeral.
Activists fight to save the Queen's Pier in Hong Kong's financial district, Aug. 1, 2007. The colonial-era pier became a civic battleground in 2007. The government wanted it removed for reclamation and roadworks, angering activists fighting to save a historic site.