Thursday, July 1, 1999 Published at 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Protests at handover anniversary
Police stop protesters carrying a 'Tiananmen heros' memorial
Hong Kong has marked the second anniversary of its return to Chinese rule amid angry pro-democracy protests and new fears of interference by Beijing.
Police cordoned off about 2,000 demonstrators from the convention centre, where China's Vice President Hu Jintao and Hong Kong's Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa attended a ceremony to commemorate Britain's handover of the territory.
"As masters of our own destiny we will meet every challenge," Mr Tung said as protesters shouted pro-democracy slogans nearby.
In demonstrations that would not be permitted on the mainland, activists called for an end to China's one-party communist system.
And they demanded an amnesty for political prisoners, including those jailed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing.
Police later confiscated protesters' megaphones, saying they were responding to residents' complaints of noise. No one was arrested.
Prosperous and free
During the ceremony, President Hu said Hong Kong had stayed prosperous and free in the two years since its return to China from Britain.
Hong Kong has retained its free-market economy and British-style judiciary and civil service under a formula dubbed "one country, two systems".
But Thursday's anniversary celebrations come amid accusations the territory is surrendering its autonomy.
On Saturday, China overturned a ruling by Hong Kong's highest court regarding the rights of mainlanders to settle in the territory.
The court had ruled that Hong Kong's post-colonial constitution granted residency to any mainland Chinese with one Hong Kong parent, even if the parent gained residency after the child was born.
But the Hong Kong Government, fearing an influx of 1.6 million migrants, asked Beijing to pass a final judgement on what the constitution was intended to say about such immigrants.
Pro-democracy politicians and lawyers have condemned Beijing's intervention, saying the move harms Hong Kong's autonomy.