As walls of rain pummeled Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, the five-star national flag, replacing the Union Jack, was hoisted into the sky over the territory to mark the resumption of Chinese sovereignty.
Since then, Hong Kong has not only defied the pessimistic predictions about the region's post-handover future, but continued to thrive.
The "One Country, Two Systems" principle adopted by the central government has served the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) remarkably well. The HKSAR has its own currency, taxation, a world-class financial system and an independent judiciary.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, and a new HKSAR government led by Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor – the incoming chief executive – will be inaugurated.
The following is a chronology of major events in Hong Kong since July 1997.