While similar activities focused on Hong Kong have been far and few in the United States, college newspaper archives tell a different story during the period leading up to the Handover in 1997.

A February 1992 issue of The Tech, MIT’s student newspaper, printed an article “Area Students Plan and Present Hong Kong Week“:

Two MIT groups, the Hong Kong Student Society and the Society for Hong Kong and China Affairs, joined with clubs from Harvard and Boston universities to plan Hong Kong Week, an attempt “to try to promote the awareness of Hong Kong to the American public,” said Jerome C. Lui ’94, a coordinator of Hong Kong week and a member of the HKSS.

Hong Kong week commenced with the Hong Kong in Transition conference at Harvard’s Yenching Auditorium last Saturday and will continue with other activities throughout the week.

The conference addressed two issues — “Is There a Place for Hong Kong in the New World Order?” and “In Search of Hong Kong Culture and Identity.” Speakers included professors from both Hong Kong and the Boston area, a Hong Kong legislator, a U.S. consul general in Hong Kong, and several authors who have written on issues facing Hong Kong also spoke at the conference.

The panel addressed changes that may occur when Hong Kong is returned to China on July 1, 1997, after 99 years of British rule. They also discussed the effects of the Joint Declaration of 1984 between China and Great Britain, which will provide Hong Kong with democracy and autonomy over all but its foreign affairs.

Speakers of this conference included Ezra Vogel, Professor of Social Science at Harvard University, and Michael Ho Mun-ka, a Legislative Council Member (1991-2000) representing the Health Services. The week also included movies, exhibitions, and other cultural events, such as a concert by Anthony Wong, that drew crowds of around “600 to 700 people”.

The article mentioned that the Boston events were held in response to similar Hong Kong Weeks that were held in Columbia University in New York and in California.

Another conference “One Country, Two Systems: The Hong Kong Conference” was held at Yale University in November 1997. This conference featured Yale professors Jonathan Spence and Owen Fiss, as well as Hong Kong politicians Margaret Ng, Jasper Tsang, and Allen Lee.

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