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In the years leading up to the return of Hong Kong to China by Britain in 1997, thousands of residents fearful of the future under Beijing jumped ship to start a new life abroad.Philip Fok moved to Australia in 1992 with his wife and two children because he felt unsure of what would happen after July 1, 1997 .Fok says China's history under the Communist Party, including the Cultural Revolution, which saw purges of political opponents in the 1960s and 1970s and the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, played on people's minds.Fok says his worst fears for Hong Kong have not materialized and argues the city is freer now than in colonial times.There are no official emigration figures, but government estimates show hundreds of thousands leaving Hong Kong between 1990 and 1997, with the annual figure hitting 61,700 in 1990 and peaking at 66,200 in 1992 .Fung refers to Hong Kong as "back home" and spent two years living and working in the city.
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