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Almost 20 years since the city was handed back to China under a deal that made it semiautonomous, colonial emblems have become a symbol of protest.Some angry young campaigners are promoting independence for Hong Kong – but activist Alice Lai says she would rather rejoin Britain.In 1997 that lease expired and Britain returned Hong Kong in its entirety to China under a 50-year agreement designed to protect its semiautonomous status, freedoms and way of life.In the wake of the re-emergence of the old flag, former Beijing official Chen Zouer – who worked on the 1997 handover negotiations – called for Hong Kong to shake off its colonial past."In recent years there are more people interested in Hong Kong's own story," says Lam, 65 .He thrived during 24 years of military service under the British, rising through the ranks to become a captain in the transport corps and awarded an MBE, a British honor.Lam retired from the army in 1997 and is now logistics manager at a local university, as well as vice chairman of the Hong Kong branch of the Royal British Legion.
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