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HONG KONG (AP) — Twenty years since the handover of power from Britain to China, Hong Kong remains a place undergoing an uneasy transition.

At midnight on June 30, 1997, the British colonial administration relinquished control of the Asian financial center to Hong Kong’s new rulers, China’s Communist leaders.

With a new “Basic Law” constitution and a framework known as “one country, two systems,” Hong Kongers were promised that they could keep their capitalist way of life, including western-style civil liberties and considerable autonomy, for 50 years.

However, many residents are increasingly concerned about mainland China’s rising influence in Hong Kong. They worry that Beijing is backtracking on its promises, putting their way of life under threat.

Mainland China’s growing profile amid lingering signs of the British colonial era are seen in these photos by Associated Press photographer Vincent Yu, who used a “tilt-shift” lens to accentuate certain elements of the image and provide a new perspective.

Chinese symbols like national flags or a giant ad for mainland liquor loom over the city in some photos. Some British-era icons haven’t faded over time, like a justice statue over the law courts, while others show what has disappeared, like the spot on the wall of the City Hall building where colonial insignia used to hang.


Associated Press writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this report.