Hundreds lined up outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong on Monday morning to lay flowers and sign a book of condolences in memory of Queen Elizabeth II.
Hong Kong was a British colony for 156 years until 1997, when it returned to Chinese rule, but Beijing now appears to have rejected that status, referring to that period as a “forced occupation” that should not be considered legitimate.
The queen, who visited Hong Kong twice during her 70-year reign, is remembered by many in the city as “boss lady” or “lady in charge” in Cantonese.
Among those outside the embassy on Monday was retiree Sylvia Lee, who said she was saddened to hear of the Queen’s death on Friday and said she thought the Queen was a symbol of stability around the world.
“No one lives forever, and we know this day will come someday. He was a respected figure, and the government made many contributions to the development of Hong Kong during the colonial period, especially in the 70s and 80s,” Lee told CNN, adding that the city’s appointed governors are its general public. Refers to the period in which houses and transport were built.Infrastructure.
Chapman Wu, 40, brought his young daughter to pay his respects and offer flowers to the queen.
Wu said that without the British Empire, religious freedom would not have been possible in the city under Chinese rule. Christianity was brought to Hong Kong as early as 1841 when the city came under British rule after the First Opium War.
“I won’t comment politically, but without being a former British colony, there would be no religious freedom in Hong Kong,” he told CNN.
“Otherwise, who knows if we will be able to practice any religion, especially with the religious persecution of Christians in China.”
Both Beijing loyalists and Hong Kong politicians protested against British control during the colonial period, but in recent years, a more favorable view of the colonial government has emerged among pro-democracy groups, with many adopting the colonial flag as a radical symbol of protest. Chinese one-party rule during 2019 anti-government protests.