The suppression of liberal forces in China has further unnerved Hong Kong over its future under Chinese rule, triggering massive demonstrations and uncharacteristic political activism.
In the largest protest march in this British colony's history, what police estimated to be 500,000 people rallied Sunday in support of China's pro-democracy protesters.Police said the crowd exceeded the estimated 400,000 who demonstrated on May 21 to protest Chinese Premier Li Peng's declaration of martial law in Beijing. Organizers said 1.5 million people attended Sunday's rally.
Hong Kong reverts to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, and its residents have become increasingly nervous over the prospect of Communist Chinese rule.
A poll conducted by the conservative South China Morning Post newspaper reported that one-third of the territory's 5.7 million people hope to emigrate before the takeover.
China has promised to preserve the territory's freewheeling socioeconomic lifestyle for 50 years under a "one country, two systems" concept that would allow capitalism to exist under communism in a government run by Hong Kong people without Chinese interference.
Community leaders and newspapers say a Basic Law document, under which China will govern Hong Kong, should be strengthened to safeguard the territory's autonomy.
The document, drafted by a committee of Hong Kong and Chinese delegates appointed by China, is to be presented to China's Congress for enactment next year.