20 years after the handover, the last governor praises ‘brave’ young activists battling to have their voices heard as China breaches its promises on freedoms

“There were flashing lights and hooting and cheering,” the last governor of Britain’s last colony recalls of the night he sailed out of Hong Kong for the very last time.

It was 1 July 1997 and as the royal yacht Britannia slipped out of Victoria Harbour and embarked upon its final, historic voyage across the South China Sea, Chris Patten kicked back with a glass of red wine.

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