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AP PHOTOS: Two visions seen in one Hong Kong

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/06/2017 Photos by KIN CHEUNG, Associated Press
In this combination of photos, left: Participants stand for China's national anthem at a Hong Kong school meeting highlighting achievements of students who visited the mainland on exchange programs, Tuesday, June 6, 2017; and right: Wreaths mourning soldiers who died during first and second World Wars are placed outside St. John Cathedral in Hong Kong, Monday, June 12, 2017. Chinese nationalism, especially aimed at children in schools, is a recurring and divisive theme in Hong Kong, while at the same time memorials to long-ago wars fought by the city's former ruling power are reminders that some still mourn the past under British colonial rule. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) © The Associated Press In this combination of photos, left: Participants stand for China's national anthem at a Hong Kong school meeting highlighting achievements of students who visited the mainland on exchange programs, Tuesday, June 6, 2017; and right: Wreaths mourning soldiers who died during first and second World Wars are placed outside St. John Cathedral in Hong Kong, Monday, June 12, 2017. Chinese nationalism, especially aimed at children in schools, is a recurring and divisive theme in Hong Kong, while at the same time memorials to long-ago wars fought by the city's former ruling power are reminders that some still mourn the past under British colonial rule. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

HONG KONG — In the two decades since Britain relinquished its Hong Kong colony to China, the mainland's influence has risen steadily on the territory.

Some residents uneasy about the changes that have taken place since the July 1, 1997, handover worry about further changes to come during the formal transition period lasting until 2047.

Much to Beijing's chagrin, people still display British colonial emblems out of nostalgia and longing for a time they feel had faster economic growth and better opportunities. Authorities have tried to remove such symbols at times, trying to steer the city away from its colonial past and toward its Chinese future.

But rising concerns about the future have led many residents to question their identity, especially among young people who increasingly call themselves Hong Kongers rather than Chinese.

Associated Press photographer Kin Cheung has documented Hong Kong's transition to Chinese rule with several pairs of abstract photos based on daily life and local symbols.

Recurrent in the images are the themes of nationalism versus colonialism, justice and freedom under Beijing's control, and the color red, a symbol of good fortune and Beijing support.

These themes unite the images to tell Hong Kong's narrative.

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