July 1997: Hong Kong is handed back to Chinese authorities after more than 150 years of British control. Tung Chee-hwa, a Shanghai-born former shipping tycoon with no political experience, is hand-picked by Beijing to rule the territory following the takeover.
February 2001: Hong Kong’s number two official, Chief Secretary Anson Chan, who opposed Chinese interference in the territory’s affairs, resigns under pressure from Beijing.
June 2002: Trial of 16 members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement arrested during a protest outside Beijing’s liaison office in the territory. Falun Gong remains legal in Hong Kong, though banned in the mainland. The 16 are found guilty of causing a public obstruction.
July 2003: Half a million people spill onto Hong Kong streets to protest against proposed anti-subversion laws. The government shelved the proposed legislation and they have not been reintroduced since, even though they are required under the Basic Law.
April 2004: China rules that its approval must be sought for any changes to Hong Kong’s election laws, giving Beijing the right to veto any moves toward more democracy.
May 2005: Hong Kong’s highest court overturns the convictions of eight of the Falun Gong members who were found guilty of causing an obstruction in the territory in 2002.
December 2007: Beijing says it will allow the people of Hong Kong to directly elect their own leader in 2017 and their legislators by 2020.
December 2009: Hong Kong authorities unveil proposals for political reform in response to pressure for greater democracy, including an enlarged Legislative Council; critics say the moves do not go far enough.
July 2012: Leung Chun-ying takes office as chief executive, succeeding Donald Tsang whose last months in office were dogged by controversy over his links with wealthy businessmen.
June 2014: China’s Cabinet issues policy document on Hong Kong that affirms that while the voting public in Hong Kong can elect the next leader in 2017 only candidates acceptable to Beijing can be put on the ballot.
June 2014: Nearly 800,000 people cast votes in an unofficial referendum on free elections in Hong Kong, part of a civil campaign branded illegal by Hong Kong government and by Communist Party authorities in Beijing.