Hong Kong countdown clock

Hong Kong countdown clock
The Hong Kong countdown clock at Tiananmen Square operated from 19 December 1994 to 30 June 1997, the day marking Hong Kong’s ‘return’ (huigui) to China. It also represents a new era in the history of public time-telling. For the first time in Chinese history, the second was used in public time-telling.
The clock was set up on 13 December 1994 and removed on 8 July 1997, and incorporated mechanical, electric and digital media. It was placed between two pillars in front of the museum building. It was a 16 metre high and 9.6 metre wide metal panel. On the top of the panel were the five golden-coloured stars of the national flag.
Below the stars were four lines of Chinese characters. From top to bottom, it read: ‘The Chinese Government [Zhongguo zheng fu]/resumes the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong [dui Xianggang huifu xingshi zhuquan]/Counting-down time [daojishi]/to 1 July 1997 [ju 1997 nian 7 yue 1 ri]’. The next section below this included two lines indicating the days (tian) and seconds (miao) respectively. At the bottom were listed sponsors, including the magazine China Brand-Names (Zhongguo mingpai), the China Southern Aviation Engineering Company, the Linghua Food-Flavouring Group (Ji’ning, Shangdong) and the National Museum of Chinese Revolution. Below the list of sponsors, the panel indicated the first operational date of the clock: 19 December 1994.
Wu, H. (1997). ‘The Hong Kong Clock—Public Time-Telling and Political Time/Space’ Public Culture 9: 329–54.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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