new opportunities will the handover present for the Red Cross
in Hong Kong?
“I, ..., as a member of the Hong Kong
Red Cross, promise to serve the country in which I live and
to join with others all over the world to help the sick and
From 1 July 1997, this solemn oath taken by
every new member of the Hong Kong Red Cross will carry a new
meaning to the individual and to the Hong Kong Red Cross.
The Hong Kong Red Cross was established in 1950
as a branch of the British Red Cross Society. However, on
1 July of this year, China resumes sovereignty over Hong Kong
and since the Movement’s fundamental principle of unity
stipulates that there can be only one National Society in
each country, the Hong Kong Red Cross will change its affiliation
to become a branch of the Red Cross Society of China.
The Hong Kong Red Cross currently functions
quite independently, both financially and in terms of running
its own services to meet the needs of the local community.
The forthcoming transition will create no disruption or change
to existing operations. However, we will adopt the emblem
of the Red Cross Society of China; uniform insignias and awards
will also be localized.
This historic transition will give us a new
sense of mission. New social issues and needs may emerge in
Hong Kong and we will continue to provide humanitarian services
to vulnerable people in the community. The closer ties with
the Red Cross Society of China will open up new opportunities
for us to work together with our colleagues in China.
We are confident in our new-found relationship
with the Red Cross Society of China, which is based on mutual
respect and support. The Hong Kong Red Cross will continue
to do its utmost to promote the humanitarian mission of the
Red Cross and to continue to play an active role in the International
Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to prevent and ease suffering
in Hong Kong and other parts of the world.
Hong Kong is a place for both dreamers and pragmatists.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Chinese characters for
crisis () and opportunity () are so similar: we look upon
1997 as the beginning of a new challenge, one filled with
Secretary General of the Hong Kong Red Cross