China resumes sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. At midnight on June 30, 1997, Hong Kong will cease to be a British Dependent Territory and become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Marking this important occasion, a series of events is being planned in the week or so leading up to the change in sovereignty and beyond.
It is a case of all hands to the wheel at RTHK who lead a broadcasting consortium comprising local television stations, namely ATV, TVB and Wharf Cable to provide a core feed of the main Handover Ceremony and related events. A 96 hours satellite uplink signal between 29 June 1997 and 2 July 1997 has been made available and significant renewal and replacement of RTHK's production equipment is in progress. RTHK will also be involved in technical liaison with CCTV and BBC as part of the overall coverage plan.
The senior British participant on June 30 will be the Prince of Wales, and a senior leader of the People's Republic of China will officiate with Prince Charles at the Handover Ceremony. The exact VIP guest list is not yet known but it is expected that it will be comprised of heads of state and foreign ministers from about 40 nations most closely linked in the past with Hong Kong. In addition, it is thought that a number of former premiers and top level envoys will be invited.
The Hong Kong Government has engaged an engineering consultancy to help plan, implement and run the complex technical infrastructure within the Press and Broadcast Centre that will be required. The Press and Broadcast Centre will be located within the newly built Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension. World media interest is exceptionally high as evidenced by the numbers of people and organisations for accreditation.
RTHK's Handover Events core feed will include:
* Governor's Departure, Farewell Ceremony, Fireworks, Banquet, Reunification spectacular at Happy Vally, Hong Kong Extravaganza '97, Handover Ceremony.
* Final Departure, Provisional Legco Sittings, The Ceremony For the Establishment of the HKSAR of the PRC and the Inanguration of the Government of the HKSAR, Marching in of PLA Troops, A Ceremony to Celebrate the Establishment of HKSAR, Reunification Sculpture Presentation, SARG Reception, 1st July Reunification Gala, Hong Kong '97 Spectacular Fireworks and floats
The signals provided by RTHK will include :
- Satellite Uplink:
- Intelsat 66E(4048 MHz), 180E(West beam-3843 MHz, East beam-3724 MHz ), AsiaSat-2(4043 MHz)
- effective dates : 29/6 0001hr - 2/7 2400hr
- channel : 1 video and 3 audio(clean feed, English and Cantonese commentaries)
- MPEG2 format with 3/4 FEC and symbol rate 6.112 Msymbol/sec uplinked globally free-of-charge.
- Internet Broadcast:
- 48 hours on-line video and audio live broadcast of all handover events;
- effective dates : 30/6 1200hr - 2 /7 1200hr
- all feeds are in real-time format; radio programmes will take RTHK Radio 1;television programmes will take satellite uplink feed.
- Website address : http://www.rthk.org.hk
- Hong Kong Cable TV Core Feed Channel:
- effective dates : 30/6 1200hr - 2/7 1200hr
- 200 IDD accessible lines on June and July only, w.e.f. 1/6/97
- RTHK Radio 1(Cantonese) Tel:900 6007 8888
- RTHK Radio 2(Cantonese) Tel:900 6007 8866
- RTHK Radio 3(English) Tel:900 6007 8898
- RTHK Putonghua Channel (Putonghua) Tel:900 6007 8897
- Signals from all OB locations will also be available for the media at booths in the Press and Broadcast Centre.