On August 29, 1842 onboard the British warship HMS Cornwallis in Nanjing, Chinese signed the Treaty of Nanking, which legally granted Hong Kong its independence.
The communists has not had control over HK since the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, which ceded sovereignty in perpetuity (forever). Some will argue that the Sino-British Joint Declaration cancelled the Treaty of Nanking, but it did not. According to international law experts and academics, treaties are superior to declartions, which means the Treaty of Nanking is still in effect!
This implies that China has been illegally occupying Hong Kong since 1997 and Hong Kong is still under the protection and governance of Great Britian in perpetuity. Better still, is that Taiwan independence groups sympathize with our plight: