Hong Kong is back in the headlines as tens of thousands of demonstrators in the former British colony defied a ban to hold a mass vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing where, on June 4, 1989, troops opened fire on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing.
Until now, Hong Kong and Macau have been the only parts of China that have been allowed to mark the killings but police banned the Hong Kong vigil this year, citing coronavirus measures.
Barricades had been erected around Hong Kong's Victoria Park by police, but some pro-democracy protesters knocked them down on Thursday and held candlelit gatherings.
It comes as the UK offered many residents a path to British citizenship if Beijing pushed ahead with a controversial new security law for Hong Kong.
The law would make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority and could also see China installing its own security agencies in the city for the first time, but critics fear the law would further erode Hong Kong's freedoms. The proposed law has sparked a series of protests in Hong Kong.
On Thursday, legislators in Hong Kong passed a controversial new national anthem bill which would carry penalties of steep fines and up to three years in prison for anyone who shows disrespect to China's national anthem. Pro-democracy legislators abstained from voting.
Many in Hong Kong see it as another move by Beijing to impose its will and weaken the region's "one country, two systems" policy.
Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson angered China by promising he would willingly offer three million people from Hong Kong visa-free refuge in the UK if China erodes human rights in the former British colony.
Today, about 350,000 of the territory's people hold British National (Overseas) passports and another 2.5 million would be eligible to apply for them. The passports currently allow visa-free access to the UK for up to six months, but the UK says it could change its immigration rules to allow holders to come to the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further rights which could place them on a route to citizenship.
Here, we talk to three people from Northern Ireland, who are currently living in Hong Kong, about their life and potential future in what is one of the world's most densely populated places.
Alistair Browne (34) from Banbridge, is marketing director for a hospitality company and has been living in Hong Kong for seven years. He is married to Fifian, who is from Hong Kong and went to school at Victoria College in Belfast, and they have an eight-week-old son, Ethan.
"My wife is basically the primary reason why I am here. We were living in Australia when she got a job offer she couldn't turn down, so I chanced my arm and came over here with no job and got set up," he says.
"It was quite a soft landing, with her being Cantonese. I'd been here in 2007 passing through on a backpacking trip with a friend and I found it fascinating because it's so densely populated - the entire population of Ireland crammed into a space that is a lot smaller than Co Down. There is so much going on - never a dull moment."
Alistair says the biggest culture shock of those seven years was probably all new traditions when he got married.
"But the number plates are the same as at home, there used to be letter boxes the same, lots of little small things that provide comfort. It's really a melting pot," he says.
"Another thing is the volume and velocity of the language. It sounds like people are arguing all the time but they are actually just ordering a cup of coffee."
Alistair says he was struck by the density of the population.
"When the virus came, it made me a bit more aware of my environment. You don't have the personal space you are used to - you live in a tiny apartment and everything is condensed."
However, the couple no longer live in the city, but near the ocean.
"We look out the windows and see the ocean and the mountains. It's a nice place to bring up a child," he says.
It's easy to take the bike out and go on a 20km trail or to hike or go to the beach, he says.
Alistair says the government was very responsive when coronavirus arrived. Anyone arriving off a flight is tested and given immediate results, and then wears a wristband for 14 days.
"We've had 1,000 cases and only four deaths - our good medical infrastructure has worked well. People quickly adapted to the masks and social distancing because the masks are common in winter," he says.
"We're almost back to normal now - the city is buzzing again and people are in restaurants. It seems like we're on the other side of the curve while the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe are still in the depths of it still."
In the early weeks of the pandemic, before their son Ethan was born, the couple considered returning to Northern Ireland for the birth.
"We were panicking - we almost flew back home to have him at Daisy Hill, but it's just as well that we didn't in the end because it has turned out to be a very safe place comparatively."
Alistair says he has witnessed a number of the protests over the years and was "up close" when the Umbrella Revolution took place, attended by several million protesters.
"It was like all of Northern Ireland being in front of the City Hall - it was an unbelievable sight to see," he says.
However, there was little change as a result and Alistair believes the descent into violence in subsequent protests came out of desperation.
He says it's a sad time now for Hong Kong as its distinctive way of life is visibly being eroded.
In recent days a new law was passed making it a crime to ridicule the Chinese national anthem and there are concerns about the new security law and its impact on privacy.
As a result, Alistair and his family will be moving to Vietnam in the next few months.
"We saw what was happening last year and we have close friends and family involved in government and even they are advising us to go - it's better to leave a minute too early than too late," he says.
Journalist Finbarr Bermingham (36), from Enniskillen, moved to Hong Kong six years ago with his wife Colleen, a solicitor, also from the Co Fermanagh town. He is production editor in the political economy section of the South China Morning Post.
Finbarr built a career as a journalist in London covering economic and trade issues for around 10 years before being hired to work in Hong Kong as the Asia editor of the publication he was working on.
"Having lived in South Korea before, in a less westernised part of Asia, Hong Kong was a pretty easy place to live - there are a lot of westernised parts of the city. So, it was pretty easy to acclimatise - it's probably one of the easiest parts of Asia to get used to," he says.
The bureau employs around 1,000 people, and is one of a number of bureaux around the world, including Washington, Brussels and Shanghai.
"I do a bit of everything - a lot of reporting on trade and economic issues, Chinese economic issues, I do a weekly podcast and I make videos," Finbarr says.
The couple live on Hong Kong Island in a residential area. "It's a 20-minute walk to work but it's a bit quieter than the centre - a lot of parts are very densely populated and very built-up. Hong Kong just has a great diversity of people and cultures - it's a meeting point between Chinese and Asian culture and western culture," Finbarr says.
"I'm really into running trails and hiking, and Hong Kong is full of mountains and islands. So, any given weekend morning, you can take off and climb a mountain or go on a trail. Around 60-70% of it is national park, so there are lots of places to hike or barbecue."
Hong Kong had its first case of coronavirus in January and the city has been in and out of minor lockdowns, he says.
"We had a couple of spells of working from home and the bars closed for a while, but it's pretty much under control - we've only had four deaths," Finbarr says.
"It's all about testing and tracing. There are seven to eight million people, and they were able to manage through social distancing and everyone being very careful about prevention measures so that we haven't had that same level of shutdown you have back home.
"Everyone is wearing masks which is part of the reason why there aren't many cases. Since day one, everybody was wearing masks straight off the bat, but even before that, if you have a cold you wear a mask so that you don't spread it."
Finbarr admits the recent political developments have been a bit of worry. "Anything that changes Hong Kong's status and autonomy is going to diminish the quality that the city has," he says.
Many Chinese people choose to live in Hong Kong because of the rule of law and the independent judiciary, but that could soon change, he says.
"A lot of people are expecting Hong Kong to become more like mainland China. A lot of what people love about Hong Kong would be eroded. But we have to see how it plays out. In reality we don't really know what's in the new law."
Finbarr admits he enjoys being in the midst of such a huge international story.
"As a journalist, you want to be in the middle of the story and I'm in the middle of the biggest stories in the world. I've been here for six years and I've been covering Hong Kong, the US-China trade war, the rise of China and its growing belligerence on the international scene, I've been through the protests and close to the origin of coronavirus.
"It's nice to be in the thick of it and experience local events on the spot. We're loving life here - it's great and it's challenging and we are seeing history being made here."
Steven Annett (37), from Hillsborough, has been in Hong Kong since January 2017, working as a software architect for Ideal Systems, which relocated to the former colony. He is married and has a two-year-old son.
He applied for the job in Hong Kong after previously holidaying there and loving it. "I met my wife while on holiday in Hong Kong - it was a holiday romance," he says.
"I liked the idea of a change of pace - Hong Kong is a very metropolitan city. It is still very much east-meets-west and you can eat any kind of food under the sun. It's a very engaging city and the people of Hong Kong are really nice.
"Some things are a bit of a culture shock. I guess it's the small things that are a little more shocking, like tipping isn't expected, and when you hand over a business card you give it with two hands instead of one hand. And you don't open presents in front of other people - it's considered offensive to do so. It's the little things that are more shocking than the big things."
The couple live in a village in the New Territories, which is a little quieter than the island.
"Hong Kong is split into Kowloon, the New Territories and the islands. It's still quite busy in the New Territories, but it's quiet by Hong Kong standards, but definitely not Northern Ireland quiet.
"We live in a traditional village in the New Territories and that gives us more room for our son," Steven says.
Steven works as a software architect for a media integration company that supports broadcasters across South East Asia.
"I worked near the old airport in Kai Tak, the one where the planes used to fly between the buildings. It's a great place to work and there's a lot of diversity from all over the world. I work with Australians, Americans, French, Irish and English."
The family were recently in Northern Ireland for a while but now have travelled back to Hong Kong. "We've just returned, so right now we're in quarantine for two weeks until we get clear," Steven says.
"We were tested at the airport and we sent in another coronavirus test today."
Under quarantine rules, they aren't allowed to go out of the house at all.
"That, along with Hong Kongers' readiness to socially distance and wear masks all the time, is the reason that they've been so successful with combating the virus. It's impossible to find someone not wearing a mask," Steven says.
He is wary of weighing in on the recent political developments, saying: "It's a really divisive topic, like politics in Northern Ireland, and I've friends from both sides of the divide.
"I'm sure it just takes talking more than anything else, but as an outsider it's a very complex situation and you don't want to be involved too much in their politics."
But he does believe Boris Johnson's proposal doesn't go far enough and should be extended to all Hong Kong citizens.
"He should support everybody to be upgraded to full British citizenship and children should be able to have full British citizenship as well.
"It should have been done in 1997," Steven says.