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Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...
and
special administrative region A special administrative region is a designation for types of administrative territorial entities in Mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopo ...
of China on the eastern
Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River The Pearl River, also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China ...
in
South China South China () is a geographical and cultural region that covers the southernmost part of China. Its precise meaning varies with context. A notable feature of South China in comparison to the rest of China is that most of its citizens are not ...
. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Hong Kong is also one of the most developed cities in the world, with the most expensive housing. Hong Kong was established as a colony of the British Empire after the
Qing Empire The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
ceded
Hong Kong Island 250px, Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District Hong Kong Island is an Islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population de ...

Hong Kong Island
from
Xin'an County Xin'an County () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is ...
at the end of the
First Opium War The First Opium War (), also known as the Opium War or the Anglo-Chinese War, was a series of military engagements fought between Britain and the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in ...
in 1841 then again in 1842.. The colony expanded to the
Kowloon Peninsula The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is u ...

Kowloon Peninsula
in 1860 after the
Second Opium War The Second Opium War (), also known as the Second Anglo-Chinese War, the Second China War, the Arrow War, or the Anglo-French expedition to China, was a war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A gov ...
and was further extended when Britain obtained a
99-year lease A 99-year lease was, under historic common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written op ...
of the
New Territories The New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of China on the eastern in . With over ...
in 1898... British Hong Kong was occupied by
Imperial Japan The was a historical and that existed from the in 1868 until the enactment of the post-World War II and subsequent formation of modern . It encompassed the and several , s, , and other . Under the slogans of and Japan underwent ...

Imperial Japan
from
1941 Events Below, the events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix. January * January–August – In the first phase of mass killings under the Action T4 program, 10,072 men, women and children with mental and physical disabilities are ...
to
1945 It marked the end of World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany. It is also the only year in which nuclear weapons have been used in combat. Events Below, the events of World War II have the "WWII" prefix. January * January – WWII: The ...
during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
; British administration resumed after the
surrender of Japan The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced by Japanese Emperor Hirohito on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy Th ...
.Snow, Philip.
004 004, 0O4, O04, OO4 may refer to: * 004, fictional British 00 Agent * 0O4, Corning Municipal Airport (California) * O04, the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation * Abdul Haq Wasiq, Guantanamo detainee 004 * Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine * Lauda Ai ...
(2004). The fall of Hong Kong: Britain, China and the Japanese occupation. Yale University Press. , .
The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997.. As one of China's two special administrative regions (the other being
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
), Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of
mainland China The term "mainland China" refers to the area directly governed by the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies b ...

mainland China
under the principle of "
one country, two systems "One country, two systems" is a constitutional principle of the People's Republic of China describing the governance of Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ...
". Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports. It is the world's tenth-largest exporter and ninth-largest importer. Hong Kong has a major
capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for Profit (economics), profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price s ...

capitalist
service economy Service economy can refer to one or both of two recent economic developments: * The increased importance of the service sector The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic secto ...
characterised by low taxation and
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and servic ...
, and its currency, the
Hong Kong dollar The Hong Kong dollar (, sign: HK$; code In communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through th ...
, is the eighth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong is home to the third-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world, the second-highest number of billionaires of any city in Asia, and the largest concentration of
ultra high-net-worth individual Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWI) are defined as having a net worth Net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a b ...
s of any city in the world. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, severe
income inequality 270px, Global share of wealth by wealth group, Credit Suisse, 2021 There are wide varieties of economic inequality, most notably measured using the distribution of incomeIn economics Economics () is the social science that studies ho ...
exists among the population. Hong Kong is a highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index. The city has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world, and its residents have some of the highest life expectancies in the world. The dense space led to a developed transportation network with public transport rates exceeding 90%. Hong Kong is ranked 4th in the
Global Financial Centres Index The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) is a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres based on over 29,000 financial centre assessments from an online questionnaire together with over 100 indices from organisations such as the World ...
.


Etymology

The name of the territory, first
romanised Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas ...
as "He-Ong-Kong" in 1780, originally referred to a small inlet located between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island.
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen, ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in northeast Scotland. It is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, third most populous city in Scotland, one of Scotland's 32 Local government in ...

Aberdeen
was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen. Although the source of the romanised name is unknown, it is generally believed to be an early phonetic rendering of the
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Ivy League The Ivy League (also known as The Ancient Eight) is an American collegiate athletic conference comprising eight private research un ...

Cantonese
pronunciation ''hēung góng'', or Tanka Cantonese. The name translates as "fragrant harbour" or "incense harbour".. "Fragrant" may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's freshwater influx from the Pearl River or to the odour from incense factories lining the coast of northern
Kowloon Kowloon () is an urban area in comprising the and . With a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km in 2006, it is the most populous urban area in Hong Kong. The peninsula's area is about . Location Kowloon is locat ...

Kowloon
. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before
Victoria Harbour Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbor, harbour in Hong Kong separating Hong Kong Island in the south from the Kowloon Peninsula to the north. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instr ...

Victoria Harbour
was developed.
Sir John Davis Sir John Henry Harris Davis (10 November 1906 – 27 May 1993) was an English businessman and accountant. He was the managing director, later chairman, of The Rank Organisation Early life John Davis was born in the City of London in 1906 to Sidn ...

Sir John Davis
(the second colonial governor) offered an alternative origin; Davis said that the name derived from "Hoong-keang" ("red torrent"), reflecting the colour of soil over which a waterfall on the island flowed. The simplified name ''Hong Kong'' was frequently used by 1810. The name was also commonly written as the single word ''Hongkong'' until 1926, when the government officially adopted the two-word name. Some corporations founded during the early colonial era still keep this name, including
Hongkong Land Landmark Atrium, property owned by Hongkong Land in Central Hongkong Land (HKL) is a property investment, management and development groups with premium commercial and residential property interests across Asia. It owns and manages some 850,00 ...
,
Hongkong Electric Company The Hongkong Electric Company (HEC; ) is one of Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative ...
,
Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH; traded as ) is the holding company of a group which is engaged in the ownership, development, and management of The Peninsula Hotels and commercial and residential properties in Asia, the United ...
and
the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (), commonly known as HSBC (), is the Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a and of Ch ...
(HSBC)..


History


Prehistory and Imperial China

Earliest known human traces in what is now Hong Kong are dated by some to 35,000 and 39,000 years ago during the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history ...
period. The claim is based on an archaeological investigation in
Wong Tei TungWong Tei Tung () was believed to be an Upper Paleolithic settlement in Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administr ...
, Sai Kung in 2003. The archaeological works revealed
stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of Rock (geology), stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistory, prehisto ...

stone tool
s from deposits that were dated using optical
luminescence dating Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined ...
. During the Middle Neolithic period, about 6,000 years ago, the region had been widely occupied by humans.. Neolithic to
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
Hong Kong settlers were semi-coastal people. Early inhabitants are believed to be
Austronesians The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
in the Middle Neolithic period and later the people. As hinted by the archaeological works in Sha Ha, Sai Kung, rice cultivation had been introduced since
Late Neolithic The Pottery Neolithic (PN) or Late Neolithic (LN) began around 6,400 BCE in the Fertile Crescent, succeeding the period of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic.Bellwood (2004) By then distinctive cultures emerged, with pottery like the Halafian (Turkey, Syria, ...
period.. Bronze Age Hong Kong was featured with coarse pottery, hard pottery, quartz and stone jewelry, as well as small bronze implements. The
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

Qin dynasty
incorporated the Hong Kong area into China for the first time in 214 BCE, after conquering the indigenous Baiyue. The region was consolidated under the
Nanyue Nanyue () or Namz Yied ( za, Namzyied), was an ancient kingdom ruled by Chinese monarchs of the Triệu dynasty The Triệu dynasty (; vi, Nhà Triệu, links=no; wikt:家, 家wikt:趙, 趙) ruled the kingdom of Nanyue, which consisted of p ...

Nanyue
kingdom (a predecessor state of Vietnam) after the Qin collapse. and recaptured by China after the Han conquest. During the
Mongol conquest of China The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; ) are an East Asian ethnic group native to Mongolia Mongolia (, Mongolian language, Mongolian: , Mongolian script, Traditional Mongolian: ') is a landlocked country in East ...
in the 13th century, the
Southern Song The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
court was briefly located in modern-day
Kowloon City Kowloon City is an neighbourhood, area in New Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is part of Kowloon City District. Compared with the council area of Kowloon City District, the Kowloon City area is History As early as in the Qin dynasty (221 BCE ...

Kowloon City
(the
Sung Wong Toi Sung Wong Toi is an important historic relic in Kowloon Kowloon () is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. With a population of 2,019,533 and a population density of 43,033/km in 2006, it is the m ...

Sung Wong Toi
site) before its final defeat in the 1279
Battle of Yamen A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...
.. By the end of the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
, seven large families had settled in the region and owned most of the land. Settlers from nearby provinces migrated to Kowloon throughout the
Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming dynasty
. The earliest European visitor was
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...
explorer
Jorge Álvares Jorge Álvares (died July 8, 1521) was a Portuguese explorer. He is credited as the first European to have reached China by sea during the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, A ...
, who arrived in 1513. Portuguese merchants established a trading post called
Tamão Tamão was a trade settlement set up by the Portuguese on an island in the Pearl River Delta The Pearl River Delta Metropolitan Region (PRD; ; pt, Delta do Rio das Pérolas (DRP)) is the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary ...
in Hong Kong waters and began regular trade with southern China. Although the traders were expelled after military clashes in the 1520s, Portuguese-Chinese trade relations were re-established by 1549. Portugal acquired a permanent lease for
Macau Macau or Macao (; ; ; ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), (RAEM) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. Lond ...

Macau
in 1557. After the Qing conquest, maritime trade was banned under the ''
Haijin The () or sea ban was a series of related isolationist Isolationism is a category of foreign policy, foreign policies institutionalized by leaders who assert that nations' best interests are best served by keeping the affairs of other countries ...
'' policies. From 1661 to 1683, the population of most of the area forming present day Hong Kong was cleared under the
Great Clearance The Great Clearance (), also translated as the Great Evacuation or Great Frontier Shift, refers to the edicts issued in 1661, 1664, and 1679, which required the evacuation of the coastal areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangnan, and Shandong, ...
, turning the region into a wasteland.Hong Kong Museum of History: "The Hong Kong Story" Exhibition Materials
The
Kangxi Emperor The Kangxi Emperor (Xuanye; 4 May 1654– 20 December 1722) was the third Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was a term used by Wester ...

Kangxi Emperor
lifted the maritime trade prohibition, allowing foreigners to enter Chinese ports in 1684. Qing authorities established the
Canton System The Canton System (1757–1842) served as a means for China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a ...
in 1757 to regulate trade more strictly, restricting non-Russian ships to the port of
Canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division), territorial/administrative division in some countries, notably Switzerland * Township (Canada), known as ''canton'' in Canadian French Arts and entert ...

Canton
. Although European demand for Chinese commodities like tea, silk, and porcelain was high, Chinese interest in European manufactured goods was insignificant, so that Chinese goods could only be bought with precious metals. To reduce the trade imbalance, the British sold large amounts of Indian
opium Opium (or poppy tears, scientific name: ''Lachryma papaveris'') is dried latex Latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally Miscibility, immiscible (unmixable or unblendable) o ...

opium
to China. Faced with a drug crisis, Qing officials pursued ever more aggressive actions to halt the opium trade.


British colony

In 1839, the
Daoguang Emperor The Daoguang Emperor (; 16 September 1782 – 26 February 1850), born Mianning, was the seventh Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the sixth Qing emperor to rule over China proper China proper, Inner China or the Eighteen Provinces was ...
rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium and ordered imperial commissioner
Lin Zexu Lin Zexu (30 August 1785 – 22 November 1850), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere, including ...

Lin Zexu
to eradicate the opium trade. The commissioner destroyed opium stockpiles and halted all foreign trade, triggering a British military response and the First Opium War. The Qing surrendered early in the war and ceded Hong Kong Island in the
Convention of Chuenpi The Convention of Chuenpi (also "Chuenpee", ) was a tentative agreement between British Plenipotentiary Charles Elliot Admiral Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navy, navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. In the Com ...
. British forces began controlling Hong Kong shortly after the signing of the convention, from 26 January 1841. However, both countries were dissatisfied and did not ratify the agreement. After more than a year of further hostilities, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded to the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
in the 1842
Treaty of Nanking The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of ...
. Administrative infrastructure was quickly built by early 1842, but piracy, disease, and hostile Qing policies initially prevented the government from attracting commerce. Conditions on the island improved during the
Taiping Rebellion The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an ...
in the 1850s, when many Chinese refugees, including wealthy merchants, fled mainland turbulence and settled in the colony. Further tensions between the British and Qing over the opium trade escalated into the Second Opium War. The Qing were again defeated and forced to give up
Kowloon Peninsula The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is u ...

Kowloon Peninsula
and
Stonecutters Island Stonecutters Island or Ngong Shuen Chau is a former island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_L ...
in the
Convention of Peking The Convention of Peking or First Convention of Peking is an agreement comprising three distinct treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign s ...

Convention of Peking
. By the end of this war, Hong Kong had evolved from a transient colonial outpost into a major
entrepôt An ''entrepôt'' (; ) or transshipment port is a port, city, or trading post A trading post, trading station, or trading house, also known as a factory, was an establishment or settlement where goods and services could be traded. Typically t ...
. Rapid economic improvement during the 1850s attracted foreign investment, as potential stakeholders became more confident in Hong Kong's future. The colony was further expanded in 1898 when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories. The
University of Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong (abbreviated as HKU) is a public university, public research university in Hong Kong. Founded in 1911, its origins trace back to the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which was founded in 1887. It is the ol ...

University of Hong Kong
was established in 1911 as the territory's first institution of higher education.
Kai Tak Airport Kai may refer to: Arts and entertainment Fictional entities * Kai (name) lists fictional characters called Kai * The Kai, a fictional society in the ''Lone Wolf'' gamebooks * Cobra Kai, a fictional Karate dojo in ''The Karate Kid'' movies and C ...
began operation in 1924, and the colony avoided a prolonged economic downturn after the 1925–26
Canton–Hong Kong strike The Canton–Hong Kong strike was a strike Strike may refer to: People *Strike (surname) Physical confrontation or removal *Strike (attack), attack with an inanimate object or a part of the human body intended to cause harm *Airstrike, military ...
.. At the start of the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Pac ...
in 1937, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared Hong Kong a neutral zone to safeguard its status as a free port. The colonial government prepared for a possible attack, evacuating all British women and children in 1940. The Imperial Japanese Army Battle of Hong Kong, attacked Hong Kong on 8 December 1941, the same morning as its attack on Pearl Harbor. Hong Kong was Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, occupied by Japan for almost four years before Britain resumed control on 30 August 1945. Its population rebounded quickly after the war, as skilled Chinese migrants fled from the Chinese Civil War and more refugees crossed the border when the Chinese Communist Party took control of mainland China in 1949.. Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tigers, Four Asian Tiger economies to industrialise during the 1950s. With a rapidly increasing population, the colonial government began reforms to improve infrastructure and public services. The Public housing in Hong Kong, public-housing estate programme, Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong), Independent Commission Against Corruption, and MTR, Mass Transit Railway were all established during the post-war decades to provide safer housing, integrity in the civil service, and more reliable transportation. Although the territory's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined because of rising labour and property costs, it transitioned to a service-based economy. By the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre and shipping hub.


Chinese special administrative region

The colony faced an uncertain future as the end of the New Territories lease approached, and Murray MacLehose, Baron MacLehose of Beoch, Governor Murray MacLehose raised the question of Hong Kong's status with Deng Xiaoping in 1979. Diplomatic negotiations with China resulted in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which the United Kingdom agreed to transfer the colony in 1997 and China would guarantee Hong Kong's economic and political systems for 50 years after the transfer.. The impending transfer triggered a Waves of mass migrations from Hong Kong, wave of mass emigration as residents feared an erosion of civil rights, the rule of law, and quality of life. Over half a million people left the territory during the peak migration period, from 1987 to 1996. The Legislative Council became a 1995 Hong Kong legislative election, fully elected legislature for the first time in 1995 and extensively expanded its functions and organisations throughout the last years of the colonial rule. Hong Kong was transferred to China on 1 July 1997, after 156 years of British rule. Immediately after the transfer, Hong Kong was severely affected by several crises. The government was forced to use substantial foreign exchange reserves to maintain the Hong Kong dollar's currency peg during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the recovery from this was muted by an Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, H5N1 avian-flu outbreak and a housing surplus. This was followed by the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak, 2003 SARS epidemic, during which the territory experienced its most serious economic downturn. Political debates after the transfer of sovereignty have centred around the region's Democratic development in Hong Kong, democratic development and the State Council of the People's Republic of China, central government's adherence to the "one country, two systems" principle. After reversal of the last colonial era Legislative Council 1994 Hong Kong electoral reform, democratic reforms following the handover, the regional government unsuccessfully attempted to enact National Security (Legislative Provisions) Bill 2003, national security legislation pursuant to Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23, Article 23 of the Basic Law. The central government decision to implement 2014 NPCSC Decision on Hong Kong, nominee pre-screening before allowing 2014–2015 Hong Kong electoral reform, chief executive elections triggered a series of 2014 Hong Kong protests, protests in 2014 which became known as the Umbrella Revolution. Discrepancies in the electoral registry and disqualification of elected legislators after the 2016 Hong Kong legislative election, 2016 Legislative Council elections and enforcement of national law in the Hong Kong West Kowloon railway station, West Kowloon high-speed railway station raised further concerns about the region's autonomy. In June 2019, 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, mass protests erupted in response to a 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill, proposed extradition amendment bill permitting extradition of fugitives to Taiwan, while protesters argued that criminals might be extradited to mainland China. The protests are the largest in Hong Kong history, with organisers claiming to have attracted more than three million Hong Kong residents.


Government and politics

Hong Kong is a Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of China, with executive, legislative, and judicial powers Devolution, devolved from the Government of China, national government. The Sino-British Joint Declaration provided for economic and administrative continuity through the transfer of sovereignty, resulting in an Executive (government), executive-led governing system largely inherited from the territory's history as a British colony. Under these terms and the "one country, two systems" principle, the Hong Kong Basic Law, Basic Law of Hong Kong is the regional constitution. The regional government is composed of three branches: * ''Executive:'' The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Chief Executive is responsible for enforcing regional law, can force reconsideration of legislation, and appoints Executive Council of Hong Kong, Executive Council members and Principal officials of Hong Kong, principal officials. Acting with the Executive Council, the King-in-Council#The Commonwealth, Chief Executive-in-Council can propose new bills, issue Primary and secondary legislation, subordinate legislation, and has authority to Dissolution of parliament, dissolve the legislature. In state of emergency, states of emergency or public danger, the Chief Executive-in-Council is further empowered to enact any regulation necessary to restore public order. * ''Legislature:'' The unicameral Legislative Council of Hong Kong, Legislative Council enacts regional law, approves budgets, and has the power to impeachment, impeach a sitting chief executive. * ''Judiciary of Hong Kong, Judiciary:'' The Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong), Court of Final Appeal and lower courts interpret laws and overturn those inconsistent with the Basic Law.. Judges are appointed by the chief executive on the advice of a recommendation commission. The chief executive is the head of government and serves for a maximum of two five-year terms. The State Council of the People's Republic of China, State Council (led by the Premier of the People's Republic of China, Premier of China) appoints the chief executive after nomination by the Election Committee (Hong Kong), Election Committee, which is composed of 1,200 business, community, and government leaders. The Legislative Council has 70 members, each serving a four-year term. Thirty-five are directly elected from Geographical constituency, geographical constituencies, and thirty-five represent Functional constituency (Hong Kong), functional constituencies (FC). Thirty FC councillors are selected from limited electorates representing sectors of the economy or special interest groups, and the remaining five members are nominated from sitting District councils of Hong Kong, district council members and selected in region-wide double direct elections. All popularly elected members are chosen by proportional representation. The 30 limited electorate functional constituencies fill their seats using First-past-the-post voting, first-past-the-post or Instant-runoff voting, instant-runoff voting. Twenty-two political parties had representatives elected to the Legislative Council in the 2016 Hong Kong legislative election, 2016 election. These parties have aligned themselves into three ideological groups: the Pro-Beijing camp (Hong Kong), pro-Beijing camp (the current government), the Pro-democracy camp (Hong Kong), pro-democracy camp, and Localism in Hong Kong, localist groups. The Chinese Communist Party does not have an official political presence in Hong Kong, and its members do not run in local elections. Hong Kong is represented in the National People's Congress by 36 deputies chosen through an electoral college and 203 delegates in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference appointed by the central government. Law of the People's Republic of China, Chinese national law does not generally apply in the region, and Hong Kong is treated as a separate jurisdiction. Its judicial system is based on common law, continuing the legal tradition established during British rule. Local courts may refer to precedents set in English law and overseas jurisprudence. However, Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, mainland criminal procedure law applies to cases investigated by the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the CPG in the HKSAR. Interpretative and amending power over the Basic Law and jurisdiction over acts of state lie with the central authority, making regional courts ultimately subordinate to the mainland's socialist law, socialist Civil law (legal system), civil law system. Decisions made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress override any territorial judicial process. Furthermore, in circumstances where the Standing Committee declares a state of emergency in Hong Kong, the State Council may enforce national law in the region. Article 18. The territory's jurisdictional independence is most apparent in its Visa policy of Hong Kong, immigration and taxation policies. The Immigration Department (Hong Kong), Immigration Department issues Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport, passports for permanent residents which differ from those of the mainland or Macau, and the region maintains a Boundaries of Hong Kong, regulated border with the rest of the country. All travellers between Hong Kong and China and Macau must pass through border controls, regardless of nationality. Mainland Chinese citizens do not have right of abode in Hong Kong and are subject to immigration controls. Public finances are handled separately from the national government; taxes levied in Hong Kong do not fund the central authority. The Hong Kong Garrison of the People's Liberation Army is responsible for the region's defence. Although the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (China), Chairman of the Central Military Commission is Supreme Military Command of the People's Republic of China, supreme commander of the armed forces, the regional government may request assistance from the garrison. Hong Kong residents are not required to perform military service, and current law has no provision for local enlistment, so its defence is composed entirely of non-Hongkongers. The central government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs handle diplomatic matters, but Hong Kong retains the ability to maintain separate economic and cultural Foreign relations of Hong Kong, relations with foreign nations. The territory actively participates in the World Trade Organization, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the International Olympic Committee, and many United Nations agencies. The regional government maintains Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, trade offices in Greater China and other nations. The imposition of Hong Kong national security law by the National People's Congress decision on Hong Kong national security legislation, central government in Beijing in June 2020 resulted in the suspension of bilateral extradition treaties by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, and Ireland. The United States ended its preferential economic and trade treatment of Hong Kong in July 2020 because it was no longer able to distinguish Hong Kong as a separate entity from the People's Republic of China.


Administrative divisions

The territory is divided into 18 districts, each represented by a District councils of Hong Kong, district council. These advise the government on local issues such as public facility provisioning, community programme maintenance, cultural promotion, and environmental policy. There are a total of 479 district council seats, 452 of which are directly elected. Rural committee chairmen, representing outlying villages and towns, fill the 27 non-elected seats.


Political reforms and sociopolitical issues

Hong Kong is governed by a hybrid regime that is not fully Representative democracy, representative of the population. Legislative Council members elected by functional constituencies composed of professional and special interest groups are accountable to these narrow corporate electorates and not the general public. This electoral arrangement has guaranteed a pro-establishment majority in the legislature since the transfer of sovereignty. Similarly, the chief executive is selected by establishment politicians and corporate members of the Election Committee rather than directly elected.. Although universal suffrage for the chief executive and all Legislative Council elections are defined goals of Basic Law Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, Articles 45 and 68, the legislature is only partially directly elected, and the executive continues to be nominated by an unrepresentative body. The government has been repeatedly petitioned to introduce direct elections for these positions. Ethnic minorities (except those of European ancestry) have marginal representation in government and often experience discrimination in housing, education, and employment. Employment vacancies and public service appointments frequently have language requirements which minority job seekers do not meet, and language education resources remain inadequate for Chinese learners. Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Foreign domestic helpers, predominantly women from the Philippines and Indonesia, have little protection under regional law. Although they live and work in Hong Kong, these workers are not treated as ordinary residents and are ineligible for right of abode in the territory. Sex trafficking in Hong Kong is an issue. Hongkonger and foreign women and girls are forced into Prostitution in Hong Kong, prostitution in brothels, homes, and businesses in the city. The Joint Declaration guarantees the Basic Law of Hong Kong for 50 years after the transfer of sovereignty. It does not specify how Hong Kong will be governed after 2047, and the central government's role in determining the territory's future system of government is the subject of political debate and speculation. Hong Kong's political and judicial systems may be integrated with China's at that time, or the territory may continue to be administered separately. However, during a period of large-scale protests in 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the controversial Hong Kong national security law. The law criminalises acts that were previously considered protected speech under Hong Kong law and establishes the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the CPG in the HKSAR, an investigative office under Central People's Government authority immune from HKSAR jurisdiction. The United Kingdom considers the law to be a serious violation of the Joint Declaration. In October 2020, Hong Kong police arrested seven pro-democracy politicians over tussles with pro-Beijing politicians during the Legislative Council in May. They were charged with contempt and interfering with members of the council, while none of the pro-Beijing lawmakers were detained.


Geography

Hong Kong is on China's southern coast, east of Macau, on the east side of the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, Pearl River estuary. It is surrounded by the South China Sea on all sides except the north, which neighbours the Guangdong city of Shenzhen along the Sham Chun River. The territory's area (2754.97 km2 if the maritime area is included) consists of
Hong Kong Island 250px, Kornhill and Shau Kei Wan, located in the northern part of Eastern District Hong Kong Island is an Islands and peninsulas of Hong Kong, island in the southern part of Hong Kong. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population de ...

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, Lantau Island, and over 200 other islands. Of the total area, is land and is water. The territory's highest point is Tai Mo Shan, above sea level. Urban development is concentrated on the Kowloon Peninsula, Hong Kong Island, and in New towns of Hong Kong, new towns throughout the New Territories. Much of this is built on Land reclamation in Hong Kong, reclaimed land; (6% of the total land or about 25% of developed space in the territory) is reclaimed from the sea.. Undeveloped terrain is hilly to mountainous, with very little flat land, and consists mostly of grassland, woodland, shrubland, or farmland. About 40% of the remaining land area is Conservation in Hong Kong, country parks and nature reserves. The territory has a diverse ecosystem; over 3,000 species of vascular plants occur in the region (300 of which are native to Hong Kong), and thousands of insect, avian, and marine species.


Climate

Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''Cwa''), characteristic of southern China, despite being located south of the Tropic of Cancer. Summer is hot and humid, with occasional showers and thunderstorms and warm air from the southwest. Typhoons occur most often then, sometimes resulting in floods or landslides. Winters are mild and usually sunny at the beginning, becoming cloudy towards February; an occasional cold front brings strong, cooling winds from the north. Autumn is the sunniest season, whilst spring is generally cloudy. When there is snowfall, which is extremely rare, it is usually at high elevations. Hong Kong averages 1,709 hours of sunshine per year. Historic temperature extremes at the Hong Kong Observatory are on 22 August 2017 and on 18 January 1893. The highest and lowest recorded temperatures in all of Hong Kong are at Hong Kong Wetland Park, Wetland Park on 22 August 2017, and at Tai Mo Shan January 2016 East Asia cold wave, on 24 January 2016.


Architecture

Hong Kong has the world's List of cities with the most skyscrapers, largest number of skyscrapers, with 482 towers taller than , and the third-largest number of high-rise buildings in the world. The lack of available space restricted development to high-density residential tenements and commercial complexes packed closely together on buildable land. Single-family detached homes are uncommon and generally only found in outlying areas. The International Commerce Centre and International Finance Centre (Hong Kong), Two International Finance Centre are the List of tallest buildings in Hong Kong, tallest buildings in Hong Kong and are among the tallest in the Asia-Pacific region. Other distinctive buildings lining the Hong Kong Island skyline include the HSBC Building (Hong Kong), HSBC Main Building, the anemometer-topped triangular Central Plaza (Hong Kong), Central Plaza, the circular Hopewell Centre (Hong Kong), Hopewell Centre, and the sharp-edged Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong), Bank of China Tower.. Demand for new construction has contributed to frequent demolition of older buildings, freeing space for modern high-rises. However, many examples of European and Lingnan architecture are still found throughout the territory. Older government buildings are examples of colonial architecture. The 1846 Flagstaff House, the former residence of the commanding British military officer, is the oldest Western-style building in Hong Kong. Some (including the Court of Final Appeal Building and the Hong Kong Observatory) retain their original function, and others have been Adaptive reuse, adapted and reused; the Former Marine Police Headquarters was redeveloped into a commercial and retail complex,. and Béthanie (Hong Kong), Béthanie (built in 1875 as a sanatorium) houses the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay, Tin Hau Temple, dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu (originally built in 1012 and rebuilt in 1266), is the territory's oldest existing structure. The Ping Shan Heritage Trail has architectural examples of several imperial Chinese dynasties, including the Tsui Sing Lau Pagoda (Hong Kong's only remaining pagoda). ''Tong lau'', mixed-use tenement buildings constructed during the colonial era, blended southern Chinese architectural styles with European influences. These were especially prolific during the immediate post-war period, when many were rapidly built to house large numbers of Chinese migrants. Examples include Lui Seng Chun, the Blue House (Hong Kong), Blue House in Wan Chai, and the Nos. 600–626 Shanghai Street, Shanghai Street shophouses in Mong Kok. Mass-produced Public housing in Hong Kong, public-housing estates, built since the 1960s, are mainly constructed in Modern architecture, modernist style.


Demographics

The Census and Statistics Department (Hong Kong), Census and Statistics Department estimated Hong Kong's population at 7,482,500 in mid-2019. The overwhelming majority (92%) is Han Chinese, most of whom are Sze Yap people in Hong Kong, Taishanese, Teochew people, Teochew, Hakka people, Hakka, and other Cantonese peoples. The remaining 8% are non-ethnic Chinese minorities, primarily Filipinos in Hong Kong, Filipinos, Indonesians in Hong Kong, Indonesians, and South Asians in Hong Kong, South Asians. However, most Filipinos and Indonesians in Hong Kong are short-term workers. According to a 2016 thematic report by the Hong Kong government, after excluding foreign domestic helpers, the real number of non-Chinese ethnic minorities in the city was 263,593, or 3.6% of Hong Kong's population. About half the population have British nationality law, some form of British nationality, a legacy of colonial rule; 3.4 million residents have British National (Overseas) status, and 260,000 British citizens live in the territory. The vast majority also hold Chinese nationality law, Chinese nationality, automatically granted to all ethnic Chinese residents at the transfer of sovereignty. Headline population density of about 6,800 people/km2 does not reflect true densities since only 6.9% of land is residential; the residential average population density calculates closer to a highly cramped 100,000/km2. The predominant language is
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, a varieties of Chinese, variety of Chinese originating in Guangdong. It is spoken by 94.6% of the population, 88.9% as a first language and 5.7% as a second language. Slightly over half the population (53.2%) speaks English, the other official language; 4.3% are native speakers, and 48.9% speak English as a second language. Code-switching in Hong Kong, Code-switching, mixing English and Cantonese in informal conversation, is common among the bilingual population. Post-handover governments have promoted Mandarin Chinese, Mandarin, which is currently about as prevalent as English; 48.6% of the population speak Mandarin, with 1.9% native speakers and 46.7% as a second language. Traditional Chinese characters are used in writing, rather than the Simplified Chinese characters, simplified characters used on the mainland. Among the religious population, the traditional "three teachings" of China, Chinese Buddhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, have the most adherents (20%), followed by Christianity (12%) and Islam (4%).. Followers of other religions, including Sikhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, generally originate from regions where their religion predominates. Life expectancy in Hong Kong was 82.38 years for males and 88.17 years for females in 2022, the highest in the world. Cancer, pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and accidents are the territory's five leading causes of death.. The Universal health care, universal public healthcare system is funded by general-tax revenue, and treatment is highly subsidised; on average, 95% of healthcare costs are covered by the government. Income inequality has risen since the transfer of sovereignty, as the region's ageing population has gradually added to the number of nonworking people. Although median household income steadily increased during the decade to 2016, the wage gap remained high; the 90th percentile of earners receive 41% of all income. The city has the most billionaires per capita, with one billionaire per 109,657 people. Despite government efforts to reduce the growing disparity, median income for the top 10% of earners is 44 times that of the bottom 10%.


Economy

Hong Kong has a capitalist mixed economy, mixed service economy, characterised by Taxation in Hong Kong, low taxation, minimal government market intervention, and an established international financial market. It is the world's List of countries by GDP (nominal), 35th-largest economy, with a Gross domestic product, nominal GDP of approximately US$373 billion. Hong Kong's economy has ranked at the top of the Heritage Foundation's economic freedom index since 1995. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the List of stock exchanges, seventh-largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of HK$30.4 trillion (US$3.87 trillion) . Hong Kong is the tenth-largest trading entity in List of countries by exports, exports and List of countries by imports, imports (2017), trading more goods in value than its gross domestic product. Over half of its cargo throughput consists of transshipments (goods travelling through Hong Kong). Products from mainland China account for about 40% of that traffic. The city's location allowed it to establish a transportation and logistics infrastructure which includes the world's seventh-busiest container port and the busiest airport for international cargo. The territory's largest export markets are mainland China and the United States. Hong Kong is part of the Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region of Trieste with its rail connections to Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe. It has little arable land and few natural resources, importing most of its food and raw materials. More than 90% of Hong Kong's food is imported, including nearly all of its meat and rice. Agricultural activity is 0.1% of GDP and consists of growing premium food and flower varieties. Although the territory had one of Asia's largest manufacturing economies during the latter half of the colonial era, Hong Kong's economy is now dominated by the service sector. The sector generates 92.7% of economic output, with the public sector accounting for about 10%. Between 1961 and 1997 Hong Kong's gross domestic product increased by a factor of 180, and per capita GDP increased by a factor of 87. The territory's GDP relative to mainland China's peaked at 27% in 1993; it fell to less than 3% in 2017, as the mainland developed and liberalised its economy. Economic and infrastructure integration with China has increased significantly since the 1978 start of Chinese economic reform, market liberalisation on the mainland. Since resumption of Guangzhou–Kowloon through train, cross-boundary train service in 1979, many rail and road links have been improved and constructed, facilitating trade between regions.. The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement formalised a policy of free trade between the two areas, with each jurisdiction pledging to remove remaining obstacles to trade and cross-boundary investment. A similar economic partnership with Macau details the liberalisation of trade between the special administrative regions. Chinese companies have expanded their economic presence in the territory since the transfer of sovereignty. Mainland firms represent over half of the Hang Seng Index value, up from 5% in 1997. As the mainland liberalised its economy, Hong Kong's shipping industry faced intense competition from other Chinese ports. Half of China's trade goods were routed through Hong Kong in 1997, dropping to about 13% by 2015. The territory's minimal taxation, common law system, and civil service attract overseas corporations wishing to establish a presence in Asia. The city has the second-highest number of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region. Hong Kong is a gateway for foreign direct investment in China, giving investors open access to mainland Chinese markets through direct links with Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the Shanghai and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Shenzhen stock exchanges. The territory was the first market outside mainland China for dim sum bond, renminbi-denominated bonds, and is one of the largest hubs for offshore renminbi trading. In November 2020, Hong Kong's Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau proposed a new law that will restrict cryptocurrency trading to professional investors only, leaving amateur traders (93% of Hong Kong's trading population) out of the market. The government has had a passive role in the economy. Colonial governments had little industrial policy and implemented almost no Trade restriction, trade controls. Under the doctrine of "positive non-interventionism", post-war administrations deliberately avoided the direct allocation of resources; active intervention was considered detrimental to economic growth. While the economy transitioned to a service basis during the 1980s, late colonial governments introduced interventionist policies. Post-handover administrations continued and expanded these programmes, including Export credit agency, export-credit guarantees, a Mandatory Provident Fund, compulsory pension scheme, a minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, and a state mortgage backer. Tourism is a major part of the economy, accounting for 5% of GDP. In 2016, 26.6 million visitors contributed HK$258 billion (US$32.9 billion) to the territory, making Hong Kong the World Tourism rankings, 14th most popular destination for international tourists. It is the most popular Chinese city for tourists, receiving over 70% more visitors than its closest competitor (Macau). The city is ranked as one of the List of most expensive cities for expatriate employees, most expensive cities for expatriates.


Infrastructure


Transport

Hong Kong has a highly developed, sophisticated transport network. Over 90% of daily trips are made on public transport, the highest percentage in the world. The Octopus card, a Contactless payment, contactless Smart card, smart Digital currency, payment card, is widely accepted on railways, buses and ferries, and can be used for payment in most retail stores. The Peak Tram, Hong Kong's first public transport system, has provided funicular rail transport between Central, Hong Kong, Central and Victoria Peak since 1888. The Central and Western District has an extensive system of escalators and Moving walkway, moving pavements, including the Central–Mid-Levels escalator, Mid-Levels escalator (the world's longest outdoor covered escalator system). Hong Kong Tramways covers a portion of Hong Kong Island. The MTR, Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is an extensive passenger rail network, connecting 93 rapid transit, metro stations throughout the territory.. With a daily ridership of over five million, the system serves 41% of all public transit passengers in the city and has an on-time rate of 99.9%. Cross-boundary train service to Shenzhen is offered by the East Rail line, and longer-distance Inter-city rail, inter-city trains Guangzhou–Kowloon through train, to Guangzhou, Shanghai–Kowloon through train, Shanghai, and Beijing–Kowloon through train, Beijing are operated from Hung Hom station. Hong Kong Express Rail Link, Connecting service to the China Railway High-speed, national high-speed rail system is provided at Hong Kong West Kowloon railway station, West Kowloon railway station. Although public transport systems handle most passenger traffic, there are over 500,000 private vehicles registered in Hong Kong. Automobiles drive Left- and right-hand traffic, on the left (unlike in mainland China), because of historical influence of the British Empire. Vehicle traffic is extremely congested in urban areas, exacerbated by limited space to expand roads and an increasing number of vehicles. More than 18,000 Taxis of Hong Kong, taxicabs, easily identifiable by their bright colour, are licensed to carry riders in the territory. Bus services in Hong Kong, Bus services operate more than 700 routes across the territory, with smaller public light buses (also known as minibuses) serving areas standard buses do not reach as frequently or directly. Highways, organised with the Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System, connect all major areas of the territory. The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge provides a direct route to the western side of the Pearl River estuary. Hong Kong International Airport is the territory's primary airport. Over 100 airlines operate flights from the airport, including locally based Cathay Pacific (flag carrier), Hong Kong Airlines, low-cost airline HK Express and cargo airline Air Hong Kong. It is the List of busiest airports by passenger traffic, eighth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and handles List of busiest airports by cargo traffic, the most air-cargo traffic in the world. Most private recreational aviation traffic flies through Shek Kong Airfield, under the supervision of the Hong Kong Aviation Club. The Star Ferry operates two lines across Victoria Harbour for its 53,000 daily passengers. Ferries also serve outlying islands inaccessible by other means. Smaller kai-to boats serve the most remote coastal settlements. Ferry travel to Macau and mainland China is also available. Junk (ship), Junks, once common in Hong Kong waters, are no longer widely available and are used privately and for tourism.


Utilities

Hong Kong generates most of its electricity locally. The vast majority of this energy comes from fossil fuels, with 46% from coal and 47% from petroleum. The rest is from other imports, including nuclear energy generated in mainland China. Renewable sources account for a negligible amount of energy generated for the territory. Small-scale wind-power sources have been developed, and a small number of private homes and public buildings have installed solar panels. With few natural lakes and rivers, high population density, inaccessible groundwater sources, and extremely seasonal rainfall, the territory does not have a reliable source of freshwater. The Dong River (China), Dongjiang River in Guangdong supplies 70% of the city's water,. and the remaining demand is filled by harvesting rainwater. Toilets in most built-up areas of the territory flush with seawater, greatly reducing freshwater use. Broadband Internet access is widely available, with 92.6% of households connected. Connections over Fiber to the x, fibre-optic infrastructure are increasingly prevalent, contributing to the high regional average connection speed of 21.9 Mbit/s (the world's fourth-fastest). Mobile-phone use is ubiquitous; there are more than 18 million List of countries by number of mobile phones in use, mobile-phone accounts, more than double the territory's population.


Culture

Hong Kong is characterised as a hybrid of Eastern world, East and Western culture, West. Traditional Chinese values emphasising family and education blend with Western ideals, including economic liberty and the rule of law. Although the vast majority of the population is ethnically Chinese, Hong Kong has developed a distinct identity. The territory diverged from the mainland through its long period of colonial administration and a different pace of economic, social, and cultural development. Mainstream culture is derived from immigrants originating from various parts of China. This was influenced by British-style education, a separate political system, and the territory's rapid development during the late 20th century. Most migrants of that era fled poverty and war, reflected in the prevailing attitude toward wealth; Hongkongers tend to link self-image and decision-making to material benefits. Residents' sense of local identity has markedly increased post-handover: The majority of the population (52%) identifies as "Hongkongers", while 11% describe themselves as "Chinese". The remaining population purport mixed identities, 23% as "Hongkonger in China" and 12% as "Chinese in Hong Kong". Traditional Chinese family values, including family honor, family honour, filial piety, and a Sex selection, preference for sons, are prevalent. Nuclear family, Nuclear families are the most common households, although multi-generational and extended families are not unusual. Spiritual concepts such as ''feng shui'' are observed; large-scale construction projects often hire consultants to ensure proper building positioning and layout. The degree of its adherence to ''feng shui'' is believed to determine the success of a business. ''Bagua'' mirrors are regularly used to deflect evil spirits, and buildings often lack Chinese numerology, floor numbers with a 4; the number has a similar sound to the word for "die" in Cantonese.


Cuisine

Food in Hong Kong is primarily based on Cantonese cuisine, despite the territory's exposure to foreign influences and its residents' varied origins. Rice is the staple food, and is usually served plain with other dishes.. Freshness of ingredients is emphasised. Poultry and seafood are commonly sold live at wet markets, and ingredients are used as quickly as possible. There are five daily meals: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and ''siu yeh''. Dim sum, as part of ''yum cha'' (brunch), is a dining-out tradition with family and friends. Dishes include congee, ''cha siu bao'', ''siu yuk'', egg tarts, and mango pudding. Local versions of Western food are served at ''cha chaan teng'' (Hong Kong-style cafes). Common ''cha chaan teng'' menu items include macaroni in soup, deep-fried French toast, and Hong Kong-style milk tea.


Cinema

Hong Kong developed into a filmmaking hub during the late 1940s as a wave of Shanghai filmmakers migrated to the territory, and these movie veterans helped build the colony's entertainment industry over the next decade. By the 1960s, the city was well known to overseas audiences through films such as ''The World of Suzie Wong (film), The World of Suzie Wong''. When Bruce Lee's The Way of the Dragon, ''The'' ''Way of the Dragon'' was released in 1972, local productions became popular outside Hong Kong. During the 1980s, films such as ''A Better Tomorrow'', ''As Tears Go By (film), As Tears Go By'', and ''Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain'' expanded global interest beyond martial arts films; locally made gangster films, romantic dramas, and supernatural fantasies became popular. Hong Kong cinema continued to be internationally successful over the following decade with critically acclaimed dramas such as ''Farewell My Concubine (film), Farewell My Concubine'', ''To Live (1994 film), To Live'', and ''Chungking Express''. The city's martial arts film roots are evident in the roles of the most prolific Hong Kong actors. Jackie Chan, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Chow Yun-fat, and Michelle Yeoh frequently play action-oriented roles in foreign films. At the height of the local movie industry in the early 1990s, over 400 films were produced each year; since then, industry momentum shifted to mainland China. The number of films produced annually has declined to about 60 in 2017.


Music

Cantopop is a genre of Cantonese popular music which emerged in Hong Kong during the 1970s. Evolving from Shanghai-style ''shidaiqu'', it is also influenced by Cantonese opera and Western pop. Local media featured songs by artists such as Sam Hui, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, and Alan Tam; during the 1980s, exported films and shows exposed Cantopop to a global audience. The genre's popularity peaked in the 1990s, when the Four Heavenly Kings (Hong Kong), Four Heavenly Kings dominated Asian record charts. Despite a general decline since late in the decade, Cantopop remains dominant in Hong Kong; contemporary artists such as Eason Chan, Joey Yung, and Twins (group), Twins are popular in and beyond the territory. Western classical music has historically had a strong presence in Hong Kong and remains a large part of local musical education. The publicly funded Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the territory's oldest professional symphony orchestra, frequently hosts musicians and conductors from overseas. The Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, composed of Chinese orchestra, classical Chinese instruments, is the leading Chinese ensemble and plays a significant role in promoting traditional music in the community.


Sport and recreation

Despite its small area, the territory is home to a variety of sports and recreational facilities. The city has hosted numerous major sporting events, including the 2009 East Asian Games, the Equestrian at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 Summer Olympics equestrian events, and the 2007 Premier League Asia Trophy.. The territory regularly hosts the Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Marathon, Hong Kong Tennis Classic and Lunar New Year Cup, and hosted the inaugural AFC Asian Cup and the 1995 Dynasty Cup. Hong Kong represents itself separately from mainland China, with its own sports teams in international competitions. The territory has participated in almost every Summer Olympics since 1952 and has earned Hong Kong at the Olympics, four medals. Lee Lai-shan won the territory's first Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and Cheung Ka Long won the second one in 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020. Hong Kong athletes have won Hong Kong at the Paralympics, 126 medals at the Paralympic Games and Hong Kong at the Commonwealth Games, 17 at the Commonwealth Games. No longer part of the Commonwealth of Nations, the city's last appearance in the latter was in 1994 Commonwealth Games, 1994. Dragon boat races originated as a religious ceremony conducted during the annual Dragon Boat Festival, Tuen Ng Festival. The race was revived as a modern sport as part of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Tourism Board's efforts to promote Hong Kong's image abroad. The first modern competition was organised in 1976, and overseas teams began competing in the first international race in 1993. The Hong Kong Jockey Club, the territory's largest taxpayer,. has a monopoly on gambling and provides over 7% of government revenue. Three forms of gambling are legal in Hong Kong: lotteries, horse racing, and football.


Education

Education in Hong Kong is largely modelled after Education in the United Kingdom, that of the United Kingdom, particularly the Education in England, English system. Children are required to attend school from age 6 until completion of secondary education, generally at age 18. At the end of secondary schooling, all students take a public examination and awarded the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education on successful completion. Of residents aged 15 and older, 81% completed lower-secondary education, 66% graduated from an upper secondary school, 32% attended a non-degree tertiary program, and 24% earned a bachelor's degree or higher. Mandatory education has contributed to an adult literacy rate of 95.7%. The literacy rate is lower than that of other developed economies because of the influx of refugees from mainland China during the post-war colonial era; much of the elderly population were not formally educated because of war and poverty. Comprehensive schools fall under three categories: public schools, which are government-run; subsidised schools, including government aid-and-grant schools; and private schools, often those run by religious organisations and that base admissions on academic merit. These schools are subject to the curriculum guidelines as provided by the Education Bureau. Private schools subsidised under the Direct Subsidy Scheme; international schools fall outside of this system and may elect to use differing curricula and teach using other languages. The government maintains a policy of "mother tongue instruction"; most schools use Cantonese as the medium of instruction, with written education in both Chinese and English. Other languages being used as medium of instruction in non-international school education include English and Standard Chinese, Putonghua (Standard Mandarin Chinese). Secondary schools emphasise "bi-literacy and tri-lingualism", which has encouraged the proliferation of spoken Mandarin language education. Hong Kong has eleven universities. The
University of Hong Kong The University of Hong Kong (abbreviated as HKU) is a public university, public research university in Hong Kong. Founded in 1911, its origins trace back to the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which was founded in 1887. It is the ol ...

University of Hong Kong
was founded as the city's first institute of higher education during the early colonial period in 1911. The Chinese University of Hong Kong was established in 1963 to fill the need for a university that taught using Chinese as its primary language of instruction. Along with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and City University of Hong Kong, these universities are ranked among the best in Asia. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Lingnan University, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Metropolitan University, Hong Kong Shue Yan University and Hang Seng University of Hong Kong were all established in subsequent years.


Media

Most of the newsapapers in Hong Kong are written in Chinese but there are also a few English-language newspapers. The major one is the ''South China Morning Post'', with ''The Standard (Hong Kong), The Standard'' serving as a business-oriented alternative. A variety of Chinese-language newspapers are published daily; the most prominent are ''Ming Pao and'' ''Oriental Daily News''. Local publications are often politically affiliated, with pro-Beijing or pro-democracy sympathies. The central government has a print-media presence in the territory through the state-owned ''Ta Kung Pao'' and ''Wen Wei Po''. Several international publications have regional operations in Hong Kong, including ''The Wall Street Journal'', ''Financial Times'', ''The New York Times International Edition'', ''USA Today'', ''Yomiuri Shimbun'', and ''The Nikkei''. Three free-to-air television broadcasters operate in the territory; TVB, HK Television Entertainment, HKTVE, and Fantastic Television, Hong Kong Open TV air eight Digital television, digital channels. TVB, Hong Kong's dominant television network, has an 80% viewer share. Television in Hong Kong, Pay TV services operated by Hong Kong Cable Television, Cable TV Hong Kong and PCCW offer hundreds of additional channels and cater to a variety of audiences. RTHK is the public broadcaster, providing seven radio channels and three television channels. Ten non-domestic broadcasters air programming for the territory's foreign population. Access to media and information over the Internet is not subject to mainland Chinese regulations, including the Great Firewall, yet local control applies.


See also

* Index of articles related to Hong Kong * List of Hong Kong people * Outline of Hong Kong


Footnotes


Notes


References


Print

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Wasserstrom, Jeffrey. ''Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink'' (2020
Online review
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Legislation and case law

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Academic publications

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Institutional reports

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News and magazine articles

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Websites

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External links


Hong Kong
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Hong Kong
from BBC News
Key Development Forecasts for Hong Kong
from International Futures ; Government
GovHK
Hong Kong SAR government portal
Discover Hong Kong
Official site of the Tourism Board ; Trade
World Bank Summary Trade Statistics Hong Kong
; Maps * * {{Good article Hong Kong, People's Republic of China 1842 establishments in Asia Chinese-speaking countries and territories English-speaking countries and territories Metropolitan areas of China Pearl River Delta Populated coastal places in Hong Kong Populated places established in 1842 Port cities and towns in China South China Sea Special administrative regions of China States and territories established in 1997 Former Japanese colonies Former British colonies