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Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory

Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory

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The Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting an Extension of Hong Kong Territory or the Second Convention of Peking was a lease
Lease
A lease is a contractual arrangement calling for the lessee to pay the lessor for use of an asset. A rental agreement is a lease in which the asset is tangible property...

 signed between Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 in 1898.

Background


The convention was signed on 9 June 1898 in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. The contract was signed to give the British full jurisdiction of the newly acquired land that was necessary to ensure proper military defence of the colony
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

 around the island. Some of the earliest proposal for the land usage in 1894 included cemetery space, exercise ground for British troops and land for development. Security and land defense remained the top priority for the contract.

Terms


Under the convention the territories north of what is now Boundary Street
Boundary Street
[[Image:Boundary st hongkong.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Boundary Street near [[Kowloon Tong]]Boundary Street is a three-lane one-way street in [[Kowloon]], [[Hong Kong]]...

 and south of the Sham Chun River
Sham Chun River
Sham Chun River serves as the natural border between Hong Kong and Mainland China, together with the Sha Tau Kok River....

, and the surrounding islands, later known as the "New Territories
New Territories
New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...

" were leased to the United Kingdom for 99 years rent-free, expiring on 30 June 1997, and became part of the crown colony of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

.

Result


Some of the land under the convention remains rural and it is home to virtually all of Hong Kong's remaining farmland. However, as the downtown districts have become increasingly crowded the government has developed urban areas since the 1950
1950s in Hong Kong
1950s in Hong Kong began after the Japanese rule ended in 1945 with sovereignty returning to the British. However, the Nationalist-Communist Civil War was renewed in mainland China. It prompted a large influx of refugees from the mainland, causing a huge population surge. The government struggled...

s. Particularly, the areas closest to Kowloon
Kowloon
Kowloon is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of...

 have become integrated in Kowloon districts and are no longer administratively included in the New Territories. Due to continuing population growth and crowdedness in the inner city, the New Territories satellite cities grew increasingly important to the point where a slight majority of the population now lives there.

This made it unfeasible to return the leased land alone as it would have split Hong Kong in two parts. The Chinese also started to pressure the British to return all of Hong Kong, taking the position that they would not accept so-called "unequal treaties" that were imposed on them by colonial powers.

The governments of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) concluded the Sino-British Joint Declaration
Sino-British Joint Declaration
The Sino-British Joint Declaration, formally known as the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong, was signed by the Prime Ministers, Zhao Ziyang and Margaret...

 in 1984, under which the sovereignty of the leased territories, together with Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/kmĀ², as of 2008...

 and Kowloon
Kowloon Peninsula
The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula that forms the southern part of the main landmass in the territory of Hong Kong. The Kowloon Peninsula and the area of New Kowloon are collectively known as Kowloon....

 (south of Boundary Street
Boundary Street
[[Image:Boundary st hongkong.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Boundary Street near [[Kowloon Tong]]Boundary Street is a three-lane one-way street in [[Kowloon]], [[Hong Kong]]...

) ceded under the Treaty of Nanking
Treaty of Nanking
The Treaty of Nanking was signed on 29 August 1842 to mark the end of the First Opium War between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Qing Dynasty of China...

 (1842) and Convention of Peking
Convention of Peking
The Convention of Peking or the First Convention of Peking is the name used for three different unequal treaties, which were concluded between Qing China and the United Kingdom, France, and Russia.-Background:...

 (1860), was scheduled to be transferred to the PRC on 1 July 1997. The territory was then transferred as scheduled.