History of Hong Kong

History of Hong Kong

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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...

 began as a coastal island geographically located off the southern coast of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. While pockets of settlements had taken place in the region with archaeological findings dating back thousands of years, regular written records were not made until the engagement of Imperial China and the British Colony in the territory. Starting out as a fishing village, salt production site and trading ground, it would evolve into a military port of strategic importance and eventually an international financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

 that has the world's 6th highest GDP (PPP) per capita, supporting 33% of the foreign capital flows into China.

Prehistoric era



Archaeological findings suggesting human activity in Hong Kong date back over 30,000 years. Stone tools of the pre-historic people during the old stone age have been excavated in Sai Kung in Wong Tei Tung
Wong Tei Tung
Wong Tei Tung is an area of Upper Paleolithic settlement in Hong Kong. It is located near Sham Chung, beside Three Fathoms Cove of Sai Kung Peninsula.The findings were discovered by the Hong Kong Archaeological Society.-External links:* ....

. The stone tools found in Sai Kung were perhaps from a stone tool making ground. Religious carvings on outlying islands and coastal areas have also been found, possibly related to Che people
Che people
The Che people are a branch of the Yao people found in the Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces of China. Outside of those areas, they are also known as the She people.-History:...

 in Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

. The latest findings dating from the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 suggest that Wong Tei Tung
Wong Tei Tung
Wong Tei Tung is an area of Upper Paleolithic settlement in Hong Kong. It is located near Sham Chung, beside Three Fathoms Cove of Sai Kung Peninsula.The findings were discovered by the Hong Kong Archaeological Society.-External links:* ....

 (黃地峒) is one of the most ancient settlements in Hong Kong.

Imperial China era (221 BC – 1911)


The territory was incorporated into China during the Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

 (221 BC - 206 BC), and the area was firmly consolidated under Nanyue
Nanyue
Nanyue was an ancient kingdom that consisted of parts of the modern Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan and northern Vietnam. Nanyue was established in 204 BC at the final collapse of the Qin Dynasty by Zhao Tuo, who was the military commander of Nanhai Commandery at the time, and...

 (203 BC - 111 BC.) Archaeological evidence indicates that the population increased since the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BC - 220). In the 1950s, the tomb at Lei Cheng Uk
Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum is composed of an ancient brick tomb and of an exhibition hall adjacent to it. It is located at 41 Tonkin Street, in Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po District, in the northwestern part of the Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong.-The tomb:According to the structure,...

 from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 – 220) was excavated and archaeologists began to investigate the possibility that salt production flourished in Hong Kong around 2000 years ago, although conclusive evidence has not been found.

Tai Po Hoi, the sea of Tai Po, was a major pearl hunting
Pearl hunting
Pearl hunting or pearl diving refers to a largely obsolete method of retrieving pearls from pearl oysters, freshwater pearl mussels and, on rare occasions, other nacre-producing molluscs, such as abalone.-History:...

 harbour in China from the Han Dynasty through the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

 (1368 to 1644), with activities peaking during the Southern Han
Southern Han
Southern Han was a kingdom that existed during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period along China’s southern coast from 917 to 971. The Kingdom greatly expanded her capital city Hing Wong Fu , namely present-day Guangzhou...

 (917 to 971).

During the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, the Guangdong region flourished as an international trading center. The Tuen Mun region in what is now Hong Kong's 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...

 served as a port, naval base, salt production centre and later, base for the exploitation of pearls. Lantau Island
Lantau Island
Lantau Island , based on the old local name of Lantau Peak , is the largest island in Hong Kong, located at the mouth of the Pearl River. Administratively, most of Lantau Island is part of the Islands District of Hong Kong...

 was also a salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 production centre, where the salt smugglers riots broke out against the government.

In 1276 during the Mongol invasion, the Southern Song Dynasty court moved to Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

, then to Lantau Island and later to today's Kowloon City
Sung Wong Toi
Sung Wong Toi is an important historic relic in Kowloon, Hong Kong. While its remaining portion is currently located in the Sung Wong Toi Garden in Ma Tau Wai, it was originally a 45 m tall boulder standing on the top of Sacred Hill in Ma Tau Chung above Kowloon Bay.-Literally Meaning:The name...

. Emperor Huaizong of Song
Emperor Bing of Song
Emperor Bing of Song was the last emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty of China. He was also known as Lord Perpetual-Nation ....

, the last Song Dynasty emperor, was enthroned at Mui Wo
Mui Wo
Mui Wo is a rural town on the eastern coast of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. The main beach in Mui Wo is known as Silver Mine Bay .-History:...

 on Lantau Island on May 10, 1278 at the age of 8. This event is commemorated by the Sung Wong Toi
Sung Wong Toi
Sung Wong Toi is an important historic relic in Kowloon, Hong Kong. While its remaining portion is currently located in the Sung Wong Toi Garden in Ma Tau Wai, it was originally a 45 m tall boulder standing on the top of Sacred Hill in Ma Tau Chung above Kowloon Bay.-Literally Meaning:The name...

 in Kowloon. After his defeat at the Battle of Yamen
Battle of Yamen
The naval Battle of Yamen took place on 19 March 1279 and is considered to be the last stand of the Song Dynasty against the invading Mongol-controlled Yuan Dynasty...

 on March 19, 1279, the child emperor committed suicide by drowning with his officials at Mount Ya (modern Yamen Town
Yamen (town)
Yámén is a town lying in the south of Xinhui District of Jiangmen, Guangdong, People's Republic of China. It covers an area of 281 square kilometers and has a population of 40,000....

 in Guangdong). Tung Chung
Tung Chung
Tung Chung, meaning 'eastern stream', is an area situated on the north-western coast of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Tung Chung, currently one of the latest generation of new towns, was formerly a rural village around Tung Chung Wan, and along the delta and lower courses of Tung Chung River and Ma...

 valley, named after a hero who gave up his life for the emperor, is believed to have been one of the locations for his court. Hau Wong
Hau Wong
Hau Wong or Hou Wang is a title that can be translated as "Prince Marquis" or "Holy Marquis". It is not any one person's name. Hau Wong refers usually to Yeung Leung-jit , a loyal and courageous general...

, an official of the emperor is still worshipped in Hong Kong today.

During the Mongol period, Hong Kong saw its first population boom as Chinese refugees entered the area. The main reason for them to enter Hong Kong was because of wars and famines, and some groups even went there to find jobs. Five clans
Chinese clan
A Chinese clan is a patrilineal and patrilocal group of related Chinese people with a common surname sharing a common ancestor and, in many cases, an ancestral home.-Description:...

 of Hau
Hou
Hou or HOU may be*-hou, a Norman suffix for "small island"*Hō, an album by Maximum the Hormone*Houston, Texas*William P. Hobby Airport's IATA code*Hou , a rank of Chinese nobility and a Chinese surname...

 (侯), Tang
Tang Clan
The Tang Clan is one of the Great Five Clans of Hong Kong. The others are Man , Hau , Pang and Liu . The Tangs originated from Jishui of Jiangxi province and are considered to be native Hong Kong people, as they were the first immigrants to settle in what is now Hong Kong from what is now...

 (鄧), Pang
Peng (surname)
Peng is a common Chinese family name, ranking 35th most common in 2006. Alternate Romanizations include Pang , Phang and Bành ....

 (彭) and Liu
Liao
Liao can mean:* Liao Dynasty , a former dynasty in northern China founded by the Khitan people**Northern Liao , state founded by the Khitans in northern China...

 (廖) and Man
Wen
Wen, wen, or WEN may refer to:* WEN, New York Stock Exchange symbol for Wendy's/Arby's Group* WEN, station code for Columbia Station * Wen , pinyin romanization of several Chinese surnames** Wen Jiabao Wen, wen, or WEN may refer to:* WEN, New York Stock Exchange symbol for Wendy's/Arby's Group*...

 (文) were Punti
Punti
The Punti, a rough transliteration of the Cantonese term for "original locality," refers to the Cantonese-speaking populations of Guangdong province in southern China...

 (Locals, 本地人) from Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

, Fujian and Jiangxi
Jiangxi
' is a southern province in the People's Republic of China. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to...

 in China. Despite the immigration and light development of agriculture, the area was hilly and relatively barren. People had to rely on salt, pearl and fishery trades to produce income. Some clans built walled villages
Walled villages of Hong Kong
Once common throughout China, walled villages can still be found in southern China and Hong Kong. Most of the walled villages in Hong Kong are located in the New Territories...

 to protect themselves from the threat of bandits, rival clans and wild animals. The famous Chinese pirate Cheung Po Tsai
Cheung Po Tsai
Cheung Po Tsai was a 19th century Chinese pirate. He was also known as Cheung Po/Chang Pao/Zhang Bao .Several places in Hong Kong are linked to Cheung Po Tsai:* Cheung Po Tsai Cave, on Cheung Chau island...

 was legendary in Hong Kong.

The last dynasty in China, 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....

, would also be the last to come in contact with Hong Kong. As a military outpost and trading port, the Hong Kong territory would gain the attention of the world.

Colonial Hong Kong era (1800s – 1930s)


Date Treaty Result
20 January 1841 Convention of Chuenpee  Preliminary cession of 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/km², as of 2008...

 to the United Kingdom
29 August 1842 Treaty of Nanjing  Cession of 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/km², as of 2008...

, founded as a crown colony of the United Kingdom
18 October 1860 Convention of Beijing  Cession of 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...

 (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]]...

)
1 July 1898 Second Convention of Beijing
Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory
The Convention Between Great Britain and China Respecting an Extension of Hong Kong Territory or the Second Convention of Peking was a lease signed between Qing Dynasty and the United Kingdom in 1898.-Background:...

 
Lease of 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...

 (including New Kowloon
New Kowloon
New Kowloon is an area in Kowloon, Hong Kong, bounded in the south by Boundary Street, and in the north by the ranges of the Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Tate's Cairn and Kowloon Peak...

)



By the early 19th century, the British Empire trade was heavily dependent upon the importation of tea from China. While the British exported to China luxurious items like clocks and watches, there remained an overwhelming imbalance in trade. China developed a strong demand for silver, which was a difficult commodity for the British to come by in large quantities. The counterbalance of trade came with exports of opium to China, opium being legal in Britain and grown in significant quantities in the UK, and later in far greater quantities in India.

A Chinese commissioner Lin Zexu
Lin Zexu
Lín Zéxú ; 30 August 1785 – 22 November 1850) was a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing Dynasty.He is most recognized for his conduct and his constant position on the "high moral ground" in his fight, as a "shepherd" of his people, against the opium trade in Guangzhou...

 voiced to Queen Victoria the Qing state's opposition to the opium trade. It resulted in the First Opium War
First Opium War
The First Anglo-Chinese War , known popularly as the First Opium War or simply the Opium War, was fought between the United Kingdom and the Qing Dynasty of China over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice...

, which led to British victories over China and the cession of Hong Kong to the United Kingdom via the enactment of the new treaties in 1842.

In April 1899, the residents of Kam Tin
Kam Tin
Kam Tin , or Kam Tin Heung , is an area in the New Territories, Hong Kong. It is north of Tai Mo Shan and east of Yuen Long. It was formerly known as Sham Tin...

 (錦田) rebelled against the rule of the British colonial government. They defended themselves in Kat Hing Wai
Kat Hing Wai
Kat Hing Wai is a famous Punti walled village in Yuen Long District of Hong Kong. It often mistakenly believed to be Hakka, whose people have similar traditions. However the Punti people were from Southern China and the first to settle in Hong Kong. Kat Hing Wai's residents speak the Cantonese...

 (吉慶圍), a walled village. After several unsuccessful attacks by the British troops, the iron gate was blasted open. The gate was then shipped to London for exhibition. Under the demand of the Tang
Tang Clan
The Tang Clan is one of the Great Five Clans of Hong Kong. The others are Man , Hau , Pang and Liu . The Tangs originated from Jishui of Jiangxi province and are considered to be native Hong Kong people, as they were the first immigrants to settle in what is now Hong Kong from what is now...

 (鄧) clan in 1924, the gate was eventually returned in 1925 by the 16th governor, Sir Reginald Stubbs
Reginald Edward Stubbs
Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs, GCMG was a British colonial governor, who was once the Governor of Hong Kong...

 (司徒拔爵士).

After the territorial settlements, the achievements of the era set the foundation for the culture and commerce in modern Hong Kong for years to come. The territory's commerce and industry transitioned in numerous ways: Hong Kong and China Gas Company to the first electric company
Hongkong Electric
Power Assets Holdings Limited is a vertically integrated electric utility company. Its subsidiary Hongkong Electric Company was the first company to provide electricity in Hong Kong. The service has been running in continuation since the 19th century...

; Rickshaws transited to bus
History of bus transport in Hong Kong
The history of bus transport in Hong Kong began with the introduction of the first bus routes in Hong Kong in the 1920s.-1920s: The beginning:...

, ferries
Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry
The Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited , HYF, is a ferry company founded in 1897 in Hong Kong. It is commonly known as Yaumati Ferry...

, trams
Peak Tram
The Peak Tramway is a funicular railway in Hong Kong, which carries both tourists and residents to the upper levels of Hong Kong Island. Running from Central district to Victoria Peak via the Mid-Levels, it provides the most direct route and offers good views over the harbour and skyscrapers of...

 and airline
Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East...

, there was no shortage of improvements. Every industry went through major transformation and growth. Other vital establishments included changes in philosophy, starting with a western-style education with Frederick Stewart
Frederick Stewart (colonial administrator)
Frederick Stewart was the Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong. He is considered "The Founder of Hong Kong Education" for integrating a modern western-style education model into the Colonial Hong Kong school systems...

, which was a critical step in separating Hong Kong from mainland China during the political turmoil associated with the falling 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....

. The monumental start of the financial powerhouse industry of the far east began with the first large scale bank.

In the same period there was the onslaught of the Third Pandemic
Third Pandemic
Third Pandemic is the designation of a major Bubonic plague pandemic that began in the Yunnan province in China in 1855. This episode of bubonic plague spread to all inhabited continents, and ultimately killed more than 12 million people in India and China alone...

 of Bubonic Plague
Bubonic plague
Plague is a deadly infectious disease that is caused by the enterobacteria Yersinia pestis, named after the French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin. Primarily carried by rodents and spread to humans via fleas, the disease is notorious throughout history, due to the unrivaled scale of death...

, which provided the pretext for racial zoning
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 with the creation of Peak Reservation Ordinance
Peak Reservation Ordinance
The , commonly known as Peak reservation Ordinance, was a racially-based zoning law passed by the Hong Kong Government that reserved the Victoria Peak as a place of residence to non-Chinese people except with the consent of the Governor...

 and recognising the importance of the first hospital
Tung Wah Hospital
Tung Wah Hospital is a hospital in Hong Kong under the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. Located above Possession Point, at 12 Po Yan Street in Sheung Wan, it is the first hospital established in Colonial Hong Kong for the general public in the 1870s.-History:The hospital was declared for construction...

. On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, fear of a possible attack on the colony led to an exodus of 60,000 Chinese. Statistically Hong Kong's population continued to boom in the following decades from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925. Nonetheless the crisis in mainland China in the 1920s and 1930s left Hong Kong vulnerable to a strategic invasion from Imperial Japan.

Japanese occupation era (1940s)


Hong Kong was occupied by Japan from 25 December 1941 to 15 August 1945. The period, called '3 years and 8 months' halted the economy. The British, Canadians, Indians and the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Forces resisted the Japanese invasion commanded by Sakai Takashi which started on 8 December 1941, eight hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

. Japan achieved air superiority on the first day of battle and the defensive forces were outnumbered. The British and the Indians retreated from the Gin Drinker's Line and consequently from 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...

 under heavy aerial bombardment and artillery barrage. Fierce fighting continued on 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/km², as of 2008...

; the only reservoir was lost. Canadian Winnipeg Grenadiers fought at the crucial Wong Nai Chong Gap that secured the passage between downtown and the secluded southern parts of the island.

On 25 December 1941 – which has gone down in history as Black Christmas to local people – British colonial officials headed by the Governor of Hong Kong
Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

, Mark Aitchison Young
Mark Aitchison Young
Sir Mark Aitchison Young, GCMG was a British administrator who became the Governor of Hong Kong during the years immediately before and after the Japanese occupation of the territory.-Early life, service in war:...

, surrendered in person at the Japanese headquarters on the third floor of the Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the most internationally recognizable hotels in Hong Kong. Opened in 1928, it is Hong Kong's most historical hotel. It is located at the junction of Nathan Road and Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong...

. Isogai Rensuke became the first Japanese governor of Hong Kong.

During the Japanese occupation, hyper-inflation and food rationing became the norm of daily lives. It became unlawful to own Hong Kong Dollar
Hong Kong dollar
The Hong Kong dollar is the currency of the jurisdiction. It is the eighth most traded currency in the world. In English, it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively HK$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

s, which were replaced by the Japanese Military Yen
Japanese military yen
Japanese Military Yen , commonly abbreviated as JMY, was the :currency issued to the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army and the Imperial Japanese Navy as a salary. The Imperial Japanese government first started issuing the military yen during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904...

, a currency without reserves issued by the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 administration. Some estimated that as many as 10,000 women were raped after Hong Kong's capture and a large number of suspected dissidents were executed. Philip Snow, a prominent historian of the period, said that the Japanese cut rations for civilians to conserve food for soldiers, usually to starvation levels and deported many to famine- and disease-ridden areas of the mainland
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

. Most of the repatriated had come to Hong Kong just a few years earlier to flee the terror of the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 in mainland China.

By the end of the war in 1945, Hong Kong had been liberated by joint British and Chinese troops. The population of Hong Kong had shrunk to 600,000; less than half of the pre-war population of 1.6 million due to scarcity of food and emigration. The communist revolution in China in 1949 led to another population boom in Hong Kong. Thousands of refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s emigrated from mainland China to Hong Kong, and made it an important entrepôt
Entrepôt
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

 until the United Nations ordered a trade embargo on mainland China due to the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

. More refugees came during the Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward of the People's Republic of China was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China , reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern...

.

1950s


Skills and capital brought by refugees of Mainland China, especially from Shanghai, along with a vast pool of cheap labour helped revive the economy. At the same time, many foreign firms relocated their offices from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Enjoying unprecedented growth, Hong Kong would transform from a territory of entrepôt trade
Entrepôt
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

 to one of industry and manufacturing. The early industrial centres, where many of the workers spent the majority of their days, turned out anything that could be produced with small space from buttons, artificial flowers, umbrellas, textile
Textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

, enamelware, footwear
Footwear
Footwear consists of garments worn on the feet, for fashion, protection against the environment, and adornment. Being barefoot is commonly associated with poverty, but some cultures chose not to wear footwear at least in some situations....

 to plastics.

Large squatter camps developed throughout the territory providing homes for the massive and growing number of immigrants. The camps, however, posed a fire and health hazard, leading to disasters like the Shek Kip Mei
Shek Kip Mei
Shek Kip Mei, originally known as Kap Shek Mi, is an area in New Kowloon, the North Eastern Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong.-History:A major fire on 25 December 1953, destroyed the Shek Kip Mei shantytown of immigrants from Mainland China that had fled to Hong Kong, leaving 53,000 people...

 fire. Governor Alexander Grantham
Alexander Grantham
Sir Alexander William George Herder Grantham, GCMG was a British colonial administrator who governed Hong Kong and Fiji.-Early life, colonial administration career:...

 responded with a "multi storey buildings" plan as a standard. It was the beginning of the high rise buildings. Conditions in public housing were very basic with several families sharing communal cooking facilities. Other aspects of life would change as traditional Cantonese opera
Cantonese opera
Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China's Cantonese culture. It is popular in Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia. Like all versions of Chinese opera, it is a traditional Chinese art form, involving music, singing,...

 gave way to big screen cinemas
Cinema of Hong Kong
The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan...

. The tourism industry
Tourism in Hong Kong
The tourism industry has been an important part of the economy of Hong Kong since it shifted to a service sector model in the late 1980s and early 90s...

 would begin to formalise. North Point
North Point
North Point is a mixed-use urban area in the Eastern District of Hong Kong. It is the northernmost point of Hong Kong Island, adjacent to both Causeway Bay and Quarry Bay, and projecting toward Kowloon Bay. Fortress Hill occupies the western end of the North Point area.-History:In 1899, The...

 was known as "Little Shanghai" (小上海), since in the minds of many, it has already become the replacement for the surrendered Shanghai in China.

1960s


The manufacturing industry opened a new decade employing large sections of the population. The period is considered a turning point for Hong Kong's economy. The construction business would also be revamped with new detailed guidelines for the first time since World War II. While Hong Kong started out with a low GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

, it would use the textile industry as the foundation to boost the economy. China's cultural revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 would put Hong Kong on a new political stage. Events like the 1967 riot
Hong Kong 1967 riots
The Hong Kong 1967 riots began in May 1967. They were caused by pro-communist leftists in Hong Kong, inspired by the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China , who turned a labour dispute into large scale demonstrations against British colonial rule. Demonstrators clashed violently...

 would fill the streets with home-made bombs
Improvised explosive device
An improvised explosive device , also known as a roadside bomb, is a homemade bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action...

 and chaos. Bomb disposal experts from the police and the British military defused as many as 8,000 home-made bombs. One in every eight bombs was genuine.

Family values and Chinese tradition would be challenged like never before as people spent more time in the factories than at home. Other features of the period included water shortages, long working hours coupled with extremely low wages. The Hong Kong Flu
H3N2
Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 is a subtype of viruses that cause influenza . H3N2 Viruses can infect birds and mammals. In birds, humans, and pigs, the virus has mutated into many strains...

 of 1968 would infect 15% of the population. Amidst all the struggle, "Made in Hong Kong" went from a label that marked cheap low-grade products to a label that marked high-quality products.

1970s




The 1970s saw the extension of government subsidised education
Education in Hong Kong
Education in Hong Kong has a similar system to that of the United Kingdom, in particular the English education system of Hong Kong was modernised by the British in 1861. The system is often described as extremely competitive by global standards....

 from six years to nine years and the setup of Hong Kong's country parks system
Country parks and conservation in Hong Kong
Although Hong Kong is regarded as one of the world's great cities, out of the total 1,092 km² of land, about three-quarters is countryside. Scenically, Hong Kong has a great deal to offer - a landscape rising from sandy beaches and rocky foreshores to heights of almost 1,000 metres, woodlands...

.

The opening of the mainland Chinese market and rising salaries drove many manufacturers north. Hong Kong consolidated its position as a commercial and tourism centre in the South-East Asia region. High life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

, literacy, per-capita income and other socioeconomic measures attest to Hong Kong's achievements over the last four decades of the 20th Century. Higher income also led to the introduction of the first private housing estates with Taikoo Shing
Taikoo Shing
Taikoo Shing, or Tai Koo Shing , is a private residential in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It forms a part of the Swire Properties's Island East residential and retail branding, along with TaiKoo Place, the adjacent Cityplaza retail and office complex and EAST, a lifestyle business...

. The period saw a boom in residential high rises, many of the people's homes became part of Hong Kong's skyline and scenery.

In 1974, Murray McLehose founded ICAC, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, in order to combat corruption within the police force
Hong Kong Police Force
The Hong Kong Police Force is the largest disciplined service under the Security Bureau of Hong Kong. It is the world's second, and Asia's first, police agency to operate with a modern policing system. It was formed on 1 May 1844, with a strength of 32 officers...

. The extent of corruption was so widespread that a mass police petition took place resisting prosecutions. Despite early opposition to the ICAC by the police force, Hong Kong was successful in its anti-corruption efforts, eventually becoming one of the least corrupt societies in the world.

1980s


In 1982, the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

, hoped that the increasing openness of the PRC government and the economic reform in the mainland would allow the continuation of British rule. The resulting meeting led to the signing of 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...

 and the proposal of the One country, two systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

 concept by Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

. Political news dominated the media, while real estate
Economy of Hong Kong
As one of the world's leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the ninth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong has remained as the world's freest economy,...

 took a major upswing. The financial world would also be rattled by panics, leading to waves of policy changes and Black Saturday
Black Saturday (1983)
Black Saturday is the name given to the crisis when the Hong Kong dollar exchange rate was at an all-time low. On that day, the USD $1 = HKD $9.6. For a period, Hong Kong stores began quoting products in US dollar prices, because of the uncertain fluctuation in domestic currency.-History:From...

. Meanwhile Hong Kong was now recognised as one of the wealthiest representatives of the far east. At the same time, the warnings of the 1997 handover
Transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong
The transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China, referred to as ‘the Return’ or ‘the Reunification’ by the Chinese and ‘the Handover’ by others, took place on 1 July 1997...

 raised emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 statistics to historic highs. Many would leave Hong Kong for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and any other destination with no communist influence.

Hong Kong's Cinema
Cinema of Hong Kong
The cinema of Hong Kong is one of the three major threads in the history of Chinese language cinema, alongside the cinema of China, and the cinema of Taiwan...

 would enjoy one paramount run that would put it on the international map. Some of the biggest names included Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

 and Chow Yun-fat
Chow Yun-Fat
Chow Yun-fat, SBS is an actor from Hong Kong. He is best known in Asia for his collaboration with filmmaker John Woo in heroic bloodshed genre films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled; and to the West for his role as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon...

. The music world also saw a new group of cantopop
Cantopop
Cantopop is a colloquialism for "Cantonese popular music". It is sometimes referred to as HK-pop, short for "Hong Kong popular music". It is categorized as a subgenre of Chinese popular music within C-pop...

 stars like Anita Mui
Anita Mui
Anita Mui Yim-fong was a popular Hong Kong singer and actress. During her prime years she made major contributions to the cantopop music scene, while receiving numerous awards and honours. She remained an idol throughout most of her career, and was generally regarded as a cantopop diva...

 and Leslie Cheung
Leslie Cheung
Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing , nicknamed elder brother , was a film actor and musician from Hong Kong. Cheung was considered as "one of the founding fathers of Cantopop", and "combining a hugely successful film and music career".In 2000, Cheung was named Asian Biggest Superstar by China Central...

. But everything seemed to be overshadowed by an uncertainty of the future.

1990s


On 4 April 1990, the Hong Kong Basic Law
Hong Kong Basic Law
The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, or simply Hong Kong Basic Law, serves as the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China...

 was officially accepted as the mini-constitution of the Hong Kong SAR after the handover. The pro-Beijing bloc welcomed the Basic Law, calling it the most democratic legal system to ever exist in the PRC. The pro-democratic bloc criticised it as not democratic enough. In July 1992, Chris Patten
Chris Patten
Christopher Francis Patten, Baron Patten of Barnes, CH, PC , is the last Governor of British Hong Kong, a former British Conservative politician, and the current chairman of the BBC Trust....

 was appointed as the last British Governor of Hong Kong
Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

. Patten had been Chairman of the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 in the UK until he lost his parliamentary seat in the general election
United Kingdom general election, 1992
The United Kingdom general election of 1992 was held on 9 April 1992, and was the fourth consecutive victory for the Conservative Party. This election result was one of the biggest surprises in 20th Century politics, as polling leading up to the day of the election showed Labour under leader Neil...

 earlier that year. Relations with the PRC government in Beijing became increasingly strained, as Patten introduced democratic reforms that increased the number of elected members in the Legislative Council
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
The Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.-History:The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule...

. This caused considerable annoyance to the PRC, which saw this as a breach of the Basic Law. On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China by the United Kingdom. The old Legislative Council, elected under Chris Patten's reforms, was replaced by the Provisional Legislative Council elected by a selection committee whose members were appointed by the PRC government. Tung Chee Hwa
Tung Chee Hwa
Tung Chee Hwa, GBM was the first Chief Executive and President of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China....

, elected in December by a selection committee with members appointed by the PRC government, assumed duty as the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong
Chief Executive of Hong Kong
The Chief Executive of Hong Kong is the President of the Executive Council of Hong Kong and head of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The position was created to replace the Governor of Hong Kong, who was the head of the Hong Kong government during British rule...

.
Unchanged after 1997 Changed after 1997
  1. The long-held British practice of no general elections by HK citizens remains unchanged.
  2. English is still taught in all schools. However, many schools teach in Mandarin in parallel with Cantonese
    Cantonese
    Cantonese is a dialect spoken primarily in south China.Cantonese may also refer to:* Yue Chinese, the Chinese language that includes Cantonese* Cantonese cuisine, the cuisine of Guangdong province...

     and English.
  3. The border with the mainland continues to be patrolled as before.
  4. Hong Kong remains an individual member of various international organizations, such as the IOC, APEC and WTO.
  5. Hong Kong continues to negotiate and maintain its own aviation bilateral treaties with foreign countries and territories. Flights between Hong Kong and China mainland are treated as international flights (or more commonly known as inter-territorial flights in China mainland).
  6. Hong Kong SAR passport holders have easier access to countries in Europe and North America, while mainland citizens do not. Citizens in mainland China can apply for a visa to Hong Kong only from the PRC Government. Many former colonial citizens can still use British National (Overseas)
    British National (Overseas)
    British National , commonly known as BN, is one of the major classes of British nationality under British nationality law. Holders of this nationality are British nationals and Commonwealth citizens, but not British Citizens...

     and British citizen passports after 1997. (Main article: British nationality law and Hong Kong
    British nationality law and Hong Kong
    British nationality law as it pertains to Hong Kong has been unusual ever since Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842. From its beginning as a sparsely populated trading port to today's cosmopolitan international financial centre of over seven million people, the territory has attracted...

    )
  7. It continues to have more political freedoms than the mainland China, including freedom of the press
    Freedom of the press
    Freedom of the press or freedom of the media is the freedom of communication and expression through vehicles including various electronic media and published materials...

    .
  8. Motor vehicles in Hong Kong, unlike those in mainland China, continue to drive on the left
    Driving on the left or right
    The terms right-hand traffic and left-hand traffic refer to regulations requiring all bidirectional traffic to keep either to the right or the left side of the road, respectively. This is so fundamental to traffic flow that it is sometimes referred to as the rule of the road. This basic rule eases...

    .
  9. Electrical plugs (BS1363), TV transmissions (PAL-I
    PAL
    PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is an analogue television colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are NTSC and SECAM. This page primarily discusses the PAL colour encoding system...

    ) and many other technical standards from the United Kingdom are still utilised in Hong Kong. However, telephone companies ceased installing British Standard BS 6312 telephone sockets in Hong Kong. HK also adopts the digital TV standard devised in mainland China. (Main article: Technical standards in colonial Hong Kong
    Technical standards in colonial Hong Kong
    British colonial rule affected the technical standards in Hong Kong. However, not all technical standards in Hong Kong are identical with their counterparts in the United Kingdom due to practical or some other reasons.-Electrical plugs and adaptors:...

    )
  10. Hong Kong retains a separate international dialling code (+852) and telephone numbering plan
    Hong Kong telephone numbering plan
    Country Code: +852International Call Prefix: 001 and others.Trunk Prefix: noneTelephone numbers in Hong Kong are mostly eight-digit. Fixed land line numbers start with 2 or 3, cellular phone numbers with 5, 6 or 9, pager numbers with 7 and forwarding service with 8...

     from that of the mainland
    China telephone numbering plan
    Country Code: +86International Call Prefix: 00Trunk Prefix: 0The Chinese Telephone Code Plan is the way to group telephone numbers of Mainland China...

    . Calls between Hong Kong and the mainland still require international dialling.
  11. The former British military drill, marching and words of command in English continues in all disciplinary services including all civil organizations. The PLA
    People's Liberation Army
    The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

     soldiers of the Chinese Garrison in Hong Kong have their own drills and Mandarin words of command.
  12. Hong Kong still uses the British date format.
  13. All statues of British monarchs like Queen Victoria and King George remain.
  14. Road names like "Queen's Road", "King's Road" remain.
  • The Chief Executive of Hong Kong is now elected
    Elections in Hong Kong
    Elections are held in Hong Kong when certain offices in the government need to be filled. Every four years, half of the unicameral Legislative Council of Hong Kong's sixty seats representing the geographical constituencies are filled by the electorate; the other thirty seats representing the...

     by a selection committee with 800 members, who mainly are elected from among professional sectors and pro-Chinese business in Hong Kong.
  • All public offices now fly the flags of the PRC
    Flag of the People's Republic of China
    The flag of the People's Republic of China is a red field charged in the canton with five golden stars. The design features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle set off towards the fly...

     and the Hong Kong SAR
    Flag of Hong Kong
    The Flag of Hong Kong — or Regional Flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China — features a white, stylised, five-petal Hong Kong orchid tree flower in the centre of a red field. Its design was adopted on 4 April 1990 at the Third Session of the...

    . The Union Flag
    Union Flag
    The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas...

     now flies only outside the British Consulate-General
    British Consulate-General, Hong Kong
    The British Consulate-General Hong Kong, located at 1 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty on Hong Kong Island, is the largest British consulate-general and is bigger than many British embassies and high commissions abroad...

     and other British premises.
  • Elizabeth II's portrait disappeared from banknotes
    Hong Kong dollar
    The Hong Kong dollar is the currency of the jurisdiction. It is the eighth most traded currency in the world. In English, it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively HK$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

    , postage stamps and public offices. As of 2009, some pre-1997 coins and banknotes are still legal tenders and are in circulation.
  • The 'Royal' title was dropped from almost all organizations that had been granted it, with the exception of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
    Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
    The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club is a Hong Kong sports club for sailing and rowing.Founded as Hong Kong Corinthian Sailing Club in 1890 and became the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in 1894....

    .
  • Legal references to the 'Crown' were replaced by references to the 'State', and barristers who had been appointed Queen's Counsel
    Queen's Counsel
    Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

     would now be known as Senior Counsel
    Senior Counsel
    The title of Senior Counsel or State Counsel is given to a senior barrister or advocate in some countries, typically equivalent to the title "Queen's Counsel" used in Commonwealth Realms...

    .
  • A local honours system
    Orders, decorations, and medals of Hong Kong
    The existing Hong Kong honours system was created after transfer of government of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China as a special administrative region in 1997...

     was introduced to replace the British honours system, with the Grand Bauhinia Medal
    Grand Bauhinia Medal
    The Grand Bauhinia Medal the highest award under the Hong Kong honours and awards system, is to recognise the selected person's lifelong and highly significant contribution to the well-being of Hong Kong. The awardee is entitled to the postnominal letters GBM and the style "The Honorable"...

     replacing the Order of the British Empire
    Order of the British Empire
    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

    .
  • Public holidays
    Public holidays in Hong Kong
    Public holidays in Hong Kong are holidays designated by the Government of Hong Kong. They allow workers rest from work, usually in conjunction with special occasions.-Public holidays:...

     changed, with the Queen's Official Birthday and other British-inspired occasions being replaced by PRC National Day and Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day.
  • Many of the red British style pillar box
    Pillar box
    A pillar box is a free-standing post box. They are found in the United Kingdom and in most former nations of the British Empire, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and British overseas territories, such as the Republic of Ireland, Australia, India and Gibraltar...

    es were removed from the streets of Hong Kong and replaced by green Hongkong Post
    Hongkong Post
    Hongkong Post is a department under the Government of Hong Kong responsible for postal services, though operated as a Trading Fund. Founded in 1841, it was known as Postal Department or Post Office before the handover of Hong Kong in 1997...

     boxes in the Singapore style. A few examples remain, but have been repainted.
  • British citizens (without the right of abode) are no longer able to work in Hong Kong for one year without a visa; the policy was changed on 1 April 1997.
  • Secondary schools must teach in Cantonese, unless approved by the Department of Education. Secondary education will move away from the English model of five years secondary schooling plus two years of university matriculation to the Chinese model of three years of junior secondary plus another three years of senior secondary. University education extends from three years to four.

  • Modern Hong Kong under China (post-1997 – present)



    2000s



    The new millennium signalled a series of events. A sizeable portion of the population that was previously against the handover found itself living with the adjustments. Article 23
    Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23
    Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 is the basis of a security law proposed by the Government of Hong Kong. It states:On 24 September 2002 the government released its proposals for the anti-subversion law. It is the cause of considerable controversy and division in Hong Kong, which operates as a...

     became a controversy, and led to marches in different parts of Hong Kong with as many as 750,000 people out of a population of approximately 6,800,000 at the time. The government also dealt with the SARS outbreak
    Severe acute respiratory syndrome
    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

     in 2003. A further health crisis, the Bird Flu Pandemic
    Global spread of H5N1
    The global spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza in birds is considered a significant pandemic threat.While other H5N1 influenza strains are known, they are significantly different from a current, highly pathogenic H5N1 strain on a genetic level, making the global spread of this new strain...

     (H5N1) gained momentum from the late 90s, and led to the disposal of millions of chickens and other poultry. The slaughter put Hong Kong at the centre of global attention. At the same time, the economy tried to adjust fiscally. Within a short time, the political climate heated up and the Chief Executive position would be challenged culturally, politically and managerially. Hong Kong Disneyland
    Hong Kong Disneyland
    Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. It is the first theme park located inside the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and is owned and managed by the Hong Kong International Theme Parks. The park opened to visitors on 12 September 2005...

     was also launched during this period.

    Hong Kong's skyline has continued to evolve, with two new skyscrapers dominating. The 415 meter (1,362 foot) tall, 88 storey Two International Finance Centre, completed in 2003, previously Hong Kong's tallest building, has been eclipsed by the 484 meter (1,588 foot) tall, 118 storey International Commerce Centre
    International Commerce Centre
    The International Commerce Centre is a 108 floor, skyscraper completed in 2010 in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is a part of the Union Square project built on top of Kowloon Station. The development is owned and jointly developed by MTR Corporation Limited and Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong...

    , which was topped-out in 2010. Nine additional skyscrapers over 250 meters (825 feet) have also been completed during this time. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/bu/sk/li/?id=101300&bt=2&ht=3&sro=0 The tallest building at the moment in Hong Kong is the ICC building, in West Kowloon.

    See also



    • History of Colonial Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)
    • History of China
      History of China
      Chinese civilization originated in various regional centers along both the Yellow River and the Yangtze River valleys in the Neolithic era, but the Yellow River is said to be the Cradle of Chinese Civilization. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest...

       (timeline
      Timeline of Chinese history
      The following is a timeline of the history of China. Between the changing of the dynasties, most dates overlap as ruling periods do not transfer immediately...

      )
    • History of the People's Republic of China
      History of the People's Republic of China
      The history of the People's Republic of China details the history of mainland China since October 1, 1949, when, after a near complete victory by the Communist Party of China in the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong proclaimed the People's Republic of China from atop Tiananmen...

    • British Empire
      British Empire
      The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

    • British nationality law and Hong Kong
      British nationality law and Hong Kong
      British nationality law as it pertains to Hong Kong has been unusual ever since Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842. From its beginning as a sparsely populated trading port to today's cosmopolitan international financial centre of over seven million people, the territory has attracted...

    • Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
      Secretary of State for War and the Colonies
      The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a British cabinet level position responsible for the army and the British colonies . The Department was created in 1801...

       (1801–1854)
    • Secretary of State for the Colonies
      Secretary of State for the Colonies
      The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

       (1768–1782 and 1854–1966)
    • Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
      Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs
      The position of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs was created on 1 August 1966 by the merger of the old positions of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and Secretary of State for the Colonies. The position dealt with British relations with members of the Commonwealth of Nations...

       (1966–1968)
    • Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
      Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
      The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, commonly referred to as the Foreign Secretary, is a senior member of Her Majesty's Government heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and regarded as one of the Great Offices of State...

       (since 1968)
    • Governor of Hong Kong
      Governor of Hong Kong
      The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

    • Declared monuments of Hong Kong
      Declared monuments of Hong Kong
      Declared monuments of Hong Kong are places, structures or buildings legally declared to be "protected". In Hong Kong, declaring a monument requires consulting the Antiquities Advisory Board, the approval of the Chief Executive as well as the publication of the notice in government gazette.As of 12...

    • Heritage conservation in Hong Kong
      Heritage conservation in Hong Kong
      This article details the history and status of Heritage conservation in Hong Kong, as well as the role of various stakeholders.An indication of the size of the built heritage in Hong Kong is given by a territory-wide survey conducted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office between 1996 and 2000,...

    • Museums in Hong Kong

    Further reading

    • Linda Butenhoff: Social movements and political reform in Hong Kong, Westport, Conn. [u.a.] : Praeger 1999, ISBN 0-275-96293-8

    External links