British Hong Kong

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Royal Autonomous State of Hong Kong
Flag of Hong Kong
Coat of arms of Hong Kong
Flag Coat of arms
Map of Hong Kong.png
Location of Hong Kong
Capital
and largest city
Hong Kong (city-state)
Official languages Cantonese
Mandarin
English
Ethnic groups 92% Han Chinese
2.5% Tondolese
2.1% White British
0.5 Indian
2.8% Other
Demonym Hongkongers
Hong Kongese
Government Devolved executive-led system under a constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Elizabeth II
Carrie Lei
Martin Jiang
Legislature Legislative Council
Establishment
• British occupation
January 26, 1841
August 29, 1842
January 23, 1943
June 30, 1997
Area
• Total
1,108 km2 (428 sq mi)
Population
• 2018 estimate
7,284,500
GDP (PPP) 2019 estimate
• Total
$490.880 billion
• Per capita
$64,928
GDP (nominal) estimate
• Total
$372.989 billion
• Per capita
$49,332
HDI (2018) 0.939
very high
Currency Hong Kong dollar
Drives on the left

Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港), officially the Royal Autonomous State of Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港皇家自治州) and more commonly known as British Hong Kong (Chinese:英國香港), is a city and overseas territory of the United Kingdom located on the eastern side of the Pearl River south of China. With a population of over 7.4 million people of various nationalities and an area of 1,108 square kilometers (428 square miles), Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire in 1842 after the island was captured by them and ceded to Britain by China following China's defeat in the First Opium War and officially finalized the handing over of Hong Kong to Britain in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. Following the Second Opium War in 1860, Hong Kong expanded after the colony absorbed the Kowloon Peninsula and Britain later formally annexed the territory as party of the British Empire. During Great War I, Hong Kong was occupied by the Sierran Royal Army during the Pacific War to use against Japan in support of China and remained under occupation until the end of the war in 1946 in which it was handed back to Britain. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, there would be calls for Hong Kong to either merge as party of China, remain part of Britain or become an independent city-state. This issue lead to the 1997 Hong Kong referendum which ended with the call to remain party of the United Kingdom win with around 55% of the vote, though the British would later grant Hong Kong greater autonomy as a compromise to pro-democracy activists.

Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, Hong Kong has become one of the world's foremost commercial ports and financial centers and has been described as the "Crown jewel of Britain" by many foreign journalists and observers. It is the tenth largest exporter in the world and the ninth largest importer and plays a vital role in Britain's trade and economic policies in regard to East Asia. As one of the world's leading financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized with low taxation and free trade, and the currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world. Hong Kong has some of the highest concentration of ultra high-net worth individuals in the world and while Hong Kong has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world, it also has some of the highest rates in income inequality as well and is visibly noticeable amongst its residents.

Hong Kong is a highly developed territory and ranks fourth on the LN Human Development Index. It has the largest number of skyscrapers of any city in the world and has one of the highest life-expectancies in the world. The dense space of Hong Kong also means that the city has a developed transportation network with public transport rates exceeding 90%. Globally, Hong Kong is ranked third on the Global Financial Center Index being New York City and London. In an annual ranking of the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has come out on top 25 years in a row, according to the Royal Heritage Association, a Sierran-based think tank.

Etymology[edit]

The name of the territory, romanized as "He-Ong-Kong" in 1780, originally referred to an inlet located between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong island with Aberdeen being the initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen. While the source of the romanized name is unknown, it is generally believed to have been an early phonetic rendering of the Cantonese pronunciation hēung góng which translates as "fragrant harbour" or "incense harbour". "Fragment" may refer to the sweet taste of the harbor's freshwater influx from the Pearl River or to the odor from incense factories based in the northern coast of Kowloon. The incense was stored near the Aberdeen Harbor for export before Victoria Harbor was developed. John Francis Davis, Second Governor of British Hong Kong, offered and alternative origin; he said that the name derived from "Hoong-keang" ("red torrent"), reflecting the color of the soil over which a waterfall on the island had flowed.

The more simplified name of Hong Kong was frequently used by 1810 and was also commonly written as the single word Hongkong until 1926, when the government adopted a two-word name system, though some corporations still kept the pre-1926 singular name including Hongkong Land, Hongkong Electric Company, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Following the 1997 referendum, Hong Kong was officially designated as the Royal Autonomous State of Hong Kong which declared it an autonomous dependency subjected to the British monarchy. The name British Hong Kong continues to be used and mainly refers to the fact that the island is part of the United Kingdom.

History[edit]

Imperial Chinese rule[edit]

Early British colonization[edit]

Territorial expansion[edit]

20th century and the Great Wars[edit]

Cold War[edit]

National crisis[edit]

Modern era[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Legislature[edit]

Political parties and elections[edit]

Geography[edit]

Architecture[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Economy[edit]

Infrastructure[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Other utilities[edit]

Culture[edit]

Education[edit]

Media[edit]