Hong Kong History
Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in full, is praised as “Pearl of the Orient”. It is one of the busiest and largest cosmopolises over the world and the third financial center after New York and London. Located in the east of the mouth of the Pear River, Hong Kong is opposite Shenzhen in Guangdong across the Shenzhen River, and close to South China Sea. Hong Kong was the British Colony in the period of 1842 to 1997, and China regained the sovereignty to Hong Kong On July 1, 1997. Hong Kong carries out the policy of “one country two systems”.
Hong Kong’s history can trace back to Neolithic age about 5,000 years ago. Since Qin Shihuang established the unified dynasty- Qin in 221 B.C., Hong Kong was under the domination of central government. Qin established three Juns (ancient administrative region) one after another, and they were Nanhai, Guilin and Xiangjun, and Hong Kong belonged to Fanyu County of Nanhai Jun. In Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.), Hong Kong affiliated itself in Bohuo County of Nanhai Jun; Bao’an County of Dongguan Jun in 331 of Dong Jin Dynasty; Bao’an County of Nanhai Jun in Sui Dynasty (581-618); in 757 of Tang Dynasty, Bao’an County was changed as Dongguan County, Hong Kong was still under its domination. In Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, lots of population migrated to Hong Kong from mainland, which flourished the economy and culture of Hong Kong. Xin’an County was founded in the reign of Emperor Wanli (1573-1620) of Ming Dynasty, which was marked off from Dongguan County, and it was Hong Kong District later on. Hong Kong was under the jurisdiction of Xin’an County all along from 1573 to 1841 (became British Colony).
Why Was Colonized?
As an excellent deepwater harbor，Hong Kong was praised as one of the three big natural harbors in the world. The British took a fancy to the potential of Victoria Harbor of Hong Kong to be the best harbor in Southeast Asia, so not hesitate to launch Opium War (1839-1842) and Hong Kong started the history of being British Colony.
Three Unfair Treaties
Hong Kong has three districts (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories), which came from three unfair treaties in different times. In 1842 after the first Opium War, British forced Qing government to sign Treaty of Nanjing that forced Qing government to cede Hong Kong to Britain. In 1860 after the second Opium War started by allied armies of English and French, the Convention of Peking ceded Kowloon Peninsula (south area of Boundary Street) to British. After the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory was signed in 1898, which compelled China to lease New Territories to British for 99 years. Until July 1, 1997, British retuned the sovereign rights and governmental power to China.
Hong Kong Today
With the lapse of time, Hong Kong becomes a cosmopolis from a small fishing village. The economy and society of Hong Kong develops fast from the World War II, and it is one of the richest districts with the most developed economy and highest life standard in the world. It is famous for the clean government, good public order, free economic system and perfect rule by law.