Hong Kong, (known as 香港 pinyin xiang1 gang3 (Cantonese: heung1 gong2), meaning Fragrant Harbour) is a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China, consisting of several islands (in the South China Sea) and a peninsula.
|National motto: None|
|Official languages||Chinese and English|
|President of the PRC||Hu Jintao|
|Chief Executive||Tung Chee-hwa|
- % water
|Handover to the PRC
on July 1, 1997
|Currency||Hong Kong dollar (HKD)|
|Time zone||UTC +8 (AWST)|
Main article: History of Hong Kong
Occupied by the United Kingdom during the First Opium War in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year by the Treaty of Nanking. Various adjacent lands, known as the New Territories were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by the PRC and the UK on December 19, 1984 (the Sino-British Joint Declaration), Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC on July 1, 1997.
In this agreement, the PRC has promised that, under the "One Country, Two Systems" policy proposed by Deng Xiaoping, China's socialist economic system will not be practised in Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for 50 years, until.
Main article: Politics of Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is headed by Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa as head of government. Mr. Tung assumed office on July 1, 1997, following his selection by a 400-member committee appointed by the People's Republic of China, whose president serves as head of state for the Hong Kong SAR. Legislative Council elections were held in May 1998 and again in September 2000. According to the Basic Law, Hong Kong's "Mini-constitution," the Legislative Council has 24 directly elected members; 30 members elected by functional (occupational) constituencies and 6 elected by an Election Committee.
The and elections were seen as free, open, and widely contested, despite discontent among mainly prodemocracy politicians that the functional constituency and Election Committee elections are essentially undemocratic because so few voters are eligible to vote. The Civil Service maintains its quality and neutrality, operating without discernible direction from Beijing.
Main article: Districts of Hong Kong
Hong Kong consists of 18 districts:
- Central and Western
- Kowloon City
- Kwai Tsing
- Kwun Tong
- Sai Kung
- Sham Shui Po
- Sha Tin
- Tai Po
- Tsuen Wan
- Tuen Mun
- Wan Chai
- Wong Tai Sin
- Yau Tsim Mong
- Yuen Long
Main article: Geography of Hong Kong
The name "Hong Kong" is derived from Hong Kong Island in the South China Sea, at the mouth of the Xi Jiang or Pearl River. Other territories that were later added include the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, which include 200 surrounding islands. The landscape is fairly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes, with the highest point being the Tai Mo Shan at 958 m, though lowlands exist in the north.
The local climate is that of a tropical monsoon clime. It is cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, and warm and sunny in fall. Hong Kong is visited by occasional typhoons.
Main article: Economy of Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a bustling free market economy highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Indeed, imports and exports, including re-exports, each exceed GDP in dollar value. Even before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration on July 1, 1997 it had extensive trade and investment ties with the People's Republic of China.
Per capita GDP compares with the level in the four big economies of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% in 1989-1997. The widespread Asian economic difficulties in 1998 hit this trade-dependent economy quite hard, with GDP down 5%. The economy, with growth of 10% in 2000, recovered rapidly from the Asian financial crisis. The recent global downturn has badly hurt Hong Kong's exports and GDP growth is estimated to be 0% in 2001. Private sector analysts project 2002 GDP growth to be 1.8%.
The main airport, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), is located on a partly artificial island connected to Lantau Island. The airport is often called Chek Lap Kok Airport, after one of the islands it was built on. HKIA is the replacement for the older Kai Tak Airport, which was known for its spectacular urban approach. Kai Tak was retired after Chek Lap Kok was built and now serves as an recreational venue.
See also: Hang Seng
Main article: Demographics of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of nearly 6,700 people per square kilometre. Despite the population density, Hong Kong was reported to be one of the greenest cities in Asia. The majority of people live in flats in high-rise buildings. The rest of the open spaces are often covered with parks, woods and shrubs. The vertical placement of the population explains why densely populated, green city is not an oxymoronic phrase.
Cantonese, the Chinese dialect used in Hong Kong government matters, is spoken by most of the population. English, also an official language, is widely understood; it is spoken by more than one-third of the population. Every major religion is practiced in Hong Kong; ancestor worship is predominant due to the strong Confucian influence, whereas Christianity is practised by a minority of 10%.
Main article: Culture of Hong Kong
|Date||English Name||Local Name||Remarks|
|January 1||The first day of January||一月一日|
|January 1 (Lunar)||Lunar New Year's Day||農曆年初一||Usually in late Jan or early Feb|
|January 2 (Lunar)||The second day of the Lunar New Year||農曆年初二|
|January 3 (Lunar)||The third day of the Lunar New Year||農曆年初三|
|Ching Ming Festival||清明節||Usually in April. See Chinese calendar.
About 15 days after Vernal Equinox
|The day following Good Friday||耶穌受難節翌日|
|May 1||Labour Day||勞動節|
|April 8 (Lunar)||The Buddha's Birthday||佛誕||Usually in May|
|May 5 (Lunar)||Tuen Ng Festival||端午節||Usually in June|
|July 1||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||香港特別行政區成立紀念日|
|August 16 (Lunar)||The day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋節翌日||Usually in September|
|October 1||National Day||國慶日|
|September 9 (Lunar)||Chung Yeung Festival||重陽節||Usually in October|
|December 25||Christmas Day||聖誕節|
|December 26||The first weekday after Christmas Day||聖誕節後第一個周日|
Reference: General Holidays Ordinance
- Communications in Hong Kong
- Transportation in Hong Kong
- Military of Hong Kong
- Foreign relations of Hong Kong
- Education in Hong Kong
- Beaches of Hong Kong
- Aberdeen Harbour
Major landmarks include:
- Bank of China Tower
- International Finance Centre
- The Center
- Central Plaza
- Hopewell Centre
- Tsing Ma Bridge
- Online Information Centre - Official site of the Government of Hong Kong
- World-wide press freedom index - Rank 18 out of 139 countries
- History of Hong Kong
- CountryGuide:: Hong Kong --editor-maintained directory focused on travel and vacation planning and research.
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Hong Kong" August 4,