Meaning of HONG KONG in English

Chinese (Pinyin) Xianggang, or (Wade-Giles) Hsiang-Kang special administrative region (Wade-Giles: t'e-pieh hsing-cheng-ch'; Pinyin: tebie xingzhengqu) of China located to the east of the Pearl River (Chu Chiang) estuary on the south coast of China. The region is bordered by Kwangtung province on the north and the South China Sea on the east, south, and west. It consists of Hong Kong Island, originally ceded by China to Great Britain in 1842, the southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters (Ngong Shuen) Island (now joined to the mainland), ceded in 1860, and the New Territories, which include the mainland area lying largely to the north, together with 230 large and small offshore islandsall of which were leased from China for 99 years from 1898 to 1997. The Chinese-British joint declaration signed on Dec. 19, 1984, paved the way for the entire territory to be returned to China, which occurred July 1, 1997. Hong Kong has 422 square miles (1,092 square kilometres) of land area, including land reclaimed from the sea, and the area continues to grow as more land is reclaimed. Hong Kong Island and its adjacent islets have an area of only about 35 square miles, while urban Kowloon, which includes the Kowloon Peninsula south of Boundary Street, and Stonecutters Island measure only about six square miles. The New Territories account for the rest of the area, amounting to more than 90 percent of the total. The Victoria urban district located on the barren rocks of the northwestern coast of Hong Kong Island is the place where the British first landed in 1841, and it has since been the centre of administrative and economic activities. Hong Kong developed initially on the basis of its excellent natural harbour (its Chinese name means fragrant harbour) and the lucrative China trade, particularly opium dealing. It was the expansion of its territory, however, that provided labour and other resources necessary for sustained commercial growth that led to its becoming one of the world's major trade and financial centres. The community remains limited in space and natural resources, and it faces persistent problems of overcrowding, trade fluctuations, and social and political unrest. Nevertheless, Hong Kong has emerged strong and prosperous, albeit with a changed role, as an entrept, a manufacturing and financial centre, and a vital agent in the trade and modernization of China. Chinese (Wade-Giles) Hsiang-kang, or (Pinyin) Xianggang, former British crown colony and since July 1997 a special administrative region (t'e-pieh hsing-cheng-ch'; Pinyin, tebie xingzhengqu) of China off the southern coast of Kwangtung sheng (province). It comprises the island of Hong Kong and adjacent islets, Stonecutters (Ngong Shuen) Island and the Kowloon Peninsula on the mainland, as well as the New Territories (a portion of the mainland, Lantau Island, and some 230 other islands). Hong Kong extends about 27 miles (43 km) from north to south and 35 miles (56 km) from east to west; its only land border is with Kwangtung, which lies to the north. The remaining borders are on the South China Sea. The administrative centre of Victoria lies on the island of Hong Kong. Additional reading General works A well-illustrated discussion of geography, history, economy, and society is presented in Hong Kong (annual), issued by the Hong Kong Government Information Service. David Fu-Keung Ip, Chi-Keung Leung, and Chung-Tong Wu (comps.), Hong Kong: A Social Sciences Bibliography (1974); Alan Birch, Y.C. Jao, and Elizabeth Sinn (eds.), Research Materials for Hong Kong Studies (1984); and Ian Scott (compiler), Hong Kong (1990), are useful for further research on all aspects of Hong Kong. Physical and human geography Geologic studies of Hong Kong include P.M. Allen and E.A. Stephens, Report on the Geological Survey of Hong Kong, 19671969 (1971); and Bryan P. Ruxton, The Geology of Hong Kong, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 115:233260 (1960). An analysis of the political, economic, geographic, and social developments in Hong Kong up to the early 1980s is found in Chi-Keung Leung, J.W. Cushman, and Wang Gungwu (eds.), Hong Kong: Dilemmas of Growth (1980). Frank Leeming, Street Studies in Hong Kong: Localities in a Chinese City (1977), examines Hong Kong's neighbourhoods. Socioeconomic studies include Hong Kong Social and Economic Trends, 19701980 (1981), compiled by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department; A.J. Youngson, Hong Kong, Economic Growth and Policy (1982); Sek Hong Ng and David A. Levin, Contemporary Issues in Hong Kong Labour Relations (1983); E.F. Szczepanik, The Economic Growth of Hong Kong (1958, reprinted 1986); William F. Beazer, The Commercial Future of Hong Kong (1978); and Thomas R. Tregear, A Survey of Land Use in Hong Kong and the New Territories (1958). Hong Kong in Search of a Future (1984), ed. by Joseph Y.S. Cheng; Peter Harris, Hong Kong: A Study in Bureaucratic Politics (1978); Siu-Kai Lau (Chao-Chia Liu), Society and Politics in Hong Kong (1982); and Norman Miners, The Government and Politics of Hong Kong, 5th ed. updated (1995), address the politics of the territory. History Overviews are provided by Jan Morris, Hong Kong (1988); Nigel Cameron, An Illustrated History of Hong Kong (1991); Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong (1993); and Ming K. Chan and John D. Young (eds.), Precarious Balance: Hong Kong Between China and Britain, 18421992 (1994). Jung-Fang Tsai, Hong Kong in Chinese History: Community and Social Unrest in the British Colony, 18421913 (1993), focuses on the Chinese elite and working classes in Hong Kong from the end of the First Opium War to the beginning of the republican period in China. Norman Miners, Hong Kong Under Imperial Rule, 19121941 (1987), addresses the political and economic issues of the period before the Japanese occupation.Aspects of the transition from British to Chinese rule are explored in Gerard A. Postiglione (ed.), Education and Society in Hong Kong: Toward One Country and Two Systems (1991), on the important role of the educational system; Gerald Segal, The Fate of Hong Kong (1993), an overview; Enbao Wang, Hong Kong, 1997: The Politics of Transition (1995), an optimistic outlook; Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, David Newman, and Alvin Rabushka, Red Flag Over Hong Kong (1996), a more pessimistic forecast; and Steve Shipp, Hong Kong, China: A Political History of the British Crown Colony's Transfer to Chinese Rule (1995), which includes the complete texts of, among others, the 1984 Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Chi-Keung Leung The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica History Early settlement Archaeological remains of pottery, stone implements, rings, and bronzes found on more than 20 sites are evidence of settlements in Neolithic times. The earliest modern peoples in Hong Kong are thought to have come from North China in the 2nd millennium BC. The Cantonese began to settle in the area about 100 BC; later came the Hakka, and by the mid-17th century the Hoklo had arrived. Hong Kong was the scene of the last struggles between the declining Ming dynasty and the rising Ch'ing, led by the Manchus. Before the British arrived in the mid-19th century, Hong Kong Island was inhabited only by a small fishing population, with few features to recommend it for settlement. It lacked fertile soil and fresh water, was mountainous, and was reputed to be a notorious haunt of pirates. But it was a relatively safe and undisturbed base for the British merchants who in 1821 began to use the fine harbour to anchor opium-carrying vessels. The great commercial and strategic significance of this deep, sheltered harbour, possessing east and west entrances and lying on the main trade routes of the Far East, was quickly realized. After the first Opium War (183942), Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Nanking. The British were never satisfied with an incomplete control of the harbour, however. Less than 20 years later, after the second Opium War (185660), China was forced to cede Kowloon Peninsula south of what is now Boundary Street and Stonecutters Island by the Convention of Peking (1860). By the Convention of 1898, the New Territories together with 235 islands were leased to Britain for 99 years from July 1, 1898. With this expansion of territory, Hong Kong's population leaped to 120,000 in 1861 and to more than 300,000 by the end of the century. Events before and during World War II Almost since its establishment, Hong Kong, more than any other treaty port, afforded a refuge for runaway persons and capital from China as well as an interim abode for rural emigrants destined for Southeast Asia and beyond. Such movements of Chinese people between China and Hong Kong were free and were highly responsive to the political and economic conditions in China. After the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, proponents of emerging nationalism sought to abolish all foreign treaty privileges in China. A boycott against foreign goods particularly hurt Britain, which was well established in China. The campaign soon spread to Hong Kong, where strikes in the 1920s caused agitation. When the Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937, Hong Kong was once more a refuge, with thousands of Chinese fleeing to it before the advancing Japanese. With the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, the position of the colony became even more precarious, and the Japanese attacked and occupied Hong Kong in December 1941. During the war years Hong Kong's commerce was drastically impaired; food was scarce, and many residents fled to inland China. The population, which numbered 1,600,000 in 1941, was reduced to about 650,000 by 1945 when the Japanese surrendered.

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