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Hong Kong history

hong kong history

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Hong Kong history

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Hong Kong has a very rich history, despite the fast spreading new territories and their buildings, hong kong counts many old monuments witness of its incredible history

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Hong Kong history




At the time of the Qin (221 - 206BC) and Han (206BC - AD220) dynasties, parties of people from the mainland came and settled in Hong Kong. They brought with them their heritage. Coins of the Han period have been discovered in Hong Kong, and a brick tomb was uncovered at Kowloon's Lei Cheng Uk in 1955 with a series of Han tomb furniture.

Western influence in China came about at the beginning of the 15th and 16th centuries due to the increased trade in Chinese products, such as silk and tea through the Silk Road that stretched from northwestern China to eastern Europe. The Europeans were interested in Hong Kong's safe harbor located on the trade routes of the Far East, thus establishing a trade enterprise between Western businessmen and China. The Portuguese were the first to reach China in 1555.

British settled in Hong Kong and established a large harbour to develop their trade with asia and begin the Opium trade. This harbour would become years later one of the biggest harbour in the world.

In 1839, Lin Zexu was appointed by the emperor as a special commissioner to Guangzhou to stop the drug trade. He and his troops used force to impel the foreign factories to surrender their stocks of opium. This act was the stepping stone to the First Opium War when the Chinese and the British could not comply with one another's demands. As a result of the war and the Chinese' fear of British military threats, Hong Kong was rewarded to the British under the Convention of Chuen Pi in January 1841. On January 26, 1841, the British flag was raised at Possession Point on Hong Kong Island, and British occupation began. A few months later, officials were selling plots of land and the colonization of Hong Kong took flight.

With the involvement of the British, Hong Kong prospered. Many companies moved from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, enabling the British colony to begin a prime Asian entrepot. Hostilities between the British and the Chinese of China continued to heighten, leading to the Second Opium War. Subsequently, other foreign nationals - Russia, France, Germany, and Japan - realized the importance of having easy access to trade with China and began to secure ports all along the Chinese coastline. Several treaties were signed between the different nationals. Later, British took possession of the New Territories, which was declared a part of the overall territory of Hong Kong.

1937-1945 A. D. - over 700, 000 people flee China for Hong Kong as the Japanese begin their imperial reign of terror. December 8th, 1941 - Japanese troops invade Hong Kong - a day after the successful attack on Pearl Harbor. Within sixteen days, Christmas eve, Hong Kong surrenders. The population starves as those who can - flee to nearby Macau. Those left behind become prisoners of war. Britain surrenders to the Japanese on January 13, 1943.

August 14, 1945 Japan ends its reign of tyranny, thus becoming "Mac Arthur's Children."

1946 - England officially ends its illegal trade in opium.

1949. - Mao Tze Dung succeeds in establishing The "People's Republic of China." Supporters of Cheng Kai Shek flee to Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Those stuck in the mainland end up starving, fighting and struggling to survive, exasperated of a U. N. embargo on China.

1956  - Hong Kong is given the right to "self administration." This means little, given the administration still falls under "Queen's Law," and a governor appointed by the United Kingdom.

1974  - Cantonese is finally acknowledged as an official language in Hong Kong. Police certificates are still handled in English nonetheless.

1981 - The "British Nationality Act" is established, resulting in all Hong Kong Chinese loosing their status as "Queen's subjects" as of January 1st, 1983.

July 1st, 1997 A. D. -Hong Kong is "handed-over" to Mainland China, officially ending its status of being a "Crown Colony," and installing it's status as a "Special Administrative Region" of China.


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