Hong Kong: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government of the country Hong Kong.



Location--Hong Kong is an enclave on the coast of Kwangtung, a southern province of China. Urban Hong Kong is about 90 mi. southeast of the Chinese city of Canton.

How Created--England seized the island of Hong Kong from China in 1841 during the 1st Opium War. Following the 2nd Opium War (1860), during which British forces sacked the Chinese capital of Peking, the Chinese Imperial Government ceded the Kowloon peninsula and nearby Stonecutters Island to the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. After Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, England joined other European powers in grabbing new Chinese concessions. In 1898 England signed a 99-year lease with the Imperial Government, under which the "New Territories," 355 sq. mi. of islands and mainland adjacent to Kowloon, would be governed as part of Hong Kong. To take control of the New Territories, the British defeated armed Chinese peasants in 1899.

Size--404 sq. mi. (1,046 sq. km.).

Population--4,500,000: Cantonese (including Tanka), 81.2%; Hoklo, 8.1%; Hakka, 3.3%; Sze Yap, 3%; Shanghai and Mandarin, 2.8%; English, 1%; other, 0.6%. Mostly Buddhist and Taoist.

Who Rules--Hong Kong is ruled by a governor appointed by the British Crown. There is a legislative council, headed by the governor, but it only advises and has no real power.

Who REALLY Rules--The colonial administration shares power with the wealthier members of Hong Kong's integrated (English-Chinese) business community.

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