Portal:Hong Kong

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Today is April 18, 2015

The Hong Kong Portal

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Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and famous for its energetic metropolitan area. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The modern city was a British colony from 1842 to 1997. It has a population of seven million and has been continuously occupied for over five millennia.

Despite its high population density, only about 17% of its land is built up, and greenery is everywhere. It is a place of contrasts - frenetically urban adjacent to pristine greenery; extremely rich next to dirt poor; Western culture and Chinese culture. Victoria Harbour is world famous for its splendid nightview from the Peak. The central business district is heavily urbanised with skyscrapers all around, but the country parks and beaches are just kilometres away. Traditional towns and villages, as well as natural reserves, are common in the suburban and rural New Territories, including the outlying islands. Public transport is very efficient, convenient, comfortable and reliable.

Hong Kong has own government, judicial system, stamps, passports, customs policy, immigration control, currency etc. The rule of the road is different from the rest of China, and it has its own delegations to various international organisations and sport events.

Hong Kong is officially bilingual, with English widely spoken in business and education. The majority of the population speak Cantonese as mother tongue, with a few speaking Mandarin and other European and Asian languages. English and Chinese are used in all official matters. The popular culture of Hong Kong is best represented by cuisine, pop music and films. Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, are all common. Focusing on trade, tourism, banking and finance, Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest economies in the world.

Selected article

Hong Kong, 1970s

Hong Kong in the 1970s underwent many changes that shaped its future. Economically, it reinvented itself from a manufacturing base into a financial centre. The market also began leaning toward corporations and franchises.

Political talks about the Second Convention of Peking resurfaced in the early 70s. The New Territories land lease agreement would end within 27 years in 1997. Murray MacLehose began visiting Beijing to talk about the future of Hong Kong with PRC leaders.

The British government envisioned the possibility of extending the land lease agreement for many more years, thus shelving the problem for a long time. The fact was far from the vision, as the British and the PRC were engaged in a long and uncompromising negotiation eventually involving Margaret Thatcher. What was supposed to be a negotiation on extending the lease deal became a post-colonial framework timeline.

Selected biography

Chung Sze Yuen (Sir S.Y. Chung, GBE, GBM) (Chinese: 鍾士元) (b. 3 November 1917), mechanical engineer, industrialist and Hong Kong politician. He succeeded Sir Yuet Keung Kan, GBE (簡悅強), as the Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council in 1980 and served in the latter body until his first retirement from politics in 1988.

He has been more influential in Hong Kong politics when Tung Chee Hwa became the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, when he was invited by Tung as the convenor of the non-official members of the Executive Council.

Selected picture for April

Central Pier 9.jpg

Central Pier and the Hong Kong skyline at night.
Photo credit: Baycrest

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