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Facts about Hong Kong for Kids

Hong Kong, officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is a city on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River Estuary and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is well known for its expansive skyline, deep natural harbor and extreme population density.

  • A major part of Hong Kong’s Cantonese-speaking majority originated from the neighboring Canton province, from where skilled labour fled after the communist government took over China in 1949 and subsequently purged its population during the 1960s.
  • After China’s defeat in the First Opium War (1839–42) against the British Empire, Hong Kong became a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island, followed by Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898.
  • Limited flat land created a necessity for dense infrastructure, and the city became a centre of modern architecture, earning Hong Kong the title of the world’s most vertical city.
  • The reference to fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbor’s fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River, or to the incense from factories, lining the coast to the north of Kowloon, which was stored near Aberdeen Harbor for export before the development of the Victoria Harbour.
  • This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government’s website; however, “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” and “Hong Kong” are widely accepted.
  • The subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants.
  • This policy was effective since Chinese emperors exercised absolute powers over their citizens.
  • Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.
  • The Anglo-French victory expanded the Crown Colony to the Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter’s Island.
  • Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas, such as the Victoria Peak.
  • When the Communists gained control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled to Hong Kong across the open border for fear of persecution.
  • Asian financial crisis, bird flu and SARS[edit] Soon after Hong Kong’s reversion to China, the city suffered an economic double-blow from the Asian financial crisis and the pandemic of H5N1 bird flu; in December 1997, officials had to destroy 1.4 million chickens and ducks to contain the virus from spreading.
  • A legacy of the democratic reforms by Lord Patten, China refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong after its 1994 direct election.
  • Hong Kong’s Han majority originate mainly from the Guangzhou and Taishan regions in Guangdong province.