hong kong’s history: from backwater to trading metropolis

hong kong (afp) – present day-day hong kong is great regarded for its sprawl of skyscrapers and function as a bustling economic hub and local trade conduit off the southern coast of mainland china.

but the territory changed into as soon as a quiet backwater of rural hamlets and fishing communities, where mountainous terrain ruled sparse human settlement.

twenty-five years since the town was handed lower back to china with the aid of colonial power britain, right here are key points in its evolution:

historic history
remnants of burial grounds and early rock carvings show human existence in hong kong as a long way back because the stone age.

the territory is thought to have come into the fold of the chinese language empire underneath the han dynasty between 206 bc and 220 ad.

increasing numbers of han chinese from the mainland started out to settle in hong kong, alongside boat-living communities also concept to have originated from southern china.

alternate increase
hong kong’s sheltered predominant harbour became an area to fill up resources for trading ships plying the maritime silk avenue among asia, africa and the center east, flourishing from around the 7th century.

as well as silk, china exported porcelain and tea and obtained the whole thing from spices to flora and textiles.

hong kong’s outlying islands had been also a haven for chinese language pirates — its modern-day territory includes 260 islands, many of them uninhabited.

eu arrival
portuguese, dutch and french buyers arrived on the south coast of china inside the 1500s and portugal installation a base in macau, which neighbours hong kong.

but inside the 18th century, china imposed restrictions at the europeans in a bid to include their impact.

britain changed into angered after an imperial edict banned its exchange in opium from india to china, which had brought about the unfold of addiction.

after chinese authorities seized a great haul of the drug, britain attacked in 1840 and reached northern china, threatening beijing, within the first opium struggle.

to make peace, china agreed to cede hong kong island to britain in 1841.

the kowloon peninsula observed in 1860 after a 2d opium conflict, and britain extended north into the rural new territories in 1898, leasing the place for 99 years.

british rule
hong kong changed into part of the british empire till 1997, when the hire on the brand new territories expired and the whole city changed into handed back to china.

under british rule, hong kong transformed into a business and economic hub boasting one of the international’s busiest harbours.

anti-colonial sentiment fuelled riots in 1967 that caused some social and political reforms — by the time it turned into exceeded lower back to china, the metropolis had a partially elected legislature and retained an unbiased judiciary.

hong kong boomed as china spread out its economy within the late Nineteen Seventies, becoming a gateway among the ascendant power and the relaxation of the arena.

return to china
after lengthy negotiations, such as among former leader deng xiaoping and british ex-prime minister margaret thatcher, the two facets signed off on the future handover of hong kong in 1984.

the sino-british assertion said hong kong could be a special administrative area of china and would retain its freedoms and manner of life for 50 years after the handover date on july 1, 1997.

beijing says hong kong’s one u . s . a ., systems version remains intact.

however critics, including britain and different western powers, say china has eviscerated the town’s unique freedoms, particularly inside the wake of massive democracy protests that broke out in 2019.


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