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Hong Kong

Sino-British Joint Declaration, South China Sea, Chinese law, Basic Law, Guangdong Province

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Hong Kong, administrative region of China, consisting of a mainland portion located on the country’s southeastern coast and about 235 islands. Hong Kong is bordered on the north by Guangdong Province and on the east, west, and south by the South China Sea. Hong Kong was a British dependency from the 1840s until July 1, 1997, when it passed to Chinese sovereignty as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

The British control of Hong Kong began in 1842, when China was forced to cede Hong Kong Island to Britain after the First Opium War. In 1984 Britain and China signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which stipulated that Hong Kong return to Chinese rule in 1997 as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. The Joint Declaration and a Chinese law called the Basic Law, which followed in 1990, provide for the SAR to operate with a high degree of economic autonomy for 50 years beyond 1997.


Hong Kong

Blyth, Sally, and Ian Wotherspoon, eds. Hong Kong Remembers. Oxford University Press, 1996. Charts Hong Kong's history over 60 years.

Buckley, Roger. Hong Kong: The Road to 1997. Cambridge University Press, 1997. Concise survey describing Hong Kong's unusual position in the British empire from 1842 to 1997.

Cameron, Nigel. An Illustrated History of Hong Kong. Oxford University Press, 1991. Excellent general history, particularly good on World War II and contemporary developments.

Morris, Jan. Hong Kong: Epilogue to an Empire. Rev. ed. Vintage, 1997. The sights, sounds, and smells of Hong Kong, with an eye to the future.

Welsh, Frank. A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong. Rev. ed. HarperCollins, 1997. Comprehensive, detailed history of Hong Kong.

Wue, Roberta; Joanna Waley-Cohen; and Edwin K. Lai. Picturing Hong Kong: Photography, 1855-1910. Braziller, 1997. Superb collection of photographs depicting early Hong Kong, along with three essays describing the early history of the city.


Pannell, Clifton W., A.B., A.M., Ph.D. Professor of Geography and Associate Dean, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences, University of Georgia. Author of T'ai-chung, T'ai-wan: Structure and Function and coauthor of China: The Geography of Modemiza tion and Development.

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Sino-British Joint Declaration, South China Sea, Chinese law, Basic Law, Guangdong Province, Opium War, SAR, Hong Kong, China, country, west, Britain, July, islands, consisting, years

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