Hong Kong – Asia’s World City in pictures
The Hong Kong Tourism Board uses the slogan, ‘Hong Kong. Asia’s World City’ to advertise the city’s cosmopolitan mix.
The coastal island was under British colonial rule until 1997, when it was handed over to the Chinese – and its historic legacy is even more varied.
Born when China’s Qing dynasty was defeated in the First Opium War in 1842, Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain.
Within 60 years, Kowloon, the New Territories and 235 outlying islands were also leased to the British.
But the area’s history stretches back a thousand years before it came under British control – with a heritage of powerful clans, marauding pirates and European traders.
Under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China in July 1997. The arrangement allows the city to enjoy a high degree of autonomy, including retaining its capitalist system, independent judiciary and rule of law, free trade and freedom of speech.
Through all these changes Hong Kong’s spirit has never changed, with the same energy and dynamism that turned a group of sleepy fishing villages into a crossroads of international trade now taking Asia’s world city into the 21st century.