Hong Kong History, China
The Hong Kong Harbor
The harbor city of Hong Kong began as a humble fishing village known to produce salt and served as a trading port. Later on the city will transform into an important strategic military port and then become what is now known as one of the world’s financial centers that generate 33% of China’s foreign capital.
The story of Hong Kong can be traced as far back as the Paleolithic times but it only became developed when it was incorporated by China through the Qin Dynasty which is how the imperial dynasties began to govern the city. During this time Hong Kong became a flourishing international trading center of salt and pearls and later became a naval base.
The outbreak of the Opium Wars is how the dynastic rule ended in the city when the Qing Dynasty refused to engage in the illegal trade of opium with Britain. This will then lead to the British victory over China and the handover of Hong Kong to Britain.
Hong Kong under the British rule started the foundations of many of Hong Kong’s culture and commerce as seen today. This is the era when the city saw its first electric company, Hong Kong and China Gas Company and the time when its traditional mode of transportation called rickshaw was replaced by trams ferries busses and airlines. This was also a period of changes in philosophy and western-style education.
The city was also under Japanese rule from 1941 to 1945 which was a period of hyper inflation and food rationing. When the Japanese occupation ended, it resulted in mass emigration of refugees to Hong Kong from China.
Modern Hong Kong
After the Japanese occupation, Hong Kong found itself once again under the British rule which signaled the modernization of the city. Hong Kong ‘s economy transformed into an industrial economy as its textile and manufacturing businesses flourished thanks to population growth and low cost of labor.
In 1978 economic reforms were introduced by the People’s Republic of China which slowly replaced the city’s industrial economy into a financial economy as banking sectors became dominant.
It was in 1984 when Britain and China agreed on a handover of the city back to China in 1997 as stipulated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Modern Hong Kong Today
The urban jungle that is Hong Kong today is a far cry from its simple roots. After the handover, the city’s economy had survived the Asian financial crisis, the Bird Flu Pandemic and the SARS outbreak of 2003. The city developed an intermixed culture of east meets west and became famous for its entertainment industry with popular exports like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat. Its movie industry also thrived and gained international acclaim. The city’s international airport is one of the world’s busiest and welcomes a lot of tourists every year.
Now the city stands as a financial center with its modern sky scrapers, beautiful parks and scenic harbor views that is appreciated the world over.
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