Hong Kong (CNN)The Hong Kong Crown Colony wased established on January 26, 1841, when Britain’s Union Flag was raised over Possession Point, a then typical headland in southern China.
Hong Kong defied these expectations. By 1997, when sovereignty was turned over to China, the city had a population of more than 6.5 million individuals and a flourishing economy the envy of its next-door neighbors.
Twenty years later on, Hong Kong has actually developed once again.
British Hong Kong initially just consisted of the island itself (and neighboring islets), which was formally delivered to the UK by the Qing Empire in the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, following China’s defeat in the First Opium War.
Eighteen years and another war later on, the British presumed control over the Kowloon peninsula, while in 1898 London consented to rent the New Territories from Beijing for a duration of 99 years.
That last action would show to be the undoing of British Hong Kong, as it set a time frame of July 1, 1997, for China to resume control over the rented land and ultimately, after a series of secret settlements , take control of the whole area.
Since handover, Hong Kong’s extremely thick population has actually grown even further, to 7.4 million. or 6,790 individuals for every single square kilometer. In the densest part of the city– the previous enterprise zone of Kwun Tong, in Kowloon– there are 57,250 individuals per square kilometer, amongst the most largely inhabited put on Earth.
From the latter part of the 19th century, Hong Kong grew as an Asian monetary center, ending up being a significant global trading center from the 1950s onwards, functioning as a local head office for significant banking and business companies, acting as an entrance to China.
Hong Kong’s economy has actually grown from strength to strength, as the financing, tourist and real estate sectors have actually all flourished– though the last 20 years have actually likewise seen a significant boost in inequality and an increasing joblessness rate. Housing rates have actually increased from approximately $770 per square foot in 1997, to more than $1,400 today.
On the high-end end, high-end houses routinely cost upwards of $4,895 per square foot . Hong Kong likewise frequently tops charts for the most pricey locations to reside in the world .
Tourism has actually likewise grown enormously given that 1997, with arrivals approximately 56.6 million in 2016 compared with 10.4 million the year of handover, sustained by substantial development in mainland Chinese travelers concerning Hong Kong.
Finance nevertheless stays Hong Kong’s main market. The Hang Seng Index was released in 1969 to work as a “ Dow Jones … of Hong Kong .” Today it has overall worth of $1.7 trillion. While in 1997 most of the most significant business on the index were regional corporations– or “Hongs”– today the Hang Seng Index is controlled by Chinese companies.
As well as increasing its population, Hong Kong has actually likewise grown in area, contributing to the quantity of land readily available through substantial recovery tasks. Including land has actually essentially altered the shape of Hong Kong’s location. Ownership Point, when on the northwest coast, is now a number of hundred meters far from the coast.
Since the improvement, redevelopment and handover has actually continued apace, especially in West Kowloon and the northwest New Territories, along with continuous growth to Hong Kong airport.
Hong Kong’s horizon has actually likewise seen a significant modification in the years given that 1997, especially with the quick development of Hong Kong Island’s eastern districts.
From a “barren rock” to a British nest of millions, to a Chinese area with a thriving economy and dizzying residential or commercial property rates, Hong Kong has actually altered significantly over the years.