LK2010hkSkyline.jpg Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong)In 1842, China lost Hong Kong to Great Britain in the Opium Wars, and later China leased adjacent territories to the British under duress. In 1898, the Chinese government agreed to a 99-year lease agreement for the islands surrounding Hong Kong, called the "New Territories." On July 1, 1997, the lease ended and the government of Great Britain transferred control of Hong Kong and surrounding territories to China. Hong Kong is officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China, under a "one country, two systems" formula. Under this system, China's socialist economic system would not be imposed on Hong Kong, and Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.


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Quick Facts:
Area:
total: 1,104 sq km (the island of Oahu has a land area of about 1570 sq km)
land: 1,054 sq km
water: 50 sq km

Climate:
Subtropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall

Population:
7,055,071 (July 2009 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Chinese 95%, Filipino 1.6%, Indonesian 1.3%, other 2.1% (2006 census)

Religions:
eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Languages:
Chinese (Cantonese) 89.2% (official), other Chinese dialects 6.4%, English 3.2% (official), other 1.2% (2001 census)

Government type:
limited democracy