The British took control of Hong Kong in 1841 following the Opium Wars.
The Chinese communist government never formally recognise Britain's control of Hong Kong but it also did not actively oppose British rule. In 1982 China and Great Britain started discussions regarding Hong Kong's future which resulted in an agreement in May 1985 for the transfer of Hong Kong from British control to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997 when Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.
Hong Kong will be allowed to keep its capitalistic economy within the socialist
system of China until 2047. By that time, China will probably be as capitalistic as
Hong Kong ever was!
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The sky was covered with dark clouds when we arrived from Tokyo and made our way across the bay from the airport in Kowloon to the five star Peninsula Hotel where we stayed on Hong Kong island.
Here is the passenger terminal on the Hong Kong side of the harbour.
Hong Kong's economy is based on international finance and trade. Tourism is a minor sideline. In 1973, Hong Kong was the major port through which communist China traded with the outside world. Now, in 2004, Shanghai has become a strong contender.
You can see Hong Kong's financial district on the island from this commercial wharf in Kowloon on the mainland.
There is an intense ferry traffic to and from this terminal in Kowloon where most of the tourist shops are.
Here are three photos of relatively quiet side streets perpendicular to Nathan Road in Kowloon.
This is where tourists flock to bargain for cameras, watches, jewellery and everything else you can imagine.
Members of the Canadian delegation also went shopping but we did most of our buying after the mission, when we came through Hong Kong again on the way Home. Here is Pedro V.M., a petroleum economist with our group.
After still more briefings, we took the train to the border crossing into communist China. It was exciting!