Bauhinia × blakeana
Bauhinia × blakeana called the Hong Kong Orchid Tree, is a legume tree of the genus Bauhinia, with large thick leaves and striking purplish red flowers. The fragrant, orchid-like flowers are 10 to 15 centimetres across, bloom from early November to the end of March. Although now cultivated in many areas, it originated in Hong Kong in 1880 and all of the cultivated trees derive from one cultivated at the Hong Kong Botanical Gardens and planted in Hong Kong starting in 1914, it is referred to as bauhinia in non-scientific literature. It is sometimes called the Hong Kong orchid. In Hong Kong, it is most referred to by its Chinese name of "洋紫荊". See "Kanchan Flower" for reference; the Bauhinia double-lobed leaf is similar in shape to a butterfly. A typical leaf is 7 to 10 centimetres long and 10 to 13 centimetres wide, with a deep cleft dividing the apex. In Hong Kong the leaf is known as the "clever leaf", is regarded as a symbol of wisdom; some people use the leaves to make bookmarks in the hope that they will bring them good luck in their studies.
It is sterile, which means it does not produce seeds or fruits, is a hybrid between Bauhinia variegata and Bauhinia purpurea. The 2008 research was able to identify the female parent as Bauhinia purpurea, but it could not differentiate the male parent from Bauhinia variegata var. variegata or Bauhinia variegata var. candida. This is not unexpected, as Bauhinia variegata var. candida is a white-flowered form of Bauhinia variegata var. variegata, not a separate species or sub-species. The 2005 research suggested Bauhinia × blakeana is genetically closer to Bauhinia variegata, while the 2008 research indicated it is closer to Bauhinia purpurea instead. Propagation is by grafting and air-layering; as it is only known in cultivation, it can be named as a cultivar: Bauhinia'Blakeana'. Hong Kong orchid trees are sterile, yet here, there are exceptions. One tree has been found in Hong Kong that produces seeds indicating that evolution or mutation has occurred, or that though Bauhinia × blakeana is sterile when self-pollinated, however, it may be able to produce seeds when pollinated instead by its parental species Bauhinia purpurea or Bauhinia variegata or other related Bauhinia species.
More scientific research will need to be carried out, e.g. artificial controlled cross-pollination experiments to confirm the ability of Bauhinia × blakeana in backcross or outcross to produce seeds. Lawrence Ramsden of the University of Hong Kong's Department of Botany is conducting the search to find out if there are any more individuals that can produce seeds – if so, they could benefit propagation of the tree for horticulture. Two previous instances of seeds found from Bauhinia × blakeana specimens failed to germinate. Development of seed pods from B blakeana have been observed on three trees in Tai Po and Kowloon in Hong Kong; these three B blakeana trees with numerous seed pods were grown alongside B purpurea, B variegata candida and B variegata. At the time, both B blakeana and B purpurea were flowering, the pollens for development of B blakeana seed pods may have been contributed from B purpurea; this tree was discovered in around 1880 by a French Catholic Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions, near the ruins of a house above the shore-line of western Hong Kong island near Pok Fu Lam and propagated to the formal botanical gardens in Victoria/Central.
The first thorough scientific description of the tree was made by Stephen Troyte Dunn, Superintendent of the Botanical and Forestry Department, who assigned it to the genus Bauhinia in his paper of 1908. Dunn named the tree for "Sir Henry and Lady Blake", the former being Sir Henry Blake, British Governor of Hong Kong, from 1898 to 1903. Sir Henry and Lady Blake were thus thanked for their promotion of the Hong Kong Botanic Gardens. Dunn's description was based on the trees in the Botanical Gardens, grown from cuttings taken from trees cultivated in the French Mission at Pokfulam, on the west coast of Hong Kong Island, which in turn were derived from a tree found nearby; as far as is known, all the French Mission cuttings were taken from a single tree, so all Hong Kong orchid trees today would be clones of the original tree. Dr Lawrence Ramsden of the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Botany estimates that this clonal origin would mean that B blakeana could be susceptible to decimation by epidemics, though it has so far avoided major diseases.
In order to avoid the susceptibility of B blakeana to diseases due to the lack of genetic diversity from the current clones of a single B blakeana tree back in 1880s, efforts should be made to re-hybridise the parental species of B blakeana, ie, crossing B purpurea and B variegata to generate new hybrid specimens of B blakeana instead to add new genetic materials to the current stock of B blakeana. Since 1997 the flower appears on Hong Kong's coat of its flag and its coins. A statue of the plant has been erected in Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong. Although the flowers are bright pinkish purple in colour, they are depicted in white on the Flag of Hong Kong; the endemic plant of Hong Kong was in
Four Asian Tigers
The Four Asian Tigers, Four Asian Dragons or Four Little Dragons, are the economies of Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, which underwent rapid industrialization and maintained exceptionally high growth rates between the early 1960s and 1990s. By the early 21st century, all four had developed into high-income economies, specializing in areas of competitive advantage. Hong Kong and Singapore have become world-leading international financial centres, whereas South Korea and Taiwan are world leaders in manufacturing electronic components and devices, their economic success stories have served as role models for many developing countries the Tiger Cub Economies of southeast Asia. A controversial World Bank report credited neoliberal policies with the responsibility for the boom, including maintenance of export-oriented policies, low taxes, minimal welfare states. However, others argued that industrial policy and state intervention had a much greater influence than the World Bank report suggested.
Prior to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the growth of the Four Asian Tiger economies has been attributed to export oriented policies and strong development policies. Unique to these economies were the sustained rapid growth and high levels of equal income distribution. A World Bank report suggests two development policies among others as sources for the Asian miracle: factor accumulation and macroeconomic management; the Hong Kong economy was the first out of the four to undergo industrialization with the development of a textile industry in the 1950s. By the 1960s, manufacturing in the British colony had expanded and diversified to include clothing and plastics for export orientation. Following Singapore's independence from Malaysia, the Economic Development Board formulated and implemented national economic strategies to promote the country's manufacturing sector. Industrial estates were set up and foreign investment was attracted to the country with tax incentives. Meanwhile and South Korea began to industrialize in the mid-1960s with heavy government involvement including initiatives and policies.
Both countries pursued export-oriented industrialization as in Hong Singapore. The four countries were inspired by Japan's evident success, they collectively pursued the same goal by investing in the same categories: infrastructure and education, they benefited from foreign trade advantages that sets them apart from other countries, most economic support from the United States. By the end of the 1960s, levels in physical and human capital in the four economies far exceeded other countries at similar levels of development; this subsequently led to a rapid growth in per capita income levels. While high investments were essential to their economic growth, the role of human capital was important. Education in particular is cited as playing a major role in the Asian economic miracle; the levels of education enrollment in the Four Asian Tigers were higher than predicted given their level of income. By 1965, all four nations had achieved universal primary education. South Korea in particular had achieved a secondary education enrollment rate of 88% by 1987.
There was a notable decrease in the gap between male and female enrollments during the Asian miracle. Overall these advances in education allowed for high levels of cognitive skills; the creation of stable macroeconomic environments was the foundation upon which the Asian miracle was built. Each of the Four Asian Tiger states managed, to various degrees of success, three variables in: budget deficits, external debt and exchange rates; each Tiger nation's budget deficits were kept within the limits of their financial limits, as to not destabilize the macro-economy. South Korea in particular had deficits lower than the OECD average in the 1980s. External debt was non-existent for Hong Kong and Taiwan, as they did not borrow from abroad. Although South Korea was the exception to this - its debt to GNP ratio was quite high during the period 1980-1985, it was sustained by the country’s high level of exports. Exchange rates in the Four Asian Tiger nations had been changed from long-term fixed rate regimes to fixed-but-adjustable rate regimes with the occasional steep devaluation of managed floating rate regimes.
This active exchange rate management allowed the Four Tiger economies to avoid exchange rate appreciation and maintain a stable real exchange rate. Export policies have been the de facto reason for the rise of these Four Asian Tiger economies; the approach taken has been different among the four nations. Hong Kong, Singapore introduced trade regimes that were neoliberal in nature and encouraged free trade, while South Korea and Taiwan adopted mixed regimes that accommodated their own export industries. In Hong Kong and Singapore, due to small domestic markets, domestic prices were linked to international prices. South Korea and Taiwan introduced export incentives for the traded-goods sector; the governments of Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan worked to promote specific exporting industries, which were termed as an export push strategy. All these policies helped these four nations to achieve a growth averaging 7.5% each year for three decades and as such they achieved developed country status.
Dani Rodrik, economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, has in a number of studies argued that state intervention was important in the East Asian growth miracle, he has argued "it is imposs
Banknotes of the Hong Kong dollar
The issue of banknotes of the Hong Kong dollar is governed in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the governmental currency board of Hong Kong. Under licence from the HKMA, three commercial banks issue their own banknotes for general circulation in the region. Notes are issued by the HKMA itself. In most countries of the world the issue of banknotes is handled by a single central bank or government; the arrangements in Hong Kong are unusual but not unique, as a comparable system is used in the United Kingdom where seven commercial banks issue banknotes and Macau where two banks issue banknotes. Hong Kong banknotes in everyday circulation are issued in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000; the total value of banknotes in circulation in Hong Kong can be found in the HKMA Monthly Statistical Bulletin and the HKMA Annual Report. In the 1860s the Oriental Bank Corporation, the Chartered Bank of India and China and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation began issuing notes.
Denominations issued in the 1870s included 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 dollars. These notes were not accepted by the Treasury for payment of government dues and taxes, although they were accepted for use by merchants. 25-dollar notes did not survive beyond the end of the 19th century, whilst the 1-dollar notes were issued until 1935. Under the Currency Ordinance of 1935, banknotes in denominations of 5 dollars and above issued by the three authorised local banks were all declared legal tender; the government took over production of 1-dollar notes. In 1941, the government introduced notes for 1, 5 and 10 cents due to the difficulty of transporting coins to Hong Kong caused by the Second World War. Just before the Japanese occupation, an emergency issue of 1-dollar notes was made consisting of overprinted Bank of China 5-yuan notes. In 1945, paper money production resumed unaltered from before the war, with the government issuing notes of 1, 5 and 10 cents and 1 dollar, the three banks issuing notes of 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 dollars.
1-dollar notes were replaced by coins in 1960, with only the 1-cent note issued by the government after 1965. In 1975, the 5-dollar notes were replaced by a coin, whilst 1,000-dollar notes were introduced in 1977; the Mercantile Bank was ceased issuing notes. In 1985, 20-dollar notes were introduced, whilst, in 1993, a 10-dollar coin was introduced and the banks stopped issuing 10-dollar notes. In 1994, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, gave authority to the Bank of China to issue notes; the 1-cent note issued by the Government was demonetised and ceased to be legal tender on 1 October 1995. Between 1994 and 2002 an attempt was made to replace issued 10-dollar notes with coins issued by the government. In response to public demand for the continuation of a $10 note, the HKMA issued its own ten-dollar notes. Ten-dollar banknotes are the only denomination issued by the HKMA, having acquired the note printing plant at Tai Po from the De La Rue Group of the UK on behalf of the Government. Leading to the incorporation of Standard Chartered on 1 July 2004, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong amended Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance.
The amendment replaced Standard Chartered Bank with its newly incorporated subsidiary - Standard Chartered Bank Ltd - as one of the note-issuing banks in Hong Kong. The older 10-dollar banknotes issued by two commercial banks are still circulating and remain legal tender, although they are being phased out since September 2005; these are popular for lai are noticeably scarce in the run up to Chinese New Year. A commemorative polymer ten-dollar note was issued in July 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China; the new note will circulate along with other 10-dollar issues for a trial period of two years, though the initial batch released was snapped up by collectors. The Government, through the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, authorises three commercial banks to issue currency notes in Hong Kong: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited. Authorisation is accompanied by a set of terms and conditions agreed on between the Government and the three note-issuing banks.
In return for their right to issue notes and to provide backing for these notes, the three banks are required to hold non-interest bearing Certificates of Indebtedness issued by the Exchange Fund. Banknotes are issued by the three banks, or redeemed, against payment to, or from, the Government Exchange Fund in US dollars, at a specified rate of US$1 to HK$7.80 under the Linked Exchange Rate system. Banknotes issued by the three commercial banks are printed in Hong Kong by Hong Kong Note Printing Limited. In April 1996, the HKMA acquired the note printing plant at Tai Po from the De La Rue Group of the United Kingdom on behalf of the Government; the plant has been operating under the name of HKNPL since then. The acquisition of the plant enables the Government, through the HKMA, to be directly involved in the production of Hong Kong currency notes, in line with the responsibilities conferred upon the Government under the Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance and the Basic Law. In March 1997, the Government sold 15 per cent of its shareholding in HKNPL to the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, a People's R
Hong Kong fifty-cent coin
The fifty-cent coin was first introduced as a.900 purity silver half dollar in 1866. These coins were 13.41 grams, with a diameter of 32 mm, thickness of 2 mm, a reeded edge. The design was similar to the British trade dollar, except the image of Britannia was replaced by Queen Victoria; the dates of issue were 1866-67 with only 59,000 issued for both dates combined. In 1890, a second issue of this coin was made, this time as a fifty-cent piece; the mintage years was from 1890–94 and 1902, 1904-05. The coin was reeded but reduced in size to 30.5 mm in diameter, but with an increase in weight to 13.48 grammes, but the thickness stayed the same at 2 mm. Metal composition was.800 silver. No more of this denomination was minted until 1951, it was 23.5 mm in diameter, weighed 5.81 2 mm in thickness. Until 1971, the reeding was with a security edge and from onwards was just reeded. In 1977 a nickel-brass coin was issued; the bauhinia series, without the queen's portrait, was issued in 1993. In 1997 a commemorative coin was issued for the hand over of Hong Kong to China.
It featured an ox. Mintage years are as follows: 1951, 1958, 1960–61, 1963–68, 1970–75, 1977–80, 1990, 1993–95, 1997-98 and 2015. Mintmarks H = Heaton KN = King's Norton
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, George was created Prince of Wales, he became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910. George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, fascism, Irish republicanism, the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape; the Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War, the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent.
In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations, he had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII. George was born on 3 June 1865, in London, he was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Alexandra, Princess of Wales. His father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark, he was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Charles Longley. As a younger son of the Prince of Wales, there was little expectation, he was third in line after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor.
George was only 17 months younger than Albert Victor, the two princes were educated together. John Neale Dalton was appointed as their tutor in 1871. Neither Albert Victor nor George excelled intellectually; as their father thought that the navy was "the best possible training for any boy", in September 1877, when George was 12 years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon. For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on HMS Bacchante, accompanied by Dalton, they toured the colonies of the British Empire in the Caribbean, South Africa and Australia, visited Norfolk, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean and East Asia. In 1881 on a visit to Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm, was received in an audience by the Emperor Meiji. Dalton wrote an account of their journey entitled The Cruise of HMS Bacchante. Between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton recorded a sighting of the Flying Dutchman, a mythical ghost ship.
When they returned to Britain, Queen Victoria complained that her grandsons could not speak French or German, so they spent six months in Lausanne in an unsuccessful attempt to learn another language. After Lausanne, the brothers were separated, he travelled the world. During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters HMS Thrush on the North America station, before his last active service in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92. From on, his naval rank was honorary; as a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, stationed in Malta. There, he fell in love with his cousin, Princess Marie, his grandmother and uncle all approved the match, but the mothers—the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh—opposed it. The Princess of Wales thought the family was too pro-German, the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked England. Marie's mother was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
She resented the fact that, as the wife of a younger son of the British sovereign, she had to yield precedence to George's mother, the Princess of Wales, whose father had been a minor German prince before being called unexpectedly to the throne of Denmark. Guided by her mother, Marie refused George, she married Ferdinand, the future King of Romania, in 1893. In November 1891, George's elder brother, Albert Victor, became engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, known as "May" within the family. May's father, Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, belonged to a morganatic, cadet branch of the house of Württemberg, her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, was a male-line granddaughter of King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia, leaving George second in line to the throne, to succeed after his father. George had only just recovered from a serious illness himself, after being confined to bed for six weeks with typhoid fever, the disease, thought to have killed his grandfather Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria still regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, George and May grew close during their shared perio
The Octopus card is a reusable contactless stored value smart card for making electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong. Launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the territory's mass transit system, the Octopus card system is the second contactless smart card system in the world, after the Korean Upass, has since grown into a used payment system for all public transport in Hong Kong, leading to the development of Oyster Card in London, Opal Card in New South Wales and many other similar systems around the world; the Octopus card has grown to be used for payment in many retail shops in Hong Kong, including most convenience stores and fast food restaurants. Other common Octopus payment applications include parking meters, car parks, petrol stations, vending machines, fee payment at public libraries and swimming pools, more; the cards are commonly used for non-payment purposes, such as school attendance and access control for office buildings and housing estates. The Octopus card won the Chairman's Award of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance's 2006 Global IT Excellence Award for, among other things, being the world's leading complex automatic fare collection and contactless smartcard payment system.
According to Octopus Cards Limited, operator of the Octopus card system, there are more than 33 million cards in circulation, nearly five times the population of Hong Kong. The cards are used by 99 per cent of the population of Hong Kong aged 16 to 65; the system handles more than 14 million transactions, worth over HK$180 million, on a daily basis. Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway adopted a system to recirculate magnetic plastic cards as fare tickets when it started operations in 1979. Another of the territory's railway networks, the Kowloon-Canton Railway, adopted the same magnetic cards in 1984, the stored value version was renamed Common Stored Value Ticket. In 1989, the Common Stored Value Ticket system was extended to Kowloon Motor Bus buses providing a feeder service to MTR and KCR stations and to Citybus, was extended to a limited number of non-transport applications, such as payments at photobooths and for fast food vouchers; the MTR Corporation decided to adopt more advanced technologies, in 1993 announced that it would move towards using contactless smartcards.
To gain wider acceptance, it partnered with four other major transit companies in Hong Kong to create a joint-venture business to operate the Octopus system in 1994 known as Creative Star Limited. After three years of trials, the Octopus card was launched on 1 September 1997. Three million cards were issued within the first three months of the system's launch; the quick success of the system was driven by the fact that MTR and KCR required all holders of Common Stored Value Tickets to replace their tickets with Octopus cards within three months or have their tickets made obsolete. Another reason was the coin shortage in Hong Kong in 1997. With the transfer of Hong Kong away from British rule, there was a belief that the older Queen's Head coins in Hong Kong would rise in value, so many people hoarded these older coins and waited for their value to increase; the Octopus system was adopted by other Creative Star joint venture partners, KMB reported that by 2000, most bus journeys were completed using an Octopus card, with few coins used.
Boarding a bus in Hong Kong without using the Octopus card requires giving exact change, making it cumbersome compared to using the Octopus card. By November 1998, 4.6 million cards were issued, this rose to 9 million by January 2002. In 2000, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority granted a deposit-taking company license to the operator, removing previous restrictions that prohibited Octopus from generating more than 15 percent of its turnover from non-transit-related functions; this allowed the Octopus card to be adopted for non-transit-related sales transactions. On 29 June 2003, the Octopus card found another application when the Hong Kong Government started to replace all its 18,000 parking meters with a new Octopus card-operated system; the replacement was completed on 21 November 2004. In order to enhance the level of security and technology, Octopus company launched "replacement of First Generation On-Loan Octopus" programme in 2015. First Generation cards have no bracket in their card number.
On successful transactions with first generation cards, the card reader will emit a "Do" sound three times to remind cardholders to replace their cards. In 2015, at the initial stage, card holders of first generation cardholders may voluntarily replace their cards at an Octopus Service Point without charge. In 2017, the final call on card replacements was launched by Octopus company. First generation cards will be unusable by stages starting from January 2018. Cardholders can replace these cards without charge at MTR or KMB Customer Service Centres, Octopus Service Points; the Cantonese name for the Octopus card, Baat Daaht Tùng, translates as "eight-arrived pass", where Baat Daaht may translate as "reaching everywhere". Less though the meaning is taken as the "go-everywhere pass", it was selected by the head of the MTR Corporation, the parent company of Octopus Cards Limited, in a naming competition held in 1996. The number eight refers to the cardinal and ordinal directions, the four-character idiom sei tùng baat daaht, a common expression loosely translated as "reachable in all directions".
It is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture, the phrase baat daaht can be associated with the similar-sounding faat daaht, which means "getting wealthy" in Cantonese. The English name Octopus card was selected from the naming compet
Dollar (Hong Kong coin)
The one-dollar coin is the fourth-highest and fourth-lowest denomination coin of the Hong Kong dollar. It was first issued in 1866 as a silver coin of a diameter of 38 mm, a mass of 26.96 grams and a thickness of 2.80 mm. This issue lasted only three years with a reported mintage of 2,109,000 coins in total; the second introduction of a dollar coin was started in 1960 as a copper-nickel coin of 30 mm in diameter, 2.25 mm thick, weighing 11.66 g. The circulation of this coin was ended in 1978 with the issuance of a smaller coin of 25.50 mm in diameter, 1.95 mm thickness and weighing 7.10 g. All issues up to 1992 featured Elizabeth II on the obverse with the inscription QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND; the reverse featured the Chinese characters and English words for 圓 one dollar, 香港 Hong Kong, as well as an image of an English crowned lion in the centre. In 1993 the portrait of Elizabeth II was replaced with the Bauhinia flower, this design is used to the present day but its first year's issue was made of nickel-plated steel as opposed to cupro-nickel. in 1997 a commemorative issue with a Chinese unicorn, the Qilin on the reverse was issued for the handover of Hong Kong back to China.
Mintmarks H = Heaton KN = King's Norton