China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Traditional Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, in the Kangxi Dictionary; the modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, have been more or less stable since the 5th century. The retronym "traditional Chinese" is used to contrast traditional characters with Simplified Chinese characters, a standardized character set introduced by the government of the People's Republic of China on Mainland China in the 1950s. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau. In contrast, Simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China and Malaysia in official publications. However, several countries – such as Australia, the US and Canada – are increasing their number of printed materials in Simplified Chinese, to better accommodate citizens from mainland China.
The debate on traditional and simplified Chinese characters has been a long-running issue among Chinese communities. A large number of overseas Chinese online newspapers allow users to switch between both character sets. Although simplified characters are taught and endorsed by the government of China, there is no prohibition against the use of traditional characters. Traditional characters are used informally in regions in China in handwriting and used for inscriptions and religious text, they are retained in logos or graphics to evoke yesteryear. Nonetheless, the vast majority of media and communications in China is dominated by simplified characters. In Hong Kong and Macau, Traditional Chinese has been the legal written form since colonial times. In recent years, simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong and Macau has appeared to accommodate Mainland Chinese tourists and immigrants; this has led to concerns by many residents to protect their local heritage. Taiwan has never adopted simplified characters.
The use of simplified characters in official documents is prohibited by the government of Taiwan. Simplified characters are understood to a certain extent by any educated Taiwanese, learning to read them takes little effort; some stroke simplifications that have been incorporated into Simplified Chinese are in common use in handwriting. For example, while the name of Taiwan is written as 臺灣, the semi-simplified name 台灣 is acceptable to write in official documents. In Southeast Asia, the Chinese Filipino community continues to be one of the most conservative regarding simplification. While major public universities are teaching simplified characters, many well-established Chinese schools still use traditional characters. Publications like the Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News still use traditional characters. On the other hand, the Philippine Chinese Daily uses simplified. Aside from local newspapers, magazines from Hong Kong, such as the Yazhou Zhoukan, are found in some bookstores.
In case of film or television subtitles on DVD, the Chinese dub, used in Philippines is the same as the one used in Taiwan. This is because the DVDs belongs to DVD Region Code 3. Hence, most of the subtitles are in Traditional Characters. Overseas Chinese in the United States have long used traditional characters. A major influx of Chinese immigrants to the United States occurred during the latter half of the 19th century, before the standardization of simplified characters. Therefore, United States public notices and signage in Chinese are in Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are called several different names within the Chinese-speaking world; the government of Taiwan calls traditional Chinese characters standard characters or orthodox characters. However, the same term is used outside Taiwan to distinguish standard and traditional characters from variant and idiomatic characters. In contrast, users of traditional characters outside Taiwan, such as those in Hong Kong and overseas Chinese communities, users of simplified Chinese characters, call them complex characters.
An informal name sometimes used by users of simplified characters is "old characters". Users of traditional characters sometimes refer them as "Full Chinese characters" to distinguish them from simplified Chinese characters; some traditional character users argue that traditional characters are the original form of the Chinese characters and cannot be called "complex". Simplified characters cannot be "standard" because they are not used in all Chinese-speaking regions. Conversely, supporters of simplified Chinese characters object to the description of traditional characters as "standard," since they view the new simplified characters as the contemporary standard used by the vast majority of Chinese speakers, they point out that traditional characters are not traditional as many Chinese characters have been made more elaborate over time. Some people refer to traditional characters as "proper characters" and modernized characters as "simplified-stroke characters" (sim
Politics of Hong Kong
The politics of Hong Kong takes place in a framework of a political system dominated by its quasi-constitutional document, the Hong Kong Basic Law, its own legislature, the Chief Executive as the head of government and of the Special Administrative Region and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. On 1 July 1997, sovereignty of Hong Kong was transferred to China, ending over one and a half centuries of British rule. Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of the PRC with a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign affairs and defence, which are responsibilities of the PRC government. According to the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Hong Kong will retain its political and judicial systems and unique way of life and continue to participate in international agreements and organisations as a dependent territory for at least 50 years after retrocession. For instance, the International Olympic Committee recognises Hong Kong as a participating dependency under the name, "Hong Kong, China", separate from the delegation from the People's Republic of China.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Hong Kong as "flawed democracy" in 2016. In accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong has Special Administrative Region status which provides constitutional guarantees for implementing the policy of "one country, two systems"; the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitutional document, was approved in March 1990 by National People's Congress of China, entered into force upon the transfer of sovereignty on 1 July 1997. The Hong Kong government is economically liberal, but universal suffrage is only granted in District Council elections, in elections for half of the Legislative Council; the head of the government is elected through an electoral college with the majority of its members elected by a limited number of voters within business and professional sectors. The Chief Executive is the head of the special administrative region, is the highest-ranking official in the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is the head of the executive branch.
The Chief Executive is elected by a 1200-member Election Committee drawn from the voters in the functional constituencies but from religious organisations and municipal and central government bodies. The Executive Council, the top policy organ of the executive government that advises on policy matters, is appointed by the Chief Executive. In accordance with Article 26 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, permanent residents of Hong Kong are eligible to vote in direct elections for the 35 seats representing geographical constituencies and 35 seats from a functional constituency in the 70-seat, unicameral Legislative Council; the franchise for the other 30 seats is limited to about 230,000 voters in the other functional constituencies. The Judiciary consists of a series of courts, of which the court of final adjudication is the Court of Final Appeal. While Hong Kong retains the common law system, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China has the power of final interpretation of national laws affecting Hong Kong, including the Basic Law, its opinions are therefore binding on Hong Kong courts on a prospective basis.
On 29 January 1999, the Court of Final Appeal, the highest judicial authority in Hong Kong interpreted several Articles of the Basic Law, in such a way that the Government estimated would allow 1.6 million Mainland China immigrants to enter Hong Kong within ten years. This caused widespread concerns among the public on the economic consequences. While some in the legal sector advocated that the National People's Congress should be asked to amend the part of the Basic Law to redress the problem, the HKSAR Government decided to seek an interpretation to, rather than an amendment of, the relevant Basic Law provisions from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress; the NPCSC issued an interpretation in favour of the Hong Kong Government in June 1999, thereby overturning parts of the court decision. While the full powers of NPCSC to interpret the Basic Law is provided for in the Basic Law itself, some critics argue this undermines judicial independence; the Hong Kong 1 July March is an annual protest rally led by the Civil Human Rights Front since the 1997 handover on the HKSAR establishment day.
However, it was only in 2003 when it drew large public attention by opposing the bill of the Article 23. It has become the annual platform for demanding universal suffrage, calling for observance and preservation civil liberties such as free speech, venting dissatisfaction with the Hong Kong Government or the Chief Executive, rallying against actions of the Pro-Beijing camp. In 2003, the HKSAR Government proposed to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law by enacting national security bill against acts such as treason, subversion and sedition. However, there were concerns that the legislation would infringe human rights by introducing the mainland's concept of "national security" into the HKSAR. Together with the general dissatisfaction with the Tung administration, about 500,000 people participated in this protest. Article 23 enactment was "temporarily suspended". Towards the end of 2003, the focus of political controversy shifted to the dispute of how subsequent Chief Executives get elected.
The Basic Law's Article 45 stipulates. Under the Basic Law, electoral law could be amended to allow for this as soon as 2007 (Hong Kong Basic Law
British Hong Kong
British Hong Kong denotes the period during which Hong Kong was governed as a colony and British Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom. Excluding the Japanese occupation during the Second World War, Hong Kong was under British rule from 1841 to 1997; the colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by Qing China in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843; the colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded in perpetuity, the leased area, which comprised 92 per cent of the territory, was vital to the integrity of Hong Kong that Britain agreed to transfer the entire colony to China upon the expiration of that lease in 1997; the transfer has been considered by many as marking the end of the British Empire. In 1836, the Manchu Qing government undertook a major policy review of the opium trade.
Lin Zexu volunteered to take on the task of suppressing opium. In March 1839, he became Special Imperial Commissioner in Canton, where he ordered the foreign traders to surrender their opium stock, he cut off their supplies. Chief Superintendent of Trade, Charles Elliot, complied with Lin's demands to secure a safe exit for the British, with the costs involved to be resolved between the two governments; when Elliot promised that the British government would pay for their opium stock, the merchants surrendered their 20,283 chests of opium, which were destroyed in public. In September 1839, the British Cabinet decided that the Chinese should be made to pay for the destruction of British property, either by the threat or use of force. An expeditionary force was placed under Elliot and his cousin, Rear-Admiral George Elliot, as joint plenipotentiaries in 1840. Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston stressed to the Chinese government that the British government did not question China's right to prohibit opium, but it objected to the way this was handled.
He viewed the sudden strict enforcement as laying a trap for the foreign traders, the confinement of the British with supplies cut off was tantamount to starving them into submission or death. He instructed the Elliot cousins to occupy one of the Chusan islands, to present a letter from himself to a Chinese official for the Emperor to proceed to the Gulf of Bohai for a treaty, if the Chinese resisted, blockade the key ports of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers. Palmerston demanded a territorial base in Chusan for trade so that British merchants "may not be subject to the arbitrary caprice either of the Government of Peking, or its local Authorities at the Sea-Ports of the Empire". In 1841, Elliot negotiated with Lin's successor, Qishan, in the Convention of Chuenpi during the First Opium War. On 20 January, Elliot announced "the conclusion of preliminary arrangements", which included the cession of Hong Kong Island and its harbour to the British Crown. Elliot chose Hong Kong instead of Chusan because he believed a settlement further east would cause an "indefinite protraction of hostilities", whereas Hong Kong's harbour was a valuable base for the British trading community in Canton.
British rule began with the occupation of the island on 26 January. Commodore Gordon Bremer, commander-in-chief of British forces in China, took formal possession of the island at Possession Point, where the Union Jack was raised under a feu de joie from the marines and a royal salute from the warships. Hong Kong was ceded in the Treaty of Nanking on 29 August 1842 and established as a Crown colony after ratification was exchanged on 26 June 1843; the treaty failed to satisfy British expectations of a major expansion of trade and profit, which led to increasing pressure for a revision of the terms. In October 1856, Chinese authorities in Canton detained the Arrow, a Chinese-owned ship registered in Hong Kong to enjoy protection of the British flag; the Consul in Canton, Harry Parkes, claimed the hauling down of the flag and arrest of the crew were "an insult of grave character". Parkes and Sir John Bowring, the 4th Governor of Hong Kong, seized the incident to pursue a forward policy. In March 1857, Palmerston appointed Lord Elgin as Plenipotentiary with the aim of securing a new and satisfactory treaty.
A French expeditionary force joined the British to avenge the execution of a French missionary in 1856. In 1860, the capture of the Taku Forts and occupation of Beijing led to the Treaty of Tientsin and Convention of Peking. In the Treaty of Tientsin, the Chinese accepted British demands to open more ports, navigate the Yangtze River, legalise the opium trade and have diplomatic representation in Beijing. During the conflict, the British occupied the Kowloon Peninsula, where the flat land was valuable training and resting ground; the area in what is now south of Boundary Street and Stonecutters Island was ceded in the Convention of Peking. In 1898, the British sought to extend Hong Kong for defence. After negotiations began in April 1898, with the British Minister in Beijing, Sir Claude MacDonald, representing Britain, diplomat Li Hongzhang leading the Chinese, the Second Convention of Peking was signed on 9 June. Since the foreign powers had agreed by the late 19th century that it was no longer permissible to acquire outright sovereignty over any parcel of Chinese territory, in keeping with the other territorial cessions China made to Russia and France that same year, the extension of Hong Kong took the form of a 99-year lease.
The lease consisted of the rest of Kowloon south of the Shenzhen River and 230 islands, which became known as the New Territories. The British formally took possession on 16 April 1899. In 1941, duri
Charles K. Kao
Sir Charles Kuen Kao was a physicist and electrical engineer who pioneered the development and use of fibre optics in telecommunications. In the 1960s, Kao created various methods to combine glass fibres with lasers in order to transmit digital data, which laid the groundwork for the evolution of the Internet. Known as the "Godfather of Broadband", the "Father of Fiber Optics", the "Father of Fiber Optic Communications", Kao was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication". Born in Shanghai, Kao was a permanent resident of Hong Kong and held citizenships in the United Kingdom and the United States. Charles Kao was born in Shanghai, China in 1933, his ancestral home is in nearby Jinshan, at that time a separate administrative area, he studied Chinese classics at home under a tutor. He studied English and French at an international school in Shanghai French Concession, founded by a number of progressive Chinese educators including Cai Yuanpei.
Kao's family moved to Taiwan and British Hong Kong in 1948 where he completed his secondary education at St. Joseph's College in 1952, he did his undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at Woolwich Polytechnic, obtaining his Bachelor of Engineering degree. He pursued research and received his PhD in electrical engineering in 1965 from University of London, under Professor Harold Barlow of University College London as an external student while working at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow, the research centre of Standard Telephones and Cables, it is there that Kao did his first groundbreaking work as an engineer and researcher working alongside George Hockham under the supervision of Alec Reeves. Kao's father Kao Chun-Hsiang was a lawyer who obtained his J. D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1925. He was a professor at Soochow University Comparative Law School of China, his grandfather was Gao Xie, a famous scholar, literator, a leading figure of the South Society during the late Qing Dynasty.
Some influential writers including Gao Xu, Yao Guang, Gao Zeng were Gao's close relatives. His father's cousin was astronomer Kao Ping-tse. Kao has a younger brother named Timothy Wu Kao, a civil engineer and Professor Emeritus at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C, his research is in hydrodynamics. Kao met his future wife Gwen May-Wan Kao in London after graduation, when they worked together as engineers at Standard Telephones and Cables, she is British Chinese. They were married in 1959 in London, had two children, a son and a daughter, both of whom reside and work in Silicon Valley, California. According to Kao's autobiography, Kao was a Catholic who attended Catholic Church while his wife attended Anglican Communion. In the 1960s at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories based in Harlow, Essex and his co-workers did their pioneering work in the realisation of fibre optics as a telecommunications medium, by demonstrating that the high-loss of existing fibre optics arose from impurities in the glass, rather than from an underlying problem with the technology itself.
In 1963, when Kao first joined the optical communications research team he made notes summarising the background situation and available technology at the time, identifying the key individuals involved. Kao worked in the team of Antoni E. Karbowiak, working under Alec Reeves to study optical waveguides for communications. Kao's task was to investigate fibre attenuation, for which he collected samples from different fibre manufacturers and investigated the properties of bulk glasses carefully. Kao's study convinced himself that the impurities in material caused the high light losses of those fibres; that year, Kao was appointed head of the electro-optics research group at STL. He took over the optical communication program of STL in December 1964, because his supervisor, left to take the Chair in Communications in the School of Electrical Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Although Kao succeeded Karbowiak as manager of optical communications research, he decided to abandon Karbowiak's plan and overall change research direction with his colleague George Hockham.
They not only considered optical physics but the material properties. The results were first presented by Kao to the IEE in January 1966 in London, further published in July with George Hockham; this study first theorized and proposed to use glass fibres to implement optical communication, the ideas described are the basis of today's optical fibre communications. In 1965, Kao with Hockham concluded that the fundamental limitation for glass light attenuation is below 20 dB/km, a key threshold value for optical communications. However, at the time of this determination, optical fibres exhibited light loss as high as 1,000 dB/km and more; this conclusion opened the intense race to find low-loss materials and suitable fibres for reaching such criteria. Kao, together with his new team, pursued this goal by testing various materials, they measured the attenuation of light with different wavelengths in glasses
Hong Kong the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and abbreviated as HK, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre territory, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated region. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842; the colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War, was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The entire territory was transferred to China in 1997; as a special administrative region, Hong Kong's system of government is separate from that of mainland China and its people identify more as Hongkongers rather than Chinese. A sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.
It is the world's seventh-largest trading entity, its legal tender is the world's 13th-most traded currency. Although the city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it has severe income inequality; the territory has the largest number of skyscrapers in most surrounding Victoria Harbour. Hong Kong ranks seventh on the UN Human Development Index, has the sixth-longest life expectancy in the world. Although over 90 per cent of its population uses public transportation, air pollution from neighbouring industrial areas of mainland China has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates; the name of the territory, first spelled "He-Ong-Kong" in 1780 referred to a small inlet between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between local fishermen. Although the source of the romanised name is unknown, it is believed to be an early phonetic rendering of the Cantonese pronunciation hēung góng; the name translates as "fragrant harbour" or "incense harbour".
"Fragrant" may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's freshwater influx from the Pearl River or to the odor from incense factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export. Sir John Davis offered an alternative origin; the simplified name Hong Kong was used by 1810 written as a single word. Hongkong was common until 1926, when the government adopted the two-word name; some corporations founded during the early colonial era still keep this name, including Hongkong Land, Hongkong Electric and Shanghai Hotels and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The region is first known to have been occupied by humans during the Neolithic period, about 6,000 years ago. Early Hong Kong settlers were a semi-coastal people who migrated from inland and brought knowledge of rice cultivation; the Qin dynasty incorporated the Hong Kong area into China for the first time in 214 BCE, after conquering the indigenous Baiyue. The region was consolidated under the Nanyue kingdom after the Qin collapse, recaptured by China after the Han conquest.
During the Mongol conquest, the Southern Song court was located in modern-day Kowloon City before its final defeat in the 1279 Battle of Yamen. By the end of the Yuan dynasty, seven large families had settled in the region and owned most of the land. Settlers from nearby provinces migrated to Kowloon throughout the Ming dynasty; the earliest European visitor was Portuguese explorer Jorge Álvares, who arrived in 1513. Portuguese merchants established a trading post called in Hong Kong waters, began regular trade with southern China. Although the traders were expelled after military clashes in the 1520s, Portuguese-Chinese trade relations were reestablished by 1549. Portugal acquired a permanent lease for Macau in 1557. After the Qing conquest, maritime trade was banned under the Haijin policies; the Kangxi Emperor lifted the prohibition, allowing foreigners to enter Chinese ports in 1684. Qing authorities established the Canton System in 1757 to regulate trade more restricting non-Russian ships to the port of Canton.
Although European demand for Chinese commodities like tea and porcelain was high, Chinese interest in European manufactured goods was insignificant. To counter the trade imbalance, the British sold large amounts of Indian opium to China. Faced with a drug crisis, Qing officials pursued ever-more-aggressive actions to halt the opium trade; the Daoguang Emperor rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium, ordering imperial commissioner Lin Zexu to eradicate the opium trade in 1839. The commissioner destroyed opium stockpiles and halted all foreign trade, forcing a British military response and triggering the First Opium War; the Qing ceded Hong Kong Island in the Convention of Chuenpi. However, both countries did not ratify the agreement. After over a year of further hostilities, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded to the United Kingdom in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. Administrative infrastructure was built up by early 1842, but piracy and hostile Qing policies towards Hong Kong prevented the government from attracting merchants.
The Taiping Rebellion, when many wealthy Chinese fled mainland turbulence and settled in the colon
Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the representative in Hong Kong of the British Crown from 1843 to 1997. In this capacity, the governor was president of the Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces Overseas Hong Kong; the governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Royal Instructions. Upon the end of British rule and the transfer of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997, most of the civil functions of this office went to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, military functions went to the Commander of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison. Authorities and duties of the governor were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions in 1843; the governor, appointed by the British monarch, exercised the executive branch of the Government of Hong Kong throughout British sovereignty and, with the exception of a brief experiment after World War II, no serious attempt was made to introduce representative government, until the final years of British rule.
The Governor of Hong Kong chaired the colonial cabinet, the Executive Council, until 1993, was the President of the Legislative Council. The governor appointed most, if not all, of the members of the colony's legislature, an advisory body until the first indirect election to LegCo was held in 1985. Both Councils were dominated by British expatriates; this was not given way to local Hong Kong Chinese appointees until only 15 years before Hong Kong was going to be returned to China. The Governors of Hong Kong were either professional diplomats or senior colonial officials, except for the last governor, Chris Patten, a career politician. In December 1996, the governor's salary was HK$3,036,000 per annum, tax-free, it was fixed at 125% of the Chief Secretary's salary. In the absence of the governor, the chief secretary became the acting governor of the colony; the chief secretaries were drawn from the Colonial Office or British military. One Royal Navy Vice Admiral served as administrator after World War II.
Four Japanese military officers served as administrators during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II. The Governor of Hong Kong used a Daimler DS420 for day to day transport and a Rolls-Royce Phantom V landaulette for ceremonial occasions. Both vehicles were removed by the Royal Navy following the handover to China on 1 July 1997; the first governor, Sir Henry Pottinger, 1st Bt. resided in the Former French Mission Building from 1843 to 1846. It was used as the home of the Provisional Government after Japanese surrender from 1945 to 1946; the building now houses the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. His successor, Sir John Davis, 1st Bt. lived there before moving to Caine Road. Since the 4th governor, Sir John Bowring, the governors resided at Government House, excluding the period from 1941 to 1946. From 1941 to 1945 the Commandant of Japanese Forces as Military Governor of Hong Kong occupied Flagstaff House as their residence; the residence was returned to the Commander of British Forces following the end of World War II.
Charles Elliot, first administrator Sir Henry Pottinger, first governor and first Irishman to serve in the role Sir John Francis Davis, first Sinologist to serve as governor Sir John Bowring, first Puritan to serve as governor Sir John Pope Hennessy, first Irish Catholic to serve as governor Sir Matthew Nathan, first Jew to serve as governor Sir Francis H. May, first police chief to serve as governor and first governor being to suffer an assassination attempt Sir Cecil Clementi, first Indian-born and Cantonese-speaking governor Sir Mark Young, first prisoner of war to serve as governor Takashi Sakai, first Japanese administrator to serve as governor Cecil Harcourt, first British military administrator to serve as governor Sir Murray MacLehose, first non-colonial officer to serve as governor.