Hong Kong Overview
The Special Administrative Region comprises the island of Hong Kong (79.99 km 2) with the capital Victoria, the Kowloon peninsula and the New Territories with the hinterland of Kowloon as well as around 240 mostly uninhabited secondary islands. Hong Kong is the leading trade and financial center in Southeast Asia.
History: The island of Hong Kong became a British crown colony in 1842, which was expanded to include Kowloon in 1860 and the New Territories and numerous small islands in 1898 by a lease agreement (for a period of 99 years). According to an agreement signed in 1984, Great Britain returned the colony to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. According to this agreement, Hong Kong is to maintain its social and economic system and remain largely autonomous for a transition period of 50 years.
Politically, Hong Kong has had ever closer ties to mainland China since 1997. The transport links between the island and the mainland have been improved through infrastructure projects. At the same time, in 2014 the “umbrella movement” called for more democracy and free elections for Hong Kong. In the summer of 2019, young Hong Kong residents in particular protested against a bill that China had passed. People demanded freedom of expression and the rule of law. In order to attract media attention to their cause, they occupied the Hong Kong International Airport, among other places. Hong Kong is an economically important international financial center for China. China wants to end the protests as soon as possible.
According to shoppingpicks, the city comprises the island of Hong Kong, which is connected to the mainland by tunnels , the Kowloon peninsula and the New Territories with the hinterland of Kowloon, the island of Lantau and around 260 largely uninhabited islands. The area of Hong Kong and especially the island of Lantau has been expanded significantly through constant land reclamation. Official languages: Chinese and English. Currency: 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK $) = 100 cents (c). Time zone: CET + 7 hours.
Located on the coast of the South China Sea, Hong Kong, a continuation of the South China mountainous country, is predominantly mountainous, with heights up to 958 m above sea level (Taimo Shan in the New Territories; Lantau Peak on Lantau Island at 934 m above sea level and Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island at 551 m above sea level). The heavily booked, rocky (especially granite) coasts are difficult to develop for settlements. The originally forested mountains are now grassland and wasteland with poor pine vegetation. On the island of Hong Kong there is evergreen deciduous forest in places (through reforestation). The summer is tropical and humid, the winter sunny and mostly mild, the spring mostly very humid and foggy. Summer and autumn typhoons with heavy downpours are not uncommon.
Population and Religion
95% of the population are Chinese. The influx of refugees from China was particularly large between 1945 and 1950. Illegal immigration continued later. In 1980, effective measures were taken to curb entry and immigration into overpopulated Hong Kong. The average population density of 6,549 people per km 2 is significantly exceeded in metropolitan areas as large parts of Hong Kong are uninhabitable.
The Constitution (Article 32) guarantees the residents of Hong Kong the freedom of religion, places religious activities in the area of general public life under their protection and guarantees (Article 137) the religious communities the establishment and maintenance of their own schools. About two thirds of the population profess Daoism and Buddhism and maintain the traditions of the Chinese folk religions. Half of the roughly 10% Christians belong to the Catholic Church (Diocese of Hong Kong; Suffragan diocese of Canton [currently vacant]) and – with the exception of the few Orthodox Christians – Protestant churches and communities (around fifty in total; especially Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans) and the Anglican Church. The Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong is also the seat of the Anglican Church of the Province of East Asia. Since 1996, Hong Kong has also been the seat of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan for Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Religious minorities are made up of Muslims (around 220,000), Hindus (around 40,000), Sikhs (around 10,000) and Jews (around 2,000). The starting point of the Jewish community (founded in 1857; opening of the first synagogue in 1900, today four synagogues) was the immigration of Jews (predominantly of Iraqi and Indian origin) to Hong Kong, which began in 1842.