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About Beijing China
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  › Forbidden Palace - Wumen Gate
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Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Tour
Ocean Park Hong Kong
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Ride on the Hong Kong Star Ferry
So Much to See at Ocean Park
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Things to See at Repulse Bay
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Trip to Hong Kong Museum of History
Victoria Peak
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Wong Tai Sin Temple

About Shanghai China
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Jade Buddha Temple
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4 Must See Places in Shanghai
A Day at Shanghai Ocean Aquarium
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About Xian City (Xian City Guide)
Amazing Xian Terracotta Museum
Banpo Village Museum
Huaqing Hot Springs
Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang
Maoling Mausoleum
Qianling Tomb of Xian
Qianling Tomb - Princess Yongtai
TerraCotta Army Discovery
Terra Cotta Archer & Chariot
TerraCotta Warriors - History
Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
Tour of Terra Cotta Museum
Xian City Wall

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Hong Kong History

History of Hong Kong China

In prehistoric periods,the shoreline of Hong Kong was inhabited. Two Neolithic cultures have been found with fine pottery and carvings that date to about 4,000 BC. During the Qin Dynasty (221 - 206 BC) and Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), people from the mainland came and settled in Hong Kong, and coins of the Han Dynasty have been found in Hong Hong.

This area was an important trading and strategic region for Chinese mainland during the Tan and Song dynasties (618 to 1279). After this period, the importance of Hong Kong faded, and did not start attracting attention until the 19th century.

History of Hong Kong and Western Influence

The first westerner to visit Hong Kong was Jorge Alvares, a Portuguese mariner, and he began trading with the Chinese. Tea, silk and other Asian luxury goods were introduced to europe by the Portuguese. During the 15th and 16th century is when western influence came about in Hong Kong due to the increased trade of Chinese products such as tea and silk.

Chinese commodities such as porcelain, furnishings, silk, tea, and other luxury good were popular in europe, but trade to China suffered due to the fact that Chinese consumers had little interest in foreign products. Silver was one commodity the Chinese wanted, to the extent that the drain on silver was affecting the european economy. Seeking other commodities to trade with China, the British discovered opium, and exploited its narcotic effects for economic gains. Opium sales to the Chinese increased as purchase of Chinese goods increased.

The Opium War and Hong Kong Island

The Chinese emperor banned the trade of opium in 1799, but to no avail as smuggling came about. Import of opium increased five fold from 1821 to 1837. In 1839, Lin Zexu (in charge of ending opium trade) used force to destroy foreign stocks of opium, and this was the start of the first opium war. The Opium War was fought between Britain and the Qing Empire from 1839 to 1842.

The British defeated the Chinese in mid 1842, and the opium war ended on august 1842 when the Treaty of Nanjing was signed. Under this treaty, China agreed to cede Hong Kong Island to the British Empire. Under British rule, Hong Kong prospered, but the tension between the Chinese and British heightened. The second Opium War took place 1856 to 1860. After the second Opium War, Kowloon Peninsula was ceded to the British under the Convention of Peking. Kowloon and the New Territories were leased to Britain for 99 years, beginning July 1, 1898.

Return of Hong Kong City to Mainland China

In 1984, 13 years before handing Hong Kong back to China, the British and the People's Republic of China signed a Sino-British Joint Declaration, where the Chinese government promised Hong Kong would maintain its capitalistic system and life style under the "One country, Two System" policy proposed by Deng XiaoPing. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was returned to the PRC.

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