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Hong Kong is an autonomous territory, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Its vibrant, densely populated urban centre is a major port and global financial hub with a skyscraper-studded skyline. Central (the business district) features architectural landmarks like I.M. Pei’s Bank of China Tower. Hong Kong is also a major shopping destination, famed for bespoke tailors and Temple Street Night Market.
Hong Kong officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in East Asia, south of the mainland Chinese province of Guangdong, and east of the special administrative region of Macau. With over 7.3 million Hongkongers of various nationalities in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the fourth-most densely populated region in the world.
Hong Kong was formerly a colony of the British Empire, after the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from Qing China at the conclusion of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War, and was further extended when Britain acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories starting in 1898. The Empire of Japanattacked the city as part of a co-ordinated offensive against the Allied Powers at the start of the Pacific War and held it under military occupation for the duration of the war, until the British resumed control of the colony in 1945. The entire territory, including ceded areas, was returned to China under the framework of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed by the United Kingdom and China in 1984 and marked with the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong at the end of the New Territories lease in 1997, when it became a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Under the principle of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system apart from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong retains independent executive, legislative, and judiciary powers.Nevertheless, Hong Kong does directly develop relations with foreign states and international organizations in a broad range of "appropriate fields", being actively and independently involved in institutions such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperationforum and the World Trade Organization.