Hong Kong Island (zh-t|t=Xiang Gang Dao) is an island in southern Hong Kong, China. The second largest island, Hong Kong Island, was Hong Kongs first zone opened to the outside world, is the commercial and political centre of the city. On Hong Kong Island are the Central District (the Hong Kong Special Administrative Regions major financial and business district, usually simply called Central), Western District, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay, which are located all on Hong Kong Islands northern tip.
On Hong Kong Islands south end are a number of large tourism areas, including Repulse Bay and Ocean Park, one of the worlds best-visited theme parks. The mountain ranges that run through the island are also well known for hiking. The northern portion of Hong Kong Island, along with Kowloon, forms the main metropolitan area of Hong Kong. As seen in Hong Kongs Physical Map, Hong Kong also has a number of islands off shore, including Lantau Island (the largest), Hong Kong Island, Lamma Island, Cheung Island, Po Toi Island, etc. The islands northern shore forms the southern coast of Victoria Harbor, which is mostly responsible for the development of Hong Kong because of the deeper waters that are favored by large commercial ships.
Hong Kong Island is connected to mainland Kowloon Peninsula via two roads-only tunnels (the Cross Harbor Tunnel and Western Harbor Tunnel), two MTR rail tunnels (the Tsuen Wan Line and the Tung Chung Line), and a joint roads-and-MTR railways tunnel (the Eastern Harbor Tunnel, containing Tseung Kwan O Line and roads traffic on individual channels running side-by-side). The New Territories covers the largest territory to date, stretching from the northern tip of Kowloon Peninsula all the way up to the Chinese border. Technically, the Outlying Islands are part of the territories, but we have placed the Outlying Islands in their own category for practical purposes.
At the time, there was no name for that part of the territory, so British people called it New Territories, meaning New Land. From June 9, 1898, an agreement was signed between British and Qing governments which included that northern parts, starting from Kowloon border and ending at Shenzhen river northern end, were leased to British governments for 99 years. The 99-year lease ended in 1997, when Great Britain returned Hong Kong to mainland China as a special administrative region (SAR) called Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China (HKSAR). During this period of military and commercial conflict, China was forced to permanently hand over Hong Kong Island and part of Kowloon to Britain.
Dependence on Chinas mainland also helped Hong Kong tap into Chinas vast, growing market, the largest in the world, to which so many developing economies are trying so desperately to access. Given the lifting of all political barriers and the readiness of mainland China, it is merely logical that Hong Kong industrialists should pursue the development of labour-intensive, land-intensive industries within China, where they can obtain minerals, cheap labour, and an abundance of land. Hong Kong is a modern, dynamic, cosmopolitan city, and one of the most important international financial and commercial centers in the world, serving as an agatewaya between Mainland China and the rest of the world. The SAR, Hong Kong, has a population of a little over seven million people, located on the southeast corner of the Peopleas Republic of China, approximately 2,000 kilometres (1,240 mi) south of Beijing; Hong Kong is located directly south of the Tropic of Cancer, about the same latitude as Mexico City, the Bahamas, and Hawaii.
The Peoples Republic of China allows Hong Kong to participate as associate member in some intergovernmental bodies, such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization; and to engage in some commercially related agreements as Hong Kong, China. Although the majority of the people in Hong Kong identify themselves as Chinese, they do not see themselves as a part of the Peoples Republic of China.
The one country, two systems principle allows the co-existence of socialism and capitalism within the framework of the one country, two systems, namely, mainland China. The continued application of rule of law is safeguarded against any attempts by mainland China to interfere with the internal affairs of Hong Kong and to impose its laws and regulations in this territory. The UKs Basic Law means that Hong Kong will keep the currency (the Hong Kong dollar), the legal system, and Hong Kongs parliament for fifty years — the term ends in 2047. It is possible to visit both islands, located far to the north in Hong Kong, near the Shenzhen border with mainland China, provided that one does some careful planning in advance.
In 2000, the Hong Kong Government hinted at an enormous project of building six additional lines, in order to ease (make easier) railway transport between Hong Kong Island and the rest of the territory, as well as to improve cargo links to mainland China, in order to accommodate anticipated future needs.
As available farmland cannot grow enough food for the population in Hong Kong, the population subsists on a huge importation of agricultural products, valued at $8.32 billion in 1998, falling to $7.335 billion in 1999 due to a financial crisis. A Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) garrison consisting of about 5,000 soldiers, officers, and support personnel currently occupies the former British military buildings in Hong Kong, including Central Barracks at Admiralty; the naval base on Stonecutters Island; and the Shek Kong Airfield.