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New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

The marker reads: "Led to this spot by his military sagacity on July 2nd 1863, General Gouverneur Kemble Warren, then Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac, detected General Hood's flanking movement, and by promptly assuming the responsibility of ordering troops to this place, saved the key of the Union position. Promoted for gallant services from the command of a regiment in 1861, through successive grades to the command of the 2nd Army Corps in 1863, and permanently assigned to that of the 5th Army Corps in 1864, Major General Warren needs no eulogy. His name is enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen. This statue is erected under the auspices of the veteran organization of his old regiment, the 5th New York Vols, Duryee Zouvaes in memory of their beloved commander." -Dedicated August 8th, 1888

Vietnam, Con Dao Island

 

„The isolated 16-island archipelago of Con Dao 110 miles off the mainland’s southeastern coast, was a place most Vietnamese wanted to forget. For 113 years, this island was home to one of the country’s hardest prison systems, established by French colonists in 1862 and later ruled by South Vietnamese and American forces. Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975, at which point the prisons were closed.

 

These days, officials on government-sponsored group tours make pilgrimages to the crumbling stone prisons, which have been turned into museums that depict the suffering endured by their comrades.

But despite, or perhaps because of, its ugly history, Con Dao is one of Southeast Asia’s most untouched and breathtaking getaways.

 

A lack of development and, until recently, of access has also helped to keep the islands’ beaches empty and immaculate. The azure waters are brimming with Vietnam’s best coral reefs, and the forests bustle with macaque monkeys and black squirrels.

Indeed, efforts to preserve Con Dao’s natural beauty are unrivaled in the rest of Vietnam. Of the archipelago’s total area, 83 percent is protected by the Con Dao National Park, including over 50 square miles that make up the country’s first marine reserve.

With help from organizations like the World Wildlife Fund and the United Nations Development Program, the park has just won approval for a $16.5 million development plan through 2020, which will finance natural resource protection, research and eco-tourism.

 

For now, Con Dao’s slow, friendly rhythms and spectacular beauty remain largely undisturbed.”

 

„The New York Times”

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

The story of the Mission Inn stretches over more than a century and began with the Miller family, migrants to California from Tomah, Wisconsin. In 1874, civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller arrived in Riverside, began work on a water system, and with his family, began a small boarding house in the center of town. In 1880, his son Frank Augustus Miller, bought the property and gradually improved and enlarged it. Working with prominent architect Arthur Benton, financed by railroad baron Henry Huntington, and inspired by the growing popularity of California Mission tourism and Mission Revival architecture, Miller opened the first wing of the current Mission Inn building in 1903. The building grew in several stages, each new wing demonstrating regional architectural trends and Miller’s own travels throughout Europe and Asia. By 1931, the Mission Inn comprised four wings in a labyrinth of gardens, towers, arches, and winding stairways that encompassed an entire city block. The interior was filled with art and artifacts purchased by Miller from across the nation and around the world, displayed throughout the hotel to enchant and delight guests.

 

Following his death in 1935, Miller’s family continued operating the Inn for the next two decades until 1956 when it was sold to San Francisco hotelman Benjamin Swig. In an attempt to revitalize the failing Inn, which was losing business to growing tourist hotspots like nearby Palm Springs, Swig sold nearly 1,000 artworks and artifacts from the hotel’s collection and redecorated the Inn in the latest midcentury styles. This effort did little to restore the Inn’s popularity and the hotel struggled through multiple owners and unending financial crises. It was even transformed from a hotel into dorm rooms and private apartments.

 

Fearful that the hotel would be permanently shuttered and its interior collections destroyed, in 1969 a group of concerned citizens formed the Friends of the Mission Inn, a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting hotel business and safeguarding the historic collections. As the hotel’s financial woes persisted, the City of Riverside’s Redevelopment Agency purchased the Mission Inn in 1976. In 1977, thanks to the efforts of local advocates and government officials, the Mission Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark by the federal government, officially marking the Inn as a site of national historic importance.

 

After keeping the hotel afloat for nearly nine years, the city sold the hotel to a Wisconsin-based private development firm, which closed the Inn in June 1985 to begin what would become a seven-year $50 million renovation project. With restorations nearly complete in December 1988, the hotel was once again plagued by bankruptcy and languished for three years without a buyer. In late 1992, local Riverside entrepreneur Duane Roberts purchased the Mission Inn and successfully reopened the landmark hotel for business.

 

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Tso Moriri Lake, Korzok, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

 

This is a 120 sq km Fresh Water Lake at an altitude of 4595 m above MSL.

 

On EXPLORE : July 19, 2007

 

Dedicated to the Tamil Song which inspires me time and again !! :

"Pon maaalaip pozhuthu

idhu oru pon maalaip pozhudhu

vaanamagal naanugiraal vaeru udai poonugiraal ...."

"....vaanam enakkoru bhoadhi maram

naalum enakkadhu saedhi tharum

oru naal ulagam needhi perum

thirunaal nigazhum thaedhi varum

kaelvigalaal vaelvigalai naan seyvaen"

  

The story of the Mission Inn stretches over more than a century and began with the Miller family, migrants to California from Tomah, Wisconsin. In 1874, civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller arrived in Riverside, began work on a water system, and with his family, began a small boarding house in the center of town. In 1880, his son Frank Augustus Miller, bought the property and gradually improved and enlarged it. Working with prominent architect Arthur Benton, financed by railroad baron Henry Huntington, and inspired by the growing popularity of California Mission tourism and Mission Revival architecture, Miller opened the first wing of the current Mission Inn building in 1903. The building grew in several stages, each new wing demonstrating regional architectural trends and Miller’s own travels throughout Europe and Asia. By 1931, the Mission Inn comprised four wings in a labyrinth of gardens, towers, arches, and winding stairways that encompassed an entire city block. The interior was filled with art and artifacts purchased by Miller from across the nation and around the world, displayed throughout the hotel to enchant and delight guests.

 

Following his death in 1935, Miller’s family continued operating the Inn for the next two decades until 1956 when it was sold to San Francisco hotelman Benjamin Swig. In an attempt to revitalize the failing Inn, which was losing business to growing tourist hotspots like nearby Palm Springs, Swig sold nearly 1,000 artworks and artifacts from the hotel’s collection and redecorated the Inn in the latest midcentury styles. This effort did little to restore the Inn’s popularity and the hotel struggled through multiple owners and unending financial crises. It was even transformed from a hotel into dorm rooms and private apartments.

 

Fearful that the hotel would be permanently shuttered and its interior collections destroyed, in 1969 a group of concerned citizens formed the Friends of the Mission Inn, a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting hotel business and safeguarding the historic collections. As the hotel’s financial woes persisted, the City of Riverside’s Redevelopment Agency purchased the Mission Inn in 1976. In 1977, thanks to the efforts of local advocates and government officials, the Mission Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark by the federal government, officially marking the Inn as a site of national historic importance.

 

After keeping the hotel afloat for nearly nine years, the city sold the hotel to a Wisconsin-based private development firm, which closed the Inn in June 1985 to begin what would become a seven-year $50 million renovation project. With restorations nearly complete in December 1988, the hotel was once again plagued by bankruptcy and languished for three years without a buyer. In late 1992, local Riverside entrepreneur Duane Roberts purchased the Mission Inn and successfully reopened the landmark hotel for business.

冬の京都 雪の残る「聚碧園」

Sanzen-in is located in Ohara in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. The temple is in a prominent scenic location among the many other temples in the Ohara area. The first Sanzen-in was built when the great priest Saicho founded Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in the 8th century after returning from China where he studied Buddhism. The temple was moved to the present site in the latter half of the 15th century, when Kyoto had been devastated by wars. Historically, members of the Imperial family served for many generations as the heads of the temple. The Amida-Nyorai Sanzon Buddhist statue housed in the temple has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The temple is widely known for its lovely display of hydrangeas in early summer and maples in autumn.

 

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kyoto/ohara.html

 

-Japan National Tourism Organization

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

Really difficult to shoot at all here as it was raining a lot...

 

Wikipedia: Macau (Chinese: 澳門), also spelled Macao (pron.: /məˈkaʊ/), is one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Hong Kong. Macau lies on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong Kong to the east, bordered by Guangdong province to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east and south. The territory's economy is heavily dependent on gambling and tourism, but also includes manufacturing. A former Portuguese colony, Macau was administered by Portugal from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 1550s. In 1557, Macau was rented to Portugal by the Chinese empire as a trading port. The Portuguese administered the city under Chinese authority and sovereignty until 1887, when Macau became a colony of the Portuguese empire. Sovereignty over Macau was transferred back to China on 20 December 1999. The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operate with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer. Under the policy of "one country, two systems", the PRC's Central People's Government is responsible for the territory's defense and foreign affairs, while Macau maintains its own legal system, police force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy. Macau participates in many international organizations and events that do not require members to possess national sovereignty. According to The World Factbook, Macau has the second highest life expectancy in the world. In addition, Macau is one of the very few regions in Asia with a "very high Human Development Index", ranking 23rd or 24th in the world in 2007 (with Japan being the highest in Asia; the other Asian countries/regions within the "very high HDI" category are Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Qatar, Singapore, and South Korea).

 

Holy House of Mercy of Macau (Portuguese: Santa Casa da Misericórdia; Chinese: 仁慈堂大樓), is an historic white building in Senado Square, Macau, China. Established as a branch of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, it was built in 1569 on the orders of the Bishop of Macao. It was a medical clinic and several other social welfare structures in early Macau. It later served as an orphanage and refuge for widows of sailors lost at sea. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Centre of Macau". The facade of Scottish Church College in Kolkata, India has a resemblance to the facade of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, Macau.

 

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

Lake Kinrin is a small lake with clear waters that well up from a hot spring. A fantasy-like mist rises from the warm waters in the silent morning air. The effect is most pronounced in autumn and winter. (Japan National Tourism Organization)

This late afternoon magic stayed only for few minutes........and we were the blessed ones to reach at the right moment.

  

National Highway 1D (NH 1D), also known as Srinagar-Leh Highway, is a National Highway entirely within the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh. It is one of the only two roads that connect Ladakh with the rest of India, the other being Leh-Manali Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway was declared as National Highway in 2006.

The old Central Asian trade route Srinagar-Leh-Yarkand was also known as the Treaty Road, after a commercial treaty signed in 1870 between Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Thomas Douglas Forsyth.

Weather conditions

Even nowadays, heavy snowfall at highest passes blocks traffic, cutting Leh from Srinagar for some six months each year. During springtime, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) plows snow and repairs damages caused by landslides. Zoji La pass received reportedly some 18 m (59 ft) of snowfall in 2008.

Geography

For most part, NH 1D runs through extremely treacherous terrain and follows the historic trade route along the Indus River, thus giving modern travelers a glimpse of villages which are historically and culturally important. The road generally remains open for traffic from early June to mid-November. The total length of NH 1 is 422 km.

The two highest passes on NH 1D include Fotu La at 4,108 m (13,478 ft) elevation and Zoji La at 3,528 m (11,575 ft) elevation.

Dras, located some 170 km from Srinagar at elevation of 3,249 m (10,659 ft), is the first major village over the Zoji La pass. The village is inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins, having a reputation of being the second coldest permanent inhabited spot in the world after Siberia, with temperatures dropping to −45 °C (−49 °F).

History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the road was only a track, impassable even with ponies. Goods, mainly pashmina wool, were carried by porters from Yarkand and Tibet for Kashmir shawl industry.

In the 19th century, the route was improved, allowing pony caravans to pass. This work was started after Dogra General Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh region from the Sikh Empire during 1836–1840 Trans-Himalayan campaign and princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed when the British sold Kashmir to maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.

In April 1873, the Kashmir government allocated 2,500 rupees annually for upkeep of the Treaty Road and associated serais.

During the 1950s, tensions rose in Ladakh region. China had quietly been building a military road spanning some 1,200 km from Xinjiang to western Tibet. The road was discovered by Indians in 1957 and this was confirmed by Chinese maps showing the road in 1958. The political situation eroded, culminating in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War.

The road on the Chinese side gave PLA an advantage as a reliable supply line, giving the Indian Army impetus to build a road for supply and mobilisation of their own troops. The building started from Sringar in 1962, reaching Kargil in two years. This was the basis of modern Srinagar-Leh Highway. Building the road was hazardous task, given the challenging geographical location, and maintaining the road is still unenviable task.

Restrictions on civilian traffic were lifted in 1974.

This highway was used as mobilisation route by the Indian Army during Pakistani occupation of Kargil in 1999, known as Operation Vijay.

( Source : Wikipedia)

  

location : Kyoto Ohara Sanzen-in Temple ,Kyoto city. Japan

 

冬の京都 大原 三千院 庭園「聚碧園」

 

Sanzen-in is located in Ohara in Sakyo-ku, Kyoto. The temple is in a prominent scenic location among the many other temples in the Ohara area. The first Sanzen-in was built when the great priest Saicho founded Enryaku-ji on Hiei-zan in the 8th century after returning from China where he studied Buddhism. The temple was moved to the present site in the latter half of the 15th century, when Kyoto had been devastated by wars. Historically, members of the Imperial family served for many generations as the heads of the temple. The Amida-Nyorai Sanzon Buddhist statue housed in the temple has been designated an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government. The temple is widely known for its lovely display of hydrangeas in early summer and maples in autumn.

 

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/kyoto/ohara.html

 

-Japan National Tourism Organization

The national economy of the Philippines is the 45th largest in the world, with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product (nominal) of $189 billion.Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits.Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso (₱ or PHP).

 

A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Of the country's total labor force of around 38.1 million, the agricultural sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP. The industrial sector employs around 13.7% of the workforce and accounts for 30% of GDP. Meanwhile the 46.5% of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2% of GDP.

 

The unemployment rate as of July 2009 stands at around 7.6% and due to the global economic slowdown inflation as of September 2009 reads 0.70%. Gross international reserves as of February 2010 are $45.713 billion. In 2004, public debt as a percentage of GDP was estimated to be 74.2%; in 2008, 56.9%. Gross external debt has risen to $66.27 billion. The country is a net importer.

  

The Philippine Stock Exchange with the statue of Benigno Aquino, Jr.After World War II, the country was for a time regarded as the second wealthiest in East Asia, next only to Japan. However, by the 1960s its economic performance started being overtaken. The economy stagnated under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos as the regime spawned economic mismanagement and political volatility. The country suffered from slow economic growth and bouts of economic recession. Only in the 1990s with a program of economic liberalization did the economy begin to recover.The Philippines has enjoyed sustained economic growth during first decade of the 21st century. However, as of 2010, the country's economy remained smaller than its neighbors in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia from both GDP and GDP per capita (nominal).

 

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso and falls in the stock market. But the extent it was affected initially was not as severe as that of some of its Asian neighbors. This was largely due to the fiscal conservatism of the government, partly as a result of decades of monitoring and fiscal supervision from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in comparison to the massive spending of its neighbors on the rapid acceleration of economic growth. There have been signs of progress since. In 2004, the economy experienced 6.4% GDP growth and 7.1% in 2007, its fastest pace of growth in three decades. Yet average annual GDP growth per capita for the period 1966–2007 still stands at 1.45% in comparison to an average of 5.96% for the East Asia and the Pacific region as a whole and the daily income for 45% of the population of the Philippines remains less than $2.

 

Other incongruities and challenges exist. The economy is heavily reliant on remittances which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency. Regional development is uneven with Luzon—Metro Manila in particular—gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions,although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country. Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism and business process outsourcing have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country.Goldman Sachs includes the country in its list of the "Next Eleven" economies.But China and India have emerged as major economic competitors.

 

The Philippines is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asian Development Bank which is headquartered in Mandaluyong City, the Colombo Plan, and the G-77 among other groups and institutions

   

The Bowen River is a river in northern Fiordland, New Zealand. The river runs south for 8 kilometres (5 mi) before flowing from a hanging valley to become the 162-metre (531 ft) Lady Bowen Falls and draining into the head of Milford Sound. The falls are named for Diamantina Bowen, wife of George Bowen, the fifth Governor of New Zealand.

 

The falls provide electricity for the Milford Sound settlement by feeding a small hydroelectric scheme, and are also the water source for the settlement.

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++++ from wikipedia.org ++++++++

 

The Alishan National Scenic Area is a mountain resort and natural preserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Contents

 

1 Geography

2 Climate

3 Topography

4 Vegetation and wildlife

5 History

6 Attractions and landmarks

7 See also

8 References

9 Bibliography

10 External links

 

Geography

Alishan Forest Park.

Dawn view from Alishan.

 

Alishan is 415 square kilometres (41,500 ha) in area. Notable characteristics include mountain wilderness, four villages, waterfalls, high altitude tea plantations, the Alishan Forest Railway, and a number of hiking trails. The area is popular with tourists and mountain climbers. Alishan, or Mount Ali, itself has become one of the major landmarks associated with Taiwan. The area is famous for its production of high mountain tea and wasabi.[citation needed]

 

Alishan is well known for its sunrises, and on a suitable morning one can observe the sun come up on a sea of clouds in the area between Alishan and Yüshan. Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are two of the best known scenic spots in Asia. The indigenous people of the area, the Thao people, have only recently been recognized as a discrete ethnic group. They have long been confused with the Tsou people.

Climate

 

Alishan National Scenic Area spans a broad range in altitude. Lower elevations, such as in Leye Township, share the same subtropical and tropical climate as the rest of southern Taiwan, while the climate changes to temperate and alpine as the elevation increases. Snow sometimes falls at higher elevations in the winter.[citation needed]

 

Alishan National Scenic Area covers most, but not all, of Alishan Rural Township in Chiayi County, as well as parts of neighboring townships in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Average temperatures are moderate:[citation needed]

 

Low elevations: 24 °C in the summer, 16 °C in the winter.

Medium elevations: 19 °C in the summer, 12 °C in the winter.

High elevations: 14 °C in the summer, 5 °C in the winter.

 

Topography

 

Alishan is mountainous:[citation needed]

 

Number of peaks above 2000 meters: 25

Highest point: Da Ta Shan (大塔山), 2,663 meters.

Average height of Alishan Mountain Range: 2,500 meters.

 

Vegetation and wildlife

 

Important trees in the area include:[citation needed]

 

Taiwania cryptomerioides, a large coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae (the same family as the next three species)

Chamaecyparis formosensis, or Formosan Cypress

Chamaecyparis taiwanensis

Cunninghamia konishii

Pinus taiwanensis, or Taiwan Red Pine

Picea morrisonicola, or Yüshan Spruce

Pseudotsuga sinensis var. wilsoniana, or Taiwan Douglas-fir

Abies kawakamii, a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family, only found in Taiwan

Tsuga chinensis var. formosana, Taiwan or Chinese Hemlock

Ulmus uyematsui, a species of elm only found in the Alishan region

 

History

Longyin Temple of Chukou Village in Alishan National Scenic Area.

Boardwalk at Alishan National Scenic Area.

 

The Alishan area was originally settled by the Tsou tribe of the Taiwanese aborigines; the name derives from the aboriginal word Jarissang. Ethnic Han Chinese settlers first settled on the plains near modern-day Chiayi as early as the late Ming Dynasty (around the mid-17th century), but did not move into the mountains until the late 18th century, establishing the towns of Ruili (瑞里), Ruifeng (瑞峰), Xiding (隙頂), and Fenqihu (奮起湖). The resulting armed clashes between the settlers and the aborigines pushed the aborigines even further into the mountains.[citation needed]

 

Following the cession of Taiwan to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japanese expeditions to the area found large quantities of cypress (檜木, or hinoki in Japanese). This led to the development of the logging industry in the area and the export of local cypress and Taiwania wood. A series of narrow-gauge railways were built in the area during this time to facilitate the transportation of lumber from the mountains to the plains below, part of which continues to operate as the Alishan Forest Railway. Several new villages also began to sprout up along the railway lines. It was also during this time that the first tourists began to visit the area. Plans were even drawn up to incorporate the area into the new Niitaka (New Highest) Arisan National Park (新高阿里山国立公園).[citation needed]

 

With the exhaustion of forest resources by the 1970s, domestic and international tourism overtook logging to become the primary economic activity in the area. The tourism industry continued to expand with the completion of the Alisan highway in the 1980s, displacing the railroad as the primary mode of transportation up the mountain. To combat the problems associated with the growing crowds of tourists and the expanding tea and wasabi plantations, the area was declared a national scenic area in 2001.[citation needed]

 

On 1 December 2014, fire broke out at Alishan spreading over more than 5 hectares of land. The area affected was located near Tapang No. 3 Bridge. The fire was believed to happen due to dry ground which was vulnerable to fire because of the absence of rain in the area for months.[1]

Attractions and landmarks

A Japanese-built train on the Alishan Forest Railway.

 

Fenqihu (奮起湖) is a small town of low wooden buildings built into the mountainside at 1,400 meters, midpoint of the Alishan Forest Railway. It is famous for natural rock formations, mountain streams, forests, and the ruins of a Shinto temple in the vicinity, as well as for its production of high altitude food products such as bamboo shoots and aiyu jelly (愛玉). The local box lunches (奮起湖便當, Fenqihu bento), which were once sold to passengers on the rail line, are also well known.[citation needed]

 

Taiwan (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include China (officially the People's Republic of China, PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN.

 

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China. The Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate government of China, its effective jurisdiction has since the loss of Hainan in 1950 been limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands, with the main island making up 99% of its de facto territory. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC continued to represent China at the United Nations until 1971, when the PRC assumed China's seat, causing the ROC to lose its UN membership.

 

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, healthcare,[15] public education, economic freedom, and human development.[d][13][16] The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.[17][18]

 

The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy the PRC refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC. Today 20 countries recognize the ROC as the sole legal representative of China,[19] but many other states maintain unofficial ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. Although Taiwan is fully self-governing, most international organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Internally, the major division in politics is between the aspirations of eventual Chinese unification or Taiwanese independence, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. The PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible.[20]

 

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistoric Taiwan

2.2 Opening in the 17th century

2.3 Qing rule

2.4 Japanese rule

2.5 After World War II

2.6 Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

2.7 Democratization

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

3.2 Geology

4 Political and legal status

4.1 Relations with the PRC

4.2 Foreign relations

4.3 Participation in international events and organizations

4.4 Opinions within Taiwan

5 Government and politics

5.1 Major camps

5.2 Current political issues

5.3 National identity

6 Military

7 Administrative divisions

8 Economy and industry

9 Transportation

10 Education, research, and academia

11 Demographics

11.1 Ethnic groups

11.2 Languages

11.3 Religion

11.4 Largest cities

12 Public health

13 Culture

13.1 Sports

13.2 Calendar

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

16.1 Citations

16.2 Works cited

17 Further reading

18 External links

18.1 Overviews and data

18.2 Government agencies

 

Etymology

See also: Chinese Taipei, Formosa, and Names of China

Taiwan

Taiwan (Chinese characters).svg

"Taiwan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 臺灣 or 台灣

Simplified Chinese 台湾

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Táiwān

Bopomofo ㄊㄞˊ ㄨㄢ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Tair'uan

Wade–Giles T'ai²-wan¹

Tongyong Pinyin Táiwan

IPA [tʰǎi.wán]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing تَاَىْوًا‎

Wu

Romanization The平-uae平

Xiang

IPA dwɛ13 ua44

Hakka

Romanization Thòi-vàn

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Tòiwāan

Jyutping Toi4waan1

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tâi-oân

Tâi-lô Tâi-uân

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dài-uăng

China

Traditional Chinese 中國

Simplified Chinese 中国

Literal meaning Middle or Central State[21]

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jong'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung1-kuo2

Tongyong Pinyin Jhongguó

MPS2 Jūng-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋ.kwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮﻗُﻮَع

Sichuanese Pinyin Zong1 gwe2

Wu

Romanization Tson平-koh入

Gan

Romanization Tung-koe̍t

Xiang

IPA Tan33-kwɛ24/

Hakka

Romanization Dung24-gued2

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūnggwok

Jyutping Zung1gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-guók

Pu-Xian Min

Hinghwa BUC De̤ng-go̤h

Northern Min

Jian'ou Romanized Dô̤ng-gŏ

Republic of China

Traditional Chinese 中華民國

Simplified Chinese 中华民国

Postal Chunghwa Minkuo

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōnghuá Mínguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄏㄨㄚˊ ㄇㄧㄣˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jonghwa Min'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung¹-hua² Min²-kuo²

Tongyong Pinyin Jhonghuá Mínguó

MPS2 Jūng-huá Mín-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋxwǎ mǐnkwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﺧُﻮَ مٍ ﻗُﻮَع

Wu

Romanization tson平 gho平 min平 koh入

Gan

Romanization tung1 fa4 min4 koet7

Hakka

Romanization Chûng-fà Mìn-koet

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūngwà màn'gwok

Jyutping Zung1waa4 man4gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-hôa Bîn-kok

Tâi-lô Tiong-hûa Bîn-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-huà Mìng-guók

Japanese name

Kanji 台湾

Kana たいわん

Kyūjitai 臺灣

Transcriptions

Romanization Taiwan

 

There are various names for the island of Taiwan in use today, derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. The former name Formosa (福爾摩沙) dates from 1542,[verification needed] when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means "beautiful island".[22] The name "Formosa" eventually "replaced all others in European literature"[23] and was in common use in English in the early 20th century.[24]

 

In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia (modern-day Anping, Tainan) on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan",[25] after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Tayowan, Teijoan, etc.[26] This name was also adopted into the Chinese vernacular (in particular, Hokkien, as Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tāi-oân/Tâi-oân) as the name of the sandbar and nearby area (Tainan). The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, which is seen in various forms (大員, 大圓, 大灣, 臺員, 臺圓 and 臺窩灣) in Chinese historical records. The area of modern-day Tainan was the first permanent settlement by Western colonists and Chinese immigrants, grew to be the most important trading centre, and served as the capital of the island until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name (臺灣) was formalized as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development, the entire Formosan mainland eventually became known as "Taiwan".[27][28][29][30]

 

In his Daoyi Zhilüe (1349), Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it near to Penghu.[31] Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; indeed the name Ryūkyū is the Japanese form of Liúqiú. The name also appears in the Book of Sui (636) and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or even Luzon.[32]

 

The official name of the state is the "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" Zhōngguó (中國), to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng ("central" or "middle") and guó ("state, nation-state"), [e] A term which also developed under the Zhou Dynasty in reference to its royal demesne[f] and the name was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qingera .[34] During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had fled to Taiwan due to losing the Chinese Civil War, it was commonly referred to as "Nationalist China" (or "Free China") to differentiate it from "Communist China" (or "Red China").[36] It was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become commonly known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts, especially official ones from the ROC government, the name is written as "Republic of China (Taiwan)", "Republic of China/Taiwan", or sometimes "Taiwan (ROC)."[37] The Republic of China participates in most international forums and organizations under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to diplomatic pressure from the People's Republic of China. For instance, it is the name under which it has competed at the Olympic Games since 1984, and its name as an observer at the World Health Organization.[38]

History

Main articles: History of Taiwan and History of the Republic of China

See the History of China article for historical information in the Chinese Mainland before 1949.

Prehistoric Taiwan

Main article: Prehistory of Taiwan

A young Tsou man

 

Taiwan was joined to the mainland in the Late Pleistocene, until sea levels rose about 10,000 years ago. Fragmentary human remains dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago have been found on the island, as well as later artefacts of a Paleolithic culture.[39][40][41]

 

Around 6,000 years ago, Taiwan was settled by farmers, most likely from mainland China.[42] They are believed to be the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigines, whose languages belong to the Austronesian language family, but show much greater diversity than the rest of the family, which spans a huge area from Maritime Southeast Asia west to Madagascar and east as far as New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. This has led linguists to propose Taiwan as the urheimat of the family, from which seafaring peoples dispersed across Southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.[43][44]

 

Han Chinese fishermen began settling in the Penghu islands in the 13th century, but Taiwan's hostile tribes and its lack of valuable trade products meant that few outsiders visited the island until the 16th century, when visits to the coast by fishermen from Fujian and Chinese and Japanese pirates became more frequent.[45]

Opening in the 17th century

Main articles: Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa, and Kingdom of Tungning

Fort Zeelandia, the Governor's residence in Dutch Formosa

 

The Dutch East India Company attempted to establish a trading outpost on the Penghu Islands (Pescadores) in 1622, but were militarily defeated and driven off by the Ming authorities.[46]

 

In 1624, the company established a stronghold called Fort Zeelandia on the coastal islet of Tayouan, which is now part of the main island at Anping, Tainan.[30] David Wright, a Scottish agent of the company who lived on the island in the 1650s, described the lowland areas of the island as being divided among 11 chiefdoms ranging in size from two settlements to 72. Some of these fell under Dutch control, while others remained independent.[30][47] The Company began to import labourers from Fujian and Penghu (Pescadores), many of whom settled.[46]

 

In 1626, the Spanish Empire landed on and occupied northern Taiwan, at the ports of Keelung and Tamsui, as a base to extend their trading. This colonial period lasted 16 years until 1642, when the last Spanish fortress fell to Dutch forces.

 

Following the fall of the Ming dynasty, Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong), a self-styled Ming loyalist, arrived on the island and captured Fort Zeelandia in 1662, expelling the Dutch Empire and military from the island. Koxinga established the Kingdom of Tungning (1662–1683), with his capital at Tainan. He and his heirs, Zheng Jing, who ruled from 1662 to 1682, and Zheng Keshuang, who ruled less than a year, continued to launch raids on the southeast coast of mainland China well into the Qing dynasty era.[46]

Qing rule

Main article: Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Hunting deer, painted in 1746

 

In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of southern Fujian, the Qing dynasty formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province. The Qing imperial government tried to reduce piracy and vagrancy in the area, issuing a series of edicts to manage immigration and respect aboriginal land rights. Immigrants mostly from southern Fujian continued to enter Taiwan. The border between taxpaying lands and "savage" lands shifted eastward, with some aborigines becoming sinicized while others retreated into the mountains. During this time, there were a number of conflicts between groups of Han Chinese from different regions of southern Fujian, particularly between those from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, and between southern Fujian Chinese and aborigines.

 

Northern Taiwan and the Penghu Islands were the scene of subsidiary campaigns in the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885). The French occupied Keelung on 1 October 1884, but were repulsed from Tamsui a few days later. The French won some tactical victories but were unable to exploit them, and the Keelung Campaign ended in stalemate. The Pescadores Campaign, beginning on 31 March 1885, was a French victory, but had no long-term consequences. The French evacuated both Keelung and the Penghu archipelago after the end of the war.

 

In 1887, the Qing upgraded the island's administration from Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian to Fujian-Taiwan-Province (福建臺灣省), the twentieth in the empire, with its capital at Taipei. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building China's first railroad.[48]

Japanese rule

Main articles: Taiwan under Japanese rule and Republic of Formosa

Japanese colonial soldiers march Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident from the Tainan jail to court, 1915.

 

As the Qing dynasty was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Taiwan, along with Penghu and Liaodong Peninsula, were ceded in full sovereignty to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Inhabitants on Taiwan and Penghu wishing to remain Qing subjects were given a two-year grace period to sell their property and move to mainland China. Very few Taiwanese saw this as feasible.[49] On 25 May 1895, a group of pro-Qing high officials proclaimed the Republic of Formosa to resist impending Japanese rule. Japanese forces entered the capital at Tainan and quelled this resistance on 21 October 1895.[50] Guerrilla fighting continued periodically until about 1902 and ultimately took the lives of 14,000 Taiwanese, or 0.5% of the population.[51] Several subsequent rebellions against the Japanese (the Beipu uprising of 1907, the Tapani incident of 1915, and the Musha incident of 1930) were all unsuccessful but demonstrated opposition to Japanese colonial rule.

 

Japanese colonial rule was instrumental in the industrialization of the island, extending the railroads and other transportation networks, building an extensive sanitation system, and establishing a formal education system.[52] Japanese rule ended the practice of headhunting.[53] During this period the human and natural resources of Taiwan were used to aid the development of Japan and the production of cash crops such as rice and sugar greatly increased. By 1939, Taiwan was the seventh greatest sugar producer in the world.[54] Still, the Taiwanese and aborigines were classified as second- and third-class citizens. After suppressing Chinese guerrillas in the first decade of their rule, Japanese authorities engaged in a series of bloody campaigns against the mountain aboriginals, culminating in the Musha Incident of 1930.[55] Also, those intellectual and labours who participated in left-wing movement of Taiwan were arrested and massacred (e.g. Tsiúnn Uī-Suí(蔣渭水), masanosuke watanabe(渡辺政之辅)).[56]

 

Around 1935, the Japanese began an island-wide assimilation project to bind the island more firmly to the Japanese Empire and people were taught to see themselves as Japanese under the Kominka Movement, during which time Taiwanese culture and religion were outlawed and the citizens were encouraged to adopt Japanese surnames.[57] The "South Strike Group" was based at the Taihoku Imperial University in Taipei. During World War II, tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Japanese military.[58] For example, former ROC President Lee Teng-hui's elder brother served in the Japanese navy and was killed in action in the Philippines in February 1945. The Imperial Japanese Navy operated heavily out of Taiwanese ports. In October 1944, the Formosa Air Battle was fought between American carriers and Japanese forces based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centres throughout Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, were targets of heavy American bombings.[59] Also during this time, over 2,000 women were forced into sexual slavery for Imperial Japanese troops, now euphemistically called "comfort women."[60]

 

In 1938, there were 309,000 Japanese settlers in Taiwan.[61] After World War II, most of the Japanese were expelled and sent to Japan.[62]

After World War II

Main article: Taiwan after World War II

General Chen Yi (right) accepting the receipt of General Order No. 1 from Rikichi Andō (left), the last Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan, in Taipei City Hall

 

On 25 October 1945, the US Navy ferried ROC troops to Taiwan in order to accept the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in Taipei on behalf of the Allied Powers, as part of General Order No. 1 for temporary military occupation. General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed the receipt and handed it over to General Chen Yi of the ROC military to complete the official turnover. Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day", but the Allies considered Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to be under military occupation and still under Japanese sovereignty until 1952, when the Treaty of San Francisco took effect.[63][64] Although the 1943 Cairo Declaration had envisaged returning these territories to China, in the Treaty of San Francisco and Treaty of Taipei Japan has renounced all claim to them without specifying to what country they were to be surrendered. This introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan.

 

The ROC administration of Taiwan under Chen Yi was strained by increasing tensions between Taiwanese-born people and newly arrived mainlanders, which were compounded by economic woes, such as hyperinflation. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic conflicts between the two groups quickly led to the loss of popular support for the new government, while the mass movement led by the working committee of the communist also aimed to bring down the Kuomintang government.[65][66] The shooting of a civilian on 28 February 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was suppressed with military force in what is now called the February 28 Incident. Mainstream estimates of the number killed range from 18,000 to 30,000. Those killed were mainly members of the Taiwanese elite.[67][68]

Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

Main articles: Chinese Civil War, Chinese Communist Revolution, and History of the Republic of China § Republic of China on Taiwan (1949–present)

For the history of Republic of China before 1949, see Republic of China (1912–49).

The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei: after the Nationalists lost Nanjing (Nanking) they next moved to Guangzhou (Canton), then to Chongqing (Chungking), Chengdu (Chengtu) and Xichang (Sichang) before arriving in Taipei.

 

After the end of World War II, the Chinese Civil War resumed between the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang), led by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong. Throughout the months of 1949, a series of Chinese Communist offensives led to the capture of its capital Nanjing on 23 April and the subsequent defeat of the Nationalist army on the mainland, and the Communists founded the People's Republic of China on 1 October.[69]

 

On 7 December 1949, after the loss of four capitals, Chiang evacuated his Nationalist government to Taiwan and made Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC (also called the "wartime capital" by Chiang Kai-shek).[70] Some 2 million people, consisting mainly of soldiers, members of the ruling Kuomintang and intellectual and business elites, were evacuated from mainland China to Taiwan at that time, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million. In addition, the ROC government took to Taipei many national treasures and much of China's gold reserves and foreign currency reserves.[71][72][73]

 

After losing most of the mainland, the Kuomintang held remaining control of Tibet, the portions of Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Yunnan provinces along with the Hainan Island until 1951 before the Communists subsequently captured both territories. From this point onwards, the Kuomintang's territory was reduced to Taiwan, Penghu, the portions of the Fujian province (Kinmen and Matsu Islands), and two major islands of Dongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. The Kuomintang continued to claim sovereignty over all "China", which it defined to include mainland China, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia and other areas. On mainland China, the victorious Communists claimed they ruled the sole and only China (which they claimed included Taiwan) and that the Republic of China no longer existed.[74]

A Chinese man in military uniform, smiling and looking towards the left. He holds a sword in his left hand and has a medal in shape of a sun on his chest.

Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang from 1925 until his death in 1975

 

Martial law, declared on Taiwan in May 1949,[75] continued to be in effect after the central government relocated to Taiwan. It was not repealed until 1987,[75] and was used as a way to suppress the political opposition in the intervening years.[76] During the White Terror, as the period is known, 140,000 people were imprisoned or executed for being perceived as anti-KMT or pro-Communist.[77] Many citizens were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for their real or perceived link to the Communists. Since these people were mainly from the intellectual and social elite, an entire generation of political and social leaders was decimated. In 1998 law was passed to create the "Compensation Foundation for Improper Verdicts" which oversaw compensation to White Terror victims and families. President Ma Ying-jeou made an official apology in 2008, expressing hope that there will never be a tragedy similar to White Terror.[78]

 

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman intervened again and dispatched the US Navy's 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China.[79] In the Treaty of San Francisco and the Treaty of Taipei, which came into force respectively on 28 April 1952 and 5 August 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. Neither treaty specified to whom sovereignty over the islands should be transferred, because the United States and the United Kingdom disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China.[80] Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislation such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and the Formosa Resolution of 1955.

With President Chiang Kai-shek, the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

As the Chinese Civil War continued without truce, the government built up military fortifications throughout Taiwan. Within this effort, KMT veterans built the now famous Central Cross-Island Highway through the Taroko Gorge in the 1950s. The two sides would continue to engage in sporadic military clashes with seldom publicized details well into the 1960s on the China coastal islands with an unknown number of night raids. During the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in September 1958, Taiwan's landscape saw Nike-Hercules missile batteries added, with the formation of the 1st Missile Battalion Chinese Army that would not be deactivated until 1997. Newer generations of missile batteries have since replaced the Nike Hercules systems throughout the island.

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC maintained an authoritarian, single-party government while its economy became industrialized and technology oriented. This rapid economic growth, known as the Taiwan Miracle, was the result of a fiscal regime independent from mainland China and backed up, among others, by the support of US funds and demand for Taiwanese products.[81][82] In the 1970s, Taiwan was economically the second fastest growing state in Asia after Japan.[83] Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, became known as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Later, especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758).

 

Up until the 1970s, the government was regarded by Western critics as undemocratic for upholding martial law, for severely repressing any political opposition and for controlling media. The KMT did not allow the creation of new parties and those that existed did not seriously compete with the KMT. Thus, competitive democratic elections did not exist.[84][85][86][87][88] From the late 1970s to the 1990s, however, Taiwan went through reforms and social changes that transformed it from an authoritarian state to a democracy. In 1979, a pro-democracy protest known as the Kaohsiung Incident took place in Kaohsiung to celebrate Human Rights Day. Although the protest was rapidly crushed by the authorities, it is today considered as the main event that united Taiwan's opposition.[89]

Democratization

Main articles: Democratic reforms of Taiwan and Elections in Taiwan

 

Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and successor as the president, began to liberalize the political system in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwanese-born, US-educated technocrat, to be his vice-president. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in the ROC to counter the KMT. A year later, Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law on the main island of Taiwan (martial law was lifted on Penghu in 1979, Matsu island in 1992 and Kinmen island in 1993). With the advent of democratization, the issue of the political status of Taiwan gradually resurfaced as a controversial issue where, previously, the discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo.

 

After the death of Chiang Ching-kuo in January 1988, Lee Teng-hui succeeded him as president. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank rather than the Provincial Bank of Taiwan, and streamlining the Taiwan Provincial Government with most of its functions transferred to the Executive Yuan. Under Lee, the original members of the Legislative Yuan and National Assembly(a former supreme legislative body defunct in 2005),[90] elected in 1947 to represent mainland Chinese constituencies and having held the seats without re-election for more than four decades, were forced to resign in 1991. The previously nominal representation in the Legislative Yuan was brought to an end, reflecting the reality that the ROC had no jurisdiction over mainland China, and vice versa. Restrictions on the use of Taiwanese Hokkien in the broadcast media and in schools were also lifted.[citation needed]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit, Lien Chan, November 2011

 

Democratic reforms continued in the 1990s, with Lee Teng-hui re-elected in 1996, in the first direct presidential election in the history of the ROC.[91] During the later years of Lee's administration, he was involved in corruption controversies relating to government release of land and weapons purchase, although no legal proceedings commenced. In 1997,"To meet the requisites of the nation prior to national unification",[92] the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China was passed and then the former "constitution of five powers" turns to be more tripartite. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party was elected as the first non-Kuomintang (KMT) President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties led by the KMT, favouring eventual Chinese reunification, and the Pan-Green Coalition of parties led by the DPP, favouring an eventual and official declaration of Taiwanese independence.[93][clarification needed] In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian remarked: “The National Unification Council will cease to function. No budget will be ear-marked for it and its personnel must return to their original posts...The National Unification Guidelines will cease to apply."[94]

The ruling DPP has traditionally leaned in favour of Taiwan independence and rejects the so-called "One-China policy".

 

On 30 September 2007, the ruling DPP approved a resolution asserting a separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.[95] The Chen administration also pushed for referendums on national defence and UN entry in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which failed due to voter turnout below the required legal threshold of 50% of all registered voters.[96] The Chen administration was dogged by public concerns over reduced economic growth, legislative gridlock due to a pan-blue, opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan and corruption involving the First Family as well as government officials.[97][98]

 

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections, while its nominee Ma Ying-jeou went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial".[96] Ma took office on 20 May 2008, the same day that President Chen Shui-bian stepped down and was notified by prosecutors of possible corruption charges. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stems from the strong economic growth China attained since joining the World Trade Organization. However, some analysts say that despite the election of Ma Ying-jeou, the diplomatic and military tensions with the PRC have not been reduced.[99]

A late afternoon landscape.

 

National Highway 1D (NH 1D), also known as Srinagar-Leh Highway, is a National Highway entirely within the state of Jammu & Kashmir in North India that connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh. It is one of the only two roads that connect Ladakh with the rest of India, the other being Leh-Manali Highway. The Srinagar-Leh Highway was declared as National Highway in 2006.

The old Central Asian trade route Srinagar-Leh-Yarkand was also known as the Treaty Road, after a commercial treaty signed in 1870 between Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Thomas Douglas Forsyth.

Weather conditions

Even nowadays, heavy snowfall at highest passes blocks traffic, cutting Leh from Srinagar for some six months each year. During springtime, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) plows snow and repairs damages caused by landslides. Zoji La pass received reportedly some 18 m (59 ft) of snowfall in 2008.

Geography

For most part, NH 1D runs through extremely treacherous terrain and follows the historic trade route along the Indus River, thus giving modern travelers a glimpse of villages which are historically and culturally important. The road generally remains open for traffic from early June to mid-November. The total length of NH 1 is 422 km.

The two highest passes on NH 1D include Fotu La at 4,108 m (13,478 ft) elevation and Zoji La at 3,528 m (11,575 ft) elevation.

Dras, located some 170 km from Srinagar at elevation of 3,249 m (10,659 ft), is the first major village over the Zoji La pass. The village is inhabited by a population of mixed Kashmiri and Dard origins, having a reputation of being the second coldest permanent inhabited spot in the world after Siberia, with temperatures dropping to −45 °C (−49 °F).

History

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the road was only a track, impassable even with ponies. Goods, mainly pashmina wool, were carried by porters from Yarkand and Tibet for Kashmir shawl industry.

In the 19th century, the route was improved, allowing pony caravans to pass. This work was started after Dogra General Zorawar Singh conquered Ladakh region from the Sikh Empire during 1836–1840 Trans-Himalayan campaign and princely state of Jammu and Kashmir was formed when the British sold Kashmir to maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 Treaty of Amritsar.

In April 1873, the Kashmir government allocated 2,500 rupees annually for upkeep of the Treaty Road and associated serais.

During the 1950s, tensions rose in Ladakh region. China had quietly been building a military road spanning some 1,200 km from Xinjiang to western Tibet. The road was discovered by Indians in 1957 and this was confirmed by Chinese maps showing the road in 1958. The political situation eroded, culminating in 1962 in the Sino-Indian War.

The road on the Chinese side gave PLA an advantage as a reliable supply line, giving the Indian Army impetus to build a road for supply and mobilisation of their own troops. The building started from Sringar in 1962, reaching Kargil in two years. This was the basis of modern Srinagar-Leh Highway. Building the road was hazardous task, given the challenging geographical location, and maintaining the road is still unenviable task.

Restrictions on civilian traffic were lifted in 1974.

This highway was used as mobilisation route by the Indian Army during Pakistani occupation of Kargil in 1999, known as Operation Vijay.

 

( Source : Wikipedia)

  

The story of the Mission Inn stretches over more than a century and began with the Miller family, migrants to California from Tomah, Wisconsin. In 1874, civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller arrived in Riverside, began work on a water system, and with his family, began a small boarding house in the center of town. In 1880, his son Frank Augustus Miller, bought the property and gradually improved and enlarged it. Working with prominent architect Arthur Benton, financed by railroad baron Henry Huntington, and inspired by the growing popularity of California Mission tourism and Mission Revival architecture, Miller opened the first wing of the current Mission Inn building in 1903. The building grew in several stages, each new wing demonstrating regional architectural trends and Miller’s own travels throughout Europe and Asia. By 1931, the Mission Inn comprised four wings in a labyrinth of gardens, towers, arches, and winding stairways that encompassed an entire city block. The interior was filled with art and artifacts purchased by Miller from across the nation and around the world, displayed throughout the hotel to enchant and delight guests.

 

Following his death in 1935, Miller’s family continued operating the Inn for the next two decades until 1956 when it was sold to San Francisco hotelman Benjamin Swig. In an attempt to revitalize the failing Inn, which was losing business to growing tourist hotspots like nearby Palm Springs, Swig sold nearly 1,000 artworks and artifacts from the hotel’s collection and redecorated the Inn in the latest midcentury styles. This effort did little to restore the Inn’s popularity and the hotel struggled through multiple owners and unending financial crises. It was even transformed from a hotel into dorm rooms and private apartments.

 

Fearful that the hotel would be permanently shuttered and its interior collections destroyed, in 1969 a group of concerned citizens formed the Friends of the Mission Inn, a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting hotel business and safeguarding the historic collections. As the hotel’s financial woes persisted, the City of Riverside’s Redevelopment Agency purchased the Mission Inn in 1976. In 1977, thanks to the efforts of local advocates and government officials, the Mission Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark by the federal government, officially marking the Inn as a site of national historic importance.

 

After keeping the hotel afloat for nearly nine years, the city sold the hotel to a Wisconsin-based private development firm, which closed the Inn in June 1985 to begin what would become a seven-year $50 million renovation project. With restorations nearly complete in December 1988, the hotel was once again plagued by bankruptcy and languished for three years without a buyer. In late 1992, local Riverside entrepreneur Duane Roberts purchased the Mission Inn and successfully reopened the landmark hotel for business.

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++++ from wikipedia.org ++++++++

 

The Alishan National Scenic Area is a mountain resort and natural preserve located in the mountains of Chiayi County in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Contents

 

1 Geography

2 Climate

3 Topography

4 Vegetation and wildlife

5 History

6 Attractions and landmarks

7 See also

8 References

9 Bibliography

10 External links

 

Geography

Alishan Forest Park.

Dawn view from Alishan.

 

Alishan is 415 square kilometres (41,500 ha) in area. Notable characteristics include mountain wilderness, four villages, waterfalls, high altitude tea plantations, the Alishan Forest Railway, and a number of hiking trails. The area is popular with tourists and mountain climbers. Alishan, or Mount Ali, itself has become one of the major landmarks associated with Taiwan. The area is famous for its production of high mountain tea and wasabi.[citation needed]

 

Alishan is well known for its sunrises, and on a suitable morning one can observe the sun come up on a sea of clouds in the area between Alishan and Yüshan. Alishan and Sun Moon Lake are two of the best known scenic spots in Asia. The indigenous people of the area, the Thao people, have only recently been recognized as a discrete ethnic group. They have long been confused with the Tsou people.

Climate

 

Alishan National Scenic Area spans a broad range in altitude. Lower elevations, such as in Leye Township, share the same subtropical and tropical climate as the rest of southern Taiwan, while the climate changes to temperate and alpine as the elevation increases. Snow sometimes falls at higher elevations in the winter.[citation needed]

 

Alishan National Scenic Area covers most, but not all, of Alishan Rural Township in Chiayi County, as well as parts of neighboring townships in Taiwan.[citation needed]

 

Average temperatures are moderate:[citation needed]

 

Low elevations: 24 °C in the summer, 16 °C in the winter.

Medium elevations: 19 °C in the summer, 12 °C in the winter.

High elevations: 14 °C in the summer, 5 °C in the winter.

 

Topography

 

Alishan is mountainous:[citation needed]

 

Number of peaks above 2000 meters: 25

Highest point: Da Ta Shan (大塔山), 2,663 meters.

Average height of Alishan Mountain Range: 2,500 meters.

 

Vegetation and wildlife

 

Important trees in the area include:[citation needed]

 

Taiwania cryptomerioides, a large coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae (the same family as the next three species)

Chamaecyparis formosensis, or Formosan Cypress

Chamaecyparis taiwanensis

Cunninghamia konishii

Pinus taiwanensis, or Taiwan Red Pine

Picea morrisonicola, or Yüshan Spruce

Pseudotsuga sinensis var. wilsoniana, or Taiwan Douglas-fir

Abies kawakamii, a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family, only found in Taiwan

Tsuga chinensis var. formosana, Taiwan or Chinese Hemlock

Ulmus uyematsui, a species of elm only found in the Alishan region

 

History

Longyin Temple of Chukou Village in Alishan National Scenic Area.

Boardwalk at Alishan National Scenic Area.

 

The Alishan area was originally settled by the Tsou tribe of the Taiwanese aborigines; the name derives from the aboriginal word Jarissang. Ethnic Han Chinese settlers first settled on the plains near modern-day Chiayi as early as the late Ming Dynasty (around the mid-17th century), but did not move into the mountains until the late 18th century, establishing the towns of Ruili (瑞里), Ruifeng (瑞峰), Xiding (隙頂), and Fenqihu (奮起湖). The resulting armed clashes between the settlers and the aborigines pushed the aborigines even further into the mountains.[citation needed]

 

Following the cession of Taiwan to Japan at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japanese expeditions to the area found large quantities of cypress (檜木, or hinoki in Japanese). This led to the development of the logging industry in the area and the export of local cypress and Taiwania wood. A series of narrow-gauge railways were built in the area during this time to facilitate the transportation of lumber from the mountains to the plains below, part of which continues to operate as the Alishan Forest Railway. Several new villages also began to sprout up along the railway lines. It was also during this time that the first tourists began to visit the area. Plans were even drawn up to incorporate the area into the new Niitaka (New Highest) Arisan National Park (新高阿里山国立公園).[citation needed]

 

With the exhaustion of forest resources by the 1970s, domestic and international tourism overtook logging to become the primary economic activity in the area. The tourism industry continued to expand with the completion of the Alisan highway in the 1980s, displacing the railroad as the primary mode of transportation up the mountain. To combat the problems associated with the growing crowds of tourists and the expanding tea and wasabi plantations, the area was declared a national scenic area in 2001.[citation needed]

 

On 1 December 2014, fire broke out at Alishan spreading over more than 5 hectares of land. The area affected was located near Tapang No. 3 Bridge. The fire was believed to happen due to dry ground which was vulnerable to fire because of the absence of rain in the area for months.[1]

Attractions and landmarks

A Japanese-built train on the Alishan Forest Railway.

 

Fenqihu (奮起湖) is a small town of low wooden buildings built into the mountainside at 1,400 meters, midpoint of the Alishan Forest Railway. It is famous for natural rock formations, mountain streams, forests, and the ruins of a Shinto temple in the vicinity, as well as for its production of high altitude food products such as bamboo shoots and aiyu jelly (愛玉). The local box lunches (奮起湖便當, Fenqihu bento), which were once sold to passengers on the rail line, are also well known.[citation needed]

 

Taiwan (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ (About this sound listen)), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include China (officially the People's Republic of China, PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN.

 

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China. The Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate government of China, its effective jurisdiction has since the loss of Hainan in 1950 been limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands, with the main island making up 99% of its de facto territory. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC continued to represent China at the United Nations until 1971, when the PRC assumed China's seat, causing the ROC to lose its UN membership.

 

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, healthcare,[15] public education, economic freedom, and human development.[d][13][16] The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.[17][18]

 

The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and asserted the ROC is no longer in legitimate existence. Under its One-China Policy the PRC refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes the ROC. Today 20 countries recognize the ROC as the sole legal representative of China,[19] but many other states maintain unofficial ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. Although Taiwan is fully self-governing, most international organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Internally, the major division in politics is between the aspirations of eventual Chinese unification or Taiwanese independence, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. The PRC has threatened the use of military force in response to any formal declaration of independence by Taiwan or if PRC leaders decide that peaceful unification is no longer possible.[20]

 

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistoric Taiwan

2.2 Opening in the 17th century

2.3 Qing rule

2.4 Japanese rule

2.5 After World War II

2.6 Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

2.7 Democratization

3 Geography

3.1 Climate

3.2 Geology

4 Political and legal status

4.1 Relations with the PRC

4.2 Foreign relations

4.3 Participation in international events and organizations

4.4 Opinions within Taiwan

5 Government and politics

5.1 Major camps

5.2 Current political issues

5.3 National identity

6 Military

7 Administrative divisions

8 Economy and industry

9 Transportation

10 Education, research, and academia

11 Demographics

11.1 Ethnic groups

11.2 Languages

11.3 Religion

11.4 Largest cities

12 Public health

13 Culture

13.1 Sports

13.2 Calendar

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

16.1 Citations

16.2 Works cited

17 Further reading

18 External links

18.1 Overviews and data

18.2 Government agencies

 

Etymology

See also: Chinese Taipei, Formosa, and Names of China

Taiwan

Taiwan (Chinese characters).svg

"Taiwan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 臺灣 or 台灣

Simplified Chinese 台湾

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Táiwān

Bopomofo ㄊㄞˊ ㄨㄢ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Tair'uan

Wade–Giles T'ai²-wan¹

Tongyong Pinyin Táiwan

IPA [tʰǎi.wán]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing تَاَىْوًا‎

Wu

Romanization The平-uae平

Xiang

IPA dwɛ13 ua44

Hakka

Romanization Thòi-vàn

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Tòiwāan

Jyutping Toi4waan1

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tâi-oân

Tâi-lô Tâi-uân

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dài-uăng

China

Traditional Chinese 中國

Simplified Chinese 中国

Literal meaning Middle or Central State[21]

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jong'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung1-kuo2

Tongyong Pinyin Jhongguó

MPS2 Jūng-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋ.kwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮﻗُﻮَع

Sichuanese Pinyin Zong1 gwe2

Wu

Romanization Tson平-koh入

Gan

Romanization Tung-koe̍t

Xiang

IPA Tan33-kwɛ24/

Hakka

Romanization Dung24-gued2

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūnggwok

Jyutping Zung1gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-guók

Pu-Xian Min

Hinghwa BUC De̤ng-go̤h

Northern Min

Jian'ou Romanized Dô̤ng-gŏ

Republic of China

Traditional Chinese 中華民國

Simplified Chinese 中华民国

Postal Chunghwa Minkuo

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Zhōnghuá Mínguó

Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄏㄨㄚˊ ㄇㄧㄣˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ

Gwoyeu Romatzyh Jonghwa Min'gwo

Wade–Giles Chung¹-hua² Min²-kuo²

Tongyong Pinyin Jhonghuá Mínguó

MPS2 Jūng-huá Mín-guó

IPA [ʈʂʊ́ŋxwǎ mǐnkwǒ]

other Mandarin

Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﺧُﻮَ مٍ ﻗُﻮَع

Wu

Romanization tson平 gho平 min平 koh入

Gan

Romanization tung1 fa4 min4 koet7

Hakka

Romanization Chûng-fà Mìn-koet

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Jūngwà màn'gwok

Jyutping Zung1waa4 man4gwok3

Southern Min

Hokkien POJ Tiong-hôa Bîn-kok

Tâi-lô Tiong-hûa Bîn-kok

Eastern Min

Fuzhou BUC Dṳ̆ng-huà Mìng-guók

Japanese name

Kanji 台湾

Kana たいわん

Kyūjitai 臺灣

Transcriptions

Romanization Taiwan

 

There are various names for the island of Taiwan in use today, derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. The former name Formosa (福爾摩沙) dates from 1542,[verification needed] when Portuguese sailors sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means "beautiful island".[22] The name "Formosa" eventually "replaced all others in European literature"[23] and was in common use in English in the early 20th century.[24]

 

In the early 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia (modern-day Anping, Tainan) on a coastal sandbar called "Tayouan",[25] after their ethnonym for a nearby Taiwanese aboriginal tribe, written by the Dutch and Portuguese variously as Taiouwang, Tayowan, Teijoan, etc.[26] This name was also adopted into the Chinese vernacular (in particular, Hokkien, as Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tāi-oân/Tâi-oân) as the name of the sandbar and nearby area (Tainan). The modern word "Taiwan" is derived from this usage, which is seen in various forms (大員, 大圓, 大灣, 臺員, 臺圓 and 臺窩灣) in Chinese historical records. The area of modern-day Tainan was the first permanent settlement by Western colonists and Chinese immigrants, grew to be the most important trading centre, and served as the capital of the island until 1887. Use of the current Chinese name (臺灣) was formalized as early as 1684 with the establishment of Taiwan Prefecture. Through its rapid development, the entire Formosan mainland eventually became known as "Taiwan".[27][28][29][30]

 

In his Daoyi Zhilüe (1349), Wang Dayuan used "Liuqiu" as a name for the island of Taiwan, or the part of it near to Penghu.[31] Elsewhere, the name was used for the Ryukyu Islands in general or Okinawa, the largest of them; indeed the name Ryūkyū is the Japanese form of Liúqiú. The name also appears in the Book of Sui (636) and other early works, but scholars cannot agree on whether these references are to the Ryukyus, Taiwan or even Luzon.[32]

 

The official name of the state is the "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Chinese mainland, the government used the short form "China" Zhōngguó (中國), to refer to itself, which derives from zhōng ("central" or "middle") and guó ("state, nation-state"), [e] A term which also developed under the Zhou Dynasty in reference to its royal demesne[f] and the name was then applied to the area around Luoyi (present-day Luoyang) during the Eastern Zhou and then to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qingera .[34] During the 1950s and 1960s, after the government had fled to Taiwan due to losing the Chinese Civil War, it was commonly referred to as "Nationalist China" (or "Free China") to differentiate it from "Communist China" (or "Red China").[36] It was a member of the United Nations representing "China" until 1971, when it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China. Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become commonly known as "Taiwan", after the island that comprises 99% of the territory under its control. In some contexts, especially official ones from the ROC government, the name is written as "Republic of China (Taiwan)", "Republic of China/Taiwan", or sometimes "Taiwan (ROC)."[37] The Republic of China participates in most international forums and organizations under the name "Chinese Taipei" due to diplomatic pressure from the People's Republic of China. For instance, it is the name under which it has competed at the Olympic Games since 1984, and its name as an observer at the World Health Organization.[38]

History

Main articles: History of Taiwan and History of the Republic of China

See the History of China article for historical information in the Chinese Mainland before 1949.

Prehistoric Taiwan

Main article: Prehistory of Taiwan

A young Tsou man

 

Taiwan was joined to the mainland in the Late Pleistocene, until sea levels rose about 10,000 years ago. Fragmentary human remains dated 20,000 to 30,000 years ago have been found on the island, as well as later artefacts of a Paleolithic culture.[39][40][41]

 

Around 6,000 years ago, Taiwan was settled by farmers, most likely from mainland China.[42] They are believed to be the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigines, whose languages belong to the Austronesian language family, but show much greater diversity than the rest of the family, which spans a huge area from Maritime Southeast Asia west to Madagascar and east as far as New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. This has led linguists to propose Taiwan as the urheimat of the family, from which seafaring peoples dispersed across Southeast Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.[43][44]

 

Han Chinese fishermen began settling in the Penghu islands in the 13th century, but Taiwan's hostile tribes and its lack of valuable trade products meant that few outsiders visited the island until the 16th century, when visits to the coast by fishermen from Fujian and Chinese and Japanese pirates became more frequent.[45]

Opening in the 17th century

Main articles: Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa, and Kingdom of Tungning

Fort Zeelandia, the Governor's residence in Dutch Formosa

 

The Dutch East India Company attempted to establish a trading outpost on the Penghu Islands (Pescadores) in 1622, but were militarily defeated and driven off by the Ming authorities.[46]

 

In 1624, the company established a stronghold called Fort Zeelandia on the coastal islet of Tayouan, which is now part of the main island at Anping, Tainan.[30] David Wright, a Scottish agent of the company who lived on the island in the 1650s, described the lowland areas of the island as being divided among 11 chiefdoms ranging in size from two settlements to 72. Some of these fell under Dutch control, while others remained independent.[30][47] The Company began to import labourers from Fujian and Penghu (Pescadores), many of whom settled.[46]

 

In 1626, the Spanish Empire landed on and occupied northern Taiwan, at the ports of Keelung and Tamsui, as a base to extend their trading. This colonial period lasted 16 years until 1642, when the last Spanish fortress fell to Dutch forces.

 

Following the fall of the Ming dynasty, Koxinga (Zheng Chenggong), a self-styled Ming loyalist, arrived on the island and captured Fort Zeelandia in 1662, expelling the Dutch Empire and military from the island. Koxinga established the Kingdom of Tungning (1662–1683), with his capital at Tainan. He and his heirs, Zheng Jing, who ruled from 1662 to 1682, and Zheng Keshuang, who ruled less than a year, continued to launch raids on the southeast coast of mainland China well into the Qing dynasty era.[46]

Qing rule

Main article: Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Hunting deer, painted in 1746

 

In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of southern Fujian, the Qing dynasty formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province. The Qing imperial government tried to reduce piracy and vagrancy in the area, issuing a series of edicts to manage immigration and respect aboriginal land rights. Immigrants mostly from southern Fujian continued to enter Taiwan. The border between taxpaying lands and "savage" lands shifted eastward, with some aborigines becoming sinicized while others retreated into the mountains. During this time, there were a number of conflicts between groups of Han Chinese from different regions of southern Fujian, particularly between those from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, and between southern Fujian Chinese and aborigines.

 

Northern Taiwan and the Penghu Islands were the scene of subsidiary campaigns in the Sino-French War (August 1884 to April 1885). The French occupied Keelung on 1 October 1884, but were repulsed from Tamsui a few days later. The French won some tactical victories but were unable to exploit them, and the Keelung Campaign ended in stalemate. The Pescadores Campaign, beginning on 31 March 1885, was a French victory, but had no long-term consequences. The French evacuated both Keelung and the Penghu archipelago after the end of the war.

 

In 1887, the Qing upgraded the island's administration from Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian to Fujian-Taiwan-Province (福建臺灣省), the twentieth in the empire, with its capital at Taipei. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building China's first railroad.[48]

Japanese rule

Main articles: Taiwan under Japanese rule and Republic of Formosa

Japanese colonial soldiers march Taiwanese captured after the Tapani Incident from the Tainan jail to court, 1915.

 

As the Qing dynasty was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895), Taiwan, along with Penghu and Liaodong Peninsula, were ceded in full sovereignty to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Inhabitants on Taiwan and Penghu wishing to remain Qing subjects were given a two-year grace period to sell their property and move to mainland China. Very few Taiwanese saw this as feasible.[49] On 25 May 1895, a group of pro-Qing high officials proclaimed the Republic of Formosa to resist impending Japanese rule. Japanese forces entered the capital at Tainan and quelled this resistance on 21 October 1895.[50] Guerrilla fighting continued periodically until about 1902 and ultimately took the lives of 14,000 Taiwanese, or 0.5% of the population.[51] Several subsequent rebellions against the Japanese (the Beipu uprising of 1907, the Tapani incident of 1915, and the Musha incident of 1930) were all unsuccessful but demonstrated opposition to Japanese colonial rule.

 

Japanese colonial rule was instrumental in the industrialization of the island, extending the railroads and other transportation networks, building an extensive sanitation system, and establishing a formal education system.[52] Japanese rule ended the practice of headhunting.[53] During this period the human and natural resources of Taiwan were used to aid the development of Japan and the production of cash crops such as rice and sugar greatly increased. By 1939, Taiwan was the seventh greatest sugar producer in the world.[54] Still, the Taiwanese and aborigines were classified as second- and third-class citizens. After suppressing Chinese guerrillas in the first decade of their rule, Japanese authorities engaged in a series of bloody campaigns against the mountain aboriginals, culminating in the Musha Incident of 1930.[55] Also, those intellectual and labours who participated in left-wing movement of Taiwan were arrested and massacred (e.g. Tsiúnn Uī-Suí(蔣渭水), masanosuke watanabe(渡辺政之辅)).[56]

 

Around 1935, the Japanese began an island-wide assimilation project to bind the island more firmly to the Japanese Empire and people were taught to see themselves as Japanese under the Kominka Movement, during which time Taiwanese culture and religion were outlawed and the citizens were encouraged to adopt Japanese surnames.[57] The "South Strike Group" was based at the Taihoku Imperial University in Taipei. During World War II, tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Japanese military.[58] For example, former ROC President Lee Teng-hui's elder brother served in the Japanese navy and was killed in action in the Philippines in February 1945. The Imperial Japanese Navy operated heavily out of Taiwanese ports. In October 1944, the Formosa Air Battle was fought between American carriers and Japanese forces based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centres throughout Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, were targets of heavy American bombings.[59] Also during this time, over 2,000 women were forced into sexual slavery for Imperial Japanese troops, now euphemistically called "comfort women."[60]

 

In 1938, there were 309,000 Japanese settlers in Taiwan.[61] After World War II, most of the Japanese were expelled and sent to Japan.[62]

After World War II

Main article: Taiwan after World War II

General Chen Yi (right) accepting the receipt of General Order No. 1 from Rikichi Andō (left), the last Japanese Governor-General of Taiwan, in Taipei City Hall

 

On 25 October 1945, the US Navy ferried ROC troops to Taiwan in order to accept the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in Taipei on behalf of the Allied Powers, as part of General Order No. 1 for temporary military occupation. General Rikichi Andō, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed the receipt and handed it over to General Chen Yi of the ROC military to complete the official turnover. Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Taiwan Retrocession Day", but the Allies considered Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to be under military occupation and still under Japanese sovereignty until 1952, when the Treaty of San Francisco took effect.[63][64] Although the 1943 Cairo Declaration had envisaged returning these territories to China, in the Treaty of San Francisco and Treaty of Taipei Japan has renounced all claim to them without specifying to what country they were to be surrendered. This introduced the problem of the legal status of Taiwan.

 

The ROC administration of Taiwan under Chen Yi was strained by increasing tensions between Taiwanese-born people and newly arrived mainlanders, which were compounded by economic woes, such as hyperinflation. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic conflicts between the two groups quickly led to the loss of popular support for the new government, while the mass movement led by the working committee of the communist also aimed to bring down the Kuomintang government.[65][66] The shooting of a civilian on 28 February 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was suppressed with military force in what is now called the February 28 Incident. Mainstream estimates of the number killed range from 18,000 to 30,000. Those killed were mainly members of the Taiwanese elite.[67][68]

Chinese Nationalist one-party rule

Main articles: Chinese Civil War, Chinese Communist Revolution, and History of the Republic of China § Republic of China on Taiwan (1949–present)

For the history of Republic of China before 1949, see Republic of China (1912–49).

The Nationalists' retreat to Taipei: after the Nationalists lost Nanjing (Nanking) they next moved to Guangzhou (Canton), then to Chongqing (Chungking), Chengdu (Chengtu) and Xichang (Sichang) before arriving in Taipei.

 

After the end of World War II, the Chinese Civil War resumed between the Chinese Nationalists (Kuomintang), led by Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communist Party of China, led by Mao Zedong. Throughout the months of 1949, a series of Chinese Communist offensives led to the capture of its capital Nanjing on 23 April and the subsequent defeat of the Nationalist army on the mainland, and the Communists founded the People's Republic of China on 1 October.[69]

 

On 7 December 1949, after the loss of four capitals, Chiang evacuated his Nationalist government to Taiwan and made Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC (also called the "wartime capital" by Chiang Kai-shek).[70] Some 2 million people, consisting mainly of soldiers, members of the ruling Kuomintang and intellectual and business elites, were evacuated from mainland China to Taiwan at that time, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million. In addition, the ROC government took to Taipei many national treasures and much of China's gold reserves and foreign currency reserves.[71][72][73]

 

After losing most of the mainland, the Kuomintang held remaining control of Tibet, the portions of Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Yunnan provinces along with the Hainan Island until 1951 before the Communists subsequently captured both territories. From this point onwards, the Kuomintang's territory was reduced to Taiwan, Penghu, the portions of the Fujian province (Kinmen and Matsu Islands), and two major islands of Dongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. The Kuomintang continued to claim sovereignty over all "China", which it defined to include mainland China, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia and other areas. On mainland China, the victorious Communists claimed they ruled the sole and only China (which they claimed included Taiwan) and that the Republic of China no longer existed.[74]

A Chinese man in military uniform, smiling and looking towards the left. He holds a sword in his left hand and has a medal in shape of a sun on his chest.

Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang from 1925 until his death in 1975

 

Martial law, declared on Taiwan in May 1949,[75] continued to be in effect after the central government relocated to Taiwan. It was not repealed until 1987,[75] and was used as a way to suppress the political opposition in the intervening years.[76] During the White Terror, as the period is known, 140,000 people were imprisoned or executed for being perceived as anti-KMT or pro-Communist.[77] Many citizens were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for their real or perceived link to the Communists. Since these people were mainly from the intellectual and social elite, an entire generation of political and social leaders was decimated. In 1998 law was passed to create the "Compensation Foundation for Improper Verdicts" which oversaw compensation to White Terror victims and families. President Ma Ying-jeou made an official apology in 2008, expressing hope that there will never be a tragedy similar to White Terror.[78]

 

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman intervened again and dispatched the US Navy's 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China.[79] In the Treaty of San Francisco and the Treaty of Taipei, which came into force respectively on 28 April 1952 and 5 August 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. Neither treaty specified to whom sovereignty over the islands should be transferred, because the United States and the United Kingdom disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China.[80] Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislation such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and the Formosa Resolution of 1955.

With President Chiang Kai-shek, the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

As the Chinese Civil War continued without truce, the government built up military fortifications throughout Taiwan. Within this effort, KMT veterans built the now famous Central Cross-Island Highway through the Taroko Gorge in the 1950s. The two sides would continue to engage in sporadic military clashes with seldom publicized details well into the 1960s on the China coastal islands with an unknown number of night raids. During the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in September 1958, Taiwan's landscape saw Nike-Hercules missile batteries added, with the formation of the 1st Missile Battalion Chinese Army that would not be deactivated until 1997. Newer generations of missile batteries have since replaced the Nike Hercules systems throughout the island.

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC maintained an authoritarian, single-party government while its economy became industrialized and technology oriented. This rapid economic growth, known as the Taiwan Miracle, was the result of a fiscal regime independent from mainland China and backed up, among others, by the support of US funds and demand for Taiwanese products.[81][82] In the 1970s, Taiwan was economically the second fastest growing state in Asia after Japan.[83] Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, became known as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Later, especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758).

 

Up until the 1970s, the government was regarded by Western critics as undemocratic for upholding martial law, for severely repressing any political opposition and for controlling media. The KMT did not allow the creation of new parties and those that existed did not seriously compete with the KMT. Thus, competitive democratic elections did not exist.[84][85][86][87][88] From the late 1970s to the 1990s, however, Taiwan went through reforms and social changes that transformed it from an authoritarian state to a democracy. In 1979, a pro-democracy protest known as the Kaohsiung Incident took place in Kaohsiung to celebrate Human Rights Day. Although the protest was rapidly crushed by the authorities, it is today considered as the main event that united Taiwan's opposition.[89]

Democratization

Main articles: Democratic reforms of Taiwan and Elections in Taiwan

 

Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and successor as the president, began to liberalize the political system in the mid-1980s. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwanese-born, US-educated technocrat, to be his vice-president. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in the ROC to counter the KMT. A year later, Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law on the main island of Taiwan (martial law was lifted on Penghu in 1979, Matsu island in 1992 and Kinmen island in 1993). With the advent of democratization, the issue of the political status of Taiwan gradually resurfaced as a controversial issue where, previously, the discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo.

 

After the death of Chiang Ching-kuo in January 1988, Lee Teng-hui succeeded him as president. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank rather than the Provincial Bank of Taiwan, and streamlining the Taiwan Provincial Government with most of its functions transferred to the Executive Yuan. Under Lee, the original members of the Legislative Yuan and National Assembly(a former supreme legislative body defunct in 2005),[90] elected in 1947 to represent mainland Chinese constituencies and having held the seats without re-election for more than four decades, were forced to resign in 1991. The previously nominal representation in the Legislative Yuan was brought to an end, reflecting the reality that the ROC had no jurisdiction over mainland China, and vice versa. Restrictions on the use of Taiwanese Hokkien in the broadcast media and in schools were also lifted.[citation needed]

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit, Lien Chan, November 2011

 

Democratic reforms continued in the 1990s, with Lee Teng-hui re-elected in 1996, in the first direct presidential election in the history of the ROC.[91] During the later years of Lee's administration, he was involved in corruption controversies relating to government release of land and weapons purchase, although no legal proceedings commenced. In 1997,"To meet the requisites of the nation prior to national unification",[92] the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China was passed and then the former "constitution of five powers" turns to be more tripartite. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party was elected as the first non-Kuomintang (KMT) President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties led by the KMT, favouring eventual Chinese reunification, and the Pan-Green Coalition of parties led by the DPP, favouring an eventual and official declaration of Taiwanese independence.[93][clarification needed] In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian remarked: “The National Unification Council will cease to function. No budget will be ear-marked for it and its personnel must return to their original posts...The National Unification Guidelines will cease to apply."[94]

The ruling DPP has traditionally leaned in favour of Taiwan independence and rejects the so-called "One-China policy".

 

On 30 September 2007, the ruling DPP approved a resolution asserting a separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.[95] The Chen administration also pushed for referendums on national defence and UN entry in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which failed due to voter turnout below the required legal threshold of 50% of all registered voters.[96] The Chen administration was dogged by public concerns over reduced economic growth, legislative gridlock due to a pan-blue, opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan and corruption involving the First Family as well as government officials.[97][98]

 

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections, while its nominee Ma Ying-jeou went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial".[96] Ma took office on 20 May 2008, the same day that President Chen Shui-bian stepped down and was notified by prosecutors of possible corruption charges. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stems from the strong economic growth China attained since joining the World Trade Organization. However, some analysts say that despite the election of Ma Ying-jeou, the diplomatic and military tensions with the PRC have not been reduced.[99]

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

Does It Matter What You Call It?: Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians

By KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON

November 27, 2006

 

PLEASE READ

 

During an appearance in late October on Ireland's Pat Kenny radio show, a popular national program broadcast daily on Ireland's RTE Radio, we were asked as the opening question if Israel could be compared to Nazi Germany. Not across the board, we said, but there are certainly some aspects of Israel's policy toward the Palestinians that bear a clear resemblance to the Nazis' oppression. Do you mean the wall, Kenny prompted, and we agreed, describing the ghettoization and other effects of this monstrosity. Before we could elaborate on other Nazi-like features of Israel's policies, Kenny moved on to another question. Within minutes, while we were still on the air, a producer handed Kenny a note, which we later learned was a request from the newly arrived Israeli ambassador to Ireland to appear on the show, by himself. Several days later, on the air by himself, the ambassador pronounced us and our comparisons of Israeli and Nazi policies "outrageous."

 

What else? We were not surprised or disturbed by his outrage. We had just spent two weeks in the West Bank witnessing the oppression, and it was a sure bet that, even had he not been fulfilling his role as propagandist for Israel, the ambassador would not have known the first thing about the Palestinian situation in the West Bank because he had most likely not set foot there in any recent year. In retrospect, we regret not having used even stronger language. Having at that point just completed our fifth trip to Palestine since early 2003, we should have had the courage and the insight to call what we have observed Israel doing to the Palestinians by its rightful name: genocide.

 

We have long played with words about this, labeling Israel's policy "ethnocide," meaning the attempt to destroy the Palestinians as a people with a specific ethnic identity. Others who dance around the subject use terms like "politicide" or, a new invention, "sociocide," but neither of these terms implies the large-scale destruction of people and identity that is truly the Israeli objective. "Genocide" -- defined by the UN Convention as the intention "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group" -- most aptly describes Israel's efforts, akin to the Nazis', to erase an entire people. (See William Cook's The Rape of Palestine for a discussion of what constitutes genocide.)

 

In fact, it matters little what you call it, so long as it is recognized that what Israel intends and is working toward is the erasure of the Palestinian people from the Palestine landscape. Israel most likely does not care about how systematic its efforts at erasure are, or how rapidly they proceed, and in these ways it differs from the Nazis. There are no gas chambers; there is no overriding urgency. Gas chambers are not needed. A round of rockets on a residential housing complex in the middle of the night here, a few million cluster bomblets or phosphorous weapons there can, given time, easily meet the UN definition above.

 

Children shot to death sitting in school classrooms here, families murdered while tilling their land there; agricultural land stripped and burned here, farmers cut off from their land there; little girls riddled with bullets here, infants beheaded by shell fire there; a little massacre here, a little starvation there; expulsion here, denial of entry and families torn apart there; dispossession is the name of the game. With no functioning economy, dwindling food supplies, medical supply shortages, no way to move from one area to another, no access to a capital city, no easy access to education or medical care, no civil service salaries, the people will die, the nation will die without a single gas chamber. Or so the Israelis hope.

  

Surrender vs. Resistance

 

A major part of the Israeli scheme -- apart from the outright land expropriation, national fragmentation, and killing that are designed to strangle and destroy the Palestinian people -- is to so discourage the Palestinians psychologically that they will simply leave voluntarily -- if they have the money -- or give up in abject surrender and agree to live quietly in small enclaves under the Israeli thumb. You wonder sometimes if the Israelis are not succeeding in this bit of psychological warfare, as they are succeeding in tightening their physical stranglehold on territory in the West Bank and Gaza. Overall, we do not believe they have yet brought the Palestinians to this point of psychological surrender, although the breaking point for Palestinians appears nearer than ever before.

 

The anger and depression, even despair, in Palestine are palpable these days, far worse than we have previously encountered. We met two Palestinians so discouraged that they are preparing to leave, in one case uprooting family from a Muslim village where roots go back centuries. The other case is a Christian young person, also from an old family, who sees no prospects for herself or anyone and who feels betrayed by her Catholic Church for having abandoned Palestine's Christians. She would rather just be elsewhere. A Palestinian pollster who has tracked attitudes toward emigration recently reported that the proportion of people thinking about leaving has jumped from about 20 percent, where it has long hovered, to 32 percent in a recent poll, largely because of despair arising from intra-Palestinian factional fighting and from Hamas' inability to govern thanks to crippling Israeli, U.S., and European sanctions.

 

Nothing like one-third of Palestinians will ultimately leave or even attempt to leave, but the trend in attitudes clearly points to the kind of despair that is afflicting much of Palestine. One thoughtful Palestinian writer with whom we spent an evening feels so defeated and so oppressed by Israeli restrictions that he thinks Hamas should abandon its principled stand and agree to recognize Israel's right to exist, in the hope that this concession might induce the Israelis to lift some of the innumerable restrictions on Palestinian life, end the military siege on Palestinian territories and the land theft, and in general ease the day-to-day misery that Palestinians endure under occupation. Asked if he thought such a major Hamas concession would actually bring meaningful Israeli concessions, he said no, but perhaps it would ease the misery a little. It was clear he holds out no great hope. His village's land is gradually disappearing underneath the separation wall and expanding Israeli settlements.

 

We met westerners who have lived in the West Bank, working on behalf of the Palestinians for various NGOs for a decade and more, who are planning to leave out of frustration at seeing the situation worsen year after year and their own work increasingly go for naught. Many other western human rights workers and educators, particularly at venerable institutions like the Friends' School in Ramallah and Bir Zeit University, are being denied visas by the Israelis as part of their deliberate campaign to keep out foreign passport holders, including thousands of ethnic Palestinians who have lived in the West Bank with their families and worked for years. The Israeli campaign to deny residency and re-entry permits is a deliberate attempt at ethnic cleansing, a hope that if a husband or wife is barred, he or she will remove the rest of the family and Israel will have fewer Palestinians to deal with. In addition, the entry denial campaign targets in particular anyone, Palestinian or international, who might bring a measure of business prosperity to the Palestinian territories, or education, or medical assistance, or humanitarian assistance.

 

The campaign against foreigners who might help the Palestinians or bear witness for them became particularly vicious in mid-November when a 19-year-old Swedish volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement escorting Palestinian children to school was brutally attacked by Israeli settlers in Hebron as Israeli soldiers watched. The young woman, Tove Johansson, was walking through an Israeli army checkpoint with several other volunteers when they were set upon by a group of approximately 100 settlers chanting, "We killed Jesus, we'll kill you too!" A settler hit Johansson in the face with a broken bottle, breaking her cheekbone, and as she lay bleeding on the ground, the settlers cheered and clapped and took pictures of themselves posing next to her. The Israeli soldiers briefly questioned three settlers but made no arrests and conducted no investigation. In fact, they threatened the international volunteers with arrest if they did not leave the area immediately. The assault was so raw and brutal that Amnesty International issued an alert warning internationals to beware of settler attacks. The U.S. media have not seen fit to report the incident, which was clearly part of a longstanding effort to discourage witnesses to Israeli atrocities and deprive Palestinians of any protection against the atrocities.

 

Palestinian resistance does figure in this dismal story. In the same small village where one of our acquaintances is uprooting his family, others are building, building small homes and multi-story apartment buildings, simply as a sign of resistance. International human rights volunteers are still trying to reach the West Bank and Gaza to assist Palestinians. When we told one Palestinian friend about our conversation with the writer who wants Hamas to concede Israel's right to exist, his immediate reaction was "absolutely not." He is himself a secular Muslim, a Fatah supporter, does not like Hamas and did not vote for Hamas in last January's legislative elections, but he fully supports Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist until Israel recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to exist as a nation. "Why should I recognize you until you get out of my garden?" he wondered.

 

Our friend Ahmad's views reflect the general feeling among Palestinians: a poll conducted in September by a Palestinian polling organization found that 67 percent of Palestinians do not think Hamas should recognize Israel in order to satisfy Israeli and international demands, while almost the same proportion, 63 percent, would support recognizing Israel if this came as part of a peace agreement in which a Palestinian state was established -- in other words, if Israel also recognized the Palestinians as a nation. Surrender is not yet on the horizon.

 

On the possibility of pulling up stakes and leaving Palestine, Ahmad was equally adamant. "Why should I leave and then have to fight to get back later? Empires never last." He mentioned the Turks and the British and the Soviets, "and the Americans and the Israelis won't last either. It may take a long time, but we can wait." He was angrier than we have ever previously seen him, and more uncompromising -- and with good reason: the separation wall is now within a few yards of his home and demolition is threatened. Ahmad and some neighbors have been fighting the wall's advance in court and succeeded in stopping it for over a year, but construction is moving ahead again. He already has to drive miles out of his way to skirt the wall on his way to work and will be able to exit only on foot when the wall is completed -- assuming his house is not demolished altogether.

 

But he is not giving up. He thinks suicide bombers are "a piece of shit," but he believes the Palestinians have to resist in some way, if only by throwing stones, and he sees some kind of explosion in the offing. If Palestinians do nothing at all, he said, "the Israelis will just relax" and will feel no pressure to cease the oppression. Palestinians everywhere are keeping up the pressure. Haaretz correspondent Gideon Levy described a cloth banner displayed in Beit Hanoun immediately after Israel's devastation of that small Gaza city during the first week in November. "Kill, destroy, crush -- you won't succeed in breaking us," declared the banner.

 

Palestinians in Beit Hanoun, as well as throughout Gaza and the West Bank, have been putting up resistance to their own incompetent, quisling leadership, as well as to Israel. It has not escaped the notice of the Palestinian man in the street that, while Israel slaughters men, women, and children in Beit Hanoun and continues its march across the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mamhud Abbas has been cooperating with the U.S. and Israel to undermine the democratically elected Hamas government. The U.S. is arming and training a militia that will protect Abbas' and Fatah's narrow factional interests against Hamas' fighters, in what can only be termed an open coup attempt against the legally constituted Palestinian government.

 

Few Palestinians, even Fatah supporters, condone this U.S. interference or Abbas' traitorous acquiescence. "Fatah are thieves," a local leader who is a Fatah member himself told us. "Hamas won because we wanted to get rid of the thieves." He thinks that if there were an election today, "ordinary people" -- by which he means people not associated with either Fatah or Hamas -- would win. In each house, he said, "we find one son with Hamas, another son with Fatah, so how is a father going to support one or the other?" It is perhaps this knowledge that they cannot fight each other without destroying the nuclear and the broader Palestinian family, and that they must not succumb to Israeli and U.S. schemes to fragment Palestinian society, that have motivated the intensive Palestinian efforts to achieve some kind of unity government.

  

Around the West Bank

 

In Bil'in, the small town west of Ramallah that has seen a non-violent protest against the wall by Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals every Friday for almost two years, the village leader, Ahmad Issa Yassin, talked about the lesson his youngest son learned after being arrested last year at age 14 in an Israeli raid. "He is more courageous now, more ready to resist," Yassin said. "So am I." We first met this boy a few months before his arrest, a particularly friendly young man with a sweet smile. He greeted us again this year with another warm smile and bantered with us as we took his picture. He gave no hint of having spent two months in one of Israel's worst prisons or of the horror of having been arrested in a Nazi-style middle-of-the-night raid. Perhaps he threw stones at the Israeli soldiers who converge on his village at least once a week and respond to non-violent protests with live ammunition, rubber bullets, teargas, concussion grenades, and batons. This boy was no terrorist. On the other hand, the Israelis may have turned him into a young man willing to fight terror with terror a few years from now.

 

Yassin walked us to his olive grove, half destroyed, on the other side of the wall. The Israelis allow the villagers access to lands that now lie on Israel's side of the wall, but there is only one gate, manned by Israeli soldiers who may or may not bestir themselves to open it. The villagers' names are all on a list of Palestinians authorized to pass through the gate. At this particular village, one of many whose lands have been cut off from the village, protesters have established an outpost or, as they call it, a "settlement" on the Israeli side to stake a claim to the land for the village even though it now lies on Israel's side in the path of an expanding Israeli settlement. The Palestinian "settlement" consists of a small building, a tent where a couple of activists maintain a constant vigil, and a soccer field for a bit of normality.

 

Yassin took us uphill on a dirt path running alongside the wall, which in this rural area consists of an electronic fence, a dirt patrol road on each side where footprints can be picked up, a paved patrol road on the Israeli side, and coils of razor wire on each side -- encompassing altogether an area about 50 meters wide, where olive groves once stood. We waited at the gate in the electronic fence while Yassin called several times to the Israeli soldiers, whom we could see lounging under a tent canopy on a nearby hillside. When they finally came to the gate, they checked Yassin's name against their list of permitees, recorded our names and passport numbers, and officiously warned us against taking pictures in this "military zone." As we made our way across country to the Bil'in outpost, Yassin pointed out olive trees burned and uprooted by Israelis and, at the outpost right next to the stump of a tree that had been cut down, a new tree sprouting from the old one.

 

We talked for a while with a Palestinian activist from the village and a young British activist who had both been sleeping late into the morning, after enjoying a Ramadan meal, the Iftar, late the night before. When we returned to the gate, the Israeli soldiers were even slower arriving to open it, obviously totally bored with their duty. The following Friday at the weekly protest, they enjoyed a little more excitement as protesters managed to erect ladders to scale the fence. The soldiers responded with batons and teargas.

 

The resistance goes on, but so does the Israeli encroachment. We took away with us two striking impressions: the little olive tree being carefully nurtured as a sign of renewal and resistance, and in the near distance the constant sound of bulldozers and earth-clearing equipment working on the Israeli settlement of Modiin Illit, being built on the lands of Bil'in and other neighboring villages.

 

Elsewhere, signs of the Israeli advance override the continuing signs of Palestinian resistance. In the small village of Wadi Fuqin southwest of Bethlehem, a beautiful village sitting in a narrow, fertile valley between ridge lines that is being squeezed on one side by the wall, still to be constructed, and on the other by the already large and rapidly expanding Israeli settlement of Betar Illit, we saw more destruction. The settlement is dumping vast tonnages of construction debris down onto the village, so that its fields are gradually being swallowed. This was more evident this year than when we visited last year. The settlement's sewage often overflows onto village land through sewage pipes evident high up on the hillside. Israeli settlers swagger through the village increasingly, as if it were theirs, swimming in the many irrigation pools that are fed by natural springs dating back to Roman times.

 

In the village of Walaja, not far away to the north, nearer Jerusalem, Ahmad took us to visit friends of his. The village is scheduled to be surrounded completely by the wall because it sits near the Green Line in the midst of a cluster of Israeli settlements. We sat in a garden of fruit trees with a family whose house is on a hill overlooking a spectacular valley and hills beyond. Jerusalem sits on another hill in the distance. We commented that, except for the Israeli settlements across the valley, the place is like paradise, but our host responded with a cynical laugh that actually it is hell. Even beautiful scenery loses its appeal when one is trapped and surrounded.

 

In another encircled village that we visited last year, Nu'man, the approximately 200 residents are also trapped between the wall, now completed, on one side and the advancing settlement of Har Homa, which covets the village land, on the other. Although last year, with the wall incomplete, we could drive in, this year we were denied entry at the one gate in. With Ahmad, we tried to talk to four obviously intimidated young Palestinian men waiting across the patrol road from the gate to gain entry to their homes, but the Israeli soldiers told them not to talk to us; one of them said a few words to Ahmad but never took his eyes off the Israeli guardpost. We drove off and left them to their plight. We could have tried to get to the village with an arduous cross-country walk, but we did not.

  

"Grand" Terminals

 

With the near completion of the separation wall, the Israelis have systematized the West Bank prison. Since August 2005, the number of checkpoints throughout the West Bank has risen 40 percent, from 376 to 528, according to OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which carefully tracks the numbers and types of Israeli checkpoints, as well as other aspects of the Israeli stranglehold on the Palestinians. As part of the systematization, a series of elaborate terminals now manage the humiliation of Palestinians at major checkpoints, particularly around Jerusalem. The terminals are huge cages resembling cattle runs, which direct foot traffic in snaking lines that double back and forth. At the end of the line are a series of turnstiles, x-ray machines, conveyor belts, and other accoutrements of heavy security. Any Palestinian entering Jerusalem from the West Bank to work, to visit family, to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to go to school, or for medical treatment must have a hard-to-obtain permit from Israel. The turnstiles and other security barriers are controlled remotely by Israeli soldiers housed behind heavy bullet-proof glass.

 

The cages are currently painted a bright, cheerful blue, but it's a fair bet that when they are older and worn, the paint job will not be renewed. Adding to the false cheer, the Israelis have erected incongruous welcoming signs at the terminals. Most egregious is the giant sign at the Bethlehem terminal. "Peace be with you," it proclaims in three languages to travelers leaving Jerusalem for Bethlehem. This is on a giant pastel-colored sign erected by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, as if travel through this terminal were the ordinary tourist lark. At the Qalandiya terminal between Ramallah and Jerusalem, a large cartoon-like red rose welcomes Palestinians with a sign in Arabic. Early this year when the terminal was opened, the rose was on a sign that proclaimed, in three languages, "The hope of us all." Apparently embarrassed at being caught so red-handed in their hypocrisy, the Israelis removed the sign, preserving only the rose, after a Jewish activist stenciled over it the words that once graced the entrance to Auschwitz, "Arbeit Macht Frei" -- work makes you free. There is still a sign saying in three languages, "May you go in peace and return in peace." The Israelis still don't really get it.

 

Nor do the Americans. The terminals, advertised as a way to "ease life" for Palestinians by prettying up the checkpoints of old and making passage more efficient, were paid for out of U.S. aid monies designated originally for the Palestinian Authority (before the Hamas election) but diverted to Israel's terminal-building enterprise -- helping Israel make Palestinian humiliation more efficient. Steven Erlanger in the New York Times, among others, fell for the scam, noting when the Bethlehem terminal opened in December last year that the terminals were aimed at "easing the burden on Palestinians and softening international criticism." He labeled the Bethlehem terminal a "grand" gateway for Christians visiting Jesus' birthplace -- not acknowledging that Christians had been visiting for two millennia without benefit of turnstiles and concrete walls.

 

The burden on Palestinians has not been significantly eased as far as we could tell. We spent some time watching at several of the terminals -- feeling like voyeurs of Palestinian misery. At Qalandiya, about 100 people stood waiting to pass through three locked turnstiles. A young Israeli woman soldier sat in a glassed-in control booth barking commands at them. Our friend Ahmad speaks Hebrew as well as Arabic and could not even make out which language she was speaking in. There was no reason for her anger or for her decision to lock the turnstiles. When she saw us observing, carrying a camera, she shook her finger in an apparent warning against taking pictures. They don't like witnesses. Immediately after this, she unlocked the turnstiles.

 

We walked through after everyone else who had been waiting, and Ahmad took us to the waiting area on the other side where Palestinians from the West Bank apply for permits to enter Jerusalem. About 50 people were waiting. A middle-aged man walked up to us and began telling his story. He was scheduled for neurosurgery at Maqassad Hospital in East Jerusalem in two days, according to a certificate from the hospital, written in English and clearly intended for Israeli permit authorities. He had already been waiting for six days -- three futilely sitting in this waiting area and a previous three when the Israelis had closed the terminal altogether for Yom Kippur. He was beginning to fear he would never get his permit and, as he expressed his frustration and desperation, he began to cry. He asked that we take his picture holding the certificate and tell the world. We did, but we will never know if he obtained his permit in time, or at all.

 

At another terminal, leading from al-Azzariyah, the biblical Bethany, into Jerusalem, a soldier screamed at us -- quite literally, his face red, blood vessels standing out on his neck -- when he saw us taking pictures of his soldier colleagues questioning Palestinians before they entered the terminal area, a pre-screening for the screening at the terminal. We told the soldier we thought pictures would be all right; this terminal was run after all by the Ministry of Tourism and so must be a tourist attraction. But our flippancy didn't go over well. He pushed us toward an exit gate, screaming that this was the "Ministry of Gates" and that we had to get out. We managed to remain inside until Ahmad, who was talking to another Israeli soldier, finished and exited with us. Maybe we saved one or two Palestinians from scrutiny by distracting a couple of soldiers -- or maybe unfortunately we just delayed them further.

 

At a third checkpoint, this a makeshift one set up temporarily at an opening in the wall where the concrete barrier is still incomplete, we watched as a growing crowd of Palestinians wanting to enter Jerusalem to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque tried to negotiate with two young Israeli soldiers. It was a Friday in Ramadan and, although these Palestinians had permits to enter Jerusalem, their names were not on the authorized list at this particular checkpoint. They had to go, according to Israel's administrative fiat, to the main terminal from their area into the city. As the crowd gathered, more Israeli soldiers arrived. The crowd included women as well as men, and several children. Being watched by a couple of Americans who probably appeared more patronizing than helpful clearly did not improve the mood of most of the crowd.

 

One little boy of about five, dressed neatly in a tie and pressed white shirt, stood looking at the commotion for a few minutes, standing slightly apart from his father, and suddenly burst into tears. A few minutes later, the soldiers exploded a concussion grenade, and most of the crowd dispersed. It's the Israeli way: make them cry, run them off in fear. We left, embarrassed by our own inadequacy.

  

Terminology

 

Is it genocide when a little boy is made to cry because belligerent armed men intimidate him, intimidate his father, and ultimately run them off; when they are forbidden from performing their religious ceremonies because a belligerent government decides they are of the wrong religion; when their town is encircled and cut off because a racist state decides their ethnic identity is of the wrong variety?

 

You can argue over terminology, but the truth is evident everywhere on the ground where Israel has extended its writ: Palestinians are unworthy, inferior to Jews, and in the name of the Jewish people, Israel has given itself the right to erase the Palestinian presence in Palestine -- in other words, to commit genocide by destroying "in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group."

 

As we debate about and analyze the Palestinian psyche, trying to determine if they have had enough and will surrender or will survive by resisting, it is important to remember that the Jewish people, despite unspeakable tragedy, emerged from the holocaust ultimately triumphant. Israel and its supporters should keep this in mind: empires never last, as Ahmad said, and gross injustice such as the Nazis and Israel have inflicted on innocent people cannot prevail for long.

   

Kathleen Christison is a former CIA political analyst and has worked on Middle East issues for 30 years. She is the author of Perceptions of Palestine and The Wound of Dispossession.

 

Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence Officer and as Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis. They spent October 2006 in Palestine and on a speaking tour of Ireland sponsored by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

ORIGINAL PHOTO: Mohamed Abed, Beit Lahiya, Occupied Gaza Strip, November 23, 2006 (image shows the sister of Mohamed al-Jarjawi, age 20, killed by Israelis, weeping outside his hospital room).

IMAGE ALTERATION: /anomalous

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

日本,北海道,洞爺湖晨景。

Japan National Tourism Organization :

www.jnto.go.jp/eng/

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong 香港, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

New Zealand (/njuːˈzilənd/ new-ZEE-lənd, Māori: Aotearoa [aɔˈtɛaɾɔa]) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses – that of the North Island, or Te Ika-a-Māui, and the South Island, or Te Waipounamu – and numerous smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long isolation, New Zealand developed a distinctive biodiversity of animal, fungal and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

 

Somewhere between 1250 and 1300 CE, Polynesians settled in the islands that were to become New Zealand, and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the British Crown and Māori Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, making New Zealand a British colony. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.5 million is of European descent; the indigenous Māori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is mainly derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration. The official languages are English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language, with English predominant.

 

New Zealand is a developed country with a market economy that is dominated by the exports of dairy products, meat and wine, along with tourism. New Zealand is a high-income economy and ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as health, education, economic freedom and quality of life. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key. Queen Elizabeth II is the country's head of state and is represented by a Governor-General. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes. The Realm of New Zealand also includes Tokelau (a dependent territory); the Cook Islands and Niue (self-governing states in free association with New Zealand); and the Ross Dependency, which is New Zealand's territorial claim in Antarctica. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pacific Islands Forum, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

 

source: Wikipedia

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of