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The Juan Sebastián de Elcano is the third largest "Tall Ship" in the world and was launched on March 5, 1927. She is the official training ship for the Royal Spanish Navy and entrusted with the formation and training of the Spanish Naval Midshipmen. Since 1927 the Elcano has sailed more than a million and a half nautical miles through all the seas of the world. Of the 77 cruises she has completed, 10 of them have been around the world. Considered to be a "floating embassy," her presence in foreign countries and ports contributes considerably to the Spanish foreign policy.

 

Each year, Pensacola, which boasts a large population with connections to Spain, celebrates that victory. In December of 2014, the United States Congress conferred honorary citizenship on Galvez, citing him as a hero of the Revolutionary War. Spanish commander Galvez defeated British troops in the Battle of Pensacola on May 9, 1781, reconquering West Florida for Spain and aiding the 13 American colonies in their quest for independence.

 

The Juan Sebastián de Elcano has visited Pensacola six other times. The first was in 1959 during Pensacola’s 400th Anniversary. Mrs. Davis, who is also Chairman of the Elcano Committee, was responsible for the Elcano’s return to Pensacola five more times in 1981 for the Galvez Celebration, then again in 1984, 1995, 1998 and 2009 for the 450th Anniversary Celebration.

 

The Fiesta of Five Flags organization was formed to celebrate the founding of Pensacola. In 1559, Spanish Conquistador, Don Tristan de Luna, established Pensacola as the first European settlement in the United States. Since that time five different flags have flown over the City: Spanish, French, British, Confederate, and American. Fiesta plans and produces over 20 events throughout the year with the help of a plethora of volunteers. These events are designed to appeal to all ages and interests, as well as promote tourism for the area. Fiesta has always been a significant celebration for the Pensacola Bay Area. A 10-day heritage celebration, held the first two weeks in June, is one of the oldest and largest heritage festivals in the State of Florida.

 

- fiestaoffiveflags.org

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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A destroyed Kuwaiti satellite antenna is a left over from the Iraqi invasion in 1990. This site is visible a short distance east of Route 80 between the Al-Mutla Ridge and the Iraqi border at Abdaly.

 

Before the war, the country had four ground satellite stations working with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (Arabsat) system. All four stations were destroyed in the war. Smaller mobile satellite ground stations currently handle international telephone calls, data transmission, and live television broadcasts.

 

Today this place at northern Kuwait has turned into a ghost town, those destroyed satellites are making spooky sounds as the wind blows through those giant deserted structures. It is at the same time very interesting place for photographers that would not be possible to visit otherwise. Just to have an idea of the scale, look at the 4x4 car on the very left site.

 

Camera Model: PENTAX K20D; ; Focal length: 13.00 mm; Aperture: 4.5; Exposure time: 1/30 s; ISO: 100

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova - www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

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”

 

Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, South Korea.

 

Published in the 2015 Korean Tourism Organization Calendar (circulation of 155,000).

 

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park (DDP) is a large urban development project in Dongdaemun, Seoul, South Korea that includes a park, exhibition spaces, and restored parts of the Seoul fortress. Originally planned for completion by 2010 to coincide with Seoul's designation as World Design Capital that year, but construction only started in April 2009, and the DDP was officially inaugurated on March 21, 2014. Organizers hope to make Dongdaemun the fashion hub of South Korea and possibly the entire Asia-Pacific region.

Art belongs to us all. It does not belong to the experts, the organisations or the artists. We all make the art. It is not what you were taught, what you read, what you believe.

Every single person that looks upon the world, can see the art.

 

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Doha (Arabic: الدوحة‎, ' or ad-Dōḥa) is the capital city of Qatar. With a population of 400,051 according to the 2005, it is located in the Ad Dawhah municipality on the Persian Gulf. Doha is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the nation's population residing in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and is also the economic center of the country. Doha is home to the Education City, an area devoted to research and education. Doha was the site of the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. The city of Doha also held the 2006 Asian Games, which was the world's largest Asian Games held.

 

Middle East is a wonderful mix of new and old, traditional and modern. This photo nicely captures this contrast. You can see the newly build skyline of Doha with traditional Dhow in front of it. Dhow cruising in Qatar is one the most popular activities in the region.

 

A dhow (Arabic,دهو) is a traditional Arab sailing vessel with one or more lateen sails. They are primarily used along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, and East Africa. Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, while smaller dhows typically have crews of around twelve.Up to the 1960s, dhows made commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion. Their cargo was mostly dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands in the Persian Gulf. They sailed south with the monsoon in winter or early spring and back again to Arabia in late spring or early summer. The term "dhow" is also applied to small, traditionally-constructed vessels used for trade in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf area and the Indian Ocean from Madagascar to the Gulf of Bengal. Such vessels typically weigh 300 to 500 tons, and have a long, thin hull design. Also, it is a family of early Arab ships that used the lateen sail, on which the Portuguese likely based their designs for the caravel known to Arabs as sambuk, booms, baggalas, ghanjas, and zaruqs.

 

Canon 5D Mark II, f/5.6, 0.02 sec (1/50), ISO 100, 168 mm

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova - www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

Unspoiled by mass tourism, the small but beautiful city of Lier lies waiting to be discovered by those who love a friendly and pleasant atmosphere in a beautiful setting, rich in monuments. Lier lies inbetween the cities of Antwerp and Mechelen and at about 45 minutes from Brussels.

Already inhabited during the Roman period Lier had developed into a town near the river Nete, which you see here with one of Lier's bridges. In 1212 the Duke of Brabant granted Lier city rights. The economic pillars where the cloth industry and the cattle market. During the first world war the city was heavily damaged but tastefully rebuilt afterwards.

The market place is surrounded by several beautiful old guild houses. In the center of the square stands the rococo town hall with the belfry tower from 1369. When leaving the center of the city you can visit one of the most beautiful beguinages of Belgium. Beguinages were all-female communities where the beguines lived. These organizations could be compared with monasteries, except that the beguines did not make vows like nuns did.

  

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A destroyed Kuwaiti satellite antenna is a left over from the Iraqi invasion in 1990. This site is visible a short distance east of Route 80 between the Al-Mutla Ridge and the Iraqi border at Abdaly.

 

Before the war, the country had four ground satellite stations working with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) and the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (Arabsat) system. All four stations were destroyed in the war. Smaller mobile satellite ground stations currently handle international telephone calls, data transmission, and live television broadcasts.

 

Today this place at northern Kuwait has turned into a ghost town, those destroyed satellites are making spooky sounds as the wind blows through those giant deserted structures. It is at the same time very interesting place for photographers that would not be possible to visit otherwise. Just to have an idea of the scale, look at the 4x4 car on the very left site.

 

Camera Model: PENTAX K20D; ; Focal length: 10.00 mm; Aperture: 5.6; Exposure time: 1/45 s; ISO: 100

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova - www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

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.

Paris. France.

 

FOR SALE ON GETTY IMAGES

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

 

Paris. France.

 

Check it out my Portfolio: GETTY IMAGES

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

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Geneva (Genèva, Genf, Ginevra) is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland (after Zurich). Situated where the Rhône River exits Lake Geneva (in French also known as Lac Léman). Geneva is a global city, a financial centre, and a worldwide centre for diplomacy and the most important international co-operation centre with New York because of the presence of numerous international organizations, including the headquarters of many of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. A 2009 survey by Mercer found Geneva to have the third-highest quality of life of any city in the world (narrowly outranked by Zurich). The city has been referred to as the world's most compact metropolis and the "Peace Capital". In 2009, Geneva was ranked as the fourth most expensive city in the world.

 

Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM; Focal length: 32.00 mm; Aperture: 10; Exposure time: 30.0 s; ISO: 100

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

Paris. France.

 

Check it out my Portfolio: GETTY IMAGES

Maybe you like this: / Facebook / Instagram

  

Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

Paris. France.

 

FOR SALE ON GETTY IMAGES

 

Check it out my Portfolio: GETTY IMAGES

Maybe you like this: / Facebook / Instagram

  

Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

 

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]

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

Lunenburg, is a Canadian port town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

 

Situated on the province's South Shore, Lunenburg is located on a peninsula at the western side of Mahone Bay. The town is approximately 90 kilometres southwest of the county boundary with the Halifax Regional Municipality.

 

The historic town was designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 1995.

 

This designation ensures protection for much of Lunenburg's unique architecture and civic design, being the best example of planned British colonial settlement in North America.

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

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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]

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]

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 +++++++++

 

Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek: Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and is now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. The Roman Empire's first Christian Cathedral, from the date of its construction in 537 AD, and until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[2] Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[3] and is said to have "changed the history of architecture".[4] It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

 

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.[5] The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity,[6] its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.[6] Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναὸς της Αγίας τοῦ Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".[7][8] The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis.[citation needed] The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

 

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.[9][10] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11] According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015.[12]

 

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 Church of Constantius II

1.2 Church of Theodosius II

1.3 Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

1.4 Mosque (1453–1935)

1.4.1 Renovation of 1847

1.5 Museum (1935–present)

2 Architecture

2.1 Narthex and portals

2.2 Upper Gallery

2.3 Dome

2.4 Minarets

3 Notable elements and decorations

3.1 Loge of the Empress

3.2 Lustration urns

3.3 Marble Door

3.4 Wishing column

3.5 Mosaics

3.5.1 19th-century restoration

3.5.2 20th-century restoration

3.5.3 Imperial Gate mosaic

3.5.4 Southwestern entrance mosaic

3.5.5 Apse mosaics

3.5.6 Emperor Alexander mosaic

3.5.7 Empress Zoe mosaic

3.5.8 Comnenus mosaic

3.5.9 Deësis mosaic

3.5.10 Northern tympanum mosaics

4 Other burials

5 Gallery

6 See also

7 References

8 Bibliography

9 Further reading

9.1 Articles

9.2 Mosaics

10 External links

 

History

Church of Constantius II

 

The first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία (Megálē Ekklēsíā, "Great Church"), or in Latin "Magna Ecclesia",[13][14] because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.[6] Inaugurated on 15 February 360 (during the reign of Constantius II) by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch,[15] it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene ("Holy Peace") church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire.

 

Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346.[15] A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great.[15] Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed.[15] Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter.[15] The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.

 

The Patriarch of Constantinople John Chrysostom came into a conflict with Empress Aelia Eudoxia, wife of the emperor Arcadius, and was sent into exile on 20 June 404. During the subsequent riots, this first church was largely burned down.[15] Nothing remains of the first church today.

Church of Theodosius II

 

A second church on the site was ordered by Theodosius II, who inaugurated it on 10 October 415. The basilica with a wooden roof was built by architect Rufinus. A fire started during the tumult of the Nika Revolt and burned the second Hagia Sophia to the ground on 13–14 January 532.

 

Several marble blocks from the second church survive to the present; among them are reliefs depicting 12 lambs representing the 12 apostles. Originally part of a monumental front entrance, they now reside in an excavation pit adjacent to the museum's entrance after they were discovered in 1935 beneath the western courtyard by A. M. Schneider. Further digging was forsaken for fear of impinging on the integrity of the building.

Remains of the second Hagia Sophia

     

Basilica of the Hagia Sophia (current structure)

Hagia Sophia

Construction of church depicted in codex Manasses Chronicle (14th century)

 

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors.

 

Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius' On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). Columns and other marbles were brought from all over the empire, throughout the Mediterranean. The idea of these columns being spoils from cities such as Rome and Ephesus is a later invention.[16] Even though they were made specifically for Hagia Sophia, the columns show variations in size.[17] More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was contemporaneously recognized as a major work of architecture. The theories of Heron of Alexandria may have been utilized to address the challenges presented by building such an expansive dome over so large a space.[citation needed] The emperor, together with the Patriarch Menas, inaugurated the new basilica on 27 December 537 – 5 years and 10 months after construction start – with much pomp.[18][19][20] The mosaics inside the church were, however, only completed under the reign of Emperor Justin II (565–578).

 

Hagia Sophia was the seat of the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople and a principal setting for Byzantine imperial ceremonies, such as coronations. Like other churches throughout Christendom, the basilica offered sanctuary from persecution to outlaws.

 

Earthquakes in August 553 and on 14 December 557 caused cracks in the main dome and eastern half-dome. The main dome collapsed completely during a subsequent earthquake on 7 May 558,[21] destroying the ambon, altar, and ciborium. The collapse was due mainly to the unfeasibly high bearing load and to the enormous shear load of the dome, which was too flat.[18] These caused the deformation of the piers which sustained the dome.[18] The emperor ordered an immediate restoration. He entrusted it to Isidorus the Younger, nephew of Isidore of Miletus, who used lighter materials and elevated the dome by "30 feet"[18] (about 6.25 meters or 20.5 feet)[clarification needed] – giving the building its current interior height of 55.6 meters (182 ft).[22] Moreover, Isidorus changed the dome type, erecting a ribbed dome with pendentives, whose diameter lay between 32.7 and 33.5 m.[18] Under Justinian's orders, eight Corinthian columns were disassembled from Baalbek, Lebanon, and shipped to Constantinople around 560.[23] This reconstruction, giving the church its present 6th-century form, was completed in 562. The Byzantine poet Paul the Silentiary composed a long epic poem (still extant), known as Ekphrasis, for the rededication of the basilica presided over by Patriarch Eutychius on 23 December 562.

The vaulting of the nave. (annotations)

 

In 726, the emperor Leo the Isaurian issued a series of edicts against the veneration of images, ordering the army to destroy all icons – ushering in the period of Byzantine iconoclasm. At that time, all religious pictures and statues were removed from the Hagia Sophia. After a brief reprieve under Empress Irene (797–802), the iconoclasts made a comeback. The Emperor Theophilus (829–842) had two-winged bronze doors with his monograms installed at the southern entrance of the church.

 

The basilica suffered damage, first in a great fire in 859, and again in an earthquake on 8 January 869, that made one of the half-domes collapse. Emperor Basil I ordered the church repaired.

 

After the great earthquake of 25 October 989, which collapsed the Western dome arch, Emperor Basil II asked for the Armenian architect Trdat, creator of the cathedrals of Ani and Argina, to direct the repairs.[24] He erected again and reinforced the fallen dome arch, and rebuilt the west side of the dome with 15 dome ribs.[25] The extent of the damage required six years of repair and reconstruction; the church was re-opened on 13 May 994. At the end of the reconstruction, the church's decorations were renovated, including the addition of four immense paintings of cherubs; a new depiction of Christ on the dome; a burial cloth of Christ shown on Fridays, and on the apse a new depiction of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, between the apostles Peter and Paul.[26] On the great side arches were painted the prophets and the teachers of the church.[26]

 

In his book De caerimoniis aulae Byzantinae ("Book of Ceremonies"), Emperor Constantine VII (913–919) wrote a detailed account of the ceremonies held in the Hagia Sophia by the emperor and the patriarch.

 

Upon the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, the church was ransacked and desecrated by the Crusaders, as described by the Byzantine historian Niketas Choniates. During the Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–1261) the church became a Roman Catholic cathedral. Baldwin I of Constantinople was crowned emperor on 16 May 1204 in Hagia Sophia, at a ceremony which closely followed Byzantine practices. Enrico Dandolo, the Doge of Venice who commanded the sack and invasion of the city by the Latin Crusaders in 1204, is buried inside the church, probably in the upper Eastern gallery. In the 19th century an Italian restoration team placed a cenotaph marker near the probable location, which is still visible today. The marker is frequently mistaken by tourists as being a medieval marker of the actual tomb of the doge. The real tomb was destroyed by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and subsequent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.[27]

 

After the recapture in 1261 by the Byzantines, the church was in a dilapidated state. In 1317, emperor Andronicus II ordered four new buttresses (Pyramídas, Greek: "Πυραμίδας") to be built in the eastern and northern parts of the church, financing them with the inheritance of his deceased wife, Irene.[28] New cracks developed in the dome after the earthquake of October 1344, and several parts of the building collapsed on 19 May 1346; consequently, the church was closed until 1354, when repairs were undertaken by architects Astras and Peralta.

Mosque (1453–1935)

 

Constantinople fell to the attacking Ottoman forces on the 29th of May in 1453. In accordance with the traditional custom at the time, Sultan Mehmet II allowed his troops and his entourage three full days of unbridled pillage and looting in the city shortly after it was captured. Once the three days passed, he would then claim its remaining contents for himself.[29][30] Hagia Sophia was not exempted from the pillage and looting and specifically became its focal point as the invaders believed it to contain the greatest treasures and valuables of the city.[31] Shortly after Constantinople's defenses collapsed and the Ottoman troops entered the city victoriously, the pillagers and looters made their way to the Hagia Sophia and battered down its doors before storming in.[32] All throughout the period of the siege of Constantinople, the trapped worshipers of the city participated in the Divine Liturgy and Prayer of the Hours at the Hagia Sophia and the church formed a safe-haven and a refuge for many of those who were unable to contribute to the city's defense, which comprised women, children, the elderly and the sick and the wounded.[33][34] Being hopelessly trapped in the church, the many congregants and yet more refugees inside became spoils-of-war to be divided amongst the triumphant invaders. The building was significantly desecrated and looted to a large extent, with the helpless occupants who sought shelter within the church being either enslaved, physically and sexually violated or simply slaughtered.[31] While most of the elderly and the infirm/wounded and sick were killed, a vast number of women and girls were raped and the remainder (mainly teenage males and young boys) were chained up and sold off into slavery.[32] The church's priests and religious personnel continued to perform Christian rites, prayers and ceremonies until finally being forced to stop by the invaders.[32] When Sultan Mehmet II and his accompanying entourage entered the church, he insisted that it should be converted into a mosque at once. One of the ulama present then climbed up the church's pulpit and recited out the Shahada, thus marking the beginning of the gradual conversion of the church into a mosque.[28][35]

Fountain (Şadırvan) for ritual ablutions

 

As described by several Western visitors (such as the Córdoban nobleman Pero Tafur[36] and the Florentine Cristoforo Buondelmonti),[37] the church was in a dilapidated state, with several of its doors fallen from their hinges; Mehmed II ordered a renovation as well as the conversion. Mehmet attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453.[38] Aya Sofya became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul.[39] To the corresponding Waqf were endowed most of the existing houses in the city and the area of the future Topkapı Palace.[28] From 1478, 2,360 shops, 1,300 houses, 4 caravanserais, 30 boza shops, and 23 shops of sheep heads and trotters gave their income to the foundation.[40] Through the imperial charters of 1520 (AH 926) and 1547 (AH 954) shops and parts of the Grand Bazaar and other markets were added to the foundation.[28]

 

Before 1481 a small minaret was erected on the southwest corner of the building, above the stair tower.[28] Later, the subsequent sultan, Bayezid II (1481–1512), built another minaret at the northeast corner.[28] One of these collapsed after the earthquake of 1509,[28] and around the middle of the 16th century they were both replaced by two diagonally opposite minarets built at the east and west corners of the edifice.[28]

The mihrab located in the apse where the altar used to stand, pointing towards Mecca

 

In the 16th century the sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) brought back two colossal candlesticks from his conquest of Hungary. They were placed on either side of the mihrab. During the reign of Selim II (1566–1574), the building started showing signs of fatigue and was extensively strengthened with the addition of structural supports to its exterior by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who was also an earthquake engineer.[41] In addition to strengthening the historic Byzantine structure, Sinan built the two additional large minarets at the western end of the building, the original sultan's lodge, and the Türbe (mausoleum) of Selim II to the southeast of the building in 1576-7 / AH 984. In order to do that, parts of the Patriarchate at the south corner of the building were pulled down the previous year.[28] Moreover, the golden crescent was mounted on the top of the dome,[28] while a respect zone 35 arşin (about 24 m) wide was imposed around the building, pulling down all the houses which in the meantime had nested around it.[28] Later his türbe hosted also 43 tombs of Ottoman princes.[28] In 1594 / AH 1004 Mimar (court architect) Davud Ağa built the türbe of Murad III (1574–1595), where the Sultan and his Valide, Safiye Sultan were later buried.[28] The octagonal mausoleum of their son Mehmed III (1595–1603) and his Valide was built next to it in 1608 / AH 1017 by royal architect Dalgiç Mehmet Aĝa.[42] His son Mustafa I (1617–1618; 1622–1623) converted the baptistery into his türbe.[42]

 

Murad III had also two large alabaster Hellenistic urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave.[28]

 

In 1717, under Sultan Ahmed III (1703–1730), the crumbling plaster of the interior was renovated, contributing indirectly to the preservation of many mosaics, which otherwise would have been destroyed by mosque workers.[42] In fact, it was usual for them to sell mosaics stones – believed to be talismans – to the visitors.[42] Sultan Mahmud I ordered the restoration of the building in 1739 and added a medrese (a Koranic school, now the library of the museum), an Imaret (soup kitchen for distribution to the poor) and a library, and in 1740 a Şadirvan (fountain for ritual ablutions), thus transforming it into a külliye, i.e. a social complex. At the same time a new sultan's lodge and a new mihrab were built inside.

Renovation of 1847

 

Restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849, under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati. The brothers consolidated the dome and vaults, straightened the columns, and revised the decoration of the exterior and the interior of the building. The mosaics in the upper gallery were exposed and cleaned, although many were re-covered "for protection against further damage". The old chandeliers were replaced by new pendant ones. New gigantic circular-framed disks or medallions were hung on columns. These were inscribed with the names of Allah, Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Muhammad: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker Mustafa İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). In 1850 the architects Fossati built a new sultan's lodge or loge in a Neo-Byzantine style connected to the royal pavilion behind the mosque. They also renovated the minbar and mihrab. Outside the main building, the minarets were repaired and altered so that they were of equal height.[43][44] A timekeeper's building and a new madrasah were built. When the restoration was finished, the mosque was re-opened with ceremonial pomp on 13 July 1849.[citation needed]

Museum (1935–present)

The interior undergoing restoration

 

In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, transformed the building into a museum. The carpets were removed and marble floor decorations such as the Omphalion appeared for the first time in centuries, while the white plaster covering many of the mosaics was removed. Nevertheless, the condition of the structure deteriorated, and the World Monuments Fund placed Hagia Sophia on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998. The building's copper roof had cracked, causing water to leak down over the fragile frescoes and mosaics. Moisture entered from below as well. Rising ground water had raised the level of humidity within the monument, creating an unstable environment for stone and paint. The WMF secured a series of grants from 1997 to 2002 for the restoration of the dome. The first stage of work involved the structural stabilization and repair of the cracked roof, which was undertaken with the participation of the Turkish Ministry of Culture. The second phase, the preservation of the dome's interior, afforded the opportunity to employ and train young Turkish conservators in the care of mosaics. By 2006, the WMF project was complete, though many other areas of Hagia Sophia continue to require significant stability improvement, restoration and conservation.[45] Haghia Sophia is currently (2014) the second most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[11]

 

Although use of the complex as a place of worship (mosque or church) was strictly prohibited,[46] in 2006 the Turkish government allowed the allocation of a small room in the museum complex to be used as a prayer room for Christian and Muslim museum staff,[47] and since 2013 from the minarets of the museum the muezzin sings the call to prayer twice per day, in the afternoon.[48]

 

In 2007, Greek American politician Chris Spirou launched an international organization "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function as a Christian church.[49][50][51] Since the early 2010s, several campaigns and government high officials, notably Turkey's deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç in November 2013, have been demanding that Hagia Sophia be converted into a mosque again.[52][53][54] In 2015, in retaliation for the acknowledgment by Pope Francis of the Armenian Genocide, the Mufti of Ankara, Mefail Hızlı, stated that he believes the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will be accelerated.[55][56]

 

On July 1, 2016, Muslim prayers were held again in the Hagia Sophia for the first time in 85 years.[57]

 

On May 13, 2017, a large group of people organized by the Anatolia Youth Association (AGD), gathered in front of Hagia Sophia and prayed the morning prayer with a call for the reconversion of the museum into a mosque.[58] On June 21, 2017, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) organized a special program, which included the recitation of the Quran and prayers in Hagia Sofia, to mark the Laylat al-Qadr, the program was broadcast live by state-run television TRT.[59]

Architecture

Section of a "restored" design

a) Plan of the gallery (upper half)

b) Plan of the ground floor (lower half)

 

Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.[3] Its interior is decorated with mosaics and marble pillars and coverings of great artistic value. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed, "Solomon, I have outdone thee!" (Νενίκηκά σε Σολομών). Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain.[60]

 

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating architectural achievement of late antiquity and the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its influence, both architecturally and liturgically, was widespread and enduring in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds alike.

 

The vast interior has a complex structure. The nave is covered by a central dome which at its maximum is 55.6 m (182 ft 5 in) from floor level and rests on an arcade of 40 arched windows. Repairs to its structure have left the dome somewhat elliptical, with the diameter varying between 31.24 and 30.86 m (102 ft 6 in and 101 ft 3 in).

 

At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m (250 ft).[3]

 

Interior surfaces are sheathed with polychrome marbles, green and white with purple porphyry, and gold mosaics. The exterior, clad in stucco, was tinted yellow and red during restorations in the 19th century at the direction of the Fossati architects.

Narthex and portals

 

The Imperial Gate was the main entrance between the exo- and esonarthex. It was reserved exclusively for the Emperor. The Byzantine mosaic above the portal depicts Christ and an unnamed emperor. A long ramp from the northern part of the outer narthex leads up to the upper gallery.

Upper Gallery

West side of the upper gallery

 

The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the Empress and her court. The best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery.

 

The upper gallery contains runic graffiti presumed to be from the Varangian Guard.[citation needed]

Dome

Cupola dome, semi-dome, and apse

View upward to domes. See Commons file for annotations.

 

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for many art historians, architects and engineers because of the innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The dome is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, one of the first large-scale uses of them. The pendentives are the corners of the square base of the dome, which curve upwards into the dome to support it, restraining the lateral forces of the dome and allowing its weight to flow downwards.[61][62] They were reinforced with large buttresses during Byzantine and later during Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan. A total of 24 buttresses were added.[63]

 

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The original cupola collapsed entirely after the earthquake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562 reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains eight ribs, while the south section includes six ribs.[64]

 

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen cupola, he had first to build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again. Additionally, the architect raised the height of the rebuilt dome by approximately six m (20 feet) so that the lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight would be transmitted more effectively down into the walls. Moreover, he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of the dome to flow between the windows, down the pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.[citation needed]

 

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the dome the appearance of hovering above. This effect was achieved by inserting forty windows around the base of the original structure. Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the dome structure lowers its weight.[citation needed]

Minarets

 

The minarets were an Ottoman addition, and not part of the original church's Byzantine design. One of the minarets (at southwest) was built from red brick while the other three were built from white limestone and sandstone, of which the slender northeast column was erected by Sultan Bayezid II while the two larger minarets to the west were erected by Sultan Selim II and designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.[65]

Notable elements and decorations

 

Originally, under Justinian's reign, the interior decorations consisted of abstract designs on marble slabs on the walls and floors, as well as mosaics on the curving vaults. Of these mosaics, one can still see the two archangels Gabriel and Michael in the spandrels of the bema. There were already a few figurative decorations, as attested by the eulogy of Paul the Silentiary. The spandrels of the gallery are revetted in opus sectile, showing patterns and figures of flowers and birds in precisely cut pieces of white marble set against a background of black marble. In later stages figurative mosaics were added, which were destroyed during the iconoclastic controversy (726–843). Present mosaics are from the post-iconoclastic period. The number of treasures, relics and miracle-working, painted icons of the Hagia Sophia grew progressively richer into an amazing collection.

 

Apart from the mosaics, a large number of figurative decorations were added during the second half of the 9th century: an image of Christ in the central dome; Orthodox saints, prophets and Church Fathers in the tympana below; historical figures connected with this church, such as Patriarch Ignatius; some scenes from the gospel in the galleries. Basil II let artists paint on each of the four pendentives a giant six-winged Cherub.[26] The Ottomans covered their face with a golden halo,[26] but in 2009 one of them was restored to the original state.[66]

Loge of the Empress

 

The Loge of the Empress is located in the centre of the upper enclosure, or gallery, of the Hagia Sophia. From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress stood.[67][68]

Lustration urns

 

Two huge marble lustration (ritual purification) urns were brought from Pergamon during the reign of Sultan Murad III. From the Hellenistic period, they are carved from single blocks of marble.[28]

Marble Door

 

The Marble Door inside the Hagia Sophia is located in the southern upper enclosure, or gallery. It was used by the participants in synods, they entered and left the meeting chamber through this door.

Wishing column

 

At the northwest of the building there is a column with a hole in the middle covered by bronze plates. This column goes by different names; the perspiring column, the wishing column, the sweating column or the crying column. The column is said to be damp when touched and have supernatural powers.[69] The legend states that since St. Gregory the Miracle Worker appeared at the column in year 1200, the column is moist. It is believed that touching the moisture cures many illnesses.[70][71]

Notable elements of the Hagia Sophia

The Loge of the Empress. The columns are made of green Thessalian stone.

Lustration urn from Pergamon

Marble Door

The wishing column

Mosaics

Ceiling decoration showing original Christian cross still visible through the later aniconic decoration

 

The church was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. They either depicted the Virgin Mother, Jesus, saints, or emperors and empresses. Other parts were decorated in a purely decorative style with geometric patterns.

 

The mosaics however for their most part date to after the end of the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 800 AD.

 

During the Sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Latin Crusaders vandalized valuable items in every important Byzantine structure of the city, including the golden mosaics of the Hagia Sophia. Many of these items were shipped to Venice, whose Doge, Enrico Dandolo, had organized the invasion and sack of Constantinople after an agreement with Prince Alexios Angelos, the son of a deposed Byzantine emperor.

19th-century restoration

 

Following the building's conversion into a mosque in 1453, many of its mosaics were covered with plaster, due to Islam's ban on representational imagery. This process was not completed at once, and reports exist from the 17th century in which travellers note that they could still see Christian images in the former church. In 1847–49, the building was restored by two Swiss-Italian Fossati brothers, Gaspare and Giuseppe, and Sultan Abdülmecid allowed them to also document any mosaics they might discover during this process which were later archived in Swiss libraries.[72] This work did not include repairing the mosaics and after recording the details about an image, the Fossatis painted it over again. The Fossatis restored the mosaics of the two hexapteryga (singular Greek: ἑεξαπτέρυγον, pr. hexapterygon, six-winged angel; it is uncertain whether they are seraphim or cherubim) located on the two east pendentives, covering their faces again before the end of the restoration.[73] The other two placed on the west pendentives are copies in paint created by the Fossatis, since they could find no surviving remains of them.[73] As in this case, the architects reproduced in paint damaged decorative mosaic patterns, sometimes redesigning them in the process. The Fossati records are the primary sources about a number of mosaic images now believed to have been completely or partially destroyed in the 1894 Istanbul earthquake. These include a mosaic over a now-unidentified Door of the Poor, a large image of a jewel-encrusted cross, and a large number of images of angels, saints, patriarchs, and church fathers. Most of the missing images were located in the building's two tympana.

 

One mosaic they documented is Christ Pantocrator in a circle, which would indicate it to be a ceiling mosaic, possibly even of the main dome which was later covered and painted over with Islamic calligraphy that expounds God as the light of the universe. The drawings of the Hagia Sophia mosaics are today kept in the Cantonal Archive of Ticino.[74]

20th-century restoration

 

A large number of mosaics were uncovered in the 1930s by a team from the Byzantine Institute of America led by Thomas Whittemore. The team chose to let a number of simple cross images remain covered by plaster, but uncovered all major mosaics found.

 

Because of its long history as both a church and a mosque, a particular challenge arises in the restoration process. Christian iconographic mosaics can be uncovered, but often at the expense of important and historic Islamic art. Restorers have attempted to maintain a balance between both Christian and Islamic cultures. In particular, much controversy rests upon whether the Islamic calligraphy on the dome of the cathedral should be removed, in order to permit the underlying Pantocrator mosaic of Christ as Master of the World, to be exhibited (assuming the mosaic still exists).[75]

Imperial Gate mosaic

Imperial gate mosaic

 

The Imperial Gate mosaic is located in the tympanum above that gate, which was used only by the emperors when entering the church. Based on style analysis, it has been dated to the late 9th or early 10th century. The emperor with a nimbus or halo could possibly represent emperor Leo VI the Wise or his son Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus bowing down before Christ Pantocrator, seated on a jeweled throne, giving His blessing and holding in His left hand an open book.[76] The text on the book reads as follows: "Peace be with you. I am the light of the world". (John 20:19; 20:26; 8:12) On each side of Christ's shoulders is a circular medallion: on His left the Archangel Gabriel, holding a staff, on His right His Mother Mary.[77]

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

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.

 

La Bandiera Blu è un riconoscimento internazionale, istituito nel 1987 Anno europeo dell’Ambiente, che viene assegnato ogni anno in 48 paesi, inizialmente solo europei, più recentemente anche extra-europei, con il supporto e la partecipazione delle due agenzie dell'ONU: UNEP (Programma delle Nazioni Unite per l’ambiente) e UNWTO (Organizzazione Mondiale del Turismo) con cui la FEE ha sottoscritto un Protocollo di partnership globale.

 

Bandiera Blu è un eco-label volontario assegnato alle località turistiche balneari che rispettano criteri relativi alla gestione sostenibile del territorio.

 

Obiettivo principale di questo programma è quello di indirizzare la politica di gestione locale di numerose località rivierasche, verso un processo di sostenibilità ambientale.

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The Blue Flag is an international award, established in 1987 the European Year of the Environment, which is awarded every year in 48 countries, initially only in Europe, most recently also outside Europe, with the support and participation of the two UN agencies: UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) with which the FEE has signed a Memorandum of global partnership.

 

Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to tourist resorts that meet criteria relating to sustainable land management.

 

The main objective of this program is to direct the policy of the local management of many coastal resorts, toward a process of environmental sustainability.

 

Primi tentativi di foto con lunga esposizione.

First attempts of photos with long exposure.

All rights reserved - copyright :copyright: Giancarlo Gabbrielli

  

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]

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The Arg of Karim Khan (Persian: ارگ کريمخاني ɑrge KɑrīmKHănɪ AKA Arge KarimKhani, Citadel of KarimKhan, KarimKhan Fortress) is a citadel located in the north-east of Shiraz. It was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, and served as his living quarters. In shape it resembles a medieval fortress. At times, the citadel was used as a prison. Today, it is a museum operated by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization.

 

This photo was taken inside of one of the rooms. I have actually returned to this place during noon after my morning visit. I estimated that the best time for those amazing colors will around that time and the room will be full of light and color. I have chosen to post photo with a female figure as it adds nice point of interest.

 

Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM; Focal length: 17.00 mm; Aperture: 6.3; Exposure time: 1/80 s; ISO: 160

 

All rights reserved - Copyright :copyright: Lucie Debelkova www.luciedebelkova.com

 

All images are exclusive property and may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, transmitted, manipulated or used in any way without expressed, written permission of the photographer.

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)

  

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

 

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

Mucubal (also called Mucubai, Mucabale, Mugubale) people are a subgroup of the Herero ethnic group, which means they are bantu speaking, and are supposed to have come from Kenya and to be related with Massais.

They are semi nomadic pastoralists living of cattle raising and agriculture. They live in a large area between the slopes of Chela Mounts in the north, and River Cunene to the south, where they are believed to have stopped during the Herero migration, about 300 years ago.

Mucubal have some very specific customs and traditions. They only are interested in cattle and do not care of the rest of the world outside of the bush. Mucubals are not allowed to mention people’s name in public, except their parent’s one, and children’s name in general. A married couple is not allowed to talk to each other in public, as long as the wife hasn’t had children. They only can speak to each other in private. Girls have their upper teeth sharpened and lower ones removed. In order to convince young girls to have their lower teeth removed, old men make them believe, that their teeth leave their mouth during the night, to go in a hole dug to relieve themselves and return in their mouth covered with excrement. The family structure and organization is also very specific. The father has the authority and is the head of the family, although the matrilineal descent is considered more important, as they inherit throught the mother's family. For example the son of the Soba -chieftain of the village-’s sister is the heir of the Soba. It is possible to be disowned by their father's family but not by their mother's because for them this link is sacred. The maternal uncle has to provide his nephew with an ox, called Remussungo. However a father provides his son with an ox, called Hupa. Mucubal can only get married with an outsider of the clan, although it cannot be with a member of another tribe like a Himba for example. Marriages of convenience are the rule most of the time. The fiancée is presented to her future husband during the Fico ceremony, when she is fourteen or less. This ceremony consists in a party with the two families during which presents are offered. The couple has to wait a few more years before consummating the marriage in the centre of the village. Mucubal men can have several wives and are also allowed to sell their wife, if they don’t get along with her or even if they want to earn money, as a woman can be worth 2 cows, which is about 2000 euros and represents a lot of money. For a first marriage a woman can even be worth 3 or 4 cows.

Their nomadic lifestyle based on cycles, between nomadism and stays in the same places (where they settle their villages), accounts for their religious customs and the funerary rites they follow. Mucubal people believe in a God called Huku, Klaunga, Ndyambi. They also worship their ancestors' spirits called Oyo Handi and Ovi huku, which are considered inferior to their supreme divinity. Divination is very important in their culture. They use talismans and amulets to protect their herds or prevent adultery. Nevertheless Mucubal are not afraid of death. Funerals can last several days or weeks. They decorate their graves with cattle horns. The number of cows sacrificed are in relation with the importance of the deceased. This shows the importance of cattle in their culture. Cattle is only killed on special occasions, as Mucubal usually don’t eat meat but rather corn (when they manage to grow some), eggs, milk and chicken.

They don’t eat any fish because according to the legend, one of their chieftains was brought to the sea by the portuguese and never came back. So they think that fish kills men.

Women use mupeque oil, a yellow dried fruit crushed and boiled from which they just drink juice but do no eat pulp. They also eat small red berries with a pepper taste that they boil. In order to show they are hungry Mucubal mimic the gesture we do when we brush our teeth. Mucubal especially women, are famous for the way they dress. The latter wear an original and unique headdress called the Ompota. It is made of a wicker framework, traditionally filled with a bunch of tied cow tails, decorated with buttons, shells, zippers and beads. But tradition is disappearing as some women use modern stuff to fill their ompota headdress. One was using a Barbie doll box! Women whether they are married or not can wear jewels. Ornaments like iron anklets, called Othivela, and armlets, called Othingo, are worn by girls as well as adult women. Mucubal women are also famous for the string they have around their breast, called oyonduthi, which is used as a bra. Women use to smoke tobacco (that they keep in a snuffbox called boceta) in pipes called opessi. There are several ways of saying hello. "Okamene" means good morning", "Tchou"is what a woman answers to a greeting and "Mba" is the word a man answers back to a woman saying him hello.

 

:copyright: Eric Lafforgue

www.ericlafforgue.com

Paris. France.

 

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

  

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

   

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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]

Red Sea Diving Safari is the southern Red Sea’s most popular tourism & diving destination. Our organization is one of Egypt’s leading environmental activists and a pioneer for sustainable tourism. We have been internationally recognized as a model of tourism development and are considered a voice for the international diving community.

Our destination consists of 3 villages along the southern Red Sea coastline; Marsa Shagra Village, Marsa Nakari Village and Wadi Lahami Village. Our 3 villages are certified PADI resorts and we offer courses beginning from Discover Scuba Diving to Instructor. We are also the first TDI facility in the southern Red Sea. Although we are a favored destination for divers across the world, we are also the ideal destination for eco-tourists, nature lovers, explorers, or just your ordinary holiday-traveler.

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)

  

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]

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

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).

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Paris (English /ˈpærɪs/, i/ˈpɛrɪs/; French: [paʁi] ( listen)) is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), Paris has a population of about 2,230,000, and its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europe, with more than 12 million inhabitants.

An important settlement for more than two millennia, Paris had become, by the 12th century, one of Europe's foremost centres of learning and the arts and was the largest city in the Western world until the turn of the 18th century. Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.

Paris and the Paris region account for a quarter of the gross domestic product of France and has one of the largest city GDPs in the world, with €572 billion in 2010. Considered as green and highly liveable, the city and its region are the world's leading tourism destination, hosting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many international organizations, including UNESCO and the European Space Agency.

   

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Roatán, located between the islands of Útila and Guanaja, is the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands. The island was formerly known as Ruatan and Rattan. It is approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) long, and less than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) across at its widest point.

  

The island consists of two municipalities (out of a total of four in the department): Jose Santos Guardiola in the east (named for the former president of Honduras) and Roatán (also including the Cayos Cochinos) further south in the west. The most populous town of the island is Coxen Hole, capital of Roatán municipality, located in the southwest. Other important towns include French Harbour, West End, and Oak Ridge, the capital of Jose Santos Guardiola municipality.

The easternmost quarter of the island is separated by a convoluted channel through the mangroves that is 15 meters wide on the average. This section is called Helene, or Santa Elena in Spanish. Satellite islands at the eastern end are Morat, Barbaretta, and Pigeon Cay. Further west between French Harbour and Coxen Hole is Barefoot Cay. Known as Burial Key until 2001, Barefoot Cay now is privately owned and houses a luxury resort popular with celebrities.

Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia's Great Barrier Reef), Roatán has become an important cruise ship and scuba diving destination in Honduras. Tourism is its most important economic sector, though fishing is also an important source of income for islanders. Roatan is located within 50 minutes of LGS. The island is served by the Juan Manuel Gálvez International Airport.

 

West Bay Beach.

The pre-Columbian indigenous peoples of the Bay Islands are believed to have been related to Paya, Maya, Lenca or Jicaque, which were the cultures present on the mainland. Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage (1502–1504) came to the islands as he visited the neighboring Bay Island of Guanaja. Soon after the Spanish began raiding the islands for slave labor. More devastating for Native American communities was exposure to Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, such as smallpox and measles. Diseases ran in epidemics, and no indigenous people survived.

Throughout European colonial times, the Bay of Honduras attracted a diverse array of individual settlers, pirates, traders and military forces, engaged in various economic activities and playing out political struggles between the European powers, chiefly Britain and Spain. Roatán and the other islands were used as frequent resting points for sea travelers. On several occasions, they were subject to military occupation. In 1723/1724 an approximately 20-year-old-man from New England, Philip Ashton, managed to survive as a castaway on the island for sixteen months until he was rescued (see Edward E. Leslie, Desperate Journeys, Abandoned Souls, 1988, pp. 100–120). During that time they were governed by self-proclaimed King Kyle Edward Chauncey, a red-haired white man leading mostly Spanish speakers among those of European descent.

In contesting with the Spanish for colonization of the Caribbean, the English occupied the Bay Islands on and off between 1550 and 1700. During this time, buccaneers found the vacated, mostly unprotected islands a haven for safe harbor and transport. English, French and Dutch pirates established settlements on the islands. They frequently raided the cumbersome Spanish cargo vessels carrying gold and other treasures from the New World to Spain.

  

West End.

In 1797, the British defeated the Black Carib, who had been supported by the French, in a battle for control of the Windward Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Weary of their resistance to British plans for sugar plantations, the British rounded up the St. Vincent Black Carib and deported them to Roatán. The majority of Black Carib migrated to Trujillo on mainland Honduras, but a portion remained to found the community of Punta Gorda on the northern coast of Roatán. The Black Carib, whose ancestry includes Arawak and African Maroons, remained in Punta Gorda, becoming the Bay Island's first permanent post-Columbian settlers.[citation needed] They also migrated from there to parts of the northern coast of Central America, becoming the foundation of the modern-day Garífuna culture.

The majority permanent population of Roatán originated from the Cayman Islands near Jamaica. They arrived in the 1830s shortly after Britain's abolition of slavery in 1838. The changes in labor force disrupted the economic structure of Caymanian culture. Caymanians were largely a seafaring culture and were familiar with the area from turtle fishing and other activities. Former Caymanian slaveholders were among the first to settle in the seaside locations throughout primarily western Roatán. Former slaves also migrated from the Cayman Islands, in larger number than planters, during the late 1830s and 1840s. Altogether, the former Caymanians became the largest cultural group on the island.

For a brief period in the 1850s, Britain declared the Bay Islands its colony. Within a decade the Crown ceded the territory formally back to Honduras. British colonists were sent though, and asked William Walker, a freebooter with a private army, to help end the crisis in 1860 by invading Honduras; he was captured upon landing in Trujillo and executed there.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the island populations grew steadily and established new settlements all over Roatán and the other islands. Settlers came from all over the world and played a part in shaping the cultural face of the island. Islanders started a fruit trade industry which became profitable. By the 1870s it was purchased by American interests, most notably the New Orleans and Bay Islands Fruit Company. Later companies, the Standard Fruit and United Fruit Companies became the foundation for modern-day fruit companies, the industry which gave Honduras the sobriquet "banana republic".

  

Bottlenose dolphins in a show at a resort in Roatán.

The 20th century saw continued population growth resulting in increasing economic changes, and environmental challenges. A population boom began with an influx of Spanish-speaking Mestizo migrants from the Honduran mainland. In the last decades they tripled the original resident population. Mestizo migrants settled primarily in the urban areas of Coxen Hole and Barrio Los Fuertes (near French Harbour). In these areas Spanish is common, with English speakers more common among descendants of early colonists, as well as in the other areas inhabited chiefly by islanders rather than former mainlanders.

But in terms of population and economic influence, the mainlander influx was dwarfed by the overwhelming tourist presence in most recent years. Numerous American, Canadian, British, New Zealand, Australian and South African settlers and entrepreneurs engaged chiefly in the fishing industry, and later, provided the foundation for attracting the tourist trade. The rapid and dramatic demographic changes that Roatán has experienced in the 21st century has contributed to the complexity of the environmental challenges of the island.

In 1998, Roatán suffered some damage from Hurricane Mitch, temporarily paralyzing most commercial activity. Native islanders claimed the storm broke three previously undisturbed Aguila shipwrecks.

 

Demographics

 

Caracoles

The Caracol people are an English-speaking people who have been established in Northern Honduras (specifically, the Bay Islands) since the early 19th century. They are chiefly of European and British-Afro-Caribbean descent. Caracol is Spanish for "conch, snail or shell", and relates the people of the Bay Islands to their unique environment and their sea-faring culture. In its current usage, the term caracol refers to all people born in the Bay Islands region, and their descendants. The region of the Bay Islands encompasses the three major islands of Roatan, Utila, and Guanaja, and the smaller islands or keys. These people are also called "Islanders," especially locally.

Over time the form of English spoken by the Caracol has changed. The language differs mostly in morphology but also in pronunciation and accent and, to a lesser extent, in syntax and vocabulary, from the English of the other British Caribbean colonies. They are similar enough to be mutually intelligible.

 

Environment

 

Roatan lies on the southern edge of the Mesoamerican Reef System, the second largest barrier reef in the world. Reef systems are very delicate and have experience massive damge and degredation worldwide. On Roatan, unchecked tourism development and an increased population are putting a strain on its natural resources. Deforestation, run-off, poorly managed waste treatment, and pollution are the main threats to the terrestrial and marine environments.

  

Roatan Marine Park

 

The Roatan Marine Park (RMP) is a grass roots, community-based, non-profit organization located on Roatan. The organization was formed in January 2005 when a group of concerned dive operators and local businesses united in an effort to protect Roatan’s fragile coral reefs. Initially, the RMP's goal was to run a patrol program within the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve (SBWEMR), to prevent over exploitation through unsustainable fishing practices. Over time, the organization expanded the scope of their environmental efforts through the addition of other programs to protect Roatan’s natural resources, including patrols and infrastructure, education, conservation and public awareness. With a rapidly developing island, the number of challenges the RMP face increases every day. They focus on engaging diverse community stakeholders to aid in developing solutions that can ensure long-term, sustainable management of our natural resources.

 

Sustainable and Responsible Tourism

 

Due to its location, Roatan is also a mecca for divers and snorkelers that come to enjoy the reef. Unfortunately, these people sometimes end up damaging the reef through their actions. Listed below are recommendations on how you can minimize your environmental footprint while visiting or living on Roatan. These are just simple guidelines which if followed could help preserve Roatan’s reefs for future generations.

Never touch or stand on the coral.

When you are in your hotel you can do a number of things to limit the impacts of your stay. When you leave your room, please turn off all lights, faucets, electrical items and air conditioners. To reduce water demand, please hang towels to dry so they can be re-used. In addition, please reuse your water bottles by refilling them from the 5-gallon water dispensers whenever possible.

When at the beach, please properly dispose of all your trash including cigarette butts. In addition, while swimming or snorkeling be very careful not to touch or stand on the reef. Always be aware of where your fins and hands are at all times. A second of carelessness can destroy a year of growth. Please remove any trash you might happen to find.

While shopping, please limit your purchase and use of disposable goods. Carry a reusable bag when shopping for groceries or souvenirs instead of using plastic bags. Refrain from purchasing souvenirs made from marine life. These include conch shells, dried sea horses, coral and sea fans, and jewelry made from marine organisms such as sea shells and turtle shells. These are often harvested illegally and in an unsustainable manner.

While dining, please refrain from eating marine species that are considered threatened or endangered.Endangered species include sea turtles and iguanas. The more common threatened species that appear on menus here include Shark, Queen Conch, Grouper, and many species of reef Snapper. Although lobster harvesting is regulated, many are collected illegally. If you do choose to order lobster, be sure that the restaurant can provide you with legal sized lobster tails that measure at least 5.5 inches/14cm in length. When possible, eat lionfish as it is the most sustainable seafood choice on the islands. A Sustainable Seafood Guide is now available for the Bay Islands.

Patronize responsible businesses that make an effort to help conserve Roatan. Responsible businesses are those that reduce their environmental footprint by recycling and refrain from using plastic bags, plastic bottles, and styrofoam; only serve sustainably sourced seafood; promote conservation by supporting local environmental organisations.

 

Source: Wikipedia