Hong Kong Geography, Population and Politics
Background: Occupied by Great Britain in 1841, according to Sportsqna, Hong Kong was formally ceded to her by China the following year; the adjacent territories were annexed later in the 19th century. According to the agreement between China and the United Kingdom of December 19, 1984, Hong Kong became a special administrative region of China from July 1, 1997. In this agreement, China, in accordance with the formula “one country, two systems”, promised that the Chinese socialist economic system would not be extended to Hong Kong, which will maintain a high degree of autonomy in all matters other than foreign affairs and defense for 50 years.
Location: East Asia, between the South China Sea and China.
Geographic coordinates: 22° 15′ N. latitude, 114° 10′ E
Reference map: Southeast Asia.
Area: total: 1,092 km2; land surface area: 1,042 km2; water surface area: 50 km2
Comparative area: six times the size of Washington DC.
Land borders: total: 30 km; with neighboring states: with China 30 km.
Coastline: 733 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical monsoon; cool and humid winter, hot and rainy in spring and summer, warm and sunny in autumn.
Relief: hilly or mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in the north.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Tai Mo Shan 958 m.
Natural resources: excellent deep water harbor, feldspar.
Land use: arable land: 6%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 1%; forests and plantations: 20%; others: 72% (1997 est.).
Irrigated land: 20 km2 (1997 est.).
Natural Hazards: Typhoons occur from time to time.
Current environmental issues: air and water pollution as a result of the rapid growth of the city.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Marine pollution (associate member), Pollution from ships (associate member).
Note to the section “Geography”: more than 200 islands.
Population: 7,210,505 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 17.73% (male 677,785; female 600,781); 15 to 64 years old: 71.52% (male 2,554,329; female 2,602,662); over 65: 10.75% (male 354,199; female 420,749) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.3% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 11.13 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6.02 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 7.9 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male/female; under 15: 1.13 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.98 male/female; over 65: 0.84 male/female; for the general population: 0.99 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 5.83 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 79.67 years; men: 76.97 years; women: 82.55 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.29 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.06% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 2,500 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Chinese; adjective: Chinese.
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, other 5%.
Believers: followers of an eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christians 10%.
Languages): Chinese (Cantonese), English (both have official status).
Literacy: Definition: Persons aged 15 and over who have ever attended school; for the general population: 92.2%; men: 96%; women: 88.2% (1996 est.).
Conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region;
conventional short form: Hong Kong; local long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingz-hengqu; local short form: Xianggang; abbreviation: NK. Dependency State: Special Administrative Region of China.
State structure: no data.
Administrative division: none (Special Administrative Region of China).
Independence: None (Special Administrative Region of China).
National holiday: National Day (anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China), October 1 (1949); note – July 1, 1997 marks the Establishment Day of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Constitution: The Basic Law, approved in March 1990 by the National People’s Congress, is the ‘mini-constitution’ of Hong Kong.
Legal system: based on English common law.
Suffrage: direct elections from the age of 18; universal suffrage for persons permanently resident in Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect elections for approximately 100,000 members of professional constituencies and an 800-member electoral committee made up of a variety of local groups, city organizations and central government officials.
chief of state: President of China JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993);
head of government: chief of staff TUNG Chee-hwa (since 1 July 1997);
Government: the executive council consists of 3 ex officio members and 10 appointed members; ex officio members: Chief Minister Anson CHAN (since November 29, 1993), Secretary of the Treasury Donald TSANG (since March 7, 1995), Attorney General Elsie LEUNG ( since July 1, 1997); elections: no data.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Council (LEGCO) (60 seats; 30 members elected through indirect elections in professional constituencies, 24 elected by popular vote, 6 by 800-member electoral committee; term of office – 4 years); elections: last held 10 September 2000 (next to be held in 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties: no data; Party seat distribution: Democratic Party 12, Hong Kong Democratic Development Alliance 10, Liberal Party 7, New Perspectives Party 5, Hong Kong Progressive Union 4, New Century Forum 2, Hong Kong Democracy and People’s Welfare Rally 1, Independents 19.
Judiciary: Supreme Court of Appeal for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Political parties and leaders: United for Democracy and Public Welfare (Frederick FUNG Kin-kee, Chairman); Party of Citizens (leader – no data); Democratic Union for the Development of Hong Kong (Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, Chairman); Democratic Party (Martin LEE Chu-ming, chairman); New Perspectives Party (Emily LAU Wai-hing, Chairman); Rally for Democracy and People’s Welfare Hong Kong (leader – no data); Hong Kong Progressive Union (Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen); Liberal Party (James TIEN Pei-chun, chairman); New Age Forum (NQ Ching-fai, Chairman); note: orientation of political forces: pro-democratic – United for Democracy and People’s Welfare, Citizens’ Party, Democratic Party, New Perspectives Party; pro-Beijing – Democratic Union for the Development of Hong Kong, Progressive Union of Hong Kong, Liberal Party, New Century Forum.
Political influence groups and their leaders: China General Chamber of Commerce (Pro-Thai); Chinese Industrial Association of Hong Kong; Trade Union Confederation (Pro-Democratic) (LAU Chin-shek, Chairman, LEE Cheuk-yan, General Secretary); Hong Kong Industrial Federation; Federation of Trade Unions (Pro-Chinese) (LEE Chark-tim, President); Hong Kong Patriotic Democratic Movement Support Union of China (Szeto WAH, chairman); Trade Union Council of Hong Kong and Kaulun (Pro-Taiwanese); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (CHEUNG Man-kwong, President); Liberal Democratic Federation (HU Fa-kuang, Chairman).
Participation in international organizations: ARES, AsDB, BIS, CCC, ESCAP (associate), ICC, ICFTU, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ISO (correspondent), WCL, WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the United States: none (Special Administrative Region of China).
US Mission: Head of Mission: Consul General Michael KLOSSON; consulates general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong; mailing address: PSC 464, Box 30, FPO AP 96522-0002; phone:  2523-9011; fax:  2845-1598.
Flag Description: Red with a stylized white flower with five petals in the center.
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