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Hong Kong

(special administrative region of China)


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Introduction

Background: Occupied by the UK in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year; various adjacent lands were added later in the 19th century. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.

Geography

Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Geographic coordinates: 22 15 N, 114 10 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area
  total: 1,092 sq km
  land: 1,042 sq km
  water: 50 sq km

Area - comparative: six times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries
  total: 30 km
  border countries: China 30 km

Coastline: 733 km

Maritime claims
  territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: tropical monsoon; cool and humid in winter, hot and rainy from spring through summer, warm and sunny in fall

Terrain: hilly to mountainous with steep slopes; lowlands in north

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
  highest point: Tai Mo Shan 958 m

Natural resources: outstanding deepwater harbor, feldspar

Land use
  arable land: 6%
  permanent crops: 1%
  permanent pastures: 1%
  forests and woodland: 20%
  other: 72% (1997 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1997 est.)

Natural hazards: occasional typhoons

Environment - current issues: air and water pollution from rapid urbanization

Geography - note: more than 200 islands

People

Population: 7,116,302 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 18% (male 676,756; female 602,434)
  15-64 years: 71% (male 2,520,473; female 2,563,355)
  65 years and over: 11% (male 342,942; female 410,342) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.35% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 11.29 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 5.93 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 79.54 years
  male: 76.85 years
  female: 82.41 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  noun: Chinese
  adjective: Chinese

Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, other 5%

Religions: eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Languages: Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
  total population: 92.2%
  male: 96%
  female: 88.2% (1996 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  conventional short form: Hong Kong
  local long form: Xianggang Tebie Xingzhengqu
  local short form: Xianggang
  abbreviation: HK

Data code: HK

Dependency status: special administrative region of China

Government type: NA

Administrative divisions: none (special administrative region of China)

Independence: none (special administrative region of China)

National holiday: National Day, 1-2 October; note - 1 July 1997 is celebrated as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day

Constitution: Basic Law approved in March 1990 by China's National People's Congress is Hong Kong's "mini-constitution"

Legal system: based on English common law

Suffrage: direct election 18 years of age; universal for permanent residents living in the territory of Hong Kong for the past seven years; indirect election limited to about 100,000 members of functional constituencies and an 800-member election committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies

Executive branch
  chief of state: President of China JIANG Zemin (since 27 March 1993)
  head of government: Chief Executive TUNG Chee-hwa (since 1 July 1997)
  cabinet: Executive Council consists of three ex-officio members and 10 appointed members; ex-officio members are: Chief Secretary Anson CHAN (since 29 November 1993), Financial Secretary Donald TSANG (since 7 March 1995), and Secretary of Justice Elsie LEUNG (since 1 July 1997)
  elections: NA

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; 30 indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 20 elected by popular vote, and 10 elected by an 800-member election committee; members serve four-year terms)
  elections: last held 25 May 1998 (early elections scheduled to be held in September 2000)
  election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 13, Liberal Party 9, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong 9, Hong Kong Progressive Alliance 5, Frontier Party 3, Citizens Party 1, independents 20

Judicial branch: The Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Political parties and leaders: Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee, chairman]; Citizens Party [Christine LOH Kung-wai, chairwoman]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong [Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, chairman]; Democratic Party [Martin LEE Chu-ming, chairman]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing, chairwoman]; Hong Kong Progressive Alliance [Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun, chairman] (Note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, Citizens Party, Democratic Party, Frontier Party; pro-Beijing - Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, Liberal Party)

Political pressure groups and leaders: Chinese General Chamber of Commerce (pro-China); Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; Confederation of Trade Unions (pro-democracy) [LEE Cheuk-yan, chairman]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions (pro-China) [LEE Chark-tim, president]; Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movement in China [Szeto WAH, chairman]; Hong Kong and Kowloon Trade Union Council (pro-Taiwan); Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union [CHEUNG Man-kwong, president]; Liberal Democratic Federation [HU Fa-kuang, chairman]

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, BIS, CCC, ESCAP (associate), ICFTU, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ISO (correspondent), WCL, WMO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US: none (special administrative region of China)

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Consul General Richard A. BOUCHER
  consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
  mailing address: PSC 464, Box 30, FPO AP 96522-0002
  telephone: [852] 2523-9011
  FAX: [852] 2845-1598

Flag description: red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center

Economy

Economy - overview: Hong Kong has a bustling free market economy highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Indeed, imports and exports, including reexports, each exceed GDP in dollar value. Even before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration on 1 July 1997 it had extensive trade and investment ties with China. Per capita GDP compares with the level in the four big countries of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% in 1989-97. The widespread Asian economic difficulties in 1998 hit this trade-dependent economy quite hard, with GDP down 5%. The economy is recovering, with growth of 1.8% in 1999 to be followed by projected growth of 3.7% in 2000.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $158.2 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 1.8% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $23,100 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 0.1%
  industry: 14.7%
  services: 85.2% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -4% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 3.36 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 31.9%, social services 9.9%, manufacturing 9.2%, financing, insurance, and real estate 13.1%, transport and communications 5.7%, construction 2.6%, other 27.6% (October 1998)

Unemployment rate: 6% (1999 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $23.1 billion
  expenditures: $25.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY98/99)

Industries: textiles, clothing, tourism, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks

Industrial production growth rate: -8.7% (1998 est.)

Electricity - production: 29.529 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 34.612 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 610 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 7.76 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: fresh vegetables; poultry

Exports: $169.98 billion (including reexports; f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: clothing, textiles, footwear, electrical appliances, watches and clocks, toys

Exports - partners: China 34%, US 23%, Japan 5%, Germany 4%, UK 4%, Singapore 2% (1998)

Imports: $174.4 billion (c.i.f., 1999)

Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, transport equipment, raw materials, semimanufactures, petroleum; a large share is reexported

Imports - partners: China 41%, Japan 13%, US 8%, Taiwan 7%, South Korea 5%, Singapore 4% (1998)

Debt - external: $48.1 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient: none

Currency: 1 Hong Kong dollar (HK$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Hong Kong dollars (HK$) per US$ - 7.7780 (January 2000), 7.7575 (1999), 7.7453 (1998), 7.7427 (1997), 7.730 (1996), 7.800 (1995); note - Hong Kong became a special administrative region of China on 1 July 1997; before then, linked to the US dollar at the rate of about 7.8 HK$ per 1 US$

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 3.708 million (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 2.4 million (July 1998)

Telephone system: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
  domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
  international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean); coaxial cable to Guangzhou, China; access to 5 international submarine cables providing connections to ASEAN member nations, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe

Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 13, shortwave 0 (1998)

Radios: 4.45 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 4 (plus two repeaters) (1997)

Televisions: 1.84 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 49 (1999)

Transportation

Railways
  total: 34 km
  standard gauge: 34 km 1.435-m gauge (all electrified) (1996 est.)

Highways
  total: 1,831 km
  paved: 1,831 km
  unpaved: 0 km (1997)

Ports and harbors: Hong Kong

Merchant marine
  total: 271 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,942,646 GRT/13,101,275 DWT
  ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 157, cargo 28, chemical tanker 5, combination bulk 2, container 53, liquified gas 5, multi-functional large load carrier 2, petroleum tanker 14, short-sea passenger 1, vehicle carrier 3 (1999 est.) (Note: a flag of convenience registry; includes ships from 13 countries among which are UK 16, South Africa 3, China 9, Japan 6, Bermuda 2, Germany 3, Canada 2, Cyprus 1, Belgium 1, and Norway 1 (1998 est.))

Airports: 3 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 3
  over 3,047 m: 2
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 2 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) including elements of the PLA Ground Forces, PLA Navy, and PLA Air Force; these forces are under the direct leadership of the Central Military Commission in Beijing and under administrative control of the adjacent Guangzhou Military Region

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 2,012,203 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 1,516,533 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually
  males: 46,485 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA; note - separate budget for Hong Kong not established by China

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Military - note: defense is the responsibility of China

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: a hub for Southeast Asian heroin trade; transshipment and money-laundering center; increasing indigenous amphetamine abuse

 

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