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Hong Kong[Country flag of Hong Kong]
[Country map of Hong Kong]

Introduction Hong Kong
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 imposed on 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 Hong Kong
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
regional border: 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: 5.05%
permanent crops: 1.01%
other: 93.94% (2001)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
occasional typhoons
Environment - current issues:
air and water pollution from rapid urbanization
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Marine Dumping (associate member)
Geography - note:
more than 200 islands
People Hong Kong
Population:
6,898,686 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.8% (male 498,771/female 454,252)
15-64 years: 73.5% (male 2,479,656/female 2,591,170)
65 years and over: 12.7% (male 404,308/female 470,529) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.4 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 39.6 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.65% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
7.23 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
5.98 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
5.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.97 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.16 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.5 years
male: 78.81 years
female: 84.41 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
0.91 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Chinese/Hong Konger
adjective: Chinese/Hong Kong
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: 93.5%
male: 96.9%
female: 89.6% (2002)
Government Hong Kong
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
Dependency status:
special administrative region of China
Government type:
limited democracy
Administrative divisions:
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), 1 October (1949); 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 200,000 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 HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Donald TSANG (since 24 June 2005)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of seven non-official members and 14 official members
elections: previous chief executive TUNG Chee-hwa was elected to second five-year term in March 2002 by 800-member election committee dominated by pro-Beijing forces, resignation accepted 12 March 2005; Donald TSANG acted as chief executive between 12 March 2005 and 25 May 2005; Henry TANG acted as chief executive between 25 May 2005 and 24 June 2005; last election 16 June 2005 to fill final two years of TUNG's term (next to be held in June 2007)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (60 seats; in 2004 30 seats indirectly elected by functional constituencies, 30 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 12 September 2004 (next to be held in September 2008)
election results: percent of vote by party - pro-democracy group 62%; seats by party - (pro-Beijing 34) DAB 12, Liberal Party 10, independents 11, FTU 1; (pro-democracy 25) independents 11, Democratic Party 9, CTU 2, ADPL 1, Frontier Party 1, NWSC 1; other 1
Judicial branch:
Court of Final Appeal in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders:
Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood or ADPL [Frederick FUNG Kin-kee, chairman]; Citizens Party [Alex CHAN Kai-chung]; Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong or DAB [MA Lik, chairman]; Democratic Party [LEE Wing-tat, chairman]; Frontier Party [Emily LAU Wai-hing, chairwoman]; Liberal Party [James TIEN Pei-chun, chairman]
note: political blocs include: pro-democracy - Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, 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 or CTU (pro-democracy) [LAU Chin-shek, president; LEE Cheuk-yan, general secretary]; Federation of Hong Kong Industries; Federation of Trade Unions or FTU (pro-China) [CHENG Yiu-tong, executive councilor]; 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]; Neighborhood and Workers' Service Center or NWSC (pro-democracy); The Alliance [Bernard CHAN, exco member]
International organization participation:
APEC, AsDB, BIS, ICC, ICFTU, IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), IOC, ISO (correspondent), UPU, WCL, WCO, WMO, WToO (associate), WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (special administrative region of China)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Consul General James B. CUNNINGHAM
consulate(s) general: 26 Garden Road, Hong Kong
mailing address: PSC 461, Box 1, FPO AP 96521-0006
telephone: [852] 2523-9011
FAX: [852] 2524-0860
Flag description:
red with a stylized, white, five-petal bauhinia flower in the center
Economy Hong Kong
Economy - overview:
Hong Kong has a free market, entrepot economy, highly dependent on international trade. Natural resources are limited, and food and raw materials must be imported. Gross imports and exports (i.e., including reexports to and from third countries) 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. Hong Kong has been further integrating its economy with China because China's growing openness to the world economy has made manufacturing in China much more cost effective. Hong Kong's reexport business to and from China is a major driver of growth. Per capita GDP is comparable to that of the four big economies of Western Europe. GDP growth averaged a strong 5% from 1989 to 1997, but Hong Kong suffered two recessions in the past six years because of the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the global downturn in 2001 and 2002. Although the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak also battered Hong Kong's economy, a boom in tourism from the mainland because of China's easing of travel restrictions, a return of consumer confidence, and a solid rise in exports resulted in the resumption of strong growth in late 2003 and in 2004.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$234.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.9% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $34,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 11.3%
services: 88.6% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
3.54 million (October 2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 7.5%, construction 2.9%, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants, and hotels 43.7%, financing, insurance, and real estate 19.2%, transport and communications 7.9%, community and social services 18.5%
note: above data exclude public sector (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
6.7% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-0.3% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
22.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $26.6 billion
expenditures: $31.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.9 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt:
2.1% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
fresh vegetables, poultry, fish, pork
Industries:
textiles, clothing, tourism, banking, shipping, electronics, plastics, toys, watches, clocks
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
35.51 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
38.45 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
3 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
10.4 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
257,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Natural gas - production:
NA
Natural gas - consumption:
680.9 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
680.9 million cu m (2001 est.)
Current account balance:
$14.85 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:
$268.1 billion f.o.b., including reexports (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
electrical machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches and clocks, toys, plastics, precious stones, printed material
Exports - partners:
China 44%, US 17%, Japan 5.3% (2004)
Imports:
$275.9 billion (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactures, consumer goods, capital goods, foodstuffs, fuel (most is re-exported)
Imports - partners:
China 43.5%, Japan 12.1%, Taiwan 7.3%, US 5.3%, Singapore 5.3%, South Korea 4.8% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$123.6 billion (31 December 2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$66.94 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
Currency code:
HKD
Exchange rates:
Hong Kong dollars per US dollar - 7.788 (2004), 7.7868 (2003), 7.7989 (2002), 7.7988 (2001), 7.7912 (2000)
Fiscal year:
1 April - 31 March
Communications Hong Kong
Telephones - main lines in use:
3,801,300 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
7,241,400 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern facilities provide excellent domestic and international services
domestic: microwave radio relay links and extensive fiber-optic network
international: country code - 852; 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 5, FM 9, shortwave 0 (2004)
Radios:
4.45 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (2004)
Televisions:
1.84 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.hk
Internet hosts:
591,993 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
17 (2000)
Internet users:
3,212,800 (2003)
Transportation Hong Kong
Highways:
total: 1,831 km
paved: 1,831 km
unpaved: 0 km (1999 est.)
Ports and harbors:
Hong Kong
Merchant marine:
total: 837 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 20,478,042 GRT/34,554,455 DWT
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 446, cargo 119, chemical tanker 44, combination ore/oil 2, container 105, liquefied gas 20, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 75, roll on/roll off 5, vehicle carrier 8
foreign-owned: 453 (Australia 1, Bahamas 1, Belgium 3, Canada 9, China 246, Denmark 3, France 5, Germany 13, Greece 19, India 1, Indonesia 1, Israel 1, Japan 51, Norway 16, Philippines 13, Singapore 17, South Korea 8, Taiwan 5, Thailand 4, UAE 1, United Kingdom 32, United States 3)
registered in other countries: 373 (2005)
Airports:
4 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Heliports:
2 (2004 est.)
Military Hong Kong
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; Hong Kong garrison of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) includes 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 service age and obligation:
18 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,743,972 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,403,088 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 40,343 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Hong Kong garrison is funded by China; figures are NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
NA
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of China
Transnational Issues Hong Kong
Disputes - international:
none
Illicit drugs:
makes strenuous law enforcement efforts, but faces difficult challenges in controlling transit of heroin and methamphetamine to regional and world markets; modern banking system provides conduit for money laundering; rising indigenous use of synthetic drugs, especially among young people

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


 

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