May 22nd, 2014

Hong Kong – exotic

Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China with a population of 7 million 116 thousand people. This city has managed to demonstrate to the world of supernatural achievements in the field of finance and trade, while maintaining the original culture. It is called dynamic highly crossroads of Asia, where merged culture of the West and the East. This "Fragrant Harbour" – a mixture of Manhattan with China.

Hong Kong's unique charm created by the ancient traditions that thrive in an ultramodern city. Rooted it is closely linked with the past, which brings us back to a depth of six thousand years, during which its namesake island, which belonged to the Great Celestial Empire, a long time was a lonely, forested and shrub rock with a tiny fishing village. First Europeans off its coast in the XV century the Portuguese, who, under the slogan "Faith or Death!" Allowed themselves to capture any pagan ship, kill, plunder and pillage. It is for this reason that the Chinese are very long all Europeans perceived as barbarians and bandits and was referred to as "yang guytszy" – "monkfish". For trade with foreigners was allotted the Macau Peninsula (1557), which eventually turned into a piece of real Portugal.


Over 300 years of Macau remained the only place in China where Europeans lived. But by the beginning of the XIX century this situation ceased to satisfy many, and especially the UK. Such an empire could not afford to let it had no colonies in the very promising area, especially between China and Britain was somehow lopsided trade: a favorite for British tea Chinese took only silver and did not buy anything else, assuming that no more not need anything. And then the British have found a product that has sharply changed priorities. Contraband opium trade took enormous size, and silver flowed to the UK, which is extremely angered the Chinese emperor. By his order in 1839 in exchange for Christian hostages were collected and burned 20,000 boxes of opium. The rest was a matter of diplomats and military. Britain provoked first and then the second Opium War in 1842 and received first Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and later (Kowloon) and another 232 islets, located off the coast of the South China Sea.

That's how he wrote about these events in the novel "Tai-Pan" J. Clavell: "War with China over. Winning quick and almost bloodless … The main prize – that this very island. For ten years he lived for this day. And now he goes ashore to attend the official ceremony of taking possession and see with their own eyes how the Chinese island shines yet another jewel in the crown of Her Britannic Majesty Queen Victoria. Hong Kong Island was called. Thirty square miles of cliffs, rocky soil, separated from the mainland by the Strait barely a thousand yards. Inhospitable. Infertile. Uninhabited, except for a tiny fishing village in the southern part. Standing on the path itself ferocious hurricanes every year who break here from the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded on the east and west and miles of treacherous reefs. Does not bring any income mandarin, to whose province he belonged. But Hong Kong – it is also the greatest harbor in the world. "

Formally, the British got Hong Kong – "fragrant harbor" – rent for ninety-nine years old and after a specified period, in 1997, brought him honestly the Chinese People's Republic. Naturally, not in the form in which taken. China received an outpost of Western civilization, which, thanks to its unique location, the depth of the strait, where the court may enter any tonnage, became the most important port of Southeast Asia's richest city and one of the world's major financial centers. Under the agreement, Beijing for 50 years are not allowed to change operating in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (city returned to Chinese name) laws and monetary system. In fact, Hong Kong, which is often called the Laboratory of modern times, has retained its political, social and economic system, meaning for residents and tourists, "No change!"

Hong Kong is a relatively small area. The area of all islands is only 1000 m. km. The main industrial and business center is located on the outermost southern peninsula – Kowloon district. In contrast, on the opposite side of the harbor of Victoria, is the island of Hong Kong, which also contains the main administrative and business districts of the country. Urbanized areas are among the most populous in the world (6000 persons / sq km.). Occupying about 30% of the total area they cover 2/3 of the total population. The remaining 70% of land in the region occur in the countryside: there are a lot of greenery, the amazing beauty of the sandy beaches, lonely mountain peaks, dark rocks and clear lakes, where the traditionally quiet Chinese village that against the backdrop of mountain scenery provide a stark contrast to the eye, accustomed to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Kowloon. The main part of rural land in the county is New