Sun Yat-sen leads an anti-Manchu movement that
aims to topples the Dowager Empress' Ching
Dynasty. Japan triumphs in the Russo-Japanese
an exodus of 60,000 Chinese fearing an attack on
the colony after the World War I, Hong Kong's
population begins its evermore claustrophobic
climb - from 530,000 in 1916, 725,000 in 1925 and
1.6 million by 1941.
Kong experiences its first seamen's strike.
China, meanwhile, had already coped with its
first general strike two years earlier when
Manchurian Railway workers quit their jobs. Like
the strikes in China, Hong Kong's are directed
against foreigners and inequitable treaties.
Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang troops escalate
their Nationalist campaign to rid the country of
Communists. The Chinese Civil War divides the
Tse-tung establishes his first guerilla base. The
Japanese occupy Manchuria in 1931 and the
following year the Communists declare war on
gains control of the Communist Party and the
following year Chiang Kai-shek is kidnapped
during what becomes known as the Sian Incident.
Sino-Japanese War erupts, so Kuomintang and
Communist armies "unite" temporarily to
flight a common foreign enemy.
December 8, the Japanese Imperial Fleet attacks
Pearl Harbour and commits American to an other
War.As Hong Kong Europeans are herded into
Stanley Fort, Japan recognise Portugal's
neutrality and tiny Macau become the only
"neutral pocket" in China. Macau
becomes a refugee for escapees who successfully
run through Japan's military gauntlet.
August 6, an American atom bomb drops on
Hiroshima. Sir Cecil Harcourt steams into
"Fragrant Harbour" at the head of the
British fleet to re-establish Her Majesty
presence in the war-ravaged British Crown Colony
of Hong Kong.
Bretton Woods Arrangement is signed, thereby
forbidding the importation of gold for private
purposes. Britian signs,Portugal does not.Thus
Macau-to Hong Kong gold smuggling operation which
lasts until 1974 when Hong Kong abolishes a law
which requires special licenses to import gold.
Tiny Macau becomes one of the world's greatest
importers of gold. China's civil war rages on.
Kong's first skyjacking took place on July 16 as
a Macau Airways catalina flying boat en route to
Macau from the colony is taken. The pilot was
shot and the plane crashed, killing all but one
of the 27 passengers and crew.
Kuomintang forces flee to Taiwan. Communist
Chinese troops stops at the British border and a
heavy Red Bamboo Curtain seals off the Middle
Kingdom. While China's civil war was being
fought, Hong Kong's refugee population swelled.
riots break out in Kowloon when government
refuses the entry of a Canton mission. In Macau,
waves of immigrants threaten to swamp the tiny
territory. Macau signs an agreement with
China pledging co-opeartion with the Communist
Christmas Day, Hong Kong's Shek Kip Mei squatter
area burst into flames leaving 53,000 homeless.
After the debris is cleared on Boxing Day, Hong
Kong begins an emergency housing programme.
Bien Phu falls and the French lose Vietnam. A
conference in Geneva is called to guarantee
Indochina's neutrality and John Foster Dulles,
the American Secretary of State, snubs Chinese
Prime Minister Chou En-lai by refusing to shake
in a show of force, blocks Macau's plan for a
400th birthday celebration, in a genuflection to
diplomacy China later fees American
prisoners-of-war captured during the Korean War.
wave of immigrants hits the colony. Hong Kong
gets cable television in time to catch some of
this year's political and military action.
wave of immigrants crosses the border, but they
are shunted back as Chinese border troops herd
them towards Hong Kong while colonial forces try
desperately to keep them out. The deluge stops as
quickly as it began -when Mao orders it a stop.
gambling begin at Macau, turning this somnolent
territory into a "Las Vegas of the
East". Hong Kong makes history by being the
only city in the world in which Britain famed
mopheads-the Beatles - lose money.
war escalates in Vietnam with first US air
strikes against North Vietnam.Hong Kong braces
for an American invasion. Us Navy vessels become
as familiar in the harbour as do servicemen from
the US armed service in the bars and
nightclubs of Wanchai and across the harbour in
flares up again. Mao start his great proletarian
"cultural revolution" to regain control
of the country.The chaos in China spills over
into Macau as Red guards plaster the tiny
Portuguese territory with posters. Portuguese
troops fire on rampaging Red guards. Macau's
governor, Brigadier Nobre de Carvalho, negotiates
from the position of weakness because Portugal
cannot come to aid and Macau tiny police force
and garrison is helpless.
de Carvalho suggest that the Portuguese leave
Macau. Peking pulls back its Red Guards. The
Portuguese make a public apology for the Red
Guards killing and pay China HK$2 million in
compensation. Meanwhile the Britain Embassy in
Peking is sacked and Red Guards take to Hong Kong
street. Hong Kong's first vehicle tunnel, the
Lion Rock Tunnel, opens as a symbol of the
government's regard for the future.
Hong Kong government stages first Festival of
Hong Kong to thank "residents" who have
tolerated the past few year of the cultural
revolution across the border with nervous
patience, aware of the potential danger to the
Paul IV visits Hong Kong, the first Roman pontiff
to do so. A "Jumbo Jet" arrives for the
first time at Kai Tak Airport.
Murray MacLehose becomes the first Hong Kong
governor to be appointed from the British
diplomatic corps. This is a signal to China that
Britain is concerned about Hong Kong's future.
Shortly after MacLehose's arrival, a new Jumbo
Floating Restaurant at Aberdeen catches fire.
Hong Kong the cross-harbour tunnel opens and
motorists bid farewell to the colony's time
consuming, but pleasant, cross-harbour vehicular
ferry cruises. The cruise liner Queen Elizabeth
to be converted into a Seawise Floating Unversity
mysteriously catches fire and rolls over in Hong
first of the "spiralling: OPEC oil
price rises hits Hong Kong. Hong Kong's stock
market collapses. The colony's first "new
town" Tuen Mun, is opened in New
Territories. During this shocking year, Hong
Kong's rampant police corruption becomes common
Kong sets up an Independent Commission Against
Corruption (ICAC) with a wide mandate to stamp
out corruption. The revolution in Portugal,
Macau's governor, Brigadier Nobre de Carvalho, is
called back to Lisbon and ordered to resign from
the Portuguese army. Lt. Col. Gracia Leandro,
replace him. Since China refuses to take back
Macau, the colony's status was changed to a
"Chinese territory under Portuguese
Administration." The Macau-Taipa bridge is
Majestic Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. the
Duke of Edinburgh arrive for a visit.
a mass demonstration by off-duty policemen on
Queensway in Central, the Governor orders an
amnesty for all crimes of corruption committed
before 1 January 1977. The ICAC drive against
corruption became one of the world's most
effective. China begins " a new era"
under Deng Xianping and Hua Guofeng, the
"new" Celestial Kingdom's Vice-Chairman
and chairman respectively.
hit Macau that Portugal is trying to give the
colony away, but the Chinese will not take it
back. London continually pressures the Hong Kong
government for more social services, but the
colony's conversatives resist. Fears grow that
Whitehall, under a Labour government, will turn
the ultra-capitalistic colony into a welfare
and Lisbon exchange diplomatic niceties and Col
Gracia Leandro, Macau governor, visits Macau's
old landlord, China. As a sign of improved
relations, China approves in principal Hong Kong
Macau helicopter service. The gigantic High
Island Reservoir opens and helps solve water
Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MRT) opens. In
Kowloon, Sung Dynasty Village opens, offering
visitors an easy journey into ancient Chinese
October , Hong Kong ends its "touch
Base" immigration policy which previously
allowed Chinese refugees to remain in the colony
if they reached an urban area safely. Such
immigrants will no longer be home free here.
Housing Department admits that more than 1.2
million people in 250,000 households- 20% of the
population still live in "unsatisfactory
of British Prime Minister Mrs Margaret Thatcher,
to Peking and Hong Kong talk about the Hong Kong
's future ( the 99 year lease on the New
Territories, nine-tenths of the Colony, expires
market continues to fall, pulling with it a
number of deposit-taking.In July, the Chinese tip
their plan for Hong Kong to group of unversity
students: Hong Kong will become a Special
Administrative Region, will keep its own
capitalistic system, judiciary and police, but
the future head will be a Kong Hong China.
26 September, the British Ambassador to China and
the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister initial A Draft
Arrangement on the Future Hong Kong, ending two
years of often acrimonious negotiations between
the two countries on Hong Kong's fate.
and China ratify the Sino-British Joint
Declaration initialled the previous year and
subsequently register it as an international
treaty as the United Nations.Beijing proceeds to
appoint a Basic Law Drafting Committee (BLDC) of
59 members, 23 from Hong Kong. Its job is to
write the mini-constitution for the Special
Administrative Region created by the Declaration.
The Academy for Performing Acts opens and Tolo
Highway project in the New Territories is
sees the opening of the Unified Stock Exchange of
Hong Kong, enabling disparate exchanges under one
rule. The Hong Kong index also created,
while the Hong Kong Commodities Exchange
introduced Hang Seng Index Future Contract. The
Joint Liaison Group created under the
Sino-British Joint Declaration meets Hong Kong,
London, and Beijing. This is the territory's
first step in severing its ties with Britain
while simultaneously creating different ones with
China. Queen Elizabeth and her husband the Duke
of Edinburgh visit Hong Kong for the second time
David Wilson, former political advisor to the
Hong Kong government, is sworn in as governor and
steps into the middle of the Green Paper debate
on representative government, as focused in the
1988 Legislative Council elections.
The British National (Overseas) passport is
issued by the Hong Kong government, a document
meant to replace the British Dependent
territories passport which valid beyond July 1,
1997. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong economy booms,
recording a 13.6% gain in GDP. On Black Monday,
October 19, Hong Kong's stock market, alone among
the world's financial centres, close for four
days.The Hong Kong government puts on HK$4
billion to rescue the Hong Kong Futures
Exchange.In December, a Sino-Portuguese Agreement
initialled in April is signed. The handover of
Macau, the first Western enclave on the China
coast and the only one ceded, not taken by force,
is December 20, 1999.
Hong Kong government announces it will liberalize
the conditions of Vietnamese refugees in closed
camps who arrived before June 16. The Vietnamese
issue should be settled by the handover in 1997.
AWhite Paper on representative government is
published, postponing direct elections to the
Legislative Council in 1988.
A draft of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's future
constitution when it becomes a Special
Administrative Region of China in 1997, is
published in April to evoking widespread
criticism. For the first time in Hong Kong's
history, the Basic Law Committee members meet the
press and public in television.
pro-democracy movement in China excites Hong
Kong. On the democracy, the government walks a
thin line between the previous promises and China
displeasure at free elections for Legislative
Council. Hong Kong and China government decide
that members elected to the Legislative Council
in 1995 will be serve through 1997 to 1999. In
October the government's intention to draw up a
Bill of Rights which China objects and threatens
to ignore the law after the 1997 handover.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese refugees still plague the
Colony, the largest concentration of Vietnamese
boat people in the world. Following the adverse
international publicity, Britain and Hong Kong
call off mandatory repatriation. The second
harbour road tunnel, the Eastern Harbour Crossing
opens.The Prince and Princess of Wales visit Hong
Kong in November to open the Hong Kong Convention
and Exhibition Centre.
massive Port and Airport Deveploment Strategy
begins to hang heavily on Hong Kong. In April,
the Basic Law, Hong Kong's post 1997
constitution, is promulgated giving the China's
National People's Congress final say over Hong
Kong affairs. In December, Hong Kong gains its
own shipping registry but the Hong Kong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation, moves its
headquarter to Britian.After the collapse of
cable TV license talks, a 12-year satellite TV
license is awarded to Hutch-Vision to beam Star
TV throughout Asia.
February 1st, Hong Kong gets a third English
language daily. The Eastern Express begins
publishing and starts a battle for coverage. In
April, Jones Lang Wootton rates Hong Kong as the
most expensive place in the world to rent an
office.On April 7, Hong Kong security forces
enter a Vietnamese refugee camp with the aim of
curbing protests. The Bank of China as China's
state bank becomes a third note issuer in Hong
Kong along with Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank and
Standard Chartered. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's
currency has been getting a new looks. On June
22, women in the New Territories received the
right to inherit land after the Legislative
Council (Legco) passes a bill to this effects.
||The 99 year leased on Hong Kong to
the British Crown Colony expires. Hong Kong
returned to its motherland, China.