Hong Kong, an area of 410 square miles on the south coast of China became part of the British Empire as a result of the Treaty of Nanking (1842). On the 1st July, 1898, Hong Kong was leased to Britain for a period of 99 years.
British forces recaptured Hong Kong on 30th August 1945. During the Chinese Civil War a large number of refugees entered Hong Kong and the population of the colony increased from one to four and half million between 1946 and 1949.
Hong Kong became an increasingly prosperous centre for the manufacturing production of domestic and electrical goods, international commerce and banking.
In 1984 the British government agreed, in return for guarantees about civil and economic freedoms, to hand back all of Hong Kong to China in 1997.