British Hong Kong

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[T]he British colonial government turned Hong Kong into an economic miracle by doing nothing. ~ P. J. O'Rourke

British Hong Kong was a colony and dependent territory of the United Kingdom from 1841 to 1997, apart from a brief period under Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945. The colonial period began with the occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War. The island was ceded by Qing dynasty in the aftermath of the war in 1842 and established as a Crown colony in 1843. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when the UK obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898.


  • Hong Kong has no tariffs or other restraints on international trade. It has no government direction of economic activity, no minimum wage laws, no fixing of prices. The residents are free to buy from whom they want, sell to whom they want, to invest however they want, to hire whom they want, to work for whom they want.
  • Hong Kong, like Taiwan, has always been an example of what a free China might look like. As Chinese were starving and stumbling from one bloody five-year tragedy to the next during the latter half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was thriving under a system that can only be described as the anthesis of the mainland’s.

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