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Hong Kong

Hong Kong, a little fishing village where Chinese emperors would send their punished officials, was first inhabited by the Hakka people. The four big clans were the Liu, Man, Pang, and Tang. Each clan, and its numerous branches, took up residence in what is today considered the New Territories. With scant natural resources and hilly terrain, the indigenous peasants and fishermen survived on the island's few and precious assets until European visitors set foot on the territory and changed its history.

The area's earliest recorded European visitor was [Jorge Álvares] , a Portuguese explorer who arrived in 1513. In 1839 the refusal by [Qing Dynasty] authorities to import opium resulted in the [First Opium War] between China and Britain. Hong Kong Island became occupied by British forces in 1841, and was formally ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Nanking at the end of the war. The British established a [crown colony] with the founding of [Victoria City] the following year. In 1860, after China's defeat in the [Second Opium War] , the [Kowloon Peninsula] and [Stonecutter's Island] were ceded to Britain under the [Convention of Peking] . In 1898, under the terms of the [Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory] , Britain obtained a 99-year lease of [Lantau Island] and the adjacent northern lands, which became known as the [New Territories] . Hong Kong's territory has remained unchanged to the present.

20th century onwards
During the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was a [free port] , serving as an [entrepôt] of the [British Empire] . The British introduced an education system based on their own model, while the local Chinese population had little contact with the European community of wealthy [tai-pan] s settled near [Victoria Peak] .

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