Introducing Hong Kong
About Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was formally established on 1 July 1997.
Under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle as enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini constitution, the Hong Kong SAR enjoys a high degree of autonomy. It is responsible for its own domestic affairs, including, but not limited to, the judiciary and court of final adjudication, immigration and customs, public finance, currencies, extradition, and external commercial relations. Diplomatic relations and national defense are, however, the responsibilities of the Central People’s Government in Beijing.
Hong Kong retains the British Common Law tradition. It maintains its own currency, the Hong Kong dollar, and its cherished civil liberties, such as freedom of the press and freedom of religion. Its official languages are Chinese and English.
As a separate economic entity, the Hong Kong SAR is an active and separate member of the World Trade Organization and APEC. It maintains three Economic and Trade Offices (ETOs) in the U.S., namely in Washington D.C.; New York and San Francisco. The ETOs are responsible for strengthening Hong Kong’s economic, trade, investment, and cultural ties with its trading partners.
The Basic Law
The Basic Law is the constitutional document of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the blueprint for its future development.
From 1 July 1997, Hong Kong has become a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China enjoying a high degree of autonomy. Specific provisions have been laid down in the Basic Law on the changes brought about by this new status and on the implementation of the concept of “One Country, Two Systems.”