IntroductionHong Kong (hŏng kŏng) [key], Mandarin Xianggang, special administrative region of China, formerly a British crown colony (2005 est. pop. 6,899,000), land area 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km), adjacent to Guangdong prov., SE China, on the estuary of the Pearl River, 40 mi (64 km) E of Macao and 90 mi (145 km) SE of Guangzhou (Canton). The region comprises Hong Kong island, ceded by China in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanjing; Kowloon (Mandarin Jiulong ) peninsula, ceded (with Stonecutters Island) in 1860 under the Beijing Convention; and the New Territories, a mountainous mainland area adjoining Kowloon, which, with Deep Bay on the west and Mirs Bay on the east and some 235 offshore islands, was leased from China in 1898 for 99 years. China regained sovereignty over the colony on July 1, 1997. The capital, officially named Victoria but commonly called Hong Kong, is on the northwest shore of Hong Kong island.
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