Hong Kong was established as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China on 1 July 1997. Under Hong Kong's constitutional document the Basic Law, the existing economic, legal and social systems will be maintained for at least 50 years after 1997.
Situated at the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong is ideally positioned at the centre of East Asia, one of the world's most dynamic regions. With a total area of 1,104 square kilometres, it covers Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, including 262 outlying islands. Hong Kong Island lies just south of Kowloon, separated by Victoria Harbour; the New Territories lie north of Kowloon and run up to the border with Mainland China. A map of Hong Kong can be found here.
Hong Kong's population was 7,241,700 million in mid-2014. The population density in mid-2013 was 6,650 people per square kilometre. 95% of the population is of Chinese descent. The foreign population comprises many nationalities, with the largest numbers from the Philippines, Indonesia and India.
Chinese and English are the official languages. The majority of the population speaks Cantonese. English is widely used in the Government, the legal system and by the professional and business sectors.
Free Trade and Free Market
Hong Kong advocates and practises free trade - a free and liberal investment regime, the absence of trade barriers, no discrimination against overseas investors, freedom of capital movement, well established rule of law, transparent regulations, and low and predictable taxation.
Rule of Law
Hong Kong's well established and trusted legal system is based on the common law. The rights and freedoms of Hong Kong people and those living there are founded upon the impartial rule of law, an independent judiciary, a comprehensive system of legal aid, and a free and active press.
Law and Order
Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world. The overall crime rate (the number of crimes per 100,000 population) was 936 in 2014, with a detection rate of 43.4%. The violent crime rate was 153, with a detection rate of 61.9%.