Hong Kong has put up with a lot in its past. First the British took Hong Kong from China. They signed a 99 year contract that meant that Hong Kong went back to China after 99 years. Then the Japanese bombed Hong Kong and took it over. The Japanese gave Hong Kong back to the British. Last but not least Hong Kong went back to China.
Here is how the British took over Hong Kong. China was selling tea to Britain. The British were not selling goods to China so the British thought that all of the wealth of Britain was going to China. The British started trading China opium for tea in about 1650. The British got the opium from India then sold it to China. They showed China how to smoke opium.
More and more people started smoking it then the whole country was smoking it. That made their health bad and got them addicted to it. The emperor tried to stop the British from selling them opium but they would not stop.
Opium is dried opium poppy. It is reddish brown, heavy scented and a drug that is now illegal. These days opium is normally made into heroin, which is smaller and easier to smuggle. Centuries ago opium was used in a healthy way for medicine in China but then the British came along and showed them how to smoke it. Opium this way is bad for you. After seeing what it did to his people the emperor of China made it illegal to smoke opium.
They kept on selling them opium because they did not want to lose business with China. England declared war against China in 1839. The Opium War started in 1839 and ended in 1842. The whole Opium War was the Chinese trying to get the British to stop selling them opium. The British only offered to stop selling them opium if they give them Hong Kong. That ended in 1842 when the treaty of Nanking was signed. The treaty of Nanking was a treaty that said that Britain owns Hong Kong now but Britain is not allowed to sell any more opium. In June 1842 the British captured Hong Kong. : O
The people of China made a deal with the British in 1898 that said that the Britain's are only allowed to be in control of the New Territories for 99 years. They made this deal because they needed more space.
In May 1941 after 43 years of living life under British rule World War II is happening and the Japanese took over Hong Kong!!! The Japanese left a note. They left it by dropping it from an airplane. At the top of the note it said, "STOP RESISTANCE." Then it had a bomb landing on people with the Japanese flag on the bomb. On the 8th of December 1941 the Japanese bombed Hong Kong. The suddenness of the bombs left Hong Kong not prepared. Having control of the air the Japanese controlled Hong Kong. On the 18th of December Japanese troops landed and took over Hong Kong. On Christmas day (the 25th) 1941, the British general surrendered to the Japanese. The occupation of the Japanese (1941-1945) caused suffering on the people of Hong Kong. There were food shortages and there were a lot of diseases going around that could not be cured.
The United States of America dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The bombs ended World War II. On the 1st of September 1945 the British took Hong Kong back from the Japanese. The day that the Japanese surrendered was the same day as World War II ended.
On the 30th of June 1997 Hong Kong and the New Territories became part of China again. Hong Kong still stayed Hong Kong but the Chinese were ruling it now. Hong Kong returned to China because the UK rented Hong Kong for 99 years. The contract expired in 1997 and it was 1997. Now Hong Kong is Chinese and a really beautiful city.
Hong Kong History Museum