Situated at the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong is a vibrant city and a major gateway to China. This page will give you a brief overview of Hong Kong – from the form of government to the languages used.

Government

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Following British rule from 1842 to 1997, China assumed sovereignty under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy and enjoys executive, legislative and independent judicial power, including that of final adjudication.

Legal System

Under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’, Hong Kong’s legal framework is based on common law and the independence of the judiciary. The Hong Kong’s constitutional document, the Basic Law, ensures that the city retains its previous capitalist system and way of life for 50 years. The rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong are based on the impartial rule of law and an independent judiciary.

The Basic Law provides the constitutional framework for the legal system in Hong Kong.

Learn more about Hong Kong’s legal system here.

Economy

Hong Kong's economy is characterised by free trade, low taxation and minimum government intervention. It is the world's 9th largest trading economy, with the mainland of China as its most significant trading partner. Hong Kong is also a major service economy, with particularly strong links to mainland China and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

Population

Hong Kong’s population was approximately 7.15 million in 2012. People of Chinese descent comprise the vast majority of the population, with foreign nationals comprising 8%.