Hong Kong's history has been one of material and social improvement: the expansion of cities and towns by cutting into hillsides; reclaiming land from the sea; and the building of homes, schools, hospitals and other public facilities to meet the demands of the growing population.

HONG KONG became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China on July 1, 1997. The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed between China and Britain on December 19, 1984, provides that Hong Kong's lifestyle will remain unchanged for 50 years after 1997. Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs, and China's socialist system and policies will not be practised in the SAR.

    In recent years, Hong Kong's relationship with the Mainland has strengthened not only in terms of business ties but also in the extent of government contacts and the flow of people. This close relationship is the product of culture, location and history.