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Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Summary

Officially a special administrative region of China since 1997, Hong Kong runs essentially as an independent state with close ties to mainland China. Although it is one of the richest countries in Asia, Hong Kong also has high wealth discrepancies with one-fifth of the population living in poverty.1 Their market economy has grown to one of the most important trade and investment areas in the world, and their stock exchange boomed in the early 2000s.2 However, the small territory faces challenges such as the the push for total democratization and crippling air pollution.2 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hk.html
2 https://www.britannica.com/place/Hong-Kong#toc11621

Explore Hong Kong Subcases

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Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

Because of rapid industrialization and its proximity to China, Hong Kong has dangerously high levels of air pollution.1 Focused on their growing business sector, Hong Kong is trailing other developed nations on implementing policies to clean the environment and protect against future damages.2

Family

Families in Hong Kong are generally small, with an average of 1.2 children being born into every family.1 Traditionally, families lived in houses with many extended family members, but this is becoming more rare as the country develops.1

Human Rights

Although laws protect freedom of press and speech, there have been limits on these in recent years regarding open criticism of the Chinese government.1 Rule of law is very strong in Hong Kong, and there are few reports of unfair trials or unfair treatment of prisoners.1 Women are protected from discrimination and abuse by law, but there still is a lack of female representation in government.1

Education

Education is compulsory through the junior secondary level.1 There are two main universities in Hong Kong, along with numerous private institutions and vocational colleges. Despite these facilities, most students travel overseas to obtain degrees.2

Poverty

It is estimated that over 19% of the population lives below the poverty line.1 In 2017, government officials said that this high number could be blamed on the high cost of housing, and that the solution is to provide more public houses for rent.2 People over the age of 65 are the most likely to be impoverished.2

Religion

10% of the population identifies as Christian while the remaining 90% either do not profess a religion or practice local traditions. Religious freedom is protected by law.1

Clean Water

About 75% of Hong Kong’s drinking water is imported from mainland China.1 All of its water supply is cleaned at one of the state’s 21 filtration sites, and because of this, Hong Kong claims to have one of the cleanest tap water systems in the world.1

Economy

Hong Kong has a free market economy that is completely separate from mainland China’s.1 Due to its limited natural resources, it relies almost entirely on imports for food, raw materials, and fuel.1 The economy is mostly based on international trade, finance, and re-exports, which makes its success dependent on foreign markets.1 With most of its manufacturing moving to the mainland in recent years, Hong Kong is growing increasingly dependent on its services industry.2 The unemployment rate is around 3%.1

Government

Hong Kong, while not officially an independent country, has its own government that is relatively autonomous from China. It does, however, rely on China for all matters having to do with defense and foreign relations.1 Hong Kong’s Legislative Council is elected through a semi democratic process. Despite being regarded as having low levels of corruption, business is closely intertwined with government, and bribes are not uncommon.2

Health

There are high amounts of health services and preventative drugs available, so the life expectancy is 83 years.1 Because many women from mainland China came to Hong Kong to give birth to bypass the one-child policy, Hong Kong now restricts foreigners from giving birth in their hospitals.2 With its developed health system, communicable disease prevalence has gone down, and most deaths are caused by cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases.3 The low air quality is producing health problems, particularly for children and the elderly. The lack of clean air is to blame for at least 1,600 deaths every year.4

Children

Young people in Hong Kong rank amongst the most unhappy in the world, and 60% of them say they wish to emigrate. This is largely due to a youth unemployment rate of 9% and their frustration with the current political outlook for an independent and affordable state.1 Almost half of youth are considered depressed, and many experience levels of stress that could cause long term mental damage.2

Animals

Hong Kong is home to many bird species, and the largest mammals are foxes and leopards.1 There are over 230 species of butterflies.2

Hong Kong

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