• China cedes Hong Kong island to the British following the First Opium War.

  • China leases Hong Kong and other territories to Britain for 99 years.

  • Japan's occupation of Hong Kong and food shortages drive many residents to flee to Mainland China. Hong Kong's 1941 population of 1.6 million shrinks to 650,000 by the end of World War II.

  • Hong Kong experiences an economic revival fueled by light industries such as textiles.
  • Hong Kong's technology based economy thrives, making Hong Kong one of the South East Asia's economic powerhouses. 

  • Britain and China sign a joint declaration that states that Hong Kong will be reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, but will retain its capitalist economic system and partially democratic political system for 50 years following the handover.

  • Hong Kong is handed back to Chinese authorities after more than 150 years of British control.

  • Hong Kong and Chinese mainland sign the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), eliminating tariffs for Hong Kong's major export products to China and providing easier access to the mainland market.

Sources:

BBC News open_in_new
Britannica open_in_new