Hong Kong – education
Primary school, where students begin as six-year-olds, lasts six years. The five-year superstructure course leads to the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE). Six years of compulsory schooling, introduced in 1971, was extended in 1978 to nine years. The majority of the schools are academically oriented with a strong emphasis on academic subjects, and only a small number are technical or vocational institutions. HKCEE at the advanced level, which can be passed after a further two years, provides access to the universities.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as HK which stands for Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has seven universities, all of which are public. The oldest is Hong Kong University, founded in 1911, where teaching takes place in English; a Chinese-language university was established in 1963, and at a third university of science and technology from 1991, most of the teaching is in English.
Hong Kong, Xianggang, (kin. ‘The fragrant port’), a so-called special administrative region of China, located on the south coast; 1104 km2, 7.2 mio. residents (2014). From 1842 to 1997, the area was a British Crown Colony.
Hong Kong has one of the world’s finest natural deep-water ports and is centrally located both in the East Asian growth region and as the gateway to South China. Traditionally, the territory has been a free trade area with low personal and corporate taxes and the least possible control of the business community by the authorities. Together with an efficient public administration and an enterprising population, it has made Hong Kong a global trading and financial center and one of Asia’s most dynamic areas.
Hong Kong Constitution
From 1997 onwards, the Supreme Political-Administrative Leader is elected by a Beijing Congregation of 800 Hong Kong citizens. The leader is elected for a four-year period, and is assisted by an administrative council, which he/she composes himself/herself. In 2002, the council was expanded to 19 members and it was changed to have more the character of an actual government. The Council is accountable to the political-administrative leader.
The Legislative Council has 60 members, of which 30 are elected by direct election in geographical constituencies, 30 in business-based interest groups. The election period is four years. Among other things, the council must approve government budgets and tax proposals and otherwise control the administration. All legislation must be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, which will assess its compliance with Hong Kong’s fundamental laws.
Hong Kong – social conditions
High economic growth has given Hong Kong a position as one of East Asia’s rich, newly industrialized areas. Especially since the 1970’s, a large middle class has emerged and the living conditions of the population as a whole have improved. However, China’s takeover of Hong Kong in 1997 and the Asian financial crisis of the same year helped to change the area’s social and economic conditions, partly with rising unemployment and a halving of property prices. The development is mainly due to the financial crisis and to a lesser extent China’s takeover of the Hong Kong area in the same year. Hong Kong is one of the most expensive areas in the world to live in, but with a very low tax level. Welfare expenditure is also generally expected to increase, as the family itself no longer functions as the crucial safety net for the individual.
Hong Kong – Mass Media
Hong Kong is the media center for large parts of East Asia with a wealth of Chinese and international publications. Among the most important of the approximately 20 Chinese dailies are Dongfang Ribao (Tungfang Jih Pao, Oriental Daily News), grdl. 1969, with a circulation of approximately 520,000 (2005) and the tabloid newspaper Pingguo Ribao (P’ingkuo Jih Pao, Apple Daily), grdl. 1995, whose circulation is approximately 343,000 (2005). The English-language press includes South China Morning Post, grdl. 1903, with a circulation of approximately 100,000, which has a reputation as East Asia’s best English-language newspaper. Hong Kong’s press has been called Asia’s freest, but in the early 1990’s self-censorship began to spread under the impression of the forthcoming alliance with China. The TV market is dominated by two large privately owned, commercial stations, Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Asia Television (ATV). In addition, there are the state Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and the Pan-Asian satellite channel STAR TV.
Hong Kong – film
Hong Kong has at times been among the world’s largest film-producing countries. The first film was shot in 1909, and in the 1930’s the film industry experienced an almost explosive development, not least due to the influx of fugitive directors from China.
The development continued in the 1950’s and 1960’s, which is considered the golden period of Hong Kong film with a production of up to 300 films a year. In the early 1970’s, Kung-fu films formed the major part of Hong Kong’s film exports thanks to Bruce Lee’s international breakthrough and later Jackie Chans (b. 1954) clown heroic roles.
The 1980’s were historically the most significant years in Hong Kong with a new wave of directors such as Tsui Hark (b. 1951) and John Woo, as well as Ann Hui (b. 1947) and Allen Fong (b. 1947), who together changed the Hong Kong film status from pure entertainment to serious film art.
Due to the Chinese takeover in 1997, actors and directors with anti-communist sympathies have emigrated to the United States, Canada and Australia, but internationally renowned director Wong Kar-wai still holds the flag high on the domestic film scene. with its dreamy art films, while the tradition of leading action films is maintained by Stephen Chow (b. 1962).