British Rule Over Hong Kong


Hong Kong left Chinese control and became part of the British Empire in 1843 as part of the Treaty of Nanking which ended the First Opium War between Britain and China. It stayed under British control for 156 years, and was finally turned back to China on June 30, 1997.


  • The British East India Company had a monopoly on selling the opium drug to China, but the Chinese government did not like that their citizens were becoming addicted to the drug and China was loosing silver and other money to the British. The Chinese Emperor issued a banned on opium and destroyed any opium that British merchants had. Queen Victoria sent British war ships to reopen the trade and gained Hong Kong as a port after winning the war.
  • Great Britain started the Opium Wars in order to force trade with China on turks that were good for Britain. While Britain could have attempted to keep Hong Kong longer they abided the treaties and returned the land back to China.
  • By defeating the Chinese Great Britain forced the Chinese to open up trade in the western powers and greatly expanded the influence the british navy had around the world. Gaining control of Hong Kong opened up a new trading port between China and Western countries including Britain and America.