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China's rocky relationship with Hong Kong: 10 key moments

A Hong Kong election committee Sunday chose Beijing loyalist Leung Chun-ying to lead the territory amid protests by pro-democracy activists. Fifteen years after Hong Kong’s independence from Britain, a University of Hong Kong survey conducted in December found that a growing number of residents view themselves as Hong Kongers, rather than Chinese. Here are 10 key dates in Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland. 

By , Contributor

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Hong Kong becomes a British Colony - 1842

The First Opium War between Britain and China’s Qing dynasty ended with the Treaty of Nanking, giving control of Hong Kong to the British to China's chagrin.

Chinese leaders had little choice but to sign the treaty’s 13 articles, or risk devastation at the hands of circling British warships. The agreement included an indemnity compensating for confiscated opium, unpaid merchant debts, and other various costs of the war.

The Chinese also agreed to cede Hong Kong, a small island and former fishing village of several thousand residents, to the British crown in part to provide the Queen’s traders with safe harbor and the authority to trade freely at five “treaty ports.” The Nanking treaty required no real stipulations from the British, aside from the withdrawal of its troops to be completed following the full reparations payment. 

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