Daniel Halliday
Dec 2 · Last update 8 days ago.
How did Hong Kong become part of the British Empire?
Today Hong Kong has the largest number of skyscrapers in the world, has the 7th longest life expectancy in the world and is ranked 7th most developed on the UN Human Development Index. But how did this special administrative region of China become part of the British Empire in the 19th century and what effect did this have on modern Hong Kong?
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The First Opium War
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The First Opium War

The 18th century saw a boom in Chinese commodities across Europe leading to a trade deficit as interest in European manufactured goods was scant in China. The British East India Company answered this trade deficit by selling large quantities of Indian Opium in Canton. When China tried to exercise its civil right to stop a growing drug crisis, Britain lead China to the First Opium War and started the pattern of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ that lead to Britain’s aggressive imperialistic rampage around the world.