special administrative region China on SE coast E of mouth of Zhu River including Hong Kong Island, Jiulong Peninsula & New Territories, & nearby islands; formerly a British crown colony with Victoria as ∗area 424 square miles (1098 square kilometers), pop 6,708,389
/div>Special administrative region of China. Area: 426 sq mi (1,104 sq km). Population: (2009 est.) 7,038,000. Located on China's southern coast, it consists of the island of Hong Kong and adjacent islets in the South China Sea (ceded by China to the British in 1842), the Kowloon Peninsula (ceded in 1860), and the New Territories (leased by the British from China from 1898 to 1997). The entire territory was returned to China in 1997. The New Territories, lying north of the Kowloon Peninsula and constituting an enclave in China's Guangdong province, are more than nine-tenths of the total area. The administrative centre of Victoria on Hong Kong island's northwestern coast is also the centre of economic activities. Hong Kong has an excellent natural harbour and is one of the world's major trade and financial centres. It has many educational institutions, including the University of Hong Kong (1911).