Hong Kong as a territory is a small outcrop of China, part island and part mainland, south of Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton). The total land area of Hong Kong is approximately 1,104 sq. kilometres, of which around 10%, comprising Hong Kong Island itself, some of Kowloon and some outlying islands was ceded to the British Government in perpetuity under the Treaty of Nanking. The remaining land area, being the remainder of Kowloon, the New Territories and the other islands, was leased from the Chinese Government. For 150 years it was officially a British Crown Colony but in reality had independent government as far as day-to-day administration was concerned.
The leases expired on 1 July 1997 and it was agreed between the British and Chinese Governments that the ceded territory would be returned to China at the same time. From that date on the territory has been administrated by the people of Hong Kong themselves as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China.
In 2009, Hong Kong had a population of 7.03 million, generating GDP of some US$209.4 billion. The unemployment rate is 5.4%. Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used by the Government, legal, professional and business sectors.
Hong Kong enjoys a sub-tropical climate. Summer season is rather warm and humid from June to September, while in the winter, the temperature can drop to as low as around 10 degrees celsius.