The story began in 1842 with founding of the crown colony after the first anglo chinese war the original opium war as premier power in europe and an expansionist empire britain first created in hong kong a major naval station and the principal base to open the celestial chinese empire to trade. This history of hong kong from its occupation by the british in 1841 to its return to chinese sovereignty in 1997 includes the foundation of modern hong kong its developments as an imperial outpost its transformation into the pearl of the british empire and of the orient and the events leading to the end of british rule based on extensive research in british and chinese sources . This history of hong kong from its occupation by the british in 1841 to its return to chinese sovereignty in 1997 includes the foundation of modern hong kong its developments as an imperial. It consists of hong kong island originally ceded by china to great britain in 1842 the southern part of the kowloon peninsula and stonecutters ngong shuen island now joined to the mainland ceded in 1860 and the new territories which include the mainland area lying largely to the north together with 230 large and small offshore islands all of which were leased from china for 99 years from 1898 to 1997
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