Hong Kong

This passage discusses the island of Hong Kong.

Lexile Level: 810L

Categories: History People & Places


Hong Kong is an island off the coast of southern China. It is one of Asia's most diverse cities. The name Hong Kong means "fragrant harbor" in Chinese. The British claimed the island in the late nineteenth century. They used it as a trade port for their colonies throughout Asia. After Mao Zedung won power in China, many of China's wealthiest businesspeople fled to Hong Kong. The British kept the taxes in their trade port low. Merchants from all over the world moved to Hong Kong to develop international businesses. More than six million people live and work on the island, which is only about twenty-square miles. In 1997, the British returned Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. The Chinese government has very different economic laws. But things have not changed much in the Fragrant Harbor. It remains one of the most popular trade ports in Asia. The busy airport handles as many as 45 million international travelers a year.


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