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New Territories

From Academic Kids

The New Territories (Chinese: 新界 Xin1jie4) is the area of land in Hong Kong, north of the Kowloon peninsula, south of Shenzhen He / Shum Chun River (深圳河) and Hong Kong's outlying islands (including Lantau Island, Lamma Island, Cheung Chau, and Peng Chau), leased from Qing China to Britain in 1898 for 99 years, by Second Convention of Peking (展拓香港界址專條, The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory). Population (2000): 3,336,200.

The lease comprised of all the land and adjacent islands between Boundary Street in Kowloon (to the south) and the Shum Chun River (to the north). Not included in the lease were the part of Kowloon south of Boundary Street, and Hong Kong Island; both were already ceded to Britain. The lease was made as a result of France's colonisation of Bay of Canton (Kwang-Chou-Wan).

In modern conversations, however, New Territories often exclude New Kowloon, which was leased out as part of the New Territories but is now an integral part of the Kowloon urban area.

Much of the New Territories were - and to a limited extent still are - rural areas. Attempts at modernising the area were not extensive until the late 1970s, in which many new towns were built to take the overspill from the urban areas in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.

As the expiration date of the lease neared in the 1980s, talks between the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China led the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration (1984), in which the whole of Hong Kong would be returned, instead of only the New Territories. This is because Hong Kong's new airport, shipping ports, and other vital installations were (and are) all in the New Territories.

Major developments are happening in the New Territories as of 2003, including the new Disneyland being constructed in Penny Bay, Lantau Island scheduled to open in 2005.

The New Territories comprise the following districts:

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