Hong Kong - Government and History
Despite problems caused by severe congestion, Hong Kong is one of the world's most efficiently administered territories. A governor is appointed by the British monarch and is advised by an appointed Executive Council and a Legislative Council--both predominantly Western but becoming more Chinese.
There is archaeological evidence of settlement as early as the 3rd century BC. A few rural Chinese villages in the New Territories have been inhabited since the 11th century. Before the British flag was placed on Hong Kong Island in 1841 by merchant-adventurers expelled from Canton, the island harbored only a few Chinese pirates, vagabonds, and stonecutters.