Hong Kong and San Francisco Essay

Hong Kong and San Francisco Essay:

San Francisco is one of the most popular cities of California, United States. Its population is more than 740 thousand people. San Francisco is situated on San Francisco Peninsula, which is a part of San Francisco Bay Area. This city occupies second place in the USA according to the density rate.

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The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is one of two Chinese special administrative regions. Hong Kong is located on more than 260 islands located in the Pearl River Delta.

The city of San Francisco was founded in 1776, when Spanish created there a fort as a part of mission. After 1821 the city became a part of Spain. Originally it was only a small settlement called Yerba Buena. In 1846 during Mexican-American war California became the part of the United States and Yerba Buena also became a part of the United States as a part of California. Yerba Buena was renamed to San Francisco in 1847. San Francisco had a very attractive location but it did not become popular city until the golden rush of 1850s. Gold seekers flooded San Francisco and its population grew more than four times only during 1848. Big earthquake of 1906 became a serious disaster because most part of the city was destroyed. The city was quickly rebuilt and only several years later it became the financial capital of United States.

Since ancient times Hong Kong was a part of Chinese empire until it was occupied by British army n 1841 during so called Opium War between China and the Great Britain. Britain used Hong Kong as a free port. Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom from the year of 1842. In 1941 Hong Kong experienced invasion of Japan. Japan won the battle and thus won the control over Hong Kong but it lasted till Japan finally lost in the WWII and control over Hong Kong went to Britain again. In 1997 it joined the republic of China.

Tourism is one of the main sources of income for San Francisco. “San Francisco attracts the fifth highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States and claims Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf to be the third-most popular tourist attraction in the nation. More than 15 million visitors came to San Francisco in 2005, injecting nearly $7.5 billion into the economy” (U.S. Department of Commerce) From the other side San Francisco stays one of the financial centers of the country. A lot of banks and other financial institutions are located there. All these are the remains of Golden Rush times. Montgomery street became an analogue of the Wall street. Small business makes major part of city establishment. Hong Kong is a perfect example of capitalistic economy, which makes a very bright contrast to communist China. Hong Kong economy is based on the principles of free market, low taxation and non-interference of the government. Its location defined its function as one of the important trade centers of the world. Using the economic model, established during the period of British domination economy of Hong Kong is mostly based on private sector and market economy. “Hong Kong has often been cited as a prime example of laissez-faire capitalism in practice, most notably by economist Milton Friedman. It has ranked as the world’s freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom for 13 consecutive years, since the inception of the index in 1995” (Summary Economic Freedom Rating 2004)

According to the act of 1856 San Francisco is a city-country. It is the only unit of such a kind in the Untied States. It has more rights than any other city of the United States. Mayor of the city is also the executive of the country. City council is represented by board of supervisors and performs legislative function. Government of San Francisco consists of two equal branches, an executive one, headed by the mayor, and legislative one headed by the president. Until the 1990s the city of San Francisco also had three own military institutions. Supreme Court of California is situated in San Francisco.

Hong Kong is also a sovereign territory. Such a status is defined by Basic Law, which is the main constitutional document of Hong Kong. Exceptions are made only for areas of national defense and international affairs. Chief Executive there is elected by the Chief Executive Election Committee, which consists of 800 members. All other members of the government are appointed by Chief Executive. Such a governing scheme became a guarantee of Hong Kong’s sovereignty and independence from any kinds of external interference.

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