How Hong Kong Changed Countries

  • Published: 19 February 2019
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    Animation by Josh Sherrington and Elise Heersink
    Sound by Graham Haerther (
    Thumbnail by Simon Buckmaster

    Special thanks to Patreon supporters Alec M Watson, Andrew J Thom, Arkadiy Kulev, Chris Allen, Chris Barker, Connor J Smith, Daddy Donald, Etienne Dechamps, Eyal Matsliah, Hank Green, Harrison Wiener, James Hughes, James McIntosh, John & Becki Johnston, Keith Bopp, Kelly J Knight, Ken Lee, Kyle, KyQuan Phong, Manoj Kasyap Govindaraju, MyNameIsKir, Plinio Correa, Qui Le, Sheldon Zhao, Simen Nerleir, and Tim Robinson

    Music by
    Select footage courtesy the AP Archive
    Select footage courtesy Bigstock:
    Satellite imagery provided by Google Earth Studio


Comments • 7 286

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   8 months back

    Hey all, in case you don't know already, the numbers in the bottom, left corner of the video correspond to the sources of information at the bottom of the description. Many of those are good further reading on the topic.

    Also, I just want to acknowledge one small narration slip-up. At 7:14 I say, "What was known was that the event would be centered around midnight on the night of July 30th, 1997." That should be *June* 30th, 1997.

    • fadzil hashim
      fadzil hashim  4 weeks back

      democracy, human rights & freedom 🇲🇾 🇲🇾 🇲🇾 🇲🇾 🇲🇾 💝 💝 💝 💝 💝 🇺🇲 🇬🇧 🇨🇦 🇭🇲 🇳🇿 🇪🇺 🇯🇵 🇰🇷 🇹🇼 🇹🇭 🇸🇬 🇭🇰 .

    • Locutus
      Locutus  1 months back

      @Xan Melton It's something that would have taken a couple of months to plan, and create, so I doubt it was your suggestion that made this video happen! :)

    • J H
      J H  2 months back

      It's hilarious how everyone says, "You did a great job, was accurate.. EXCEPT...." This is how misinformation spreads. All he did was confirm your bias regarding one topic then was wrong about the rest so you said "Except...", Except "accurate passports", "except Japanese part", "except explanation of Opium war 1 and TWO," except COLONIAL rule and subjugation and treated as second class citizens unable to even vote, EXCEPT the unaccurate Poland part, EXCEPT .. You get the picture? People should actually be educated enough to "teach history" via Youtube. It's a bunch of biased videos, slapping on a couple sources at the bottom then retelling history through the eyes of a white colonist while grabbing your adsense views so they could make a buck. Remember the days when we actually had more objective history through vetted encyclopedias and REAL teachers and not kids who just want to make money off Youtube?

    • James Peter
      James Peter  2 months back

      by the way, im living in shenzhen, a city close to hongkong, the hong kong people really really made me feel disgusting the past 20 years.. they want to have a pass that can come to shenzhen unlimited times every day , but only FORCE the gov to change the rules that shenzhen people to visit hk from everyday to once a week, well the original rule was begged by them when the SAS crisis time no tourists gave them money, hong kong people 's eyes only have money, come on, dont say you really care about the human right for the weak people. you are so FAKE!!!!!

  • Fyropyro420
    Fyropyro420  42 minutes back

    I thought Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula was in perpetuity while the surrounding areas were 99 years at the time of the agreement?

    • Sandwich Overlord
      Sandwich Overlord  7 hours back

      The biggest Stockholm Syndrome ever...



      *ffw 99 years later*

      HK: p-please, don't go..
      UK: i'm sorry...

      *cue dramatic music as UK leaves*

      • stephen 9789
        stephen 9789  4 hours back

        Sandwich Overlord exactly, see the footage where HKers cry when british governer left. I was like 🧐

    • Hannibal Lecter
      Hannibal Lecter  14 hours back


      • Leon S. Kennedy
        Leon S. Kennedy  16 hours back

        Heavy negotiations to determine who lowers their flag first. Politicians are morons.

        • James Dalton
          James Dalton  21 hours back

          Would be nice if the same thing happened in Ireland, NZ , Aus , Canada, Gibraltar and the Falklands.
          The English a nation of invading,murdering,thieving and racist kunts. Fuk them and their dirty crooked teeth that look like an old burnt fence.

          • Mjonk Tarren
            Mjonk Tarren  1 days back

            [salute] “ shall be missed, Hong Kong” +respect

            • Konsticraft
              Konsticraft  2 days back

              that was.... interesting in the light of what is currently happening in Hong Kong

              • Ben W
                Ben W  2 days back

                Stupid Chinese love to dwell on petty things like signs while missing the full picture.

                • LJ 7006
                  LJ 7006  3 days back

                  Kwong fuk Heung Gong, si doi gak ming!
                  Heung Gong yan ga yau!

                  • Cold Warrior
                    Cold Warrior  3 days back

                    What a terrible, sad mistake. Britain served Hong Kong so well. Made it wealthy, peaceful and strong. To hand it over to evil Jiang Zemin is like a horrible nightmare.

                    • JamesTavRule
                      JamesTavRule  19 hours back

                      Hong Kong's fate rests in the hands of Hong Kongers.

                      Thousands of people breaking into the main government building and hoisting up a British Hong Kong flag is pretty fucking noteworthy.

                  • sableng404
                    sableng404  3 days back

                    Now, from just 35%, all Hong Kong people want to go back to Brittain empire. Return to China is a fatal mistake

                    • Green Andy
                      Green Andy  3 days back

                      A sad end to the once glorious empire.

                      • jiwan tilija
                        jiwan tilija  3 days back

                        There are still some yatch places that still says "royal hong Kong yatch race

                        • Jaisal Patel
                          Jaisal Patel  4 days back

                          England really did mess up the whole world

                          • GGyourdead
                            GGyourdead  3 days back

                            Jaisal Patel Yeah pretty much every modern conflict was a result of poor foresight by the British. But everyone likes to blame America, who tried to clean up Europe’s mess. It’s pretty fucking stupid, Britain needs to be held accountable for the mess they’ve created.

                        • Mikhail
                          Mikhail  4 days back

                          Fuck off Britain blood sucking leach!

                          • GGyourdead
                            GGyourdead  3 days back

                            Mikhail Sure let’s forget about the Boxer Rebellion that tried to massacre Merchants from the west. Or the exorbitant amount of wealth that China was collecting off of exports and refusing to circulate back into the mercantilist economy (that was highly dependent on wealth of a nation.) Or about the fact that once Britain finally found an entry into the Chinese market,through the sale of opium, the Chinese effectively said “fuck you, and blocked their entry into market. Among these infractions you would say that Britain had no right to protect its interests and its citizens in what was considered neutral territory? The reason Britain claimed ownership over Hong Kong after DEFEATING China in the Opium wars is because they wanted assurance that their citizenry could safely coexist in a population that was protected by the empire.

                            You have the audacity to call the Atlantic Slave trade an atrocity in comparison to the monumental amount of atrocities committed by the Chinese against foreigners and their own people? Let’s see the Massacres that set up the Chi Dynasty, the violent incursions into Vietnam and Korea, the tribute systems that instituted total subservience to emperors who murdered for little more than glares, the mass murder of foreigners based on xenophobia, the massacring of dissenters during the rise of Maoist ideology, the Great Leap Forward,Tiananmen square.

                            And that doesn’t even touch on the modern atrocities. Let’s discuss those: continued suppression of their own people, the subversion of democracy, the manipulation of free market economics, the censorship of criticism, the aggressive territorial expansion into International waters, the continued militarism that is eerily similar to the same ideology leading up to world war 1, the use of said military forces to fortify their incursions into the pacific, the annexing of privatized corporations as a facade to prop up military interests, the repeated attempts to spy on not only its citizens but also internationally by deploying cyber warfare and collecting sensitive data on consumers all of which violate the core tenants of a mixed economy. Their continued support for totalitarian regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela. Their dissemination of of knowledge vital to the creation of Nuclear weapons and supplying the resources to unstable regimes.

                            But who’s counting, am I right?

                            Because we all know that China is a prosperous nation that never warranted the “tyrannical” aggression of any country. You don’t seem to know anything about history, nor do you seem to grasp the concepts associated with it. Here’s a simplified version, every human civilization that has engaged in expansion has also engaged in genocide, extortion, greed malice, you name it. The difference between those civilizations and the ones that define the “modern” era, is the recognition of these mistakes and the proactive attempts to reasonably correct them As well as, the attempt to break the perpetual cycle created from this turmoil. Yet of all the countries that have made it their resolve to progress for the betterment of humanity, China, in large part, has stuck to its archaic ideological war of aggression and fervently displays its chauvinism for the art of war. There is no justification to say China has righteous indignation because it has and continues to provoke international responses.

                          • welp
                            welp  3 days back

                            I support Hong kong

                          • Mikhail
                            Mikhail  3 days back

                            @Gl33D haha its ironic to see lots of people talking about freedom while their forefathers snatched freedom in such a humane way where nobody died? 😂

                          • Mikhail
                            Mikhail  3 days back

                            @Sam Stevenson lol sonny 10k is pack of peanuts in front of the atrocities committed by "civilised" colonists!! 1.2 to 2.4 million deaths in Atlantic slave trade. (Just to tell you the numbers sonny) Now back to China, how blood sucking Brits invaded China in first opium war and how they grabbed lands till 3rd opium war!! For the sake of humanity sonny stop defending Brits still all the tumultuous and flagrant parts in the world, (unresolved) Palestine, Hong Kong while dozens settled claiming deaths of millions are a legacy of Brits! Its a shame really to be a part of such hypocrisy sonny don't you have a conscience?

                          • Gl33D
                            Gl33D  4 days back

                            Freedom for Hong Kong!

                        • Sidney Mathious
                          Sidney Mathious  4 days back

                          The British made a bad deal when they gave up Hong Kong and left so many people to suffer under the Communist Chinese government. It was smart for some companies and individuals to move their money from Hong Kong to other countries and protect their investments. The government in China is suffering financially now and is probably looking for a loophole so they can do away with the two government policy which they signed and agreed to. They want to quickly bring Hong Kong under total control of Beijing ASAP.

                          • elchippe
                            elchippe  3 days back

                            @GGyourdead Is impossible even with supposed Superiority of the British navy, the Chinese 1997 Army have missile the would sunk almost every single chip the would try to get close to HK IN LAND, Then come the challenge of invading Hong Kong with supply lines that stretched to Britain, Chinese lines are just crossing the city (naval battle against land army), The Chinese would have flattened HK, costing the lives of millions of Civilians and Hundred of thousands British forces and good luck trying to convince U.S. and other countries to send their kids to died just because the Brits didn't want to fulfill a deal.
                            You didn't think that the British didn't evaluated the idea of a war with China?
                            You didn't think the British consulted with the Americans about that.?
                            Is impossible, the Korean war would have been like a nice party compared what would happened in HK and they say is not worth the risk.

                          • GGyourdead
                            GGyourdead  3 days back

                            elchippe well at the time of the agreement, Britain still had a navy that was superior to the Chinese, they could’ve had Opium wars 2.0 and may have had a considerable chance at winning, and if not from military prowess but possibly from the support of America and Japan.

                          • elchippe
                            elchippe  3 days back

                            It was that or war, Hong Kong is indefensible.

                        • takarifan
                          takarifan  4 days back

                          Empires will never last, and so does a republic founded by tyranny shall fall in the end.

                          • Iivari  Oikarinen
                            Iivari Oikarinen  5 days back

                            #free hong kong

                            • m1ksu
                              m1ksu  5 days back

                              DO IT AGAIN

                              • Boyborg690_
                                Boyborg690_  5 days back

                                And now, the protests.

                                • Angie Shum
                                  Angie Shum  6 days back

                                  Now the citizens of HK are paying the price for this hand over -- they've lost their freedom of speech and other liberal rights under the control of CCP, and that's what triggered the protests in the past few months. Thank you guys for creating this well explained video during such a difficult time.

                                  • Angie Shum
                                    Angie Shum  3 days back

                                    For those of you who tried to argue and convince me that only your values and “facts” are correct, i’m NOT going to waste my time here with you because we probably will never come to a mutual agreement. But hey feel free to leave your comments because this is your right, and on Youtube you won’t get arrested or prosecuted just because you want to share what’s in your mind or have different opinions than the government, and that, is freedom of speech, and is exactly what people from HK is fighting for right now.

                                  • Andrew Zone
                                    Andrew Zone  3 days back

                                    yeah, and now u not waste time LOL
                                    have a good day my friend

                                  • Angie Shum
                                    Angie Shum  3 days back

                                    Andrew Zone please go back and read your commons again. I m not going to waste my time here with you, you simply don’t worth mt attention

                                  • Andrew Zone
                                    Andrew Zone  3 days back


                                    香港民间人权阵线发起反送中集会,号召百万人以“和理非”(和平、理性、非暴力)行动促使当局回应香港人的大诉求。和平的,理性的,非暴力性的扔燃烧瓶,打砸抢,瘫痪地铁也是自由的一部分。你们暴动了,警察一动就是暴力出警就是压迫人权的刽子手。Come on,都在油管了能不能不要这么双标

                                  • Andrew Zone
                                    Andrew Zone  3 days back

                                    大陆现在对香港不是很友善没有问题,你们说ccp是个很糟糕的党也没有问题,因为这是你们的观念我不准备反驳,但请不要随便瞎说事实,handover之后你们还没有freedom of speech之类的话简直是笑掉大牙

                                • Green Eyes in China
                                  Green Eyes in China  6 days back

                                  02:28 No, Hong Kong didn’t have a democratic government under more than 140 years of British rule - the Governor was decided by London and Hong Kong locals were considered too uncivilized to vote. The first form of democracy came to Hong Kong in 1998 - read: a year after returning to China - when residents were allowed to vote towards the city’s legislature.

                                  • Aaron Gao
                                    Aaron Gao  6 days back

                                    British B777
                                    AIRBUS: We have a lot to talk w/ UK.

                                    • Random User
                                      Random User  6 days back

                                      Should have tried to buy it from china and give it independence. China would probably love the flush of money.

                                      • Alvin TOS
                                        Alvin TOS  6 days back

                                        It has definitely changed countries. Free Hong Kong! Revolution of our times!

                                        • John Klingberg
                                          John Klingberg  7 days back

                                          Blizzard supports China

                                          • Churlz
                                            Churlz  5 days back

                                            Fuck that company

                                        • Dave O
                                          Dave O  7 days back

                                          Aww that’s sad. Now Hong Kong is fighting for its life. It thrived under British rule.

                                          • John Smith
                                            John Smith  1 weeks back

                                            2047 and up goes the re-education camps.

                                            • Valentin S.
                                              Valentin S.  1 weeks back

                                              Propably the smoothest handover to local authorities from the UK.
                                              As if they learned from their drawn lines in the middle east

                                              • James Walter
                                                James Walter  1 weeks back

                                                I like the movie, Good, the bad & the ugly, when they destroy the bridge.

                                                • Tarif The Random Life
                                                  Tarif The Random Life  2 weeks back

                                                  This also was the end of the British Empire. On that Midnight the sun was shining over the UK. After that midnight in Hong Kong a couple of hours later.... The sunset was happening in the UK, but because Hong Kong was Chinese now, The sun was for the first time in centuries was setting officially on the British Empire once more, with no sunrise to follow it, in another domian if the British.

                                                  • hokhim chan
                                                    hokhim chan  2 weeks back

                                                    Can you please do a video about Hong Kong’s protests?

                                                    • Colin Valleli
                                                      Colin Valleli  2 weeks back

                                                      Giving Hong Kong back to the Chinese was perhaps one of the saddest mistakes Britain has ever made...and now look at the trouble they are in. Things would be better if Britain never relinquished control of Hong Kong

                                                      • welp
                                                        welp  3 days back

                                                        Then the greatest mistake is the creation of Homo sapiens because you have to go back all the way to the beginning to find the main cause of the problem.

                                                      • dickies docos
                                                        dickies docos  7 days back

                                                        @David Botran Tea, silver and opium

                                                      • David Botran
                                                        David Botran  1 weeks back

                                                        @dickies docos This all started because the British Empire really loved their... tea...

                                                      • dickies docos
                                                        dickies docos  1 weeks back

                                                        Bullshit! It should've never been taken in the first place especially the circumstances of why it was taken. The British empire was finished and Thatcher knew there was nothing she could do from keeping China away.

                                                        They didn't hand HK back because they felt charitable that's for sure!

                                                    • 32 32
                                                      32 32  2 weeks back

                                                      White people own continents😩😩

                                                      • freedom loving loyalist


                                                        PLEASE SHARE THIS COMMENT BEFORE WHEN THEY WAKE UP

                                                        • elchippe
                                                          elchippe  3 days back

                                                          Dude know how to fight your fights, the public is getting tired they need to work, destroying you own city will only help China who want Shenzhen to became a important technological and investment hub , at the end of the day the people they will end liking more the Chinese than you and the sad part is the at the end of day when people cant find jobs they will have to go to China to find Jobs.
                                                          And god forbid the Chinese take the city which legally they are allow to do it if the government ask them to do it or the government falls, because a lot of you will end in reeducation camps in the Mongolian desert for years, yes will be some sanctions and people will cry but as time passes the only thing that people will hear about you are platitudes and shit when people around the world forget about you.
                                                          The only way that people of Hong Kong can maintain their freedoms is making sure of continuing the status of Hong Kong as an economic powerhouse because the poorer Hong Kong is, the closer to China is. Put that in your head.

                                                      • paul lee
                                                        paul lee  2 weeks back

                                                        Why am i sad...

                                                        • x x
                                                          x x  2 weeks back

                                                          so leased for 99 years, does lease changed the owner? say you leased an apartment unit, its yours now? i mean i can see the bias ,thats fine. you do so much research but cant even get the term LEASE right?

                                                          • Jovita Mak
                                                            Jovita Mak  2 weeks back

                                                            can you do one about macau?

                                                            • Andy Waxton
                                                              Andy Waxton  2 weeks back

                                                              This is a surprisingly dignified summarization of what happened to HK. Just summarization if facts

                                                              • fadly A. Rahman
                                                                fadly A. Rahman  2 weeks back

                                                                So essentially, the Western country want Africa to remain poor? They sure as hell dont want to help Africa. And it seems they dont want anyone to help Africa as well. All the West ever done in Africa is preaching. First they preach about bible. Now they preach about democracy. When are they going to stop preaching and start helping.

                                                                • CPT.Kraken
                                                                  CPT.Kraken  3 weeks back

                                                                  Britain was gone from Hong kong for good ''or bad''......

                                                                  • Marcus Jarrell
                                                                    Marcus Jarrell  3 weeks back

                                                                    I bet Hong Kong misses Britain now :(

                                                                    • C Alex
                                                                      C Alex  3 weeks back

                                                                      No matter how undemocratic Hong Kong was under British rule, it is still infinitely more democratic than under Chinese communist now.

                                                                      • Harley Su
                                                                        Harley Su  3 weeks back

                                                                        As a Hongkonger, I don’t know why this video made me wanna cry😥😭

                                                                        • TheGameLab /gaming
                                                                          TheGameLab /gaming  3 weeks back

                                                                          So basically the British did all the work in making Hong Kong what it is today and China just came in and took the economic hub of Asia just like that? How in the world did the British allow that to happen?

                                                                          • kam
                                                                            kam  3 weeks back

                                                                            Shame we couldn't of still kept that country really as it was quite large land and developed well, but oh well the chinese are a major country now

                                                                            • ToastierBoss2
                                                                              ToastierBoss2  3 weeks back

                                                                              so sad

                                                                              HONG KONG PREPARE TO BE RECOLONISED!!!

                                                                              God Save The Queen