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
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    Satellite imagery provided by Google Earth Studio


Comments • 7 266

  • Wendover Productions
    Wendover Productions   7 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  2 days back

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

    • Locutus
      Locutus  5 days 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  3 weeks 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?

    • faee ware00
      faee ware00  3 weeks 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!!!!!

  • DANKZILLA 25836
    DANKZILLA 25836  3 hours back

    Dang... This is depressing

    • Soviet Spud
      Soviet Spud  11 hours back

      as an Australian, it scares me to think that not just Former British subjects of the crown are going to be locked in progaganda and censership in 2047, but the fact that when (2019) britain tried to say that china shouldent be breaking the treaty they signed, china just brushed it off and called a piece of paper, aswell as 100,000 Aussies are gonna be locked in china aswell if they dont leave

      may the Queen bless your souls

      • avcomth
        avcomth  1 days back

        The handover of Hong Kong and Macau isn't just a handover. It also symbolises the shifting tide of ecnonomic influence. If China hadn't become strong economically and influence the global economy as was progressing then, these British pirates would have found a way to lobby and twist the path to returning Hong Kong and delaying the time for many more years.

        • fadzil hashim
          fadzil hashim  2 days back

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

          • Jing Wen
            Jing Wen  3 days back

            How hong kong changed contries 100 years ago.

            • chen chen
              chen chen  3 days back


              • Elijah Hua
                Elijah Hua  3 days back

                The human freedom index was just released. What it does is it measures just how free people really are all over the world like 167 countries. And u know where it ranks the people of HongKong who are protesting cuz they want more freedom. Number one.
                And USA at 23

                • Taiba qvsi
                  Taiba qvsi  4 days back


                  • Egoponte
                    Egoponte  4 days back

                    This is extremely sad. Knowing what China will do with HK. I wish the UK had the balls to stand up for Hongkong

                    • TheRedfox909
                      TheRedfox909  4 days back

                      But but they cant do that hong kong is is with there peo people and not controled by evil white ive heard this shit off people hong kong is as Chinese as africa is stable shame that them dam brits let the free people of Hong Kong be given to the communists that now oppressing it just a shame

                  • AdonisGaming93
                    AdonisGaming93  6 days back

                    and today...people put the british colonial flag back up whoops

                    • Adrian Motley
                      Adrian Motley  6 days back

                      Hong Kong could be its own country like Singapore

                      • TheRedfox909
                        TheRedfox909  4 days back

                        I say had it tawain but yeah it could be its own citys state

                    • Mufti Hossain
                      Mufti Hossain  1 weeks back

                      Historically, 99 year leases are an obscured way of really saying "forever, but actually until it's taken away by an aggressor by force". Really it was a historical anomaly that the lease was upheld all the way through

                      • javedakhtar javed
                        javedakhtar javed  1 weeks back

                        Hong Kong Ni ha o Maa

                        • KH_MMC
                          KH_MMC  1 weeks back

                          One fact to ponder - twenty plus years after the handover, Hong Kong’s GDP became the equivalent to just 2.9 percent of China’s economy (In 1997, when Britain handed the city back to Chinese sovereignty, Hong Kong’s GDP was still around 20 percent the size of the mainland economy). It is not that the size of HK's economy has reduced (it has grown two to three folds); However, the amazing story is how much China's economy has grown.

                          • twenlil
                            twenlil  1 weeks back

                            Tell the stupid Hong Kee brats, that China already owns 86.2% of Hong Kong land even before 1997.
                            Even today, Hong Kong gets 70 to 80% of water and 23% of electricity from mainland China.

                            Are these brats so stupid... apparently so !

                            • TheRedfox909
                              TheRedfox909  4 days back

                              Hong cong brats i can see some one in china is using a vpn hey there cant you see that the "hong kong brats" are fighting agenst a police state thats trying to take there freedom thats installing smart lamp posts to start the social credit system in Hong Kong you can eat shit off a plate of the blood and teirs of the hong kong people you reaterd peace of shit

                          • Edgardo
                            Edgardo  1 weeks back

                            What's with the numbers in the bottom left corner?

                            • Duckjai Chan
                              Duckjai Chan  1 weeks back

                              Free Hong Kong. Five demands not one less.

                              • TheRedfox909
                                TheRedfox909  4 days back

                                @twenlil why you calling him stupid take that lable and shove it up ur ass mate he is just fighting for the rights of the hong kong people that are not chinese on any way but word

                              • twenlil
                                twenlil  1 weeks back

                                I doubt they will get the other four. If the HK government gave in, they may as well dissolve the government.

                                Are you that stupid ?

                            • Daniel Verberne
                              Daniel Verberne  2 weeks back

                              I think I’ll never understand why countries like China want to push ahead with taking control over Hong Kong given such a negative feedback I’m in they are already enormously powerful how much more powerful do they need to be?

                              • Chris L
                                Chris L  2 weeks back

                                Fuck the British. They did nothing to save Hong Kong.

                                • Chris L
                                  Chris L  1 weeks back

                                  ​@SGAH They can speak up and put pressure on China. Ultimately, they signed the sino English joint declaration so they should have a say on the matter. Also, if they want to offer additional help, they can grant BNO passport holders citizenship, or even allow anyone seeking asylum to stay. Hong Konger are well educated and hard working. I am sure they can contribute to their country.

                                • SGAH
                                  SGAH  1 weeks back

                                  @Chris L ok but in terms of saving the hong kong citizens? Britain is largely unable to fight against the chinese for many obvious reasons

                                • Chris L
                                  Chris L  1 weeks back

                                  Americans are working on this Hong Kong human rights and democracy act. Potentially, offending officials can be denied entry to the US and their assets frozen. I assume the British may do the same. Knowing that many of the officials are British citizens, this would really screw them up. That's just one example.

                                • SGAH
                                  SGAH  1 weeks back

                                  What are they supposed to do. Theres nothing we can do

                              • infinitecanadian
                                infinitecanadian  2 weeks back

                                Hong Kong was better with the British than it is today.

                                • Nicole Ng
                                  Nicole Ng  2 weeks back

                                  Liberate Hong Kong, The Revolution of Our Times

                                  • Abhilash Bharadwaj
                                    Abhilash Bharadwaj  2 weeks back

                                    Lol Britain are responsible for causing border disputes by splitting:
                                    -India and Pakistan
                                    -China and Hong Kong
                                    -Israel and Palestine

                                    • TheRedfox909
                                      TheRedfox909  4 days back

                                      Ok so ur going to insult Israel and Hong kong are you fucking stupid israel is fight terrorist off there border as i type and hong kong is being attack by the chinese im sorry that the brits have gone and done what every contry does and even did good for them such as hong kong and Israel ur piece of shit learn how to world works and stop bitching

                                    • Arovox
                                      Arovox  1 weeks back

                                      @Iain Gunn I do agree that Hong Kong was better governed under British Rule, HOWEVER that is also considering how they were thoughtful enough to not divide it into Hong Kong and Kowloon. India, on the other hand, was severely mismanaged and ransacked by the British, and then divided on the basis of ethnicity and religion- distinctions that did indeed exist earlier, but NOWHERE NEAR on a scale as crippling (or even negative, for that matter) as what the British proclaimed them to be. East Bengal? Pakistan? Tibet? Ceylon? Nepal? Bhutan? It used to be the Indian SUBCONTINENT as a whole, but it was divided by the British based on communal political bias. Pakistan was handed territory with little resources, and yet we think why it failed as a country. It would've been better if India was left both undivided AND undisturbed by the British.

                                    • Obama Is my Dad
                                      Obama Is my Dad  2 weeks back

                                      @Iain Gunn Britain stopped their colonies from functioning independently, preventing them from forming a good government with the ability to form proper borders. I'm sure Former India would've been fine if british never took over.

                                    • Iain Gunn
                                      Iain Gunn  2 weeks back

                                      So we are asked to leave and then get blamed for the inadequacy of the inhabitants to form proper borders and democracies? ironic that the British are painted as the divisive anti-christ yet everything falls apart after they leave anyway. I'm not saying british rule was without its atrocities but at least everyone knows hong kong was infinitely better under britain

                                  • HL Tang
                                    HL Tang  2 weeks back

                                    So sad

                                    • Mark Springs
                                      Mark Springs  2 weeks back

                                      NO RIOTS, ONLY TYRANNY

                                    • KAI SHEN
                                      KAI SHEN  2 weeks back

                                      I understand the sentiment Hongkong people feel about the transfer. But I have to point out the fact that when Britain came to HK 150 years ago their purpose was to invade and colonize the world. In nature the interest of GB does not stand with the interest of HK. For hundreds of years Chinese living in Hongkong were secondary citizens rather than the master of this land. Due to economic boom of Hongkong in the 20th century, this inequality and inferiority were mostly hidden or weakened by improvement of livelihood and Hongkong people's superiority over mainland Chinese considering the miserable times China suffered for hundreds of years all through ROC and early PRC until the reform and opening up after 1978. Unfortunately this superiority has been dismantled more and more by the rapid rising of China into a world power. In only 40 years time Shenzheng, a former fishing village next to Hongkong has surpassed Hongkong in GDP scale. Although the GDP per capita of Shenzheng is half of HK, comparably lower housing price and living cost in Shenzheng has made Shenzheng people enjoy a more comfortable life and most importantly Shenzheng represents the trend of future technology which has given this city a better prospective into the near future.

                                      • luccifero
                                        luccifero  2 weeks back

                                        Here's how Chinese history repeats itself.

                                        1. The Chinese sees himself as the master race, and all other ethnically different people are lowly barbarians.

                                        2. China gets too cocky and then subsequently has its ass kicked by the lowly barbarians.

                                        3. China bends its knees to the barbarians and elevates them to the status of the master race.

                                        4. The barbarian/master race becomes incorporated into the Greater China (it's a metaphysical concept, hard to explain). These "Chinese" dynasties (such as Mongol and Qing) are genetically and culturally not Chinese at all.

                                        5. China gets cocky again, sees itself as the master race and branding other races as lowly barbarians. (like the Manchurian Qing empire did with Westerners at first)

                                        6. China gets its ass kicked by barbarians. Rinse and repeat.

                                        This speaks a lot about the collective mentality of Chinese people. To them other races can never be allies or friends - there are only the master race to whom they will bend their knees to or lowly barbarians they either despise or/and want to exploit.

                                        At this moment we are at the point of Chinese again regarding itself as the master race and getting too cocky again.

                                        We all know what's going to happen next don't we.

                                        • TheRedfox909
                                          TheRedfox909  4 days back

                                          Yep the chinese are more racist then what the left call racists hear in new york at least i can see my black nabor as a friend and him back the chinese hate other races and that makes them true racists

                                      • Kelvynn Lee
                                        Kelvynn Lee  2 weeks back

                                        Why do they need to negotiate. It was due for a handover.

                                        • Bruce Balden
                                          Bruce Balden  2 weeks back

                                          The handover took place June 30, 1997 not July 30, 1997. I was there I still have a copy of the South China Morning Post for July 1,1997. It has an article in Chinese on the front page with an English translation withe headline ‘A Better Future For Us All.. it’s the address of the Chinese president during the ceremony the night before.

                                          • Vita Nova
                                            Vita Nova  2 weeks back

                                            HK should have been given ex-colony status and given the chance to have a referendum on self determination, precedence had been set under the UN for other colonies.

                                            • Vita Nova
                                              Vita Nova  2 weeks back

                                              @kokofan50 Quite possibly, but at least the UK and the UN would have done the right thing.

                                            • kokofan50
                                              kokofan50  2 weeks back

                                              And China would have invaded nearly the instant that happened.

                                          • NicenEasyuk
                                            NicenEasyuk  2 weeks back

                                            Now look. What an absolute abysmal shame. Thoughts in support for Hong Kong and it's civil right to maintain it's own justice system until 2047

                                            • Hot Sauce
                                              Hot Sauce  3 weeks back

                                              Just passing by to thumb down all these Western fake media.

                                              • TheRedfox909
                                                TheRedfox909  4 days back

                                                How the fuck is it fake you can go see it if you want first hand but cant to busy shut up and eat shit off a plate made from the blood sweat and tears of the great people of hong king because you cant fake that shit in video you like china so much go fucking go the west will be better with out you

                                              • SGAH
                                                SGAH  1 weeks back

                                                ??? All of this stuff is true. None of it even has a political bias

                                            • Mike Y.
                                              Mike Y.  3 weeks back

                                              too bad hong kong is apart of China no matter how bad they dislike it.

                                              • parkplace6677
                                                parkplace6677  3 weeks back

                                                It’s neat watching a Russian plane practice being shot down. That’s how they spin out of control before they crash

                                                • Eric Johnson
                                                  Eric Johnson  3 weeks back

                                                  if both china and britain could continue playing with my flag pole. im american so i win. and im gonna fuck your flag.

                                                  • Lilywhite
                                                    Lilywhite  3 weeks back

                                                    The day the British Empire died. Hong Kong deserves autonomy, but at least they were protected under Britain. Now they are left to battle for their democracy...

                                                    • Alfred The West is dying, we must save it

                                                      Hong Kong is NOT PRC. We fought the communist shits in the past, we do it today!

                                                      • kokofan50
                                                        kokofan50  2 weeks back

                                                        Hong Kong is an autonomous region within the PRC.

                                                      • 王俊淞
                                                        王俊淞  3 weeks back

                                                        You fight by what? Military?

                                                    • Your friendly Cynic
                                                      Your friendly Cynic  3 weeks back

                                                      theyre not gone for good, i wish the Brits would take us back

                                                      • TheRedfox909
                                                        TheRedfox909  4 days back

                                                        Hell yeah from america much support to you you may dress like antifa but ur doing gods work fighting commies and protecting ur freedom if china walks in there with a thousand troops well im in full support of send 2000 more to fight for you

                                                    • Funky Squirrel
                                                      Funky Squirrel  3 weeks back

                                                      And now look at the state of hong kong.......

                                                      • Anthony Verde
                                                        Anthony Verde  3 weeks back

                                                        11:30pm after Gay Charles deliver her disgusting farewell in behalf of her whore queen Elizabeth reptiles 2 and sing GOD DON'T SAVE THE QUEEN

                                                      • Anthony Verde
                                                        Anthony Verde  3 weeks back

                                                        Last day of UK in these world

                                                        • Anthony Verde
                                                          Anthony Verde  3 weeks back

                                                          UK take advantage of hongkong, shame on you uk reptiles royal family of uk

                                                          • 2nd greatest person in the world
                                                            2nd greatest person in the world  3 weeks back

                                                            Retard, if they took advantage of Hong Kong so much then they would have given it away and I bet u more ppl in Hong Kong would rather be under rule British rule than Chinese rule.

                                                        • BigDannyK
                                                          BigDannyK  3 weeks back

                                                          RIP Hong Kong 🇭🇰
                                                          Google, play "It's the End of the World as We Know it" by R.E.M

                                                          • sitong chen
                                                            sitong chen  3 weeks back

                                                            Wendover forgot to mention that democracy never existed under the British rule, so how are they keeping it?

                                                            • bradOLF pittLER
                                                              bradOLF pittLER  3 weeks back

                                                              CHINA IS ASS HOLE!!!

                                                              • Zoch Buppet
                                                                Zoch Buppet  3 weeks back

                                                                I though this was produced 5 years ago.
                                                                WHO ARE YOU RACING WITH?...Did you have to drop some bombs in the toilet?
                                                                WHY ARE YOU TALKING SO FAST? To match the photos and graphics?
                                                                These YouTube production starts have no clue how a productions is created.

                                                                • Jeffrey Rose
                                                                  Jeffrey Rose  3 weeks back

                                                                  It should have built its own military, no matter how rich and powerful you are you're not shit if you don't have a military. Now they will be absorbed into a country that does have one and they will do the bidding of the Chinese masters.

                                                                  • Hualani
                                                                    Hualani  3 weeks back

                                                                    Or subtitled “How Margaret Thatcher lost Hong Kong”. Twenty two plus years late?. Well YouTubes only been around some 15years so thats one reason for delay of location, and lets see....umm ummm. Ummmm (when will thumb twidling emoji come to be?) I do appreciate this video mentioning pertnent facts that HongKong island(s), Kowloon had been British in perpetuity, lack of mention about Chinas imperial expansion including Macao and others in same time period. TYVM. Yee Ghadds Ive just caught on! The video producer wasnt alive or perhaps was pre verbal age! Is this really only an interest because the makers job required this stop? Please not! Poor Hong Kongers! The emigration in 80s-90s were greater than mentioned, largely inspired by all we survivors of HongKongs Cultural Revolution as Mao’s subjects fled to HongKong in hundreds of thousands, the mildest of life without water, daily deadly bombs in schools, businesses and residences, mandatory identification roundups, involuntary evacuations from (well everything-workplaces, public places, schools), and yes, the island then colony at large. Maggie Thatcher remembered, as if yesterday, as did certain generations who taught the younger generations or tried to. HongKong was built by refugees from mainland China, most notably during the 1960s-70s, as well as international immigration to a lesser degree. How ironic or how trumpian, to turn back those seeking asylum to the persecution state. Imho. Support HongKong, where residents have been putting lives on the line for democratic elements of its “Basic Law”(constitution) as known since 1860s and earlier. Let your representatives in parliament/govt know