Hong Kong: How a 'barren rock' became an Asian powerhouse

Updated 5:19 AM ET, Mon June 26, 2017

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Hong Kong (CNN)The Hong Kong Crown Colony was founded on January 26, 1841, when Britain's Union Flag was raised over Possession Point, a then unremarkable headland in southern China.

Its new rulers in London weren't so impressed by their acquisition, with Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston famously denouncing it as a "barren rock with nary a house upon it" that would never "be a mart for trade."
Hong Kong defied these expectations. By 1997, when sovereignty was handed over to China, the city had a population of more than 6.5 million people and a booming economy the envy of its neighbors.
Twenty years later, Hong Kong has evolved again.