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1842- China cedes Hong Kong island to Britain after the First Opium War. Over the decades, thousands of Chinese migrants fleeing domestic upheavals settle in the colony.
1898- China leases the New Territories together with 235 islands to Britain for 99 years from 1 July.
1937- With the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, Hong Kong becomes a refuge for thousands of mainland Chinese fleeing before the advancing Japanese.
1941- Japan occupies Hong Kong. Food shortages impel many residents to flee to mainland China. The population drops from 1.6m in 1941 to 650,000 by the end of the Second World War.
1946- Britain re-establishes civil government. Hundreds of thousands of former residents return, to be joined over next few years by refugees fleeing the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists in China.
1950s- Hong Kong enjoys economic revival based on light industries such as textiles.
1960s- Social discontent and labour disputes become rife among poorly-paid workforce.
1967- Severe riots break out, mainly instigated by followers of Chinas Cultural Revolution.
Late 1960s- Living conditions improve and social unrest subsides.
1970s- Hong Kong is established as an Asian Tiger – one of the regions economic powerhouses – with a thriving economy based on high-technology industries.
1982- Britain and China begin talks on the future of Hong Kong.
1984- Britain and China sign Joint Declaration on the conditions under which Hong Kong will revert to Chinese rule in 1997. Under the one country, two systems formula, Hong Kong will become part of one communist-led country but retain its capitalist economic system and partially democratic political system for 50 years after the handover.
1989- The massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijings Tiananmen Square leads to calls for the introduction of further democratic safeguards in Hong Kong.
1990- Beijing formally ratifies Hong Kongs post-handover mini-constitution or Basic Law.
1992April – Chris Patten becomes last British governor of Hong Kong, with a brief to oversee the colonys handover to China.
1992October – Chris Patten announces proposals for the democratic reform of Hong Kongs institutions aimed at broadening the voting base in elections. China is outraged that it has not been consulted and threatens to tear up business contracts and overturn the reforms after it has taken control.
1992December – Hong Kong stock market crashes.
1994June – After nearly two years of bitter wrangling, Hong Kongs legislature introduces a stripped-down version of Chris Pattens democratic reform package. The new legislation widens the franchise but falls far short of providing for universal suffrage.
1995- Elections held for new Legislative Council (LegCo).
1997July – Hong Kong is handed back to the Chinese authorities after more than 150 years of British control. Tung Chee-hwa, a Shanghai-born former shipping tycoon with no political experience, is hand-picked by Beijing to rule the territory following the takeover.
1998May – First post-handover elections held.
2001February – Deputy Chief Executive Anson Chan, a former deputy to Chris Patten and one of the main figures in the Hong Kong administration to oppose Chinese interference in the territorys affairs, resigns under pressure from Beijing and is replaced by Donald Tsang.
2002June – Trial of 16 members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement arrested during a protest outside Beijings liaison office in the territory. Falun Gong remains legal in Hong Kong, despite having been banned in mainland China in 1999, and the trial is seen as a test of the freedoms Beijing guaranteed to respect after the handover. The 16 are found guilty of causing a public obstruction.
2002September – Tung Chee-hwas administration releases proposals for controversial new anti-subversion law known as Article 23.
2003March-April – Both China and Hong Kong are hit by the pneumonia-like Sars virus. Strict quarantine measures are enforced to stop the disease spreading. Hong Kong is declared free of Sars in June.
2003July – A day after a visit to the territory by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, 500,000 people march against Article 23. Two Hong Kong government members resign. The bill is shelved indefinitely.
2004April – China rules that its approval must be sought for any changes to Hong Kongs election laws, giving Beijing the right to veto any moves towards more democracy, such as direct elections for the territorys chief executive.
2004July – Some 200,000 people mark the seventh anniversary of Hong Kongs handover to Chinese rule by taking part in a demonstration protesting Beijings ruling against electing the next chief executive by universal suffrage.
Britain accuses China of interfering in Hong Kongs constitutional reform process in a manner inconsistent with self-governance guarantees agreed before the handover.
2004September – Pro-Beijing parties retain their majority in LegCo elections widely seen as a referendum on Hong Kongs aspirations for greater democracy. In the run-up to the poll, human rights groups accuse Beijing of creating a climate of fear aimed at skewing the result.
2004December – Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers public rebuke to Tung Chee-hwa, telling him to improve his administrations performance.
2005March – Amid mounting criticism of his rule, Tung Chee-hwa resigns, citing failing health. He is succeeded in June by Donald Tsang.
2005May – Hong Kongs highest court overturns the convictions of eight of the Falun Gong members who were found guilty of causing an obstruction in the territory in 2002.
2005June – Tens of thousands of people commemorate sixteenth anniversary of crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Hong Kong is the only part of China where the 1989 events are marked.
2005September – Pro-democracy members of LegCo make unprecented visit to Chinese mainland. Eleven members of the 25-strong pro-democracy group had been banned from the mainland for 16 years.
2005December – Pro-democracy legislators block Mr Tsangs plans for limited constitutional reforms, saying they do not go far enough. Mr Tsang said his plans – which would have changed electoral processes without introducing universal suffrage – went as far as Beijing would allow.
2006March – Pope Benedict XVI elevates Bishop Joseph Zen, the leader of Hong Kongs 300,000 Catholics and an outspoken advocate of democracy, to the post of cardinal. China warns Cardinal Zen to stay out of politics.
2006July – Tens of thousands of people rally in support of full democracy.
2007January – New rules aim to restrict the number of pregnant women from mainland China who come to Hong Kong to give birth. Many had been drawn by the prospect of gaining Hong Kong residency rights for their children and evading Chinas one-child policy.
2007April – Chief Executive Donald Tsang is appointed to a new five-year term after winning elections in March.
2007July – Hong Kong marks 10th anniversary of handover to China. New government under Chief Executive Donald Tsang is sworn in. Plans for full democracy unveiled.
2007December – Beijing says it will allow the people of Hong Kong to directly elect their own leader in 2017 and their legislators by 2020. Mr Tsang hails this as a timetable for obtaining universal suffrage, but pro-democracy campaigners express disappointment at the protracted timescale.
2008September – Hong Kongs pro-democracy camp wins more than a third of seats in legislative elections, retaining a key veto over future bills.
2009June – Tens of thousands of people attend a vigil in Hong Kong on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The territory is the only part of China to mark the anniversary.
2009December – Hong Kong authorities unveil proposals for political reform in response to pressure for greater democracy, including an enlarged Legislative Council; critics say the moves do not go far enough.
2010May – Five opposition MPs are returned to their seats, in by-elections they triggered by quitting – a move intended to pressure China to grant the territory full democracy.
Opposition Democratic Party, traditionally hostile to Beijing, holds its first talks with a Chinese official since the 1997 handover.
2012July – Leung Chun-ying takes office as chief executive, succeeding Donald Tsang whose last months in office were dogged by controversy over his links with wealthy businessmen.
2012September – Pro-democracy parties retain their power of veto over new laws in Legislative Council elections, but perform less well than expected. Turnout, at over 50%, was higher than in 2008.
2013June – Hundreds march in support of whistleblower Edward Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong after exposing secret US surveillance programmes.
2014June – More than 90% of the nearly 800,000 people taking part in an unofficial referendum vote in favour of giving the public a say in short-listing candidates for future elections of the territorys chief executive. Beijing condemns the vote as illegal.
2014July – Tens of thousands of protesters take part in what organisers say could be Hong Kongs largest pro-democracy rally in a decade.
2014August – Chinese government rules out a fully democratic election for Hong Kong leader in 2017, saying that only candidates approved by Beijing will be allowed to run.
2014September-November – Pro-democracy demonstrators occupy the city centre for weeks in protest at the Chinese governments decision to limit voters choices in the 2017 Hong Kong leadership election. More than 100,000 people took to the streets at the height of the Occupy Central protests.
2014December – Authorities take down Mong Kok protest camp, leaving a few hundred protesters at two camps at Admiralty and Causeway Bay.
2014December – Hong Kong tycoon and former government official Thomas Kwok is sentenced to five years in jail in the citys biggest-ever corruption case.
2015June – Legislative Council rejects proposals for electing the territorys next leader in 2017. Despite pro-democracy protests and a lengthy consultation process, the plans remained the same as those outlined by China in 2014.
2016August – Hundreds of protesters rally against the disqualification of six pro-independence candidates from Legislative Council elections on 4 September.
2016September – A new generation of pro-independence activists win seats in Legislative Council elections in the highest turnout since the 1997 handover from Britain to China.
2016November – Thousands of people gather in central Hong Kong to show their support for Chinas intervention in the territorys political affairs after Beijing moves to have two pro-independence legislators removed from office.
2016November -The high court disqualifies pro-independence legislators Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-Ching from taking their seats in the Legislative Council after they refused to pledge allegiance to China during a swearing in ceremony.
2016December – Chief Executive CY Leung announces he will not see re-election when his current term ends in July 2017, citing family reasons.
2017February – Former chief executive Donald Tsang is sentenced to 20 months in prison for misconduct in public office after he was accused of concealing private rental negotiations with a property tycoon for a luxury apartment in China, in return for awarding its owner a broadcasting licence.
2017March – CY Leungs deputy Carrie Lam wins the Electoral College to become the next chief executive.
2017June – Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong to swear in Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and uses his visit to warn against any attempt to undermine Chinas influence over the special administrative region.