Canada–Hong Kong relations

Hong Kong Canada Hong Kong Basic Law
Canada - Hong Kong relations
Map indicating locations of Canada and Hong Kong


Hong Kong

Canada–Hong Kong relations refers to international relations between Canada and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. Canada and Hong Kong share a legal and political history as parts of the former British Empire, and Canada continues to maintain strong relations with Hong Kong. The Canadian government strongly supports Hong Kong's autonomy under Chinese sovereignty in accordance with the "one country, two systems" principle as provided for in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law, Hong Kong's de facto constitution.

Canadian policy toward Hong Kong is underpinned by its substantial commercial interests, the established Hong Kong diaspora in Canada, and the substantial Canadian expatriate community in the territory. An estimated 300,000 Canadian citizens reside in Hong Kong, making Hong Kong the second-largest Canadian community abroad after the United States.[1] Canada and Hong Kong SAR both shares "birthday" on the same day, 1 July, as Canada Day and Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day respectively.


Both Hong Kong and Canada shared common history for being part of the British Empire. Interactions between Hong Kong and Canada increased with the start of Trans-Pacific services of Canadian Pacific Steamship Company (CPSC), a company of Canadian Pacific Railway in the late 19th century. From 1887 through 1941, three specially designed Empress ocean liners—the RMS Empress of China, the RMS Empress of India and the RMS Empress of Japan provided passengers and cargo services, in addition being contracted postal service provider between the British Isles and Hong Kong via Canada began in 1891. CPR initiated an ocean-going service between the port of Vancouver and Victoria, BC and Hong Kong, with calls at Japan and China, and later at Manila, Philippine Islands and Honolulu, Hawaii. This service provided a link for CPR's transcontinental railroad passenger and freight services. Passengers could travel from the British Isles to Eastern Canada, travel across Canada via railway to Vancouver, and onward to Asian destinations including Hong Kong. During 1887, temporary steamship service was initiated on a Vancouver-Yokohama-Hong Kong route.[2] Low-cost labourers from southern China could travel from Hong Kong to Western Canada on the same route, eventually help building the Canadian Pacific Railway (between 1881 and 1885) [3] and Yukon in the 1890s for potential gold prospects.

The first ever Canadian representative in Hong Kong was the Canadian Immigration office, which opened in 1923. Canadian first participated in a land battle during the Second World War, albeit a lost battle, was the Battle of Hong Kong. The same mission elevated to become Canadian Trade Commission from 1927 until the Handover of Hong Kong Sovereignty in July 1997, when it became the current mission of Canadian Consulate-General to Hong Kong & Macao.

Bilateral agreements

Articles 151, 153 and 155 of the Hong Kong Basic Law permit Hong Kong to conclude its own non-military bilateral agreements with foreign countries.[4] The bilateral treaty on air services between Canada and Hong Kong predates the handover of Hong Kong and has remained in force since 1988. Since the transfer to Chinese sovereignty, the governments of Canada and Hong Kong entered in to several other bilateral agreements. A mutual legal assistance treaty was enacted in 2002. The Canada-Hong Kong Income Tax Agreement, a tax treaty, entered into force on October 29, 2013.[5]

The Canada-Hong Kong Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Agreement, an extradition treaty enacted on June 13, 1997 between Canada and Hong Kong, was suspended by Government of Canada on July 3, 2020 in response to the promulgation of the Hong Kong national security law by the Chinese Central Government.[6][7]

Trade and investment

Canada's commercial interests in Hong Kong are extensive and range from banking, accounting, legal, engineering, information technology services and retail and general trading. In 2011, Canada exported C$3 billion in goods in Base metals, machinery and agrifood to Hong Kong, making Hong Kong the Canada's 10th largest export destination for goods, and probably higher in terms of services. Hong Kong companies have cumulative investments in Canada of $6 billion. In addition to having a strong domestic market, Hong Kong also remains an important door to the Greater China market. Hong Kong importers often take Canadian products into China. Sales in Hong Kong can also be used to showcase Canadian products and technologies to buyers in China. Hong Kong is a logical starting point for Canadian firms interested in getting a foothold in Asia. There are about 160 Canadian companies are based here, with a third of which, use Hong Kong as their regional headquarters.


There are 500,000 people of Hong Kong descent in Canada, which encompasses around 216,000 people of Hong Kong born population now live in Canada, per 2006 Census in Canada. Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada gave a conservative estimate of over 295,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, as of 2011,[8] while Hong Kong Census declared along with some, plays a dynamic role in building vibrant bilateral relations. Over 100,000 Canadian university alumni representing various active alumni associations in Hong Kong.

The Canadian Consulate-General represents the Canadian Federal Government in Hong Kong. Some Canadian provinces has trade or immigration offices in Hong Kong, including Alberta, British Columbia [9] and Quebec Québec Immigration Office in Hong Kong. In Canada, the Hong Kong SAR is represented through the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office based in Toronto, Ontario.[10]

There are an estimated 295,000 Canadians residing in Hong Kong, larger than the population of Regina or Saskatoon, or twice of that of the province of Prince Edward Island, of which 85% are Canadian-born (higher than Canada's 80.2%),[11] and an estimated >500,000 Hong Kong Canadians residing in Canada.[12] The Canadian Consulate-General in the territory is among the largest foreign missions of Canada and larger than many Canadian embassies by number of staff and annual budget, and engages actively in the latest political development of the territory, including statements regarding suppression of human rights and press freedom, and open support in the form of posts and tweets towards the annual vigil to commemorate the June 4th Tian'anmen Massacre in 1989. Hong Kong Canadians have served as Governor-General, Lieutenant Governors, Senator, ministers and shadow ministers, members of provincial assemblies, university chancellor, and city councillors.


According to data from Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Canadian tourists in Hong Kong spent more than C$99 million in the year 2011.[13] On the other way 46,680 Canadian tourists visited Hong Kong making Canada the eighth highest source of tourists.

Both Canada and Hong Kong have offered "Working Holiday Programs" since March 2010. The programme allows 200 young students to holiday in Hong Kong or Canada and to take temporary employment as needed to cover the expenses of their visit. The programme aims to increase travel by young people between Canada and Hong Kong and to strengthen the links between the two regions.[14][15]

Proposed confederation with Canada

The idea of confederation with Canada as the eleventh province or the fourth territory was floated with reference to Ken McGoogan's proposal regarding Scotland[16] alongside the proposals of becoming independent (within or outside the Commonwealth, as a republic or a Commonwealth realm),[17] rejoining the Commonwealth,[18] returning to British rule as a dependent territory,[19] joining the Republic of China,[20] admission to the United States,[21] or aceding to other federations as a or a number of city-states. One such proponent is columnist Wong Sai Chak (who goes by the nom de plume Martin Oei).

See also


  1. ^ "Canadians Abroad" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Railway Management; the Canadian Pacific." New York Times. May 13, 1887.
  3. ^ "Chinese Canadian History, The Canadian Pacific Railway (1881-1885)". Archived from the original on 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  4. ^ Hong Kong Basic Law Chapter VII : External Affairs
  5. ^ "Entry into Force of the Tax Agreement between Canada and Hong Kong". Department of Finance Canada. Government of Canada. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Canada says it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong". Reuters. 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  7. ^ "Canada suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong over new security law". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  8. ^ Close to 300,000 Canadian Citizens Estimated to be Living in Hong Kong
  9. ^ Trade and Invest BC Representative in Hong Kong
  10. ^ Canada-Hong Kong relationship Canadian Consulate-General Hong Kong
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-11-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Canada-Hong Kong Relations". Canadian Consulate-General in Hong Kong.
  13. ^ Table 6.4 Spending in Canada by Foreigners and Spending of Canadians in Foreign Countries 2011
  14. ^ "International Experience Canada for residents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – Travel and Work in Canada". Archived from the original on 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  15. ^ Hong Kong Working Holiday Scheme – Canada
  16. ^ "香港 加拿大 蘇格蘭 聯邦會唔會更實際?". Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  17. ^ New party seeks Hong Kong's return to British rule
  18. ^ "British lawmaker to Beijing: Allow Hong Kong to rejoin Commonwealth". Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  19. ^ There’s a movement to turn Hong Kong back into a British colony, PRI
  20. ^
  21. ^ [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]