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

Updated 0919 GMT (1719 HKT) June 26, 2017

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.