Hong Kong (/ˌhɒŋˈkɒŋ/ (listen); Chinese: 香港, Hong Kong Cantonese: (listen)), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, Hong Kong Island became a colony of the British Empire at the end of the First Opium War in 1842, followed by Kowloon in 1860 after the Second Opium War, and the modern territory was completed in 1898 with a 99 year British lease over the New Territories, which comprise 86% of Hong Kong's land. Sovereignty over the territory was restored to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains governing and economic systems separate from those of mainland China, under the "one country, two systems" designation. Its people tend to identify as Hongkongers rather than Chinese.