New Kowloon is an area in Kowloon, Hong Kong, bounded in the south by Boundary Street, and in the north by the ranges of the Lion Rock, Beacon Hill, Tate's Cairn and Kowloon Peak. It covers the present-day Kwun Tong District and Wong Tai Sin District, and part of the Sham Shui Po District and Kowloon City District.
Historically, the territory south of Boundary Street (known as Kowloon and Stonecutter's Island) was ceded by Qing dynasty China to Great Britain in 1860 under the Convention of Peking. The territory north of Boundary Street (later known as New Kowloon) remained part of China until it was leased as part of the New Territories to Britain in 1898 for 99 years under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory (also known as the Second Convention of Peking). The area of New Kowloon was defined by law in 1937 to increase land available for urban development. In practice, nevertheless, both the areas to the south and to the north of Boundary Street (i.e. both Kowloon and New Kowloon), from the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east to Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Lai Chi Kok Bay in the west, are collectively known as "Kowloon". For example, a postal address in Kwun Tong will identify "Kowloon" as its regional destination, even though it is technically in New Kowloon.
In modern-day conversations, the term "New Kowloon" is now rarely heard in Hong Kong. New Kowloon is no longer regarded as part of the New Territories, but as a part of the Kowloon urban area beyond Boundary Street. Nevertheless, the legal definitions of Kowloon, New Kowloon and New Territories remain unchanged - New Kowloon has remained legally part of the New Territories instead of Kowloon. On July 1, 1997, the territories on both sides of Boundary Street (ceded and leased respectively) were transferred to the China, along with the rest of Hong Kong.
The designation "New Kowloon" still has some legal implications, however. Because New Kowloon technically remains part of the New Territories in law, privately owned land in New Kowloon is held by way of a land lease from the Hong Kong government, and is thereby subject to rent payments.
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- Definition of New Kowloon in the Laws of Hong Kong as defined in 1937, Cap 1 SCHED 5, Hong Kong Laws.