Free Trade Authority Zone of Hong Kong (FTAZ-Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Xianggang, HK Freetrade Zone, Wellington Treaty Zone, etc.) The Zone came to life in the wake of the Chinese Civil War, after a time of great turmoil, that saw the city flooded with refugees originating mostly from the far west of the People's Republic. During the “easy20s”, Hong Kong had seen a time of stable prosperity and – slowing – growth due to the largely friendly competition with the neighboring Special Administrative Region of Shenzen as well as due to very liberal policies from Bejing, which granted the Special Administrative Region almost as much authority as if it was a sovereign state of it's own. Despite Beijing's Paradigm Shift of 2030 and the ensuing widespread civil unrest, Hong Kong's leaders kept their allegiance with Beijing - much to the disappointment of the angry mobs that roamed the streets at the times. Still, even the most Beijing loyal members of Hong Kong's leadership were shocked when the party cracked down hard on the protesters on the streets, putting the city under PLA lockdown for almost three months, while at the same time removing from office any politicians daring to openly question the new party line. This was the time, when the first secessionist memes took hold amongst the local upper tiers of Hong Kong society. Also it seemed that Shenzen's administration rooted most of the arriving refugees from mainland China through to Hong Kong's New Territories, leading to thousands of homeless and displaced people flooding the already overcrowded Special Administrations Region which was already having severe problems with refugees from the Subsaharan Wars that had made their way across the pacific. The Civil War ended with a new leadership in Beijing stepping away from the harsh oppressiveness that had lead the country on the brink of ruin and had sent the world economy down into another crisis. The new party leaders eased up on the Special Administrative Zone policies, allowing Hong Kong once again to walk whichever way the local authorities wanted to – as long as it didn't stray too far from the road Beijing envisioned. Even with the new, laxer regimen, it was perfectly clear that Hong Kong had strikingly little real autonomy left, the Executive Council still arbitrarily staffed with Beijing loyalists. In 2042, twelve years after the Chinese Civil War's onset, three years after the Korean Reunification War, Beijing took a great and potentially risky diplomatic step to defuse the low burning cold war situation among it's southern coast, by formally loosing it's ties to the Special Administrative Zone. A huge diplomatic conference was organized to take place in Wellington, New Zealand, to plot the reorganization of the HKSAR as well as negotiate a watcher membership of the Zone as semi-sovereign state within ASEAN. The compromise that was to become the Wellington Treaties saw the Special Administrative Region become the Free Trade Authority Zone, giving the city a much higher degree of independence while formally keeping it tied to the People's Republic. The treaties made Hong Kong into a military neutral zone, allowing military presence by any state run military only under special circumstances. Also, the treaties established the unique governmental structures that have proven highly successful until today, tying together corporate and state leaderships. Police authority was reorganized to form the Public Protection Buro (PPB), an umbrella organization which uses PMC contracts to fill it's ranks. The organization to oversee all diplomatic relations in the Wellington Treaty Zone was to become the infamous Military Intelligence Network Defense (MIND) group, recruited from the best minds the intelligence world had to offer. With the pressing problems pushed out of the way by these treaties, the real problems began to surface again. The city was still overrun with countless refugees. The Bionic Fund had been forced to file for bankruptcy, resulting in the gigantic construction site of the Bionic Tower Beta grinding to a halt. Despite all the problems the Zone had had, the city was expanding at a breakneck speed. The enormously numerous skyscraper sized housing projects could barely keep up with the number of people coming into the region. So, although the Bionic Project had just proven itself being one massive failure, the city headed for the first big arcology boom, which saw a great deal of heavy reconstruction and urban reshaping in the central districts. Most of Hong Kong's most iconic megabuildings of today were constructed in that time, between 2045 and 2051. That time also saw the reconstruction and repossession of the artificial island and the gigantic ruinous stump situated on it, when a collective of small Japanese financial institutions bought up and radically reshaped what was left of the Bionic Fund and it's visionary “starscraper” construction projects. The newly reborn Bionic Fund presented the troubled Corporate Council with an intriguing proposition: The Fund would take care of the city's huge refugee problem, by building a whole new city district to house the displaced people on the barren artificial island surrounding the tower – in exchange for a certain rights of limited autonomy from the Free Trade Authority Zone. Since the refugees were posing a huge, so far unsolvable problem for the city officials, and since there would be no help coming from Beijing, the city officials gladly accepted the offer. The Bionic Fund kept true to it's proposition, and quickly erected block by block a whole new city on the artificial island, while managing the whole bureaucratic processes that came with the refugees. By 2047, only half a year after the proposition had gone through, “Bionic Village” welcomed it's first inhabitants from the northwestern reaches of the former People's Republic. Three years later the city had grown over most of the artificial island, housing about half a million refugees. Bionic Island is a cesspool of violence and racial tensions, it's inhabitants coming from all over the world, mostly from western China and eastern Africa. The Bionic Fund provides new arrivals with shelter and some very basic needs while they run through a rough process of integration that usually provides a menial job either on the island proper or in the greater area of Hong Kong Macao itself. There have been persistent rumors circulating the net, about the collective of Japanese financial institutions actually having been an expanding Yakuza cartel in disguise, which is something that has yet to be proven by anyone. Also, the limited autonomy given to the Island served as a welcome precedence for many of the newly built arcologies. The Bionic Act states, that any man made structure which has a total usable ground size exceeding 2 million square meters is viable for limited authority in regard to peacekeeping and regulation of it's inhabitants, basically rendering all bigger authorities semi-states within the Free Trade Authority Zone. During the Luzon Crisis in the 2050s, Hong Kong became once more harbor to a new wave of refugees. Yet Hong Kong PMCs were quickly able to capitalize on this neighboring warzone, bringing in lucrative contracts from corporate allies all over the world who needed their properties defended against Infosocialist “big scale piracy” as a Megatech spokesperson put it. When the US was hit hard by the Silicon Valley Blast in 62, and subsequently had it's PMCs take control of troubled Taiwan, the Zone's corporations made the best of this, by buying out or buying into ailing Taiwanese corporations, by engaging in diplomatic talks with both the PRC, the US and the Taiwanese leaders, allowing Hong Kong based PMCs onto the island as well. Today the Free Trade Authority Zone is the financial and corporate hub of South-East Asia, rivaled only by the city state of Singapore, a cesspool of 20 million people living in the most densely populated arcological zones in the world. A city that's dominated by corporate (and sometimes national) infighting, diplomacy and intriguing, racial and political tensions, crime, oppression, corruption, violence and decay. But no matter the problems, for it's denizens, it's home. A place for free minds, and free trading. There's no other place in the world like it. Welcome to the Free Trade Authority Zone of Hong Kong.