The sovereignty of Hong Kong, a former British territory, was transferred to China on July 1, 1997, following the expiration of a 99-year treaty signed by China and the United Kingdom. The treaty gave the United Kingdom the use of the trading port of Hong Kong, as well as a section of land on Mainland China known as the New Territories. Since the treaty for the New Territories was due to expire in the late 1990s, the United Kingdom and China entered into negotiations to hand over to China both Hong Kong (covered by an in-perpetuity agreement) and the New Territories. China agreed to the terms of the negotiation, which granted Hong Kong special administrative rights, limited sovereignty and self-rule, and allowed its economic structure to remain in place until 2047. Hong Kong was and continues to be one of the most developed territories in the world, as well as one of the great banking and financial centers.