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I. Basic knowledge of land ownership in Hong Kong

The People's Republic of China owns all the land in Hong Kong , except the land on which St John's Cathedral stands. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong, acting on behalf of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative, has the powers to lease and grant state land to the public for ownership for a limited period of time (legally defined as "leasehold" land). The Chief Executive can do so by: i) granting Government leases for a certain period, or ii) granting licences for individuals or corporations to occupy Government land for special purposes for a certain period (usually shorter than a government lease). In other words, a "land owner" actually leases the land from the Government but the relevant lease period can be very long (e.g. 50 years or more).

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