Nanyue became a successful kingdom that had a mostly Han Chinese ruling elite with a large number of native Yue inhabitants as lesser leaders and officials.
Artifacts from the period have been found throughout the greater Guangzhou area, but none have yet been found in Hong Kong.
The territory remained largely unoccupied until the later years of the Qing dynasty when Imperial China ceded the region to Great Britain under the 1842 Treaty of Nanking, whereupon Hong Kong became a British Colony. Little is known for certain about the Yue people other than from information gleaned from ancient Chinese records and modern archaeological excavations.
Their language is believed to have been Austroasiatic, although a clear consensus has yet to be reached on its more specific aspects.
Shortly after consolidating his rule over China in 221 BC, the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty sent a large army to conquer the Yue tribes and bring what is now southern China under Qin control.
In 214 BC, Qin armies defeated the Yue tribes, and the area was annexed as Qin territory.)- roughly equivalent to modern day provinces - and the territory of what is now Guangdong and Hong Kong became part of the Nanhai Commandery.
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The First Emperor's death in 210 BC precipitated a number of revolts and insurrections throughout China.
Zhao Tuo, a Han Chinese general who had marched south with the Qin army, declared the founding of a kingdom called Nanyue, with himself as king and a capital at Panyu (modern Guangzhou).