Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The island was ceded by the Qing Emperor of China to Britain with Kowloon in 1860 through the Convention of Peking. The island was initially used for quarrying by the British: Murray House, a British colonial-style building which has been transplanted from Central, Hong Kong to Stanley, is made from granite columns which were imported from Manila and quarried on Stonecutter's Island.
Stonecutters Island was captured by the Japanese Imperial Army on December 11, 1941, following heavy shelling. Merchant ships in the island's docks were scuttled, and demolitions were carried out at Kowloon Naval Yard and on the island. During the World War II, radio installations on the island were used by the Japanese for military purposes and for extending the range of tranmission of the NHK Overseas Broadcasting Bureau.
The island was connected to the Kowloon peninsula by the West Kowloon Reclamation in the 1990s to provide land for the construction of the road and railway network to the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, and for the new container terminals.
A British Royal Navy base was previously established on the island. Following the reunification of Hong Kong with China on July 1, 1997, the naval base is now operated by the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China.
Stonecutter's Island is the contemporary site of a large sewage treatment facility. Also, the Stonecutters Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge which would link up the Kowloon peninsula with the Tsing Yi Island to form part of Route 8, is presently under construction on the island and is scheduled to complete in 2008.
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