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Hong Kong in the Cold War$
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Priscilla Roberts and John M. Carroll

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208005

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208005.001.0001

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Hong Kong as an International Tourism Space

Hong Kong as an International Tourism Space

The Politics of American Tourism in the 1960s

(p.160) 6 Hong Kong as an International Tourism Space
Hong Kong in the Cold War

Chi-Kwan Mark

Hong Kong University Press

After 1945 globalization and mass tourism were mutually reinforcing developments. A traditionally free travel space, Hong Kong was part and parcel of the globalization of tourism. Major international and regional airlines operated in and through Hong Kong; new hotels sprang up whilst the older ones expanded in size; and the city became the ’shopping paradise’ of the world. For Americans, whether businessmen, leisure travelers, or military personnel on rest and recreation, Hong Kong was one of the most desirable destinations in Asia, second only to Japan. Yet the globalization of American tourism was a highly politicized process. Due to its strategic location, Hong Kong became embroiled in the geopolitics of the Vietnam War and the political spillover of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the mid-1960s, Beijing repeatedly protested against what it claimed was the US Navy’s use of Hong Kong as a “base of aggression” against North Vietnam. Meanwhile, in 1967 left-wing elements in Hong Kong carried out their own Cultural Revolution-style struggle against the authorities. Sandwiched between American demands for ’R & R’ facilities on the one hand, and the Chinese protests and local Maoist challenges on the other, the Hong Kong government had to deliberate on the future of American tourism.

Keywords:   Hong Kong, China, History, Politics, Cold War, Communism, Capitalism, Culture, Economics, Intelligence

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