In the first decades of the twentieth century, Tsuen Wan began its transformation from an impoverished district of Hakka farming and fishing villages to one in which wage labour became available in infrastructure construction and small industry. After the Japanese occupation the area industrialized rapidly, attracting large numbers of immigrants from China. They adapted by forming associations, while the original people rented land and housing to the newcomers. The government initially was overwhelmed, but eventually began planning a ‘new town’, with the original inhabitants remaining in their villages, their rights protected in today’s post-industrial city.
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