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A Chinese Melting PotOriginal People and Immigrants in Hong Kong's First 'New Town'$
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Elizabeth Lominska Johnson and Graham E. Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455898

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455898.001.0001

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Settling In: Kwan Mun Hau, 1968–1970

Settling In: Kwan Mun Hau, 1968–1970

(p.84) 5 Settling In: Kwan Mun Hau, 1968–1970
A Chinese Melting Pot

Elizabeth Lominska Johnson

Graham E. Johnson

Hong Kong University Press

Hong Kong was occupied by Japanese military forces from 1941-45. The occupation was brutal. Many died and women were abused by soldiers. There was clandestine support for guerilla activities. Civil war, and revolution, in China after 1945 brought investment by, especially, industrialists from the Shanghai area and the onset of industrialization, primarily in textiles. There was mass migration from China which provided labour for industry but caused major housing problems. Village lands were overwhelmed by industry and immigrants which reduced the original Hakka inhabitants to a numerical minority, but brought them rental income. Their distinctive land rights were key for development of the growing town and allowed kin groups and some families to flourish. The original inhabitants maintained political dominance through the Rural Committee. Some villages were re-sited away from the growing town centre in the early 1960s, but development was compromised by colony-wide disturbances in 1967-68. The town had great linguistic diversity in the 1950s and 1960.

Keywords:   military occupation, starvation, recovery, immigration, industrialization, urbanization, unplanned development, housing, village re-siting, linguistic diversity

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