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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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The Fading of Distinctiveness

The Fading of Distinctiveness

Original People in a Sea of Newcomers

(p.173) 9 The Fading of Distinctiveness
A Chinese Melting Pot

Elizabeth Lominska Johnson

Graham E. Johnson

Hong Kong University Press

The 1970s were marked by dramatic changes in government policies during the governorship of Sir Murray MacLehose. The New Territories became the locus of a planned population shift away from crowded Hong Kong and Kowloon, and the idea of ‘New Towns’, based on Tsuen Wan’s developments, was central. It went hand-in-hand with infrastructural developments, which revolutionized transportation and ended the relative isolation of Tsuen Wan through the MTR. The administration of Tsuen Wan fundamentally changed and the creation of District Boards (later Councils), beginning first in Tsuen Wan, altered the system of political consultation throughout Hong Kong. The 1980s were marked by dramatic changes in economic policies within China, not least in the areas of China adjacent to Hong Kong, which saw industrialization through the Pearl River delta region and de-industrialization in Tsuen Wan. Emergence of a distinctive Hong Kong identity, and a new political culture, emerged as sovereignty over Hong Kong was resumed by China in 1997. Tsuen Wan changed from the working class town that it has been into one dominated by middle class housing developments, much like the rest of Hong Kong, although the villages of the original inhabitants remained.

Keywords:   new government policies, Governor MacLehose, new town policy, town manager, District Boards, infrastructural change, The China Factor, de-industrialization, political change, identity, retrocession, the Pearl River delta

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