1945-1949 1967-1984

Hong Kong 1949-1967

Administration . In July 1947, Alexander Grantham assumed governorship, and held on to it until 1957. He was succeeded by Robert Brown Black (1958-1963), Edmund Brinsley Teesdale (1963-1964). and David Clive Crosbie Trench (1964-1971).

Hong Kong and China . Fears that the People's Liberation Army toward the end of the Chinese Civil War would invade Hong Kong territory were unfounded. In 1950 the United Kingdom diplomatically recognized the PR China.
Relations were uneasy, as Chinese propaganda was critical of both colonialism and capitalism. On the other hand, Hong Kong continued to experience an influx of Chinese refugees.
In 1956, 1966 and 1967 Hong Kong saw major riots; in 1956 it was a conflict between pro-ROC and pro-PRC Chinese. The riots of 1966 began with anti-British demonstrations, those of 1967 were started by Hong Kong Communists, supporters of the Red Guards, reflecting the Cultural Revolution going on at that time in the PRC.

The Economy . Hong Kong expanded her position as a regional trade hub, in part due to the fact that Shanghai had been eliminated as competition because it had been taken over by the Communists. B.R. Mitchell gives Hong Kong's aggregate imports, in current value of 2000, as 2.9 billion HK $ in 1949, 3.7 billion HK $ in 1955, 5.8 billion HK $ in 1960 and 10.4 billion HK $ in 1967. (IHS p.545). The Korean War (1950-1953) contributed to the revitalization of Hong Kong's economy. The U.S. embargo on trade with the PR China imposed in 1951 affected Hong Kong. The colony developed manufacturing industries, which thrived due to the supply of cheap labour and lax labour regulations. Among the early industries establishing themselves were the toy industry the textile industry, cheap watches, simple electronic products and cameras. Typical Hong Kong enterprises of the time were small, employed less than 100 workers. The trademark "Made in Hong Kong" was introduced, in order for the products not to be affected by the U.S. embargo on Chinese products.
Hong Kong's textile exports reached such a volume that in a 1959 agreement with the U.K., Hong Kong introduced voluntary restraints; similar agreements with other countries followed.

Social History . The population of Hong Kong expanded from 2.2 million in early 1950 to 3.7 million in 1967.
The Chinese quarters of Hong Kong and most of Kowloon was extremely crowded. Many of the refugees which had come into the city had settled as squatters, in makeshift huts. While the administration treated many of these newcomers as temporary residents, the slums proved a hazard. In 1953 a major fire burnt much of Shek Kip Mei district.
The city administration began a policy of bulldozing slum areas and building high-rise modern housing complexes. Many new schools were built, existing schools expanded, in order to provide elementary education for every child.

Cultural History . Hong Kong athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964. Horse racing, organized by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (of 1884), was popular with the Hong Kong residents, who like to bet on prospective winners. TV broadcasting began in 1957.

Article 1950es in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, Alexander Grantham, Robert Brown Black, Edmund Brinsley Teesdale, David Clive Crosbie Trench, Shek Kip Mei, Hong Kong 1956 Riots, Hong Kong 1966 Riots, Hong Kong 1967 Leftist Riots, Demographics of Hong Kong, Hong Kong at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong at the 1956 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong Jockey Club, from Wikipedia
A Case of Self-Delusion. Part 1 : From Colonialism to Confusion, by Henry C.K. Liu
Economic History of Hong Kong, from Economic History Encyclopedia
Britain mulled nuclear strike on China over Hong Kong in 1961, from Information Liberation
DOCUMENTS Hong Kong Administrators, from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon), scroll down for Hong Kong
Historical Population Statistics : Hong Kong, from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003 [G]
Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place, The History of Hong Kong, NY : Kodansha 1993
Article : British Empire, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.128-129 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 p.341, 1951 pp.344-345, 1952 p.337, 1953 pp.335-336, 1954 p.334, 1955 pp.382-383, 1956 p.321, 1957 p.384, 1958 p.319, 1959 p.318, 1960 p.318, 1961 p.324, 1962 pp.315-316, 1963 pp.431-432 [G]
Article : Colonies and Dependent Territories, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1964 pp.265-268 [G]
Article : Commonwealth of Nations, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1964 pp.268-269 [G]
Article : Colonies and Other Dependencies : Hong Kong, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1965 p.252, 1966 pp.203-204, 1967 p.218, 1968 p.216 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.352-353, 1961 pp.332-333, 1962 pp.337-338, 1963 pp.305-306, 1964 pp.303-304 [G]
Article : Commonwealth of Nations, in : Americana Annual 1965 pp.183-185 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : Americana Annual 1968 pp.189-190, 326-327 [G]
Article : Hong Kong, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 p.194, 1961 p.150 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 8th 2007

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