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(reminder: all quotes here are fiddled, probably.)

香港: 殖民地社會

Introduction of Faure, Society: A documentary history of Hong Kong

香港: 殖民地社會



Hong Kong was a China coast city. It was by and large a Chinese city. It was a metropolis. But above all, it was a colony.

Hong Kong became a British colony from 1842. It outlasted most British colonies. Post-Second World War Britain lost its world power status and gave up most of its colonies; in the pursuit of an open door into Europe, it gave up even the British Commonwealth. But colonial status lingered on in Hong Kong because, as it was said in the 1960s, China tolerated it, Britain saw no alternative to continuing and the Hong Kong people wanted it. By the 1980s, that situation changed.

Even at its mightiest, Britain had no social policy on Hong Kong as such. It applied British justice and periodically enforced standards that had been tried in Britain, whether or not they had succeeded in Britain or were suited to Hong Kong. It is hard to understand why the Hong Kong government would have promoted a Housing Society together with a Resettlement Department in the 1 950s unless one realizes that the British home government sought to provide housing in Britain through the combined efforts of building societies and local. councils. It is also hard to understand why in the 1970s Hong Kong should have adopted a sudden spate of labour legislation until one sees that a Labour government had come to power in London and that British Members of Parliament and the British press in the 1960s had been painting Hong Kong as a sweatshop. Hong Kong people did not demand housing, social welfare, legislation, police, not even universal education; but, in post-war Hong Kong, they had been granted by acts of benevolent government. Once granted, however, many Hong Kong people delighted in having these provisions. In this way, the benevolent provisions of the Hong Kong government, together with other provisions that were less benevolent, wove their way into Hong Kong society.

A superimposed government was the mark of the colonial status. But there must have been a society on which it was superimposed.



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