• HISTORY – Photos from 1962 of Mainland Refugees Fleeing Famine Rejected by HK

    Date: 2012.12.10 | Category: Blog, History & Abandoned HK | Tags: ,

    As war and famine ravaged the mainland, hundreds of thousands fled to British Hong Kong during the 40s, 50s and 60s…

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    LIFE Magazine captured the experiences of some of these migrants in an issue from May, 1962…

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    Some had travelled thousands of miles to begin a new life in the British colony. Meanwhile, the US welcomed only skilled workers…

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    A quick cigarette before being returned to the mainland…

    Hong Kong based historian Frank Dikötter (2010) estimated that, at minimum, 45 million people died from starvation, overwork and state violence during the Great Leap Forward…

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    Many ended up in shanty towns and refugee camps – none of which exist today…

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    Others were sent back to communist China as the government feared over-crowding…

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    Border controls were only imposted in HK in June 1951 – two years after the People’s Republic was reorganised as the Communist Party…

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    HK border patrol checking papers

    For much of the 1950s, as many as 100,000 people fled to Hong Kong each month…

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    …Some of whom were rich farmers and experienced capitalists. Others were criminals who went on to establish the triad society in the city…

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    Hong Kong’s population in the 1960s was estimated at 3 million…

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    Half of the population was under the age of 25 and the group became Hong Kong’s baby boom generation.

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    Ghurka troops in the British forces guarding the border

    Food shortages north of the border were deemed ‘serious natural calamities’ by Peking…

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    Click here for LIFE’s photos of the leftist riots which followed just a few years later…

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