Thursday 21 May 2009

History notes - From Japanese occupation to being as an IFC

(This is just part of the topic "Hong Kong on 20th century". The remaining part of this topic, "popular culture" and "relationship with China" will be posted later.) Hong Kong in the 20th century Japanese occupation Since 1930s, Japan was ruled by militarists and they plan to expand her land, and they adopted the expansionist policy. During WWII, on 8th Dec, 1941, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, an American naval base, and Hong Kong at the same day. They bombed Kai Tak airport, NT, Kowloon and occupied Kowloon Peninsula in only 6 days, and at Christmas of that year, the governor of Hong Kong at that time, Sir Mark Young surrounded. Then a military government(HSBC as Government House) was set up to rule Hong Kong, and they adopted the following policies: 1) The Repatriation of the Chinese – sending all jobless/homeless people back to China and young people to Japan to work. 2) Food rationing – Based on food shortage during war, a system of food rationing is adopted on 1942; nesscities like rice, flour, and salt were all rationed. As a result, many people suffered from malnutrition. 3) Currency – In order to raise money, Japan issued military yen and later became the only circulate currency in Hong Kong. The HK dollar being exchanged is use for buying supply for Japan (because HK dollar is valuable round the world), after Japan surrounded on 1945, they became worthless and Japan refused to change them back into HK dollar until now. 4) Education and culture – they imposed tight control on mass media and textbooks, compulsorily teach Japanese in schools, Japanese festival celebrated and name of roads were changed. The hygiene conditions that time were poor. Damaged roads, pipes weren’t repaired, garbage piled up and cholera broke out. Anti-Epidemic Bureau was set up but not successfully improves the condition. After Japan’s surrounding on 15th August, 1945, Sir Cecil Harcourt came HK and restore British Control. Sir Mark Young restores the civil government on April, 1946. After the war, military yen is replaced by HK dollar, control the distribution and prices of food, rebuilt facilities, all those were carried out by Sir Cecil Harcourt. The Young plan – Sir Mark Young wanted to set up a municipal council, and proposed the Young Plan, but it’s finally dropped in 1952. From Entrepot to IFC 1) From post war to the formation of PRC, civil war was broken out in China and lots of people escaped to HK, and bring capital, skills and cheap labour force, this made HK possible to change into an industrial center. 2) Korean War (1950-1953) – United Nations placed embargo on Chinese good based on different blocs, and HK’s re-export trading decreased sharply, and HK had to find a new way to earn money, and that’s industry. 3) 1950s-mid-1970s – during this period, industries in HK are labour-intensive and mainly light industry, such as textile, clothing, plastics, electronics, watches and toys. However later on, some Asian competitors came out and protectionism grew in Europe and US, and HK began to diversify towards the production of better goods. 4) 1980s- HK’s economy went to a process of diversification and Financial services, and tourism is developed, transportation and communication is improved and HK became an international financial center. Livings of people in HK from 1950s to 1980s Housing: 1950s squatter huts, 1953 – Shek Kip Mei fire→resettlement estates 1960s Low cost housing estates for low income families 1972 redevelop old housing estate 1978 House Ownership Scheme (HOS) Education: 1950s Primary educationExpanded; Compulsory primary education 1960s All children under 15 must receive 9 years free compulsory education 1970s Set up technical and prevocational schools before the end of 20th century : 7 universites already Social welfare: Voluntary organization before WWII: Tung Wah group of Hospitals, Po Leung Kuk after WWII: the Caritas of HK, Hong Kong Red Cross, The community Chess 1948 Social Welfare Office→Department of Social WelfareProvide family and child welfare services, and cash allowances to elderly and disabled. The rapid growth of economy → create many job opportunities, raised income level of people in HK, create a better environment.Everyone began to have a home and children receive education, and live standard has improved continually.

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