China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: Historically, infrastructures played an important role in the formation of societies and economies. They provided fundamental services and facilities required for the organisation of modern civilisations. Using historical methods, this panel examines the under-explored history of infrastructures in colonial Hong Kong from the 1960s to 1990s. It investigates how geopolitics, such as the Sino-American tensions and rapprochement, the Vietnam War and changing Sino-British relations, influenced the construction of various infrastructures involving Hong Kong and China. It examines how the colonial government managed these commodities and how Hong Kong communities responded to the creation and regulation of these infrastructures, namely the changing education curricula since the 1960s, the Water Emergency in Hong Kong in 1963-1964, the electrification of the Kowloon-Canton Railway in the 1970s and the construction of the new airport in 1975-1983. This period is pivotal. Politically, the Cultural Revolution in China led to the outbreak of the 1967 riots in Hong Kong. Subsequently, the colonial government changed its ruling strategies drastically. Socially, Chinese immigrants settling in Hong Kong increased, placing the existing social services and infrastructures that were supported by the narrow tax base under pressure. Long-term reforms were implemented. Water regulations, transportation, as well as education and utilities supply systems were reformed and expanded. The papers, which use newly available source materials, add a new perspective on shifting Sino-Hong Kong relationships and state-society relations in colonial Hong Kong, with implications for today’s changing diplomatic, political and social relations.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Florence Mok – Nanyang Technological University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Adonis Li – University of Hong Kong
Virtual Paper Presenter: Edward Vickers – Kyushu University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Tony Wing Kin Chui – National University of Singapore