Home »

Kowloon walled city

The meaning of «kowloon walled city»

Kowloon Walled City was an ungoverned and densely populated de jure Chinese enclave within the boundaries of Kowloon City, British Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the walled city became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to the United Kingdom by China in 1898. Its population increased dramatically following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. By 1990, the walled city contained 50,000 residents[1] within its 2.6-hectare (6.4-acre) borders. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug abuse.

In January 1987, the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the walled city. After an arduous eviction process, and the transfer of de jure sovereignty of the enclave from China to Britain, demolition began in March 1993 and was completed in April 1994. Kowloon Walled City Park opened in December 1995 and occupies the area of the former walled city. Some historical artefacts from the walled city, including its yamen building and remnants of its southern gate, have been preserved there.

The history of the walled city can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960–1279), when an outpost was set up to manage the trade of salt. Little took place for hundreds of years afterward, although 30 guards were stationed there in 1668.[2] A small coastal fort was established around 1810 after Chinese forces abandoned Tung Lung Fort.[3] In 1842, during Qing Emperor Daoguang's reign, Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Nanjing. As a result, the Qing authorities felt it necessary to improve the fort in order to rule the area and check further British influence. The improvements, including the formidable defensive wall, were completed in 1847. The walled city was captured by rebels during the Taiping Rebellion in 1854 before being retaken a few weeks later.[2][4] The present walled city's "Dapeng Association House" forms the remnants of what was previously Lai Enjue's garrison.

The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory of 1898 handed additional parts of Hong Kong (the New Territories) to Britain for 99 years, but excluded the walled city, which at the time had a population of roughly 700. China was allowed to continue to keep officials there as long as they did not interfere with the defence of British Hong Kong. The following year, the governor, Sir Henry Blake, suspected that the viceroy of Canton was using troops to aid resistance to the new arrangements. On 14 April 1899, British forces attacked the walled city, only to find the viceroy's soldiers gone, leaving behind only the mandarin and 150 residents.[2] The Qing dynasty ended its rule in 1912, leaving the walled city to the British.

Though the British claimed ownership of the walled city, they did little with it over the following few decades. The Protestant church established an old people's home in the old "yamen" (Chinese administrative office) as well as a school and an almshouse in other former offices. Aside from such institutions, however, the walled city became a mere curiosity for British colonials and tourists to visit; it was labelled as "Chinese Town" in a 1915 map. In 1933, the Hong Kong authorities announced plans to demolish most of the decaying walled city's buildings, compensating the 436 squatters that lived there with new homes. That same year in 1933, the Nationalist Chinese government protested against the plan, and claimed jurisdiction over the city.[5][6] The Nationalist Chinese government continued to make claims on its jurisdiction throughout 1935, 1936, and the first half of 1937, until the war between China and Japan started.[7]

Related Searches

Kowloon Walled City Park
© 2015-2021, Wikiwordbook.info
Copying information without reference to the source is prohibited!
contact us mobile version