Lost Lawless City
Kowloon Walled City was not always a city, it started life as a military fort with sturdy walls so as to keep an eye on the British in China. When Hong Kong was handed to the British it was kept separate, just outside but separate. At least until it was stormed whilst a Sir Henry Blake was in search of resistance soldiers in 1899. They found very little, instead they just claimed dominion over it, then left it alone. A little British box surrounded by China.
In the intervening time it grew old and dilapidated, collecting dust and squatters before having great swathes of it demolished so the stone could be used to extend an airport.
Then came World War II, at the end after Japan’s surrender China stated that it wanted to reclaim rights to the Walled City which prompted a huge rush of refugees fleeing to the place for Chinese protection, by 1947 there were 2,000 of them. In 1948 the British tried to drive them out but to no avail, afterwards the British adopted a ‘Hands-Off’ approach and left the Walled City in peace. A piece in which it thrived. Read the rest of this entry »