Monday, July 17, 2006

The Point of the KCR

There has been a lot of brouhaha about the railway that is now running between Tibet and the rest of China. Aside from being a remarkable feat of engineering, being the highest such railway in the world, it has also drawn a lot of attention as a method by which China is trying to consolidate Tibet more strongly into the Chinese orbit. That is certainly true, but I would stress is a move that has at least as many positive as negative consequences for the region.

I'd like to cast our attention back in time, though when another railway project provoked greater attention and controversy here in Hong Kong - the Kowloon-Canton Railway. In case there was any doubt as to the purpose of this railway, I quote here the Colonial Secretary of that time, Stewart Lockhart, speaking in 1899 soon after Britain took possession of the New Territories:
“If a railway be constructed between Canton and Kowloon, there can be no doubt that such a line would greatly aid the development of the new territory, through a portion of which it would pass, and would be of great commercial and political importance, as it would unite more closely with Hongkong the great commercial city of Southern China and the many towns lying between the city of Canton and that colony.”
It seems, in retrospect, that Britain was using the railroad to consolidate not only their New Territories, but all the areas up to, and indeed including that great city of Southern China, Canton.

Not surprisingly, it was a reporter for the new South China Morning Post newspaper who remarked in 1904 that the railway would serve as a great avenue for the penetration of British imperial power into the Chinese heartland...

5 comments:

razmig said...

Hi:

I couldn't find an email address to ask this question, I hope u don't mind it here. I was searching in google for "armenian community in Hong Kong", and found your site. Do you know if there are any Armenians in Hong Kong. Any Armenian Churches? Thx in advance. You can also email me: razinlb at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi:

I couldn't find an email address to ask this question, I hope u don't mind it here. I was searching in google for "armenian community in Hong Kong", and found your site. Do you know if there are any Armenians in Hong Kong. Any Armenian Churches? Thx in advance. You can also email me: razinlb at gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi:

I couldn't find an email address to ask this question, I hope u don't mind it here. I was searching in google for "armenian community in Hong Kong", and found your site. Do you know if there are any Armenians in Hong Kong. Any Armenian Churches? Thx in advance. You can also email me: razinlb at gmail.com

citygirl9 said...

This is not really related to this posting, but I was wondering if you know anything about the history of the old Vietnamese detention center on Argyle Road. I read a book by Martin Booth that mentioned a Japanese POW camp, also on Argyle Road. Do you know if the Japanese POW camp was kept empty for decades, only to be turned into the Vietnamese detention center? It seems like it might be in the same location, north of Mongkok, close to Homantin.

Anonymous said...

Interesting!

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