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December 26 , 2008

The Hong Kong Circle


Hong Kong will always have a special place in my heart and I could not describe it better than Richard Hughes in his book, ‘Borrowed Place Borrowed Time’ which he starts by saying,

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‘A borrowed place living on borrowed time, Hong Kong is an impudent capitalist survival on China’s communist derriere, an anachronistic mixture of British colonialism and the Chinese way of life, a jumble of millionaires’ mansions and horrible slums, a teeming mass of hardworking humans, a well-ordered autocracy.
It was founded on contraband and conquest, it is insufficient in food and water, it lacks coal, oil and all natural resources save granite, sand, fish and homo sapiens. It is a rambunctious, freebooting colony, naked and unashamed, devoid of self pity, regrets or fear of the future.'

Having escaped from Shanghai before the Japanese arrived in 1937 the surviving characters from my novel, The Shanghai Circle, now find the Japanese are waiting in China on Hong Kong's border.

Secure in the knowledge the Americans would sail if necessary from Pearl Harbour to defend the colony, the people of Hong Kong were ill-prepared for what happened. The futile battle, the internment of civilians and the shipping of captured soldiers to be slave labour in Japan.

Ravaged by war Hong Kong began to slowly rise from the ashes in 1945, and the Guest trading company and the Sung triads grew and flourished, but never forgot the past nor the antagonism which festered in their hearts.

Throughout the colony is constantly looking over its shoulder at their mammoth neighbour and the threat of Mao Zedong and his Communist revolution.

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