National Geographic : 1962 Jan
Hong Kong-the old Hong Kong-sickened. The city might have died if another "dis aster" had not come along at almost the same time. The years of the refugee were 1949 to 1951, when men poured out of Red China in the hundreds of thousands. Hong Kong be gan the rise from the 600,000 souls who hung on at the end of the Japanese occupation to today's three and a quarter million.* A Hong Kong investment specialist told me the rest of the story. "Fortunately," he said, "that problem ar rived with a built-in solution, for the refugees were not all poor men. Some came to Hong Kong with enormous wealth. Others had long before seen the handwriting on the wall, and had shifted operations from Shanghai and north China to the freedom of Hong Kong. "Here, in one place, were capital and labor, eager to work together." 10 In the decade that followed, he said, others looked at Hong Kong and liked what they saw. Capital flowed in from Italy and Eng land and the United States. The fortunes of overseas Chinese in Singapore and Malaya went to work. Japanese money arrived. Movie Industry Booms in Hong Kong What does Hong Kong make? You name it. Preserved ducks and canned fried rice. Shoes and steel bars. Yachts and imitation flowers. Marbles and frying pans. Ships and flashlight bulbs. Air conditioners and phonograph rec ords. Hairnets and footballs. Cotton cloth and bird cages. And movies. I knew that American motion pictures had been filmed in Hong Kong-in cluding Clark Gable's Soldier of Fortune and, *See "Hong Kong Hangs On," by George W. Long, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, February, 1954.