In the twentieth century Hong Kong’s population expanded dramatically. Yet, it was only after one million refugees from China settled in the 1950s that the colonial Government undertook population control. Imposing immigration restrictions was straightforward, but curbing unprecedented natural growth proved problematic. On the one side, supporting family planning risked alienating pro-life Catholic organizations, many channelling necessary relief for the refugees in an anti-communist mission for the USA. While on the other, indigenous infant welfare, which reduced infant mortality, could not be neglected further, in part because of the postwar resetting of race relations, its importance in improving public health, and the attention given to the refugee crisis by world public opinion. Hence, the paradox of an overpopulated British colony investing in infant welfare, not in family planning.
- Hong Kong
- population politics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science