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3 - ‘Communist China Now Contiguous to Hong Kong’: Censorship Imposed by the ‘Free World’

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2022

Michael Ng
Affiliation:
The University of Hong Kong
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Summary

Chapter 3 shows how the loss of China to communism hugely increased the complexity of operating effective media censorship. The colonial government could no longer rely solely on pre-emptive daily vetting to contain undesirable content and comments. During the second half of the twentieth century, political censorship of the media and education sector was facilitated and supplemented by large-scale surveillance operations carried out through a collaborative network of local departments informed by global intelligence collected through London and British embassies around the world. Intelligence collected by this network allowed the colonial government to nip trouble in the bud, and resulted in a number of ‘troublemakers’ (including journalists, editors, publishers, teachers, students and principals) being arrested, detained and even deported without trial without any due regard to whether such actions were lawful. This chapter provides a comprehensive account of such surveillance and censorship operations targeting the media and education sector from the late 1940s to the late 1950s against the backdrop of rising Cold War tensions and the new Communist China’s relations with the world.

Type
Chapter
Information
Political Censorship in British Hong Kong
Freedom of Expression and the Law (1842–1997)
, pp. 55 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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