American “China Hands” in the 1950S

  • Chi-kwan Mark


Americans have long played a part in the making of modern Hong Kong, beginning in 1842. Early that year, an American Protestant missionary, Jehu Lewis Shuck, came from Macau and founded the island’s first Christian church on Queen’s Road (named the Queen’s Road Chapel).1 In 1843, United States officials arrived to open the first foreign consulate in the colony. American merchants were likewise attracted to the free port, establishing one of the largest trading firms there, Russell & Company. 2 Nevertheless, until the second half of the twentieth century the American community in Hong Kong remained small, and their interests and influence were limited. Indeed, it was mainland China, rather than Hong Kong itself, that caught the imagination of most American sojourners. Hong Kong was seen primarily as a springboard to China, a country in which there were more Chinese to convert, more economic opportunities to exploit, and more political interests to protect.3


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© Cindy Yik-yi Chu 2005

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  • Chi-kwan Mark

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