Fluid Land: Vietnamese Refugee Camps and Hong Kong

Fluid Land: Vietnamese Refugee Camps and Hong Kong
Juliana (Yat Shun) Kei, Daniel M. Cooper
Between the 1970s and 1990s, more than 230,000 Vietnamese asylum seekers arrived in Hong Kong and were detained in former military barracks, industrial buildings, and on remote islands. Although many of the refugee camps were in dense urban areas, the Vietnamese were segregated from Hong Kong's dazzling city life, and their presence was not known to many Hong Kong people. There is no plaque, sign, or demarcation of these structures. This paper retrieves the history of the Vietnamese refugee camps and considers them as an integral part of Hong Kong's urbanscape. In this effort, this research focuses on two case studies: Jubilee Camp in Sham Shui Po and San Yick Camp in Tuen Mun. We argue that the Crown land rule—the government as the owner of almost all land in Hong Kong—defined the Vietnamese refugee camps and their legacy in Hong Kong.

Publication date

1 Jan 2022 – 30 Nov 2022

Journal title, volume/issue number, page range

Change Over Time 11.1, pp.102-119






Urban / Rural
Human Rights
Diasporas and Migration