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Feature: Story of Hong Kong's coastal protection

HONG KONG, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Located at a former navy level in Hong Kong, a fort-turned-museum tells the historical past of Hong Kong’s coastal protection.

The Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence was transformed from the Lyemun Fort inbuilt 1887 on a headland overlooking Lyemun Pass. Along the winding mountain path close to the museum, there have been pillboxes and artillery shells round.

Lyemun, situated on the japanese strategy to Victoria Harbor, is the narrowest watercourse between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.

“Lyemun was considered a strategic site due to its unique geographical location,” mentioned Natalie Leung, assistant curator I of the museum.

After World War II, Lyemun Fort was not strategically vital. In view of its historic significance and distinctive architectural options, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) authorities turned it right into a museum and opened it to the general public in 2000.

After a significant revamp, the museum reopened in 2022, with a brand new everlasting exhibition that includes a variety of collections. About three-quarters of the displays have been added to cater to the brand-new exhibition content material.

“The content of the exhibition also extended from the Ming Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty,” Franco Yeung, assistant curator II of the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, mentioned, including that Hong Kong’s maritime protection service could possibly be traced again to the Tang Dynasty, when Hong Kong had arrange a navy city round Tuen Mun to protect the waterway commerce and commerce of the Pearl River estuary.

Entering the twenty first century, Hong Kong’s coastal protection and navy historical past has opened a brand new chapter.

“The visit of China’s first aircraft carrier Liaoning to Hong Kong in 2017 was of great significance. The officers on board lined up to form “Hello Hong Kong” in Chinese characters to express their greetings to Hong Kong people,” Yeung recalled. Later, the museum put a 1:350 Liaoning ship mannequin on show.

Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence is the one navy museum within the territory. Leung mentioned that because it reopened in 2022, the museum has supplied extra content material regarding the historical past of the Japanese assault on Hong Kong, the Battle of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong-Kowloon Independence Brigade of the East River Column to deepen public consciousness of this chapter of Hong Kong’s historical past.

On Dec. 8, 1941, the Japanese military attacked Hong Kong. After 18 days of confrontation, Hong Kong fell and entered the times of darkness through the “three years and eight months” of Japanese occupation. Hong Kong individuals contributed to the conflict of resistance towards Japanese aggression in numerous methods, with a few of them supporting behind the enemy traces, and a few going to the entrance traces.

“The war of resistance against Japanese aggression in Hong Kong involved the participation of all people, during which the concerted efforts formed was the most cherished collective memory and core value of Hong Kong,” mentioned Wu Junjie, chairman of the Hong Kong War History Research Association.

Wu mentioned that the tales in regards to the “three years and eight months” interval have been good supplies for educating the historical past of individuals’s combat towards Japanese aggression.

In 2021, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence began an oral historical past interview program in cooperation with colleges, organizations and historic analysis teams to search for “three years and eight months” witnesses.

Despite the difficulties such because the epidemic and the passing of the interviewees, members of this system are nonetheless accumulating the oral historical past of those that witnessed the conflict of resistance in Hong Kong.

“It is hoped that the audience can face up to and attach importance to this period of war history, remember the compatriots who sacrificed in defending the country, understand the blood connection between Hong Kong and the country, and enhance the sense of belonging and identity,” Leung mentioned.