Hong Kong’s Watershed

The 1967 Riots


Gary Ka-wai Cheung

ISBN : 978-962-209-089-7


October 2009

268 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$210.00

Hong Kong’s Watershed: The 1967 Riots is the first English book that provides an account and critical analysis of the disturbances based on declassified files from the British government and recollection by key players during the events. The interviews with the participants, including Jack Cater, Liang Shangyuan, George Walden, Tsang Tak-sing, Tsang Yok-sing, and Hong Kong government officials, left irreplaceable records of oral history on the political upheaval.

The book analyses the causes and repercussions of the 1967 riots which are widely seen as a watershed of postwar history of Hong Kong. It depicts the prelude to the 1967 riots, including the Star Ferry riots in 1966, the leftist-instigated riots in Macau in 1966, and the major events leading to the disturbances, including the labour dispute at a plastic flower factory, the border conflict in Sha Tau Kok, bomb attacks and arson attacks on the office of British charge d’affaires in Beijing.

Gary Ka-wai Cheung has been a journalist since 1991. He worked as a reporter at Sing Tao Daily, Overseas Chinese Daily, Yazhou Zhoukan and South China Morning Post, covering fields ranging from politics, education and integration between Hong Kong and the mainland. He is currently an associate news editor at the South China Morning Post. His interests in the 1967 riots began in 1996 and he published Inside Story of the 1967 Riots in 2000 (in Chinese). He won the Human Rights Press Award (Magazine Division) presented by the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Amnesty International in 1998.

“The 1967 riots were a historical watershed for Hong Kong. Condemned by official verdict as terrorist acts of zealots, but praised by some in the leftist camp as struggles against colonial oppression, these uprisings have since been treated as political taboo and seldom revisited. Gary Cheung’s original book in Chinese attempted to provide a more human account of that political upheaval. This English edition should be much welcomed by readers who are interested in a chapter of the real history of modern Hong Kong.” —Anthony B. L. Cheung, President of The Hong Kong Institute of Education, and Member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council

“This fascinating book approaches the 1967 riots from different perspectives. There are still hard lessons to be learned, including how to prevent abuse of power even under emergency regulations. Thus when violence escalated after the Sha Tau Kok incident in July 1967, it was Henry Litton of the Hong Kong Bar Association who spoke out against powers of detention without trial. I commend the book especially for its awareness of the larger issues involved in the momentous events it describes.” —Denis Chang, Senior Counsel