at the cusp of renewal: old shatoujiao

The other day, I walked the streets of Old Shatoujiao, just near the entry to Zhongying Street (中英街). Traces of the past appear fragile: early 80s work unit housing, previously fashionable architecture, pedestrian and bicycle friendly streets, the lingering remains of tourism before border restrictions loosened, and clusters of mom and pop shops. Redevelopment presses in on this small bit of history, “Be farsighted and demand development,” a developer’s banner exhorts homeowners, “the faster renovation takes place, the faster you benefit.”

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三洲田村:Narrating the Shen Kong border

So, review of Thirty Years of Shenzhen Villages continues from Episode 7 because for some yet-to-be-ascertained reason, episodes 5 and 6 aren’t available on youku net.

In 2005, construction workers unearthed a 10 kilometer section of the ancient tea route (茶马古道). This road once linked eastern Shenzhen to the new territories, more importantly (for the sake of narrating the Shen Kong border), this road connected to Sanzhoutian Village (三洲田村, literally “Peninsula Paddy Village”), where Sun Yat Sen (孙中山) lead the Sanzhoutian First Uprising (三洲田首义). In retrospect, Sanzhoutian became known as the first explosion of the Gengzi Incident (庚子事件), protesting the Boxer Indemnity that the eight colonial powers imposed on the Qing Dynasty.

Sanzhoutian is a rich symbol in Shenzhen history because it provides deep historic links between the SEZ and Hong Kong at multiple levels. Continue reading