Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP
Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP
History

The great escape: how Chinese illegal immigrants to Hong Kong found a new life – if they could ‘touch base’

  • Until October 1980, illegal immigrants from mainland China who made it as far as Boundary Street in Kowloon could register for Hong Kong residency
  • A former soldier, interpreter, police officer and illegal immigrant recall their experiences of what was known as the ‘touch base’ policy

Topic |   History
Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP
Three young illegal immigrants from China caught by a Hong Kong marine police patrol in Deep Bay, in November, 1979. Their raft is made of inflatable plastic cushions sewn together and covered with plastic bags. Photo: SCMP
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