Dockyards of Hong Kong
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As early as the early 19th century, foreign merchant vessels visiting China anchored to the west of Aberdeen Bay (Shek Pai Wan) on Hong Kong Island’s southern coast to replenish their fresh water supplies at the nearby waterfall. This explains why British merchants built the earliest ship repair facilities near Aberdeen, after the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. Later in 1860, the Convention of Beijing extended the British governance to the south of Boundary Street in Kowloon and the whole of Victoria Harbour came under British control. Taking advantage of the situation, the government and merchants built several large dockyards along the shores of Victoria Harbour, with Whampoa Dock, Taikoo Dockyard and the Naval Yard dominating the scene for a long time. In the 1960s, as Hong Kong’s surging population and scarce land resources in urban areas created unfavourable conditions for the city’s development, port facilities were moved from the heart of the harbour to make way for land reclamation projects. After Kwai Chung Container Port was inaugurated in 1972, the major dockyards all relocated to the western part of the harbour, where they have continued to serve Hong Kong’s shipping industry in close proximity to the container port.