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By Stephanie P.Y. Chung

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48 Norman Miners has also commented that ‘there is a lack of interest in political activity among the upper strata of the Chinese population’. 49 Inconsistencies in these arguments become manifest when scholars encounter difficulties in ironing out exceptions to the 16 Chinese Business Groups and Political Change theory. 50 One does not need an elaborate argument to demonstrate that ‘apathy’ within the Hong Kong context, itself a dubious notion, does not have to imply apathy towards politics as such.

Chapter 2 illustrates how an indigenous leadership developed among the Chinese residing in Hong Kong before 1900, and how these leaders played an active role in political developments in Guangdong before 1900. Chapter 3 describes the new political landscape that was taking shape in China by the first quarter of the twentieth century, and its repercussions among the Chinese merchants residing in Hong Kong. Two groups of Chinese merchants in Hong Kong, a local-born group who formed the Bao’an Chamber of Commerce and a group that had returned from overseas who founded the Siyi Chamber of Commerce, competed for political influence in Guangdong.

631 million. The major operational arms for these loans were the two government banks: the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications. The loans were distributed by the two banks to various native banks, which accepted the arrangement in return for high commissions. 38 In the South, loans and donations from merchants were equally important to the self-styled ‘constitutional government’ in Canton. Since there was no bank that the government could rely on, the loans and donations were raised through personal networks.

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