There are many wartime relics in Hong Kong, but their state of preservation is uneven. When an oral question was raised by Members at the Legislative Council meeting this morning (7 July) about the future conservation plans of the authorities, the Secretary for Development, Mr Ning Hon Ho, replied at the meeting that the Government would set up an inter-departmental working group, led by the Under Secretary for Administration, Cheuk Wing-hang, to study how to protect, make good use of and promote existing wartime relics.

The Secretary for Development, Mr Ning Hon-ho, said at the meeting that introducing the War of Resistance to the public and promoting history and culture would help deepen the people's sense of national and national identity, and that the Under Secretary for Administration would set up an inter-departmental working group of policy bureaux, including the Development Bureau, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau and the Education Bureau, to coordinate the work of the bureaux and discuss with different sectors how to protect and make good use of and promote existing wartime relics.

According to preliminary statistics from the Antiquities and Monuments Office, 76 items in the list of classified historic buildings and awaiting grading of declared monuments are related to the Six-Day War in the New Territories in 1899, the Hong Kong Defense War in 1941, and the Hong Kong Kowloon Independent Brigade of the Dongjiang Squadron, including the Tat Tak Public Office in Ping Shan, Kee Keng Wai, the College Building of St. Stephen's College, and the Wong Mao Ying Rose Church in Sai Kung.

Ning Hanhao pointed out that if wartime relics are declared monuments or graded historic buildings, the AMO will appoint professional consultants to conduct regular inspections, record and monitor the condition of the monuments, and assist relevant departments or private owners to repair and repair as necessary. If government projects involve declared monuments or historic buildings, they need to be assessed according to the mechanism; For those owned by private owners, the Government also has an internal notification mechanism and will follow up with private owners and discuss conservation options.

Asked by Hon Lau Chi-peng, a member of the relevant oral question, whether the authorities would use the existing air-raid shelters in Hong Kong to develop them into future tourism, cultural or educational resources, Ning Hon Ho responded that bomb shelters are generally narrow and confined spaces, which may not have been the focus of conservation in the past, but in the future, he also hopes to do more surveys, even if they are not activated, they will consider opening them to the public under safe conditions, and the relevant issues will be discussed in the inter-departmental working group.

Asked by Councillor Ms Kwok Ling-lai, how the authorities will make more schools take the initiative to show students to wartime relics, Ning pointed out that the current Civil and Social Development Division and the Chinese History Division both encourage schools to take students to visit wartime relics, but she believes that in the future, with cross-departmental coordination, "we can brainstorm and do more and do more." For example, she pointed out that if the school takes students on a tour in the future, other bureaus can cooperate with each other on the tour route proposed by the Education Bureau, such as making historical display boards along the route.

At the meeting, tourism legislator Yao Pak Leung recalled the previous preparations for "red tourism", many wartime relics could not be visited, urging the Government to examine how to make good use of these wartime relics and turn them into valuable resources for tourism and study. Ning pointed out that at present, there are more than 100 monuments and more than 1,000 graded historical buildings, some of which may be difficult to open due to their location, but the authorities have followed up and will not be revitalized or opened for the time being, and will do a good job of introducing them as soon as possible.

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