In­te­gra­tion of di­verse cultures

With the con­tin­u­ous in­crease of both lo­cal and for­eign res­i­dents, Ku­lang­su be­gan to face great pres­sure from in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion and main­te­nance as well as se­cu­ri­ty man­age­ment. On the oth­er hand, the in­creas­ing­ly ris­ing Japan had been seek­ing for more ben­e­fits from Ku­lang­su, while oth­er pow­ers hoped that there would be a rea­son­able mode to main­tain the bal­ance. In 1902, re­lat­ed Chi­nese and for­eign stake­hold­ers signed the Land Reg­u­la­tions for the Set­tle­ment of Ku­lang­su, Amoy. In 1903, the Ku­lang­su Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil was es­tab­lished, and a pub­lic set­tle­ment man­age­ment sys­tem was es­tab­lished to al­low rep­re­sen­ta­tives of for­eign­ers and Chi­nese peo­ple at the Ku­lang­su Is­land to par­tic­i­pate in the man­age­ment of the in­ter­na­tion­al set­tle­ment. Since then, Ku­lang­su had en­tered the sec­ond stage for modernization.

Chi­nese peo­ple at the Ku­lang­su Is­land to par­tic­i­pate in the man­age­ment of the pub­lic set­tle­ments. Since then, Ku­lang­su had en­tered the sec­ond stage of mod­ern­iza­tion. From 1903, when Ku­lang­su Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil was es­tab­lished, to 1941, when the Pa­cif­ic War broke out, Ku­lang­su ex­pe­ri­enced a pe­ri­od for in-depth col­li­sion, ex­change and in­te­gra­tion of di­ver­si­fied cul­tures, and had a peak de­vel­op­ment. The achieve­ments made dur­ing their pe­ri­od com­posed the ma­jor part of the cur­rent her­itage of set­tle­ment cul­ture on the island.

Dur­ing this pe­ri­od, the so­cial life and ur­ban con­struc­tion of Ku­lang­su fol­lowed the trend for trans­for­ma­tion from the mode with West­ern­ers play­ing a lead­ing role to the one with the re­turned over­seas Chi­nese play­ing a lead­ing role. For tens of years be­fore that, a great num­ber of peo­ple em­i­grat­ed from the south­ern Fu­jian area to South­east Asia via the South Chi­na Sea. The con­tin­u­ous large-scale im­mi­gra­tion pro­mot­ed the es­tab­lish­ment of a com­pos­ite net­work con­sist­ed of the im­mi­grant net­work, the busi­ness net­work, the fi­nan­cial net­work and oth­er net­works, form­ing up a transna­tion­al and trans­bound­ary so­cial space.

Xi­a­men, where Ku­lang­su is lo­cat­ed, just served as port for such im­mi­gra­tion, a con­sump­tion mar­ket and an in­vest­ment tar­get. Since Ku­lang­su then fea­tured rel­a­tive­ly sta­ble and re­laxed so­cial en­vi­ron­ment, good set­tle­ment ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture as well as beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al en­vi­ron­ment, it be­came the first choice of the re­turned over­seas Chi­nese. Es­pe­cial­ly dur­ing the pe­ri­od from the 1820s to the 1830s, the so­cial and eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment of South­east Asia was great­ly im­pact­ed by the glob­al eco­nom­ic cri­sis. Then, many Chi­nese peo­ple who used to em­i­grate from south­ern Fu­jian to South­east Asia re­turned to Ku­lang­su. This led to a gold­en pe­ri­od for the mod­ern­iza­tion of Kulangsu.

Dur­ing the pe­ri­od of from the es­tab­lish­ment of the Ku­lang­su Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil to the out­break of the Pa­cif­ic War, the num­ber of Kulangsu’s Chi­nese great­ly in­creased and far sur­passed the num­ber of for­eign­ers. In 1911, the pop­u­la­tion of Ku­lang­su in­creased to “about 12,000, in­clud­ing about 300 for­eign res­i­dents.” In 1930, there were 567 for­eign set­tlers (in­clud­ing 369 Japan­ese), com­pared with the 20,465 Chi­nese residents.

The re­turn of the over­seas Chi­nese great­ly pro­mot­ed the eco­nom­ic de­vel­op­ment of Ku­lang­su and even the Xi­a­men area. They pro­vid­ed fi­nan­cial sup­port for ur­ban con­struc­tion and made in­vest­ment in de­vel­op­ment of so­cial and pub­lic pro­grams as well as im­prove­ment of res­i­den­tial and liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment. These be­came sub­stan­tial ma­te­r­i­al mea­sures for pur­su­ing cul­tur­al ad­vance and mod­ern­iza­tion of liv­ing con­di­tions and pro­mot­ed so­cial re­form. First, the re­turned over­seas Chi­nese with strong eco­nom­ic strength be­came the lead­ing force for con­struc­tion of pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties and in­dus­tri­al and busi­ness development.

Re­ly­ing on in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion and strong eco­nom­ic strength, the re­turned over­seas Chi­nese par­tic­i­pat­ed in the man­age­ment of the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil, with seats at the board of di­rec­tors of the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil in­creased from one to five at most in 1929.The del­e­gat­ing sys­tem was turned in­to Chi­nese So­ci­ety elec­tion sys­tem. In the mean­time, so­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions or­ga­nized by Chi­nese ex­ert­ed great in­flu­ence and ef­fect in lo­cal place, in­clud­ing “Chi­nese Tax­pay­er So­ci­ety” (1924), “Chi­nese So­ci­ety” (1925), “Chi­nese Sena­do” (1928), Chi­nese re­li­gious groups, “La­bor Union”, “Maid­ser­vant Sav­ing Team” and oth­er so­cial progress or­ga­ni­za­tions. Un­der such cir­cum­stance, the set­tle­ment space of Ku­lang­su had been ex­pand­ing and the so­cial pat­tern was grad­u­al­ly improved.

Dur­ing this pe­ri­od, the ur­ban con­struc­tion of Ku­lang­su was fur­ther pro­mot­ed. The bound­aries be­tween the Chi­nese and for­eign­ers’ set­tle­ments were aban­doned. The An­hai Road, Quanzhou Road and Neicuo’ao dis­tricts had a fast de­vel­op­ment, while the Yan­za­i­jiao and Lu’erjiao dis­tricts were ren­o­vat­ed. In ad­di­tion, the Kang­tai Road Fac­to­ry Zone was set up in the north­west of the is­land, and Long­tou Road busi­ness dis­trict was de­vel­oped in the cen­tral and east­ern part of the island.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics, from 1920 to 1930, there were over 1,200 res­i­dences built by over­seas Chi­nese on the is­land. Dur­ing this pe­ri­od, in­te­grat­ed set­tle­ment and pub­lic man­age­ment fa­cil­i­ties were built and con­sulates of for­eign coun­tries and of­fice of firms were es­tab­lished on the is­land. Re­li­gious and rit­u­al ar­chi­tec­tures man­i­fest­ing dif­fer­ent cul­tur­al char­ac­ter­is­tics were built up. Of them, the tele­phone com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties (1924), elec­tric lamps and oth­er fa­cil­i­ties (1928) and tap wa­ter fa­cil­i­ties (1932) reached the most ad­vanced lev­el in the whole coun­try at that time un­der the sup­port and par­tic­i­pa­tion of over­seas Chi­nese. Be­sides, Chi­nese and over­seas Chi­nese were ac­tive­ly en­gaged in so­cial and cul­tur­al con­struc­tion, in­vest­ed in es­tab­lish­ing schools, found­ed hos­pi­tals, and de­vel­oped Yan­ping Park, Yan­ping The­atre and oth­er pub­lic cul­tur­al facilities.

Green­ing projects were car­ried out in moun­tain­ous ar­eas and for­est, while rocks and reefs as part of land­scape were put un­der pro­tec­tion. Many ar­chi­tec­tures built with re­turned over­seas Chi­nese played a lead­ing role show unique ar­chi­tec­tur­al style based on the in­te­gra­tion of the west­ern and east­ern cul­tur­al el­e­ments. The ar­chi­tec­tures with out­stand­ing fea­tures of Amoy De­co style man­i­fest the in­no­v­a­tive achieve­ments in mod­ern­iza­tion and lo­cal­iza­tion made by the re­turned over­seas Chi­nese in the process of con­struct­ing west­ern-style build­ings in Ku­lang­su. With great in­flu­ence on the ar­chi­tec­tures in Ku­lang­su, the Amoy De­co style was al­so wide­ly adopt­ed in Xi­a­men, Zhangzhou, and Quanzhou.

The mod­ern med­ical and health sys­tem and med­ical ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem are im­por­tant guar­an­tees for the liv­ing stan­dard in Ku­lang­su. For ex­am­ple, the ex­pand­ed Hope Hos­pi­tal of Re­formed Church in Amer­i­ca not on­ly played a role of cur­ing the sick­ness and sav­ing pa­tients, but al­so trained a large quan­ti­ty of Chi­nese med­ical staff. Be­cause of preach­ing de­mand of west­ern mis­sion­ar­ies ear­li­er and sub­se­quent new learn­ing av­o­ca­tion of Chi­nese and over­seas Chi­nese, Ku­lang­su formed a com­plete mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem cov­er­ing preschool ed­u­ca­tion, pri­ma­ry school, sec­ondary school to vo­ca­tion­al ed­u­ca­tion at that time. The num­ber, scale, teach­ing sys­tem­atic­i­ty, and teach­ing qual­i­ty of Kulangsu’s schools were great­ly in­creased and im­proved in the sec­ond half of the 19th cen­tu­ry, with more Chi­nese tak­ing part in the run­ning of schools and teach­ing. The de­vel­op­ment of cul­tur­al and ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams in Ku­lang­su had great in­flu­ence on the sur­round­ing ar­eas, as Ku­lang­su be­came the ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter of the South­ern Fu­jian re­gion, with great in­flu­ence on the whole country.

A group of tal­ents who ac­cept­ed mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion in Ku­lang­su showed new lus­ter in every field of Chi­nese mod­ern his­to­ry. Ma Yue­han who was born and grown in Ku­lang­su be­came the founder of Chi­nese mod­ern sports ed­u­ca­tion; Xun­yuan Mid­dle School gen­er­at­ed Lin Yu­tang (lit­er­ary mas­ter of mod­ern Chi­na), as­tronomers Dai Wen­sai and Yu Qing­song and hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist Li Lairong; sev­er­al Girls Schools gen­er­at­ed fa­mous gy­nae­col­o­gist Lin Qiaozhi and mu­si­cian Zhou Shu’an; Ying Wa Mid­dle School gen­er­at­ed six aca­d­e­mi­cians, in­clud­ing Wang Yinglai, Huang Zhenx­i­ang, Gu Maox­i­ang, Zhuo Renxi, Hong Bo­qian and Zhang Qianer.

Dur­ing this pe­ri­od, the char­ac­ter­is­tic build­ings, pub­lic fa­cil­i­ties and ur­ban streets and dis­tricts, which were rarely seen at that time whether in terms of con­struc­tion qual­i­ty or ser­vice lev­el, com­posed the frame­work of then mod­ern set­tle­ment sys­tem. By the 1930s, then China’s most in­te­grat­ed set­tle­ment fa­cil­i­ties had been set up on the is­land, while the most cul­tur­al­ly di­ver­si­fied mod­ern in­ter­na­tion­al set­tle­ments have been es­tab­lished here, mak­ing the is­land well-known for high-qual­i­ty liv­ing environment.These set­tle­ment fa­cil­i­ties and re­lat­ed tan­gi­ble her­itage are pre­served well to­day, with high au­then­tic­i­ty and in­tegri­ty and as wit­ness to then so­cial life.

Af­ter the Sec­ond World War, Japan­ese troops oc­cu­pied Jin­men Is­land, off­shore of Xi­a­men in 1937 and Xi­a­men in 1938. Thou­sands of refugees surged in­to Ku­lang­su, bring­ing great chal­lenge to the ma­ture Ku­lang­su set­tle­ment. Broad­est so­cial mo­bi­liza­tion was made from the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil to non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, and In­ter­na­tion­al Re­lief So­ci­ety was es­tab­lished, mo­ti­vat­ing enor­mous en­er­gy in terms of col­lec­tion, ac­cep­tance, ma­te­r­i­al sup­ply, en­vi­ron­men­tal health, so­cial se­cu­ri­ty, in­fant care and refugee chil­dren ed­u­ca­tion, and show­ing rapid or­ga­niz­ing abil­i­ty and pa­tri­o­tism of Kulangsu.

With the out­break of the Pa­cif­ic War in 1941, the Japan­ese in­vaders oc­cu­pied Ku­lang­su and re­struc­tured the Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil. The for­eign­ers from oth­er coun­tries were ex­pelled and Japan­ese lan­guage and ed­u­ca­tion mode were pro­mot­ed in the area. The sin­gle cul­tur­al pat­tern put an end to the long-term in­te­grat­ed de­vel­op­ment of di­ver­si­fied cul­tures in Ku­lang­su. There­fore, the his­to­ry of Ku­lang­su as an in­ter­na­tion­al mul­ti­cul­tur­al zone was cut off.