The grinding and clanking of heavy machinery and oppressive industrial factories are the first signs that you’ve entered the district of Kwun Tong. This district is Hong Kong’s main manufacturing center, roused from an economic slumber by the implosion of China and the nationalism of Japan. Overnight, a sprawl that had lost much manufacturing to cheap labor elsewhere suddenly became one of the last stable locations left with reliable and skilled laborers. Raw materials and basic manufactured components flooded into Hong Kong’s ports from the Chinese warlord-states and Southeast Asia, where they were processed into complex goods and shipped back out to the hungry Asian markets.
Kwun Tong, specifically the core of the industrial plants in the district’s center, is the birthplace and breeding ground of the anti-corporate radical movement. Though the movement as it exists today operates under a single banner, it is believed to have its origins in a disparate mixture of labor, environmental, and democratic movements that sprung up independently within this district. As the group’s home turf, the Kwun Tong district is its primary target. It has been extremely successful in attacking the corporate infrastructure here.
Two more neighborhoods on the outskirts of the district carry noted significance. On the northwest end of the district is Jordan Valley, a former landfill closed and rapidly transformed into a series of massive low-income housing complexes. The Jordan Valley complexes were originally temporary solutions to a population shift from the nearby neighborhood of Ngau Tau Kok, which was quarantined and demolished when it became an epicenter for the VITAS plague. But Ngau Tau Kok was never cleared for reconstruction and remains an urban wasteland, while the blocky, bland towers of Jordan Valley have been shored up for permanence.
On the southeast end of the district is Lam Tin, the most concentrated hub of transportation in the city. There are eight private busline terminals, two private taxi hubs, a major train station that handles one of the two underwater train tunnels connecting Hong Kong Island to the peninsula, and two major highway tunnels, one traveling underwater alongside the train tunnel and one traveling east through the mountains to Sai Kung. The seafront of Lam Tin has been reclaimed and transformed into piers for the lighter ships that go out to unload freight ships still at sea, transferring their industrial cargo for processing in Kwun Tong. The sheer concentration of the transportation network in this industrial town has made it a frequent target of anti-corporate radicals, who have made bombing and destroying critical transportation infrastructure one of their hallmarks. Many of these key buildings and structures bear both an increased security presence and the scars of earlier attacks.