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Old April 14th, 2014, 07:34 AM   #10101
johnny_machine
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Alright people, from old and new Hong Kong-Mainland China border posts, now goes Macau-Mainland China.

Macau was a Portuguese colony from the 16th century up until 1999. At about 1871, after a clash (or a small battle if you will), the border between Macau (Portugal) and Canton (China) was pushed a couple hundred meters north, giving Macau a bit more breathing room and a new border crossing that still stands today.

I'm posting photos here from the late 19th Century to this day:

No date, most likely from the late 19th Century:


No date:


Chinese merchants crossing into China in the last years of the Qing dynasty and of the Portuguese monarchy in 1902 (photo by C. H. Graves). In 1910 Portugal would have a republican revolution, in 1911 China would have one too.


'Portas do Cerco' ('Siege Gates' or 'Barrier Gates'), still serve as a border between Macau and Mainland China, in 1949 when Jack Birns took this photograph, they served as a checkpoint between a tranquil Macau and a frontier Canton (Guangdong), in the final years of the Chinese Civil War.


Portas do Cerco, 1990's.




Since around 2006, a modern border post has been built some meters behind the previous border line, but the old 'Portas do Cerco' still stand in historical proeminence.


Modern border crossing with the city of Zhuhai in the background:


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Last edited by johnny_machine; April 14th, 2014 at 07:45 AM. Reason: fixed hyperlinks
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Old April 14th, 2014, 01:56 PM   #10102
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If the PRC had leased/rented a territory from Portugal for centuries, would they have given it back after expiration of the contract, like Portugal gave back Macau? Or would they claim, "no, we have been here for so long by now, this land will remain ours"? (also taking into consideration the military strength of Portugal vs. PRC)
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Old April 14th, 2014, 03:25 PM   #10103
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And the proximity of Portugal to these areas would speak to PRC's advantage.
I think this video explains the situation quite nicely:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piEayQ0T-qA
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Old April 15th, 2014, 01:19 AM   #10104
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In reference to Checkpoint Charlie, does anyone know why West Berlin didn't control the border on inner-Berlin crossings?

West Germany certainly had checkpoints on the border with the DDR, and West Berlin seemingly had checkpoints with the DDR (Checkpoint Bravo certainly was controlled).

My guess is that according to West Berlin legal theory, the city was under Four Power occupation and as a consequence, there could be no controls from what was considered to be part of one city. I know that German Customs officers often conducted spot checks (particularly in light of the duty-free shopping available at Fredrichstrasse) - but it always struck me as strange that West Berlin was happy for unrestricted border crossings.

Were there any internal immigration controls between West Berlin and West Germany?

A little known fact to many people is that West Berlin was not part of West Germany.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 01:22 AM   #10105
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It would have looked politically bad for Westberlin to do any control of people crossing the Schandmauer?
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Old April 15th, 2014, 01:49 AM   #10106
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Does anybody knows how it looks like to pass from Russia to China, and Russia-Mongolia-China by car in these days?
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Old April 15th, 2014, 10:12 AM   #10107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
A little known fact to many people is that West Berlin was not part of West Germany.
It was a little more complicated than that.

According to the Grundgesetz of West Germany, West Berlin wasn't part of it, but according to the constitution of West Berlin, it was. Westberliners couldn't vote for parliament of West Germany, but they could be elected (Willy Brandt, for instance, was a Westberliner).
Travel visa for West Germany included West Berlin.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 11:14 AM   #10108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
It would have looked politically bad for Westberlin to do any control of people crossing the Schandmauer?
Perhaps. But I think the answer lies rather within the constitutional theory - Berlin was considered to be one city under Four Power occupation by the West, so West Berlin wouldn't have controlled the border with East Berlin. That explains the flying Customs checks that were carried out, as well as the existence of checkpoints on the West Berlin/East Germany border.

Quote:
According to the Grundgesetz of West Germany, West Berlin wasn't part of it, but according to the constitution of West Berlin, it was. Westberliners couldn't vote for parliament of West Germany, but they could be elected (Willy Brandt, for instance, was a Westberliner).
Travel visa for West Germany included West Berlin.
Apparently that part of the West Berlin Constitution was legally "on hold". The proof of this comes from the West Berlin parliament voting on every West German federal law - which wouldn't have been done if it was part of West Germany.

Weren't they appointed to the West German parliament rather than elected, too? I seem to recall that there were similar technicalities about residency in West Berlin - they were considered to be West German citizens in the same way that everyone in East Germany was, but they had separate identity cards and so on.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 11:40 AM   #10109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eulanthe View Post
Apparently that part of the West Berlin Constitution was legally "on hold". The proof of this comes from the West Berlin parliament voting on every West German federal law - which wouldn't have been done if it was part of West Germany.
Yes, that was because West Germany didn't recognize West Berlin as a Land.

Quote:
Weren't they appointed to the West German parliament rather than elected, too? I seem to recall that there were similar technicalities about residency in West Berlin - they were considered to be West German citizens in the same way that everyone in East Germany was, but they had separate identity cards and so on.
Since Westberliners couldn't vote, Brandt was elected Chancellor by West Germans vote only. I don't think you can call this an "appointment".
But yeah, that was complicated.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 01:23 PM   #10110
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I've read that many young male Westgermans moved to Westberlin because they didn't have to do the military service.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #10111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
I've read that many young male Westgermans moved to Westberlin because they didn't have to do the military service.
It is kind of amusing that the inhabitants in the centre of the Cold War did not have the duty to undergo a military service
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Old April 15th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #10112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
Travel visa for West Germany included West Berlin.
But as far as I remember, Poles didn't need a visa to West Berlin, but needed to FRG proper.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #10113
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Belcoo Police Station Northern Ireland. This is a Fortified Police/Army outpost on the border, one of the few still left with most having been demolished between 1993 and 2009.

http://goo.gl/maps/srndK

Every now and then a policeman will appear outside and he will stop cars going past. Even today.

I nearly ran the local constable over around 15 years back, he was out for a stroll with an army patrol and I came around a bad bend 3 or 4 km north of there to see soldiers jumping up on the hedge to get out of the way. Around the corner was the constable and more soldiers, the constable wanted a word but that was all it was.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 03:39 PM   #10114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMB View Post
But as far as I remember, Poles didn't need a visa to West Berlin, but needed to FRG proper.
Are you sure? This would mean customs between West Berlin and West Germany, but afaik there were none.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 09:18 PM   #10115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMB View Post
But as far as I remember, Poles didn't need a visa to West Berlin, but needed to FRG proper.
This is because of the convoluted law surrounding West Berlin in general. As I understand it, West German visas were valid for West Berlin too. But because of Berlin's theoretical status as a free city occupied by the Four Powers, West Berlin didn't impose any immigration control on movement between West and East Berlin. As a result, if people could get to East Berlin, they had freedom of movement into West Berlin too.

What I'm not sure about is whether this visa-free access was actually enshrined in West Berlin law, or whether it was simply a law that was on the book but rarely enforced. West Germany certainly carried out Customs controls on travellers from West Berlin, so anyone illegally in West Berlin would have been caught then.

I may be mistaken, but I think East German visa requirements were already quite strict - which would have limited those able to access West Berlin in the first place.

I do know that West Berlin issued residence permits and residence cards that were not West German. But it does raise an interesting question - could just anyone settle in West Berlin if they wished? My suspicion is that West Berlin was happy for anyone to settle there if they wished, due to the undesirability of the city in general.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 09:23 PM   #10116
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Were flights from West-Berlin to West-Germany considered and treated then as domestic, or international flights? Or something inbetween?

I have been in West-Berlin overland through the GDR, but I can't really remember anything about border checks in West-Berlin (although they were ther for sure in West-Germany at the border in Helmstedt).
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Old April 15th, 2014, 09:46 PM   #10117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMB View Post
But as far as I remember, Poles didn't need a visa to West Berlin, but needed to FRG proper.
I though that for Poles was almost impossible to go to West Germany and West Berlin before 1989, if it was so easy everybody could flee communist Poland.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 09:47 PM   #10118
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If you google Checkpoint Bravo, you can see the West Berlin controls in action. There are also still plenty of remains in Berlin itself of the checkpoint in question.

This picture shows clearly that there were some controls - although other pictures suggest that the West Berlin authorities didn't particularly care about conducting routine controls.

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/73...fb09dd297c.jpg

The issue of the flights is a curious one - I really don't have any information on them. If I was guessing, they were probably quasi-internal - no formal controls, but subject to random checks.

It's also possible that the airlines themselves were responsible for enforcing West German immigration law, just like today.
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Old April 15th, 2014, 09:48 PM   #10119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italystf View Post
I though that for Poles was almost impossible to go to West Germany and West Berlin before 1989, if it was so easy everybody could flee communist Poland.
It was quite difficult to access East Berlin for most people without even considering East German exit controls. East Germany even only had 8 years of visa-free access for Poles.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:03 AM   #10120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volodaaaa View Post
It is kind of amusing that the inhabitants in the centre of the Cold War did not have the duty to undergo a military service
I am surprised they were not drafted for Vietnam or for the French Army.
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