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‘Wood Is Life’: A Hong Kong Sawmill’s Last Days


HONG KONG — From the brine-soaked docks of a ferry pier to the red-painted pillars of a Buddhist temple, many an aging wooden structure in Hong Kong has found new purpose in the hands of Wong Hung-kuen.Mr. Wong, 73, clambered over mountains of logs at Chi Kee Sawmill and Timber on a recent afternoon, loading wood onto a rumbling crane, veins of sawdust clinging to his gloves. Nearby were the parked bulldozers that had toppled neighboring businesses. Soon, they would come for his.Next month, Mr. Wong will have to give up the sawmill, which his family has owned since the late 1940s. It stands in the way of the Hong Kong government’s $13 billion plan to turn a quiet stretch of villages and wetlands into what i …

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