Back to the 60s, 70s last century, Chinese people used to stowed away from Shenzhen to Hong Kong for living. A few people in Shenzhen even committed or tried to commit suicide due to unbearable starvation and diseases at those difficult times.
How can a government expect its citizens to behave well without giving them food to survive?
The stowaway from Shenzhen to Hong Kong was so rampant even the Chinese army can’t stop it. Not only the Shenzhen (was known as Bao’an County at that time) locals, but people from elsewhere in the mainland, they were all trying to survive by stowing away to Hong Kong.
1959 to 1961 was the most difficult times for Chinese people. It is known as the three years famine in China. Some people might blame the natural disaster for this famine, some Chinese might think it was because of the Chinese government, som might related this to the sudden discontinuity of the support from Soviet Union and difficulties created by them purposely.
Chinese people from other provinces transported to Guangzhou, then sneaked into Shenzhen secretly. They would hide somewhere near the border in Luo Hu ( was known as Lo Wu) or Long Gang districts. Lo Wu was the main gate of Sino-British border at that time. It is now the Luo Hu Custom or Luo Hu border.
Stowaways can be found elsewhere in Shenzhen as well. In 1979, when Shenzhen began to develop Shekou, several hundreds of skeleton, corpses were found there. These were the drowned people who failed to swim across the big river between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
There were so many corpses need to bury in Shenzhen, it became a business at that time. It was said there were more than 200 people specialized in this business, they bury the dead people. She Kou Seaworld Police Station used to pay for the work 15 RMB to bury one corpse. For some rotten one, these people can get as much as 20 RMB from the government which equaled to 10 days’ wage for an average villager.
Image source: http://history.news.163.com/09/0608/23/5BARG4S000013DU8_4.html