Emerging issues in policing in Asia: Civil unrest in Hong Kong in 2019

Ka Ki Lawrence HO, Ying Tung CHAN, Alvin TSANG

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The prolonged protests in Hong Kong since June 2019 have drawn the attention of international media to China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Reports and commentaries on policing episodes in Hong Kong have appeared in the headlines of most well-circulated newspapers. This article examines news databases and identifies three major policing issues to which scholars of Asia have turned their attention. First, the issue of police legitimacy and accountability has emerged following the dramatic drop in public trust towards the Hong Kong police. What legitimises a law enforcement unit in the eyes of the public, and what delegitimises it? How does it lose public confidence? Second, the issue of protect management has gained urgency due to the increasing frequency of territory-wide police-protester confrontations. How do we assess protest/riot policing strategies? What insights can we gather from the dynamics in Hong Kong? Third. the issue of the criminal justice system is becoming increasingly complicated. How should we understand arrests and prosecution in light of the debates over the possible "way outs" of this saga? Are they characteristic of the criminal justice system in Hong Kong? This article provides preliminary answers to these frequently asked inquiries and suggests avenues of further research on Asian policing. Copyright © 2020 Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1159
JournalContemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


Ho, L. K.-K., Chan, Y.-T., & Tsang, A. (2020). Emerging issues in policing in Asia: Civil unrest in Hong Kong in 2019. Contemporary Chinese Political Economy and Strategic Relations, 6(3), 1129-1159.


  • Policing
  • Hong Kong
  • Civil unrest 2019
  • Asian policing


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