The unfinished chapter of Hong Kong's long political transition

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In hindsight, that the institutional framework of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ (OCTS), the political and socio-economic blueprint for ensuring the continuity of Hong Kong as a capitalist economy, with guarantees of freedom of speech and a high degree of autonomy from China's socialist and authoritarian rule after a change of sovereignty in 1997, gets caught in political crossfire is inevitable. OCTS was a historical compromise in the early 1980s when the deadlock of Hong Kong's uncertain political future was resolved by finding a way to convince all the concerned parties that the colony's prosperity and stability would be guaranteed after a change in its political status. But the premises and parameters of the pact have significantly changed since the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong by China and Britain in 1984. The storm over the Extradition Bill has its roots in the fissures inherent in the institutional framework of OCTS. This paper is an attempt to analyse social protests arising from the Extradition Bill in Hong Kong in 2019 in the light of the former British colony's extended political transition. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-276
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number2
Early online date23 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2020


Lui, T.-L. (2020). The unfinished chapter of Hong Kong's long political transition. Critique of Anthropology, 40(2), 270-276. doi: 10.1177/0308275X20908304


  • One Country
  • Two Systems
  • Political transition
  • Historical compromise
  • Anxieties
  • Regional and national integration


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