Institutional Reform 1982–88

  • Shiu-hing Lo


The year 1982 marked a watershed in Hong Kong’s democratisation. First of all, direct elections were held for the local advisory institution, District Boards, which were established in accordance with a government consultative document in 1980. Moreover, the Sino-British negotiation on Hong Kong’s political future began in 1982, when the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Beijing. The Sino-British negotiation had an important bearing on democratisation in Hong Kong; it forced the British policy-makers to use democratic reforms as a means by which the promises of the Sino-British agreement — ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong’ and ‘a high degree of autonomy’ for the Special Administrative Region after 1997 — might be fulfilled. In brief, the Sino-British negotiation on Hong Kong’s future suddenly led to a ‘democratic opening’ in the colony during the 1980s.


Institutional Reform Green Paper Political Reform Direct Election Democratic Reform 
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Copyright information

© Lo Shiu-hing 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiu-hing Lo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongChina

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