The Chinese Communists’ United Front with Big Business and Their Collaboration on the Handover, 1990–1997
Although the united front effort had limitations, the Chinese Communists were successful in soliciting the support of big business in the years preceding 1997 in preparation for the handover. Beijing did not hesitate to announce those who were its staunch supporters and those whom it considered troublemakers. The ultimate objective was to ensure the smooth transfer of the administration of Hong Kong in 1997. In forming the Preliminary Work Committee (PWC) and appointing the Hong Kong Affairs Advisers and District Affairs Advisers, the Chinese Communists created a three-tier united front to consolidate their position regarding the future leadership of the Hong Kong SAR. Thus, the united front work of this period was more restricted than the effort made in the 1980s, as Beijing did not select members of the United Democrats of Hong Kong, who had opposing opinions and were critical of the Communist strategy. In contrast to earlier times, the Chinese Communists openly declared the enemy of the united front—the last governor of Hong Kong, Christopher (Chris) Patten.
KeywordsPolitical Reform Direct Election Business Elite Unite Front Independent Commission Against Corruption
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