Power as Non-zero-sum? Central/Local Relations between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Beijing: Opportunities and Closures

  • Linda Chelan Li


Hong Kong’s reunion with China has posed unprecedented opportunities and challenges. What is at stake is not only the well being of the 6 million residents, but also the prospect of China developing a culture wherein open and institutionalized means are used to address conflicts and differences. Hong Kong has been a major source of capital and management know-how for China’s modernization efforts; it is also intended, from the perspective of Beijing’s leaders, that it should demonstrate how the ‘historical problem’ of Taiwan may possibly be resolved. Hong Kong’s greatest challenge and most important contribution lies ahead, however, in the very fact that it has again become part of China and hence part of Chinese politics.1 As a provinciallevel special administrative region its interaction and relationship with Beijing will shed light on the eternally intriguing question: how can China possibly develop a sustainable and stable central-local relationship? This, in turn, will have tremendous implications for the conduct of politics in general in China.


Civil Liberty Public Order Public Procession Chinese Leader Special Administrative Region 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Chelan Li

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