Journal Article

The elusive aim of universal suffrage: Constitutional developments in Hong Kong

Lorenz Langer

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 5, issue 3, pages 419-452
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online July 2007 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mom018
The elusive aim of universal suffrage: Constitutional developments in Hong Kong

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For most of its one hundred and fifty years, British rule over Hong Kong did not allow for any political participation by the local population. Prior to the territory's return to China, however, the United Kingdom and the prospective new sovereign agreed that both the legislature and executive of the future Hong Kong would be determined by elections. China further specified that, as an “ultimate aim,” these elections would be based on universal suffrage. Yet in the years since, China has intervened in the supposedly autonomous region to slow down or halt constitutional development. While these interventions contravene the constitutional provisions of the Special Administrative Region, they should not come as a surprise; nor do they represent a change in Chinese attitudes toward Hong Kong. Rather, they reflect the Chinese government's misgivings about free elections—misgivings not unlike those of the British with respect to colonial Hong Kong.

Journal Article.  15382 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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