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Hong Kong, 1997: The Politics of Transition

Enbao Wang
ISBN: 978-1-55587-597-8
1995/234 pages/LC: 95-12694

"Wang’s book provides detailed description and systematic delineation of the complex political transformation of Hong Kong toward 1997 from the perspective of the PRC officialdom."—The Journal of Asian Studies

"Offers detailed description and a systematic delineation of the complex political transformation of Hong Kong toward 1997."—Ming K. Chan, Pacific Affairs

"A very informative read and contributes much to our understanding of Hong Kong’s current odyssey."—Australian Journal of International Affairs

"A thorough and persuasive analysis of Hong Kong’s historic political transition."—Choice


Thoroughly researched and well documented, this accessible book looks at the past, present, and future of Hong Kong.

Wang examines China's policy toward the Hong Kong transition in general—including the "one country, two systems" formula, the 1984 Sino-British agreement, and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR)—and also addresses two controversial issues: the democratization, or political reform, of Hong Kong and the relationship between China's sovereignty and the SAR's autonomy. Interpreting China's Hong Kong policy from the perspective of Beijing's overall reform measures, he illuminates the link between the PRC's modernization programs and the intended reunification with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.

The book concludes with a look beyond 1997—when China may or may not have a leadership that continues Deng's reforms—honestly assessing Hong Kong's chances of maintained capitalism and prosperity.


Enbao Wang is assistant professor of political science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.


  • The Hong Kong Question.
  • China's Policy Toward Hong Kong: A Limited Choice.
  • China's "One Country, Two Systems" Policy Toward Hong Kong.
  • The Forming of the SAR's Political System in the Basic Law.
  • Does the Hong Kong SAR Have a High Degree of Autonomy?
  • China's Sovereignty over the Hong Kong SAR.
  • China's Modernization and the Hong Kong Question.
  • China's Policy in the Transition Period.
  • China's Policy on the 1997 Issue: A Pragmatic View.