China Perspectives No.2014/1 Post-1997 Hong Kong: Emerging social and institutional fractures

 04/15/2014

 7pm-9pm
 Room Segalen, 25/F, Admiralty Centre Tower 2, 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong (Admiralty MTR station, exit A)

Special issue guest edited by Tai-lok Lui and Brian C. H. Fong

Reservation & Contact: Miriam Yang

cefc@cefc.com.hk / tel: 2876 6910

 

Speakers:

Brian C. H. Fong (Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Institute of Education): “The dysfunction of the HKSAR’s executive-dominant system, 1997-2012”
Kim Ming Lee (Senior Lecturer, City University of Hong Kong): “The New Paradox of Thrift: Financialisation, retirement protection, and income polarisation in Hong Kong”
Chi Kit Chan (Assistant Professor, Hang Seng Management College): “China as ‘Other’: Resistance to and ambivalence toward national identity in Hong Kong“
Tai-lok Lui (Professor, Hong Kong University): “Fading Opportunities: Hong Kong in the context of regional integration”

 From the editor’s introduction:

Post-1997 Hong Kong was characterised by emerging fractures, tensions, and conflicts. But these fractures, tensions, and conflicts are not quite those anticipated by either the pessimists or the optimists.

Apparently, the impact of decolonisation on Hong Kong’s institutional structure was hugely under-estimated. The question of political mandate and legitimacy turned out to be a major problem haunting Mr. Tung Chee-hwa, Mr. Donald Tsang, and now Mr. Leung Chun-ying. Brian Fong’s analysis of the disconnect between the executive and the legislature best illustrates the institutional fractures in the existing system of the Hong Kong SAR. The idea of avoiding politics in the design of the Basic Law and Beijing’s resistance to party politics (e.g., the political “neutrality” of the Chief Executive in terms of his/her non-affiliation to a political party) turned out to be major political problems after the process of decolonisation.

Other problems, such as income inequality, have been around for many years, but in the past they were seldom taken up by the government as key policy concerns. Poverty relief has been discussed, but little has been achieved in terms of major breakthrough in policy innovation. Kim Ming Lee, Benny Ho-pong To, and Kar Ming Yu look at the growing social tensions in the light of growing income disparity and the inadequacy of government policy in dealing with the situation of social polarisation.

Chi Kit Chan, making use of secondary survey data on local identity, probes the question of local Hong Kong people’s ambivalence towards China as their nation and their resistance to a top-down approach to build national identity. Indeed, the Hong Kong/mainland relationship is quickly becoming a hot issue.

Tai-lok Lui also looks at regional and national integration but from a different perspective. He examines the changing opportunities for Hong Kong residents to work on the mainland. Instead of seeing more and more young people from Hong Kong finding employment opportunities across the border, he finds that relevant official statistics suggests otherwise. Contrary to many people’s expectation that the further opening of the Chinese economy would automatically bring about new openings and opportunities for Hong Kong people, the number of Hong Kong residents working on the mainland has been declining since 2004.

Brian C. H. Fong, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Asian and Policy Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education. He specialises in public governance and legislative studies.
Kim Ming Lee is a senior lecturer in Division of Social Sciences, Community College of City University.
Chi Kit Chan is Assistant Professor at the Hang Seng Management College since completing his PhD thesis at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Tai-lok Lui is Professor at the Sociology Department of the University of Hong Kong.

ALL INTERESTED ARE WELCOME!

This seminar will be held in English.
Sebastian Veg, Director of the CEFC, will chair the session.
Snacks and drinks will be served after the seminar.
Seats are limited. Please confirm your attendance.

 

Audios for previous seminars are available on the CEFC website. Please click here for more information.

 

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