Law and Racism in an Asian Setting: An Analysis of the British Rule of Hong Kong

54 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Richard Daniel Klein

Richard Daniel Klein

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Date Written: 1995


This article will analyze and illustrate the British use of law as a tool to consolidate control of Hong Kong in the hands of a privileged minority. The British enacted legislation which in some respects instituted two sets of laws -- one for the Europeans and another for the Chinese. Laws were passed to ensure that no Chinese would live in the most desirable areas in Hong Kong, which the British wished to preserve as their exclusive enclaves. In a land in which ninety-eight percent of the population was Chinese, English was the official language. The Chinese language was not permitted to be used in government offices. Laws regulating conduct were written exclusively in English, a language which the vast majority of the population could not understand. The astonishing truth of the failure of the Hong Kong Chinese to develop a significant pro-democracy or pro-independence movement, while other British colonies obtained independence long ago, testifies to the success of the British laws in accomplishing the goal of continued colonial rule over this land of six million inhabitants.

Keywords: Hong Kong, Britain, China, colonial rule, racism, segregation, discrimination

Suggested Citation

Klein, Richard Daniel, Law and Racism in an Asian Setting: An Analysis of the British Rule of Hong Kong (1995). 18 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 223, Touro Law Center Legal Studies Research Paper Series, Available at SSRN:

Richard Daniel Klein (Contact Author)

Touro College - Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center ( email )

225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722
United States

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