Beijing’s 'Rule of Law' Strategy for Governing Hong Kong: Legalization without Democratization
China Perspectives, No.2019/1, pp 23-33
22 Pages Posted: 2 May 2019 Last revised: 15 Jul 2021
Date Written: February 11, 2019
This paper examines the evolution of legal strategies that the central government has used in managing Hong Kong affairs in the past three decades. It demonstrates that the Beijing government appears to have successfully employed the tactic of “legalisation without democratisation” to neutralise political resistance, to resolve thorny issues, and to stifle pro-independence voices. However, as Beijing’s legal strategies for Hong Kong have become more hands-on and assertive, the flaws and instrumentalism of Chinese-style “rule of law” have become increasingly salient, giving rise to deepening conflicts with the Hong Kong common law system. Legalisation without democratisation has given rise to a worrying trend of rising authoritarian legalism in Hong Kong.
Keywords: basic law, China, Hong Kong, rule of law, democracy
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