Of Iron or Rubber?: People's Deputies of Hong Kong to the National People's Congress
42 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2007
Date Written: January 23, 2007
This paper discusses the tension between the legal and political limits placed on Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and their increasing assertiveness in representing Hong Kong in both national and Hong Kong matters. It discusses how the Central Authorities control the membership of the Hong Kong deputies to the NPC through controlling its electoral mechanism, and analyzes the rights and duties of the Hong Kong deputies in Hong Kong and in the Mainland, and the obstacles they encountered in performing their functions.
This paper analyses this issue through case studies and illustrates the gradual change of the Central Authorities from prohibiting comments by deputies on Hong Kong affairs to encouraging deputies to support the Hong Kong government. The paper concludes that while the political influence of the Hong Kong deputies are increasing, their role, as well as the extent of the application of the NPC system in general, within Hong Kong's political structure remains ambiguous. To enable the Hong Kong deputies better serve their bridging functions between Hong Kong and the Mainland, their functions must be institutionalized and regularized.
Keywords: National People's Congress, Hong Kong, deputies, Basic Law, congressional system
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation