Democratization in Hong Kong--and China? 9781626375383

Hong Kong and its relationship with China make for a uniquely intriguing study in democratization. What has hindered or

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

Democratization in Hong Kong —and China?

Lynn T. White III

b o u l d e r l o n d o n

Published in the United States of America in 2016 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 1800 30th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301 www.rienner.com

and in the United Kingdom by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. 3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8LU

© 2016 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A Cataloging-in-Publication record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: 978-1-62637-535-2

British Cataloguing in Publication Data A Cataloguing in Publication record for this book is available from the British Library.

Printed and bound in the United States of America

The paper used in this publication meets the requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials Z39.48-1992.

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For my grandchildren thus far, Aidan, Zoe, Naomi, and Elsa

Contents

Acknowledgments

ix

1

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain Hong Kong’s Politics? Exploring Fears of Asset Redistribution

15

Exploring the Impact of Modern Wealth

111

Exploring British and Chinese Legacies Exploring Elite Decisions

53

129

Exploring Social Protests

165

Could Further Democratization in Hong Kong Affect China?

203

Exploring International Norms

189

247 249 263 275

List of Acronyms Bibliography Index About the Book

vii

Acknowledgments

I could never have written this book without the loving encouragement of my wife, Barbara-Sue White, who has also published books about Hong Kong and has shared my experiences there. The book is dedicated to grandchildren, the offspring of our three sons Jeremy White, Kevin White, and Fekade Sergew. The lives of this young generation could become greatly affected for better or worse by China’s liberal or illiberal political development, because that uncertain process will affect the foreign policies of China and the United States. Warm thanks go to many scholars and Hong Kong political sages, some anonymous and many honored in a list below, who read parts of my manuscript and helped me by discussing it. I am especially thankful to the University of Hong Kong’s Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, and to its head, Angela Leung, for office space that was crucial as the book was being prepared. Generous logistical help also came from Priscilla Roberts in Hong Kong. Nancy Trachtman helped at Princeton. Woodrow Wilson School computer guru Jimmy Wang has provided invaluable support over many years for all my projects, including this book. University of Hong Kong professor of education Gerard Postiglione made particularly extensive comments that aided my thinking about ways in which policies for liberal schooling have been neglected by earlier writers on comparative democratization. Also, I am truly thankful to two anonymous referees, to Lynne Rienner and Carrie Broadwell-Tkach, to production editor Steve Barr, and to copyeditor Jason Cook. It is a great pleasure to express my gratitude to those mentioned above and to readers who have sent many specific suggestions for improvement of this book after having gone through a draft of the manuscript, especially Anthony Cheung, Fu Poshek, Leo Goodstadt, Mark Jia, Lawrence Liu, Christine Loh, Andy Loo, Ming Sing, Rory Truex, Wang Hongying, Tiffany Wong, Simon Young, and Zhang Yue. I also thank many wonderful colleagues who recently or long ago provided invaluable pointers to literature that I should read, people I should consult, and ways to improve the book: Sheri Berman, John P. Burns, Albert Chen, Y. C. ix

x

Acknowledgments

Chen, Joseph Cheng, Tom Christensen, Donald Clarke, Frank Dikötter, Anthony Diller, John Dolfin, Daniel Flaherty, Fu Hualing, Kevin Hewison, John Kamm, Ben Kerkvliet, Erik Martínez Kuhonta, Reginald Kwok, Emily Lau, David S. Law, Martin Lee, Alan Leong, Neysun Mahboubi, Duncan McCargo, Erik Mobrand, Suzanne Pepper, Priscilla Roberts, Joel Rocamora, Teemu Ruskola, Gary Sick, Sing Ming, Matthew Torne, Audrey Tung, C. H. Tung, Sebastian Veg, Wang Yuhua, John Waterbury, Philip Wickeri, Linda Wong, Wong Siu-lun, John Yasuda, Kate Xiao Zhou, David Zweig, and others. I am also in debt to the many researchers who are cited in footnotes, from whose varied and wonderful works I have learned a great deal. I remain solely guilty as the perpetrator. This book contains strongly stated views. The paradigms and definitions used in parts of it are different from those employed by some other scholars. —Lynn T. White III Princeton and Berkeley

1 Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain Hong Kong’s Politics? How does a “democratic” system work amid inequality of resources? —Robert A. Dahl1

Hong Kong is not an independent polity. Its people are unlikely to have much more popular sovereignty soon, but they will continue to push for more. Eventually, these pressures will affect both the local and national elites, albeit in ways that are not surely unidirectional for democratization. Beijing insists that Hong Kong is a capitalist “system.” China’s Communist Party considers this city separate from the purportedly socialist mainland establishment in economic type—and thus in terms of the “class” that should rule there. Chinese national leaders also stress that any constitutional change in Hong Kong requires consent from the sovereign government, which is run by their centralized Leninist party. Does this mean that usual theories of democratization, developed on the basis of experiences in other places, are irrelevant to the political evolution of Hong Kong? The book in your hands answers that question empirically. Each of the central six chapters concerns a factor that researchers of comparative democratization have found to be important elsewhere and relates it to local evidence from Hong Kong, with the aim of seeing when, whether, and how it is likely to influence the local regime type. Then a final chapter concerns possible pressures for mass electoral democracy that might later move northward from Hong Kong into the China mainland, a much larger place that is still quite different from Hong Kong but is in the same nation. There is considerable consensus among academic students of politics about the factors that have led toward or away from democratization in many countries. The best relative weighting of these potentially causal variables is not agreed by all social scientists, who also differ on the best ways to connect them logically with each other. They affect changes in the degree to which “the people” control government. Timings of political changes that may conduce 1

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

for or against greater democracy are particularly difficult to predict. Factors that are crucial over the short term may lose effectiveness over long periods. Those that will determine eventual regime types may be weak in the immediate future. Influences that affect elite decisions to increase or decrease popular voice in policy can be loosely summarized in phrases such as “fears of more equal asset distribution,” “legacy practices,” “modern diversity and prosperity,” “pacts,” “social protests,” and “international norms.” Each chapter of the book starts by looking at comparative theories relevant to such factors (e.g., of Boix, Huntington, Lipset, Pareto, Tarrow, or the United Nations). A list of the issues raised by each chapter can be abbreviated telegraphically by a short phrase in bold type below. The question in each case concerns the effect of that factor on Hong Kong’s movement toward or away from popular sovereignty.

Inequality. Hong Kong has the least equal distribution of wealth among all

sizeable political economies in the world. The issue of potential wealth redistribution is salient in Hong Kong because economic assets in this polity, more than any other, are unequal between very rich people (normally called “tycoons”) and others. Does tycoons’ fear of asset redistribution crucially prevent unfettered universal suffrage to choose rulers, since rich elites do not want poor people to vote for higher taxes? A comparativist named Carles Boix has mooted this issue comparatively (not in Hong Kong), trying to create a unified non-eclectic theory of democratization. The book in your hands is not quite that ambitious theoretically. China’s communist leaders give the very richest Hong Kong capitalists effective veto power over the city’s local government, ensuring a low-tax regime. This guarantees that surprisingly few Hong Kong people have much power in local affairs, despite elections. Protests by 2014– 2015 show public discontent with official unwillingness to act in fields such as price regulation, housing maintenance, and assurance of traditional freedoms. This threatens the social stability that Beijing wants in its largest farsouth port—but China’s need for the Hong Kong tycoons’ capital and trade networks is decreasing. Many in Hong Kong believe that if the local government permitted a greater allocation of wealth to purposes that affect poor and middle-income people, the city’s politics would be less restive. Most elites’ dislike of income redistribution still remains an important short-term predictor against local democratization, although this factor may well not be determinative in the long run.

Legacies. How do British and Chinese habits of political practice create—or instead delay—greater public sovereignty in Hong Kong? This question about “path dependencies” is inspired by the institutionalist works of political scientists such as Samuel Huntington, and by historians of political development especially in former British colonies. Hong Kong’s British and Chinese dual political legacies have both persisted. A few past colonial governors had a

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

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surprising degree of independence from London and from China’s capitals, while Hong Kong’s local people maintained strong traditions of free speech. Tensions between traditions of political hierarchy in China, on one hand, and the parties and debates that have emerged in Legislative Council elections, on the other, provide contending models of government. Hong Kong’s post-handover voting is held under an electoral law that disadvantages majoritarian parties and efforts to reform social or constitutional policies. But competitive campaigns have created a local political culture in Hong Kong that is unique among the places under Beijing’s control. The British and Chinese legacies of practice, and the strains between them, are more important in making accurate predictions about medium-term changes of regime type than about either immediate or longterm reforms. Logical links between this historical-institutionalist factor of development and the other analytic factors affecting regime type are highlighted in the book’s second chapter, and they naturally affect all the chapters. Modernity. Is Hong Kong’s high level of prosperity and diversity, with an av-

erage gross national product per person that exceeds that of either the United States or Britain, conducive to make Hong Kong’s political economy democratize, regardless of other factors countervailing that tendency? Seymour Martin Lipset and many others (Huntington, Przeworski, Boix and Stokes, and recently Teorell) have initiated, debated, and extensively refined efforts to explain why all states with high per capita incomes and populations over 10 million are unapologetic liberal democracies.2 Hong Kong is not sovereign, but with 7 million people it is not tiny. It ranks highly on any index of modernization. Beijing’s sovereignty makes the city an outlier as a rich modern non-democracy, but exploration of Hong Kong’s unusual situation throws light on socioeconomic pressures that have made most populous rich polities liberal. This ‘modernity’ factor may be almost useless in assessing short-term propensities to democratize, but it affects medium-term calculations of elites’ net costs, and it may well determine the long-run regime type of this city.

Leadership. What elite decisions in Beijing and Hong Kong are likely to veto or initiate democratization? Dankwart Rustow and others, especially Latin Americanists who study elite “pacts,” have convincingly shown that socioeconomic and cultural factors, such as are mentioned above, are insufficient either to start or reverse democratizations. Specific decisions by specifiable leaders are crucial in the establishment of any regime type. The costs and benefits to elites of such selections are affected by objective socioeconomic factors and by their own ideal norms. But a change requires a choice. When committing themselves to elections they might lose, incumbent chiefs make a jump into political uncertainty. Why would they ever do this—as in many places they have actually done? Elite decisions to extend popular sovereignty are normally required before democratization occurs, when and if it happens. Habits of

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

election, even in dubiously democratic institutions (such as Hong Kong’s mass balloting for half the members of the Legislative Council), can establish lively politics and parties—albeit with minimal results for governance. Elections may also accustom elites to a realization that some loss of power does not always mean a total end of influence. This factor could shape future decisions on Hong Kong’s regime, even though many leaders there or in Beijing explicitly rue the syndrome of democratization. Any short-term prediction of what is likely to happen in this respect, for either Hong Kong or China, depends on choices by elites that in these cases in effect remain anti-democratic despite some rhetoric to the contrary. Socioeconomic factors are more important for medium- and long-run changes of regime type, because even proud elites that can hold together in the way conservative social theorists such as Pareto prescribe acquire costs and benefits from socioeconomic changes. But at each point in time, leadership is crucial. Movements. How do protests such as Hong Kong’s “Occupy Central” in

2014 affect democratization or resistance to it? Workers’ or students’ movements have been important in the democratizations of many places, as analysts such as Tarrow, Piven and Cloward, Rueschmeyer with his coauthors, and many historians have argued. Although worker/capital, left/right politics has not yet strongly developed in ideologically capitalist and anti-leftist Hong Kong, protest movements by students are salient. Chinese political traditions give a special role to intellectuals, even young ones. Hong Kong educational reforms that preceded the 2014–2015 protests made liberal studies a required subject in senior secondary school and made liberal arts courses a requirement in all university programs.3 The effectiveness of movement politics in this modern and “economic” city is somewhat moot due to the allergy of China’s very ex-revolutionary (in fact conservative, not “leftist”) leaders to quick change in Hong Kong’s system of rule. Still, the protesters vow, “We will be back.” That is likely in part because they can mobilize peers with social media, and because their articulate young leaders have extensive experience organizing such campaigns.4 Hong Kong was populated by refugees from revolutionary protest movements in China. Most Hong Kong families are sharply anticommunist, and youths there have been educated in critical thinking. The constitutional Basic Law legitimates a sure recurrence, in regular five-year intervals for the next three decades, of the same issues that motivated the protests in 2014, until these ongoing disputes are settled. Will the protests remain effective for their purposes over time? They sway, albeit in diverse ways, elites’ views of what should happen in Hong Kong. They may prove either slightly influential or perhaps counter-effective for their short-term aims, but they combine with Hong Kong’s free-speech legacy and its socioeconomic diversity to create a repertoire of action that gives people memories of claims about democratization.

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

5

Globalism. Do international norms of modern legitimacy matter in Hong

Kong’s situation? China’s very official refusal to adopt “Western-style” politics ignores whether Hong Kong people think there is anything desirable about the liberal-democratic state form. Some of them do, and others depict this idea as unpatriotic or incompatible with “Asian values.” Important non-Western places have democracies that are as credible (or not) as those in the West. Taiwan and South Korea are regional examples. Chinese people and elites, both in Hong Kong and the mainland, often talk about rights as well as duties. Modern China is republican. Its top leaders sometimes act like emperors, but they say that era has passed. There is also a national tradition of allowing policy experimentation in parts of China, trying ideas in test areas before deciding whether to adopt them more broadly. China’s official adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is hesitant, though legally less so in Hong Kong than on the mainland. Many Chinese elites admit an interest in international norms and hope to make national contributions to them. Hong Kong’s adherence to global norms might, in the long term, affect the city mainly through intermediate effects on the sovereign power, which is China.

And China? The last chapter, after these six concerning factors that affect Hong Kong, asks about possible later effects in mainland China. Hong Kong is likely to democratize further in an electoral sense, but does comparative politics suggest any relevant conditions under which China might do so? Or instead, could mass elections on the mainland legitimize a patriotic illiberal demagogue, as could not happen in Hong Kong but as has happened in some but not all early democratizations in other countries? This has occurred especially when voters saw a need to reverse past humiliations, and when popular resentment of external powers or domestic oppressors was evident. Might courts enforcing “rule of law” on the mainland become strong enough to obviate this possibility, which could quickly reverse any liberal drift in China, including Hong Kong? Comparative legal research suggests they could not. Judges seldom overturn elections, even corrupt ones. In places as different as Germany, the Philippines, Peru, and Thailand, past competitive elections gave “democratic” legitimacy to diverse strongmen who later turned out to be violent illiberals. If law courts are not adequately insulated from politics to prevent that kind of evolution, can some larger socioeconomic process, such as legitimate conflict between labor and capital, make democracy safe for pluralism? Are there links between evolution in China’s most modern city and political development in the huge but less modern mainland?

A chapter of this book is devoted to each question asked in the seven preceding paragraphs. I am well aware that some readers will initially think it a fool’s errand to explore Hong Kong’s democratization in terms of theories that have been induced by comparative political scientists from the experiences of

6

Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

sovereign countries. Hong Kong is not independent, even though Beijing still claims (with decreasing evidence) that it is a distinct “system” inside China. Many empirical findings about Hong Kong’s political development can be understood in terms of factors that scholars of comparative politics have shown to be important in assessing democratic or authoritarian trends in other parts of the world. Each polity’s situation is unique in specifiable ways, and Hong Kong’s is strikingly so. It is useful to look at common factors of change, before deciding which of them are relevant or irrelevant in a particular place. “Democracy” is not a bad word in China, even though democracy is generally not practiced there. A party system has developed in Hong Kong (and Taiwan) despite claims of mainland elites that multiparty conflict in electoral politics is un-Chinese. People’s Republic of China (PRC) conservatives describe public debate as mere troublemaking, so that any serious public contention is unpatriotic. The Chinese central government’s position on this matter has not been consistent over time. According to Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which was passed by the National People’s Congress, democratic development is a policy aim for Hong Kong, which is distant from Beijing and a possible site for experiment in political reform. Another Beijing law, passed in 2007, vaguely moots the possibility of abolishing the functional constituencies that currently elect half of the seats in the Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. These are minoritarian and nondemocratic. That law moots such a change, however, only as a possibility after a first mass election for the territory’s Chief Executive, which was earlier scheduled to occur in 2017. “Pan-democrats” in Legco were able in mid-2015 to delay that mass election, because the procedure to choose nominees was effectively controlled by the Communist Party of China. Many people think that the office of the Chief Executive has a legitimacy problem, and this has diminished the effectiveness of Hong Kong’s executive-led government. Abolition of “functional” Legco seats, which is very unlikely soon, would tend to delegitimize the radically minoritarian committee that nominates or elects the Chief Executive, perhaps later making it “broadly representative” as the Basic Law says it should be, although it clearly is not. No book about democratization anywhere can be definitive. The slow and partial growth of popular sovereignty—to the extent it ever occurs at all— emerges from elite decisions that are taken in the context of perceived inequalities and injustices, revolutions, civil wars, protests, changes of power distributions, and other political struggles.5 Hong Kong governance is very much a work-in-progress. Democratization or reversals of it always have that status. Every polity has leaders who are not the same as ordinary people. As Occupy Central protesters withdrew, at least temporarily, a political pollster said, “The vociferous, extreme passion of the opponents has clearly been sparked.” He described a “much more volatile” split in the city than had previously been seen. A political scientist born in Hong Kong opined that, “Society has been deeply divided among families, between friends, between political parties; so

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

7

the movement has had a destabilizing impact. . . . With a deeper penetration of mainland Chinese political influence on Hong Kong, these social tensions will continue.” Another local analyst claimed, “Xi Jinping is a hardline leader— since he came to power he has been stoking the flames of nationalism. . . . Real democracy is just not possible.” A law professor said, “While the umbrella movement [which evolved from Occupy Central] has not been able to secure any tangible concession on democratic reform, it has galvanized a significant portion of Hong Kong’s population around the ideas of freedoms and democracy. . . . The movement has changed Hong Kong forever, as people have sent a clear message to the Chinese government that it cannot steamroll everything.” Yet another said, “What will remain is a political culture for a whole generation . . . even a shift of Hong Kong’s reputation, which before was seen as merely interested in money, marked by political apathy.”6 The protesters, departing from their main camp, displayed a large yellow banner proclaiming they would be back if their aims were ignored (and not quite all of them left the street, so police dragged them away after peacefully arresting many others, including elites). Incompleteness is always a trait of democratization. That process, when it begins, is never finished—just as no book about democratization can ever be final. Politics in Hong Kong presents urgent problems of policy for several types of actors. In the last chapter of this book, the strategies of four kinds of people will be explored: Hong Kong democrats, Hong Kong businesspeople, the leaders of China, and (because this book’s readership is likely to be partly American) the leaders of the United States. Strategy mooting is not usual. As Christine Loh has observed, Hong Kong has “little tradition of explaining why decision-makers choose to do what they do.”7 Government and party leaders speak of “measures” and “projects.” They are more committed to “do things” than to conceive coherent policies that serve identifiable interests. This is a pattern among politicians in many places, but by 2015 it was salient in Hong Kong. The local government vowed to continue its efforts to “lobby” pan-democratic Legco members to vote for Beijing’s reform to adopt limited nomination with universal suffrage, but in January its official “Consultation Document” made no concessions, such as eliminating corporate ballots for Nominating Committee members, expanding the functional subsectors for either that committee or Legco, or having more nominators chosen by direct election. On the contrary, it suggested official doubts about whether such adjustments are practicable, whether the NC would remain [sic] broadly representative, materialise balanced participation of various sectors, conducive to maintaining the capitalist system, and facilitate subsectors to elect persons who could genuinely represent their subsectors; besides, the wish of each subsector should be respected and widespread support from the relevant subsectors should be obtained, otherwise politically it would be difficult to forge consensus.8

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

Democrats mostly responded in kind, eschewing compromises and renewing their vows to veto Beijing’s reform package. Democratic Party politician Nelson Wong, who doubted this policy, was purged from his party’s central committee. Pan-democratic Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong wanted a “moderate power” platform, and he remained in Legco to cast a “no” vote on the limited-nomination plan—but soon resigned from both the council and his party, whose top leaders he considered too radical. Comparative theorists Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe Schmitter suggest that democratization depends on compromise among four types of actors: authoritarian hardliners, authoritarian moderates, oppositionists willing to compromise, and radical oppositionists.9 Thus far, Beijing has ensured that Hong Kong has no “authoritarian moderates,” and temperate oppositionists such as Tong cause few other democrats to compromise. Purist patriots and purist democrats prevent serious negotiation about the local regime type. Among young elites, too, students are split between university groups that maintain support for democracy throughout China and others whose aims are now localist. Beijing and the tycoons are still sufficiently comfortable with this stasis. So in June 2015, pan-democrats faced a policy choice on whether to vote in Legco for or against Beijing’s plan to hold a universal suffrage election for the Chief Executive in 2017—with a public ballot that would offer two or three nominees chosen by a committee whose membership is unrepresentative of Hong Kong and is controlled from Beijing. The Basic Law requires that two-thirds of Legco had to approve this plan, in order to enact it. Democrats were more than one-third of the legislature, 27 of the 70 members. In August 2014, 26 of them had vowed individually to vote “no.” In the actual vote, ten months later, all 27 (plus a usually pro-establishment functional delegate) voted “no”—and because of a severely self-embarrassing parliamentary gaffe by most of the pro-government members, the final vote count was 8 “yes,” 28 “no,” and 37 “present.”10 The official bill, lacking two-thirds approval, was not passed. All but one of the “yes” votes were cast by legislators from functional constituencies.11 So the next Chief Executive will presumably be chosen by the Beijing-controlled committee, with no further public input. Legco democrats expected to defeat the government’s reform bill, but nobody expected that so many potential “yes” legislators would not participate. Democrats’ calculations are complicated, however, because their rivals in future Legco elections (next presumably in September 2016) will accuse them of hypocrisy for voting against universal suffrage. Polls show that most Hong Kong people would like ballots for the top leader in their city’s executive-led polity if the nominees could cover a representative political spectrum. A second issue is that even limited-nomination elections allow voters to express some preferences. As the 2102 HK CE election (or the 2013 ayatollah-limited Iranian presidential election) showed, the dynamic of any campaign gives candidates incentives to differentiate themselves; so electors end up with partial

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

9

choice although they cannot change the system immediately.12 A third reason is a 2007 Beijing law decreeing that, after a mass election for Chief Executive, a later reform might be abolition of the “functional constituency” seats in Legco. This provision may well be disingenuous, because tycoon representatives in the legislature are numerous enough to veto it. But getting rid of the functional seats would, from a democratic viewpoint, tend later to delegitimize the elitist method by which the Chief Executive nomination committee is constituted, perhaps spurring street demands to make it “broadly representative.” Also, a mass vote would elect a Chief Executive less likely to be seen as totally dependent on Beijing. Such a leader would be more credible than a committee-elected executive in voicing Hong Kong’s interests to Beijing, even confidentially, and even if the executive were a secret member of the Chinese Communist Party. These are considerations for the future. Decisions in Legco and in Beijing will determine which of them become important. It is possible that pan-democrats will lose Legco seats in the future, but it is also possible that they will do well. Turnout rates among young voters, who tend disproportionately to support “pan-dems,” have been rising in both Legco and district council elections. The “Hare-quota-and-remainder” method of counting votes, which is anti-majoritarian and was instituted in 1997, raises the electoral chances of candidates who convey strong images of any kind, including those who can claim to stick up for democratic principles. Surveys quoted in later chapters show that most Hong Kong people share Legco democrats’ admiration for liberal ideals, but conservative rivals blame “pandems” for lack of patriotism and for risking economic instability. As a general student of governance wrote, “the political analyst who wants to choose a wise course of action should focus less on assessing the objective consequences of actions and more on how the interpretations will go. . . . Political reasoning is metaphor-making and category-making.”13 Some “democrats” and “patriots” will, after the protests of 2014–2015, try to portray themselves as moderate bridge-builders, because many people wish them to be so. They may or may not do well in future elections. A pan-democratic moderate, Ronny Tong, resigned his seat shortly after casting his “no” vote in Legco against the government’s reform bill, ruing his inability to persuade other democrats and Beijing to compromise with each other. Socioeconomic divisions within the city, especially among youths, will almost surely continue to create contentious politics. Policy dilemmas are also faced by Hong Kong’s business representatives, especially those who go into Legco from the small functional constituencies. Like the democratic lawmakers, they constitute more than one-third of that assembly and could veto Beijing’s plan for a mass election of the Chief Executive. Their objective interest in universal suffrage is not obvious, because they like low taxes. Their Liberal Party historically has opposed quick democratization. Their habit has nonetheless been to approve any proposals made by the

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

government of China, since their wealth depended on mainland trade. They benefit from Basic Law provisions that give them crucial influence in choosing the executive and making laws. If a major political reform were ever likely to pass in Legco, these “pro-China” representatives of the rich would have a sharp dilemma: to reject a plan associated with Beijing, or to accept that plan, which would lead to later protests for abolition of undemocratic “functional” business legislators. China’s leaders also face policy questions concerning Hong Kong’s constitutional evolution. Despite a lack of public transparency in their deliberations, circumstantial evidence suggests that the top of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has for several decades since the Cultural Revolution included both policy conservatives and policy reformers, with the conservatives generally dominant after Xi Jinping’s rise. These “tendencies of articulation” are not easy to verify—in part because the CCP uses Leninist norms of secrecy.14 It is nonetheless clear that the Basic Law of 1990, and then another National People’s Congress law of 2007, suggested bolder plans for democratization in Hong Kong than any consensus of current Beijing leaders has yet been willing to implement. The role of President Xi in these discussions is crucial, in part because of his 2007 role in creating the government’s plan for later elections for Chief Executive. After more than one-third of Legco’s members defeated Xi’s plan in 2015, Beijing’s top representative in Hong Kong (Zhang Xiaoming, head of the Liaison Office) said he would “shut up” and not discuss reform any further in public.15 Does the CCP leadership really want mass elections in Hong Kong, as it has proposed? Is there a tacit expectation in Beijing that either the democrats or the tycoons will surely prevent universal suffrage in Hong Kong, saving the party any need to answer demands for similar procedures on the mainland? Policy questions for the United States are less obvious but are also important. No foreign government has (or should have) much leverage to decide how Chinese elites will run any part of their country. But all democracies, especially the United States, might save future material resources if the fastest-rising major international power made a transition to the liberal state form. Some reasons that need to be considered are controversial (especially those relating to a “democratic peace hypothesis” that should more modestly be called a “liberal nonaggression conjecture”). Most discussion of this matter will be delayed to the last chapters of the book. During early democratizations even in “civilized” countries, demagogues are sometimes elected, and “rule of law” in politics-dependent courts has often been inadequate to prevent violence by elected dictators. A stabilizing conflict between larger socioeconomic forces, such as labor and capital, may become an effective prophylactic, along with rule of law, against elections that can reverse democracy. These concerns are salient in terms of US Realpolitik interests, not just normative ideals.

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

11

Electoral democratization in Hong Kong might in the relatively far future increase pressure on CCP leaders to venture mass elections in mainland China, if their domestic costs and benefits in maintaining their authoritarian structure change. But the huge and less developed “Hong Kong North” differs in many ways from Hong Kong. Universal suffrage elections for top offices in China could either aid or hinder US material interests (and also the interests of Chinese liberals everywhere, including those in Hong Kong). An electorally democratic China might become chauvinistic for the medium term, with disruptive results for Taiwan, the PRC, and US-China relations. Violent illiberal demagogues have sometimes been legitimized in early-democratic elections of other countries. Such disruption could occur without mass voting, but elections might raise its danger. Careful policies in both Washington and Beijing can prevent conflict while giving both nations assurances of goodwill in action toward their substantive national interests. With luck and with patience over time, more electoral democracy in China could make that crucial country a reliable partner of the United States, and vice versa. Congress members, who understandably favor electoral democracy, which has benefited them, have recently pressed the State Department to strip Hong Kong of its separate treatment under US trade laws unless it becomes more autonomous locally.16 Such a move would reinforce frequent false claims by Beijing and its political allies in Hong Kong that protests there are all the work of foreigners—and would not promote the cause of democratization in China’s most liberal city. Hong Kong is not very large, but if its constitutional evolution eventually proves to be a bellwether of China’s, the need for circumspect US policy will be great. A stable democratic China would accord with American interests— and the means of aiding its development without too many bumps on that road will require research, thinking, and care. I argue in this book that Hong Kong’s democratization will emerge in many stages and will require compromises between authoritarians and liberals. The city’s political development will be driven by the same factors, covered respectively by chapters of this book, that have impelled the evolution of state forms in other places. Hong Kong can be seen as an extreme case because it is not sovereign, but it is not an exception. Its evolution will be strongly influenced by Beijing, whose choices in this farsouth port are more constrained by usual factors of democratization than China’s leaders will quickly admit. Hong Kong in turn will influence the rest of China, although an introduction of mass elections on the mainland could legitimate a demagogue supporting illiberal policies throughout the country. This intermediate possibility does not preclude eventual Chinese liberalism. 1. Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs? (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961), 3, quotation marks in original.

Notes

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

2. Saudi Arabia may be the only exception, but its overwhelming income source (oil) makes it an oddity. Famous Singapore, with just 5 million people, has leaders who remain quite apologetic about the carefully rigged but clean elections that they hold. Chapter 4 notes the international-ethnic reasons for their illiberalism. It also provides bibliography on many refiners of the modernity-and-democracy “Lipset link.” 3. I thank University of Hong Kong professor of education Gerard Postiglione for many insights throughout this text, which explores links between schooling and politics more than do other works on democratization. 4. Lessons in Dissent, Matthew Torne, dir. (Hong Kong: Torne Films, 2014), a documentary film about teenage pro-democracy protesters Joshua Wong and Ma Wan Ke, traces the experiences of such leaders in the 2010 campaign against a high-speed railway line (this protest failed), the 2012 campaign against a requirement in schools for “national education” that was deemed by many in Hong Kong to be communist brainwashing (this one succeeded), and the 2014 movement to occupy public roads until the limited-nomination procedure for Chief Executive elections changes. These movements have thus far only obliquely treated the main left-right issue in Hong Kong, which is the constitutional power of tycoons. 5. See a study of the United States that has comparative implications, E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960). I would rate this book the best modern “political science” yet written. 6. These quotations, generously forwarded to me by Professor Sonny Lo Shiuhing of the Hong Kong Institute of Education, are quoted in a December 11, 2014, blog from Agence France Presse, http://www.afp.com/en/news/hong-kong-left-deeply-polarised-protests-analysts, reporting by Pedro Ugarte and Isaac Lawrence. 7. I am grateful for Ms. Loh’s comments, quoted here, which were sent to me by e-mail after she read an early draft of this book. I have been helped by many prominent Hong Kong Chinese of various political viewpoints, who have taken valuable time from government and unofficial work because they are interested in the book’s topic. I remain guilty of all errors of fact or judgment anywhere in this text. 8. See http://2017.gov.hk/filemanager/template/en/doc/second_round_doc/Consultation_Document_Eng.pdf; and Simon Young, “Pan-Democrats Must Seek Talks, As a Veto Is Likely to Serve Beijing’s Interests Most,” South China Morning Post, January 15, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 9. Guillermo O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions About Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), referenced too in Gary Cheung, “On Political Reform, Beijing Leaves No Room for Moderates,” South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], June 30, 2015, A13. 10. The first reported reason for this farce was a desire among pro-Beijing legislators to honor one of their colleagues, Lau Wong-fat, who was sick and caught in traffic heading toward Legco. (Lau can coordinate voting blocs in New Territories elections. Chapter 3 describes the electoral law that was passed by a mainland-controlled Provisional Legco before the “handover” from Britain, using a Hare-quota-and-remainder counting system that awards extra seats for vote-coordination, especially in the large multimember New Territories districts.) Most pro-Beijing legislators left the Legco chamber thinking the ballot would be adjourned for lack of a quorum—but they miscalculated, and in accordance with Legco rules the vote was held. Most of the merely “present” members were aghast, some in tears after the gaffe because they had failed to vote “yes.” Pan-democrats hoped the blunder would help their own cause in future Legco elections. It was not clear how deeply Beijing leaders cared about the result, aside from loss of “face” because of their Hong Kong associates’ failure. The enthusi-

Can Comparative Democratization Theory Help Explain?

13

asm of some “functional” delegates for universal suffrage may also be doubted—and one of them, Leung Ka-lau, representing medics, joined the democrats in voting “no.” (Doctors do not engage in China trade.) Tony Cheung, Jeffie Lam, and Joyce Ng, “Reform Package Fails, As Does Walkout,” Post, June 19, 2015, A1; and by the same reporters in the same issue, “A Very Long Five Minutes,” A4. 11. Five of the eight “yes” legislators won uncontested functional elections in 2012. The sole geographically elected “yes,” James Tien of the New Territories East multimember district, won under the 1997 electoral law with just a 7 percent plurality. Data available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_legislative_election ,_2012. 12. In Iran, the least-conservative candidate, Hassan Rouhani, won the presidency in 2013. The 2012 Hong Kong Chief Executive race showed Henry Tang and C. Y. Leung attacking each other vehemently before a closed committee election. Multicandidate elections are conflicts. They are inconsistent with the notion that politics must be essentially administrative or harmonious. Beijing determined that Leung should win, but he did not receive the committee votes of the richest tycoon, Li Ka-shing, or of committee members from the largest business-oriented party, the Liberals. Chapter 4 offers more on these cases. 13. Deborah Stone, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, rev. ed. (New York: Norton, 2002), 9. 14. The term “tendencies of articulation” was used in the path-breaking book Interest Groups in Soviet Politics, H. Gordon Skilling and Franklyn Griffiths, eds. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971). 15. Jeffie Lam and Gary Cheung, “Forget Political Reform and Move On, Top Beijing Official Tells Hongkongers,” June 30, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 16. Dui Hua Foundation, “Congressional Action on Hong Kong Set to Roil USChina Relations,” Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, January 15, 2015, http://duihuahrjournal.org.

2 Exploring Fears of Asset Redistribution People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. . . . But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary. —Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (1776)1

A political comparativist, Carles Boix, offers this “unified causal theory” of democratization and resistance to it: As the distribution of assets and income becomes more balanced among individuals, the redistributive impact of democracy diminishes, and the probability of a peaceful transition from an authoritarian regime to universal suffrage increases. . . . As capital becomes more mobile, democratic governments must curb taxes—if the taxes were too high, capital would escape abroad. Accordingly, the extent of political conflict among capital holders and nonholders diminishes, and the likelihood of democracy rises. By contrast, authoritarianism predominates in those countries in which both the level of inequality and the lack of capital mobility are high.2

Hong Kong has very high asset inequality and also very high capital mobility. The local government since 1983 has intervened in markets to peg the Hong Kong dollar to the US dollar at a rate of about 7.8 to 1. Citizens can convert their currency freely. So Hong Kong capital is quite stable in value, and there are no barriers to exporting it. Wealth inequality is not the only factor discouraging, and capital mobility is not only factor encouraging, democratization in Hong Kong. Other vectors are also at work, although they make the theory of democratization less unified.3 Traditions of free speech and national practices, the high general level of prosperity, the interests of the mainland’s dominant party and of the city’s elites, recurrent protest movements, and international norms also interact in 15

16

Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

ways that later chapters will explore. But wealth inequality is an important hindrance to local democratization. Hong Kong is the world’s least-equal large economy as regards asset distribution, and that fact is recorded because econometricians compile the city’s data along with those from all United Nations members. The very richest people there are far wealthier, relative to others in Hong Kong, than in any other sizeable polity. Readers may be surprised to learn how severe this disjunction is, but evidence is provided in the next paragraph. The economic wealth gap has inhibited many local economic leaders from favoring democracy, although its political effects among the poor are less sure. Extreme disparity of people’s wealth can be protected by governments, when inequality becomes an issue of mass politics only slowly. Boix argues: “In highly unequal societies, the redistributive demands of the worse-off citizens on the wealthy are particularly intense. As a result, the latter have a strong incentive to oppose the introduction of democracy, which would enable the majority of the population to impose heavy taxes on them.”4 But there may be a time lag before poor people in unequal polities demand redistribution, whereas there may also be current awareness among rich elites that such demands are latent and could erupt. Hong Kong has the world’s most acute wealth differential between the super-rich and others. The portion of Hong Kong USD billionaires’s assets as a share of annual gross domestic product exceeds 75 percent. The global runner-up is Russia with only 20 percent—much less.5 Singapore, Ukraine, and all other internationally recorded polities are farther down the list. If the econometrics to assess this disparity is restricted to include only wealth in “crony sectors” that require political support (e.g., ports, real estate, investment banking, and telecoms), then the portion for Hong Kong is still by far the world’s highest, at over 55 percent of GDP, with all other polities having a share less than 20 percent.6 A question about methodology is whether large and small economies are comparable, since in a small economy just a few billionaires can sharply affect their portion of wealth. Cities in many nations have greater wealth gaps than do the countries as a whole—although for Hong Kong’s most obvious comparator, Singapore, the portion of billionaires’ wealth as a share of annual GDP is less than 20 percent, while that number in Hong Kong exceeds 75 percent. Unless the available data are wildly inaccurate, Hong Kong is a global outlier of asset inequality. A more relevant query arises because most people there, including workers and the poor, have strong sentiments against class war and feel that state welfare is repugnant (for reasons later chapters explore). But this issue would not change the unsentimental numbers. The richest Hong Kong billionaire, Li Ka-shing, even before the student protests of 2014 discomfited him, worried Beijing’s leaders by moving assets from China and Hong Kong to other markets, including the distressed euro-

Exploring Fears of Asset Redistribution

17

zone.7 Li’s business model changed because his political networking connections (e.g., with Jiang Zemin’s grandson, Alvin Jiang) became less profitable in an era when the Chinese government claimed more regularly to oppose corruption.8 Hong Kong corporations and billionaires have made great profits from investing outside the territory, and that is the major reason why asset inequality is more salient in Hong Kong than in any other diversified economy on earth. They also make money from oligopolies that raise costs to poorer Hong Kong people. Government regulations serving public interests are anathema to tycoons, but a kind of quasi-socialism that dare not speak its name actually reigns in crucial Hong Kong economic sectors. Groceries and property are oligopolized—and tycoon representatives in the Legislative Council can delay or underfund proposals for serious legal bans on anticompetitive behavior. Oligopoly or near-monopoly are evident in many private sectors that are lightly regulated, notably land, food, pharmacies, telecoms, and port management. Other trades are not much influenced by the government, except through a long-established but decreasingly important implicit subsidy to blue-collar wages through the government’s rentals and sales of cheap public housing. Half of all Hong Kong people live in flats built by the state. About one-third rent directly from its Housing Authority. The government also subsidizes water, health care, and education, albeit at real rates of subvention that have decreased in recent decades. Hong Kong imposes no taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest, or inheritances. This city’s revenue system is exceptionally regressive. Wages have been taxed at 15 percent on amounts above a threshold that requires about onethird of the salaried population to pay. The top personal rate, on wages only, is 17 percent; but the main sources of wealth for rich individuals—inherited estates and capital gains—are not taxed at all. Profit levies on local companies apply only to money they earn in Hong Kong, and most of their revenue comes from the China mainland and from other places outside the city. The Hong Kong corporate profit tax rate has been 16.5 percent. Just half of the government’s revenue comes from taxes. Very unusually for any polity, the other half is returns from assets that the local state owns, including official investments and especially leases and land sales.9 China Trade and Domestic Oligopolies Generated Local Boom, Inequality, and Rents Economic distribution in Hong Kong became more equal for some years after 1966, while China was having its Cultural Revolution and trade with the mainland was slow. The Gini ratio is a comprehensive measure of wealth (or income) diversity, with a higher value showing more inequality. Hong Kong’s

18

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income Gini dropped from 0.487 to 0.411 between the 1966–1971 and 1976– 1981 periods, showing more equality. Then mainland trade reversed this trend. The Gini rose sharply in the 1980s, enriching top earners while moving many low-paid jobs out of the territory, especially into nearby Guangdong. After China’s opening, from 1981 to 2011, a change in the ratio of the topearning decile to the bottom decile of Hong Kong incomes showed a steep rise of inequality. Advance in the top decile was at least half again as sharp as in the bottom decile—but it is unclear whether nonwork sources of income have been fully included in this estimate. In order to preserve privacy for those who are well heeled, Hong Kong government statistics do not include reports on taxable salaries or other incomes above a maximum value of HK$100,000 (about US$13,000) per month.10 A super-rich tiny fraction within “the one percent” became very much wealthier than the top decile did on average during the decades of fast-rising China trade. Tycoons’ windfall of profits from highly competitive businesses outside of Hong Kong after 1980 gave them assets that (together with their constitutional advantages under the Basic Law) allowed them further to control domestic Hong Kong markets, buy property, and rake rents from their less prosperous fellow citizens. Hong Kong emerged as a “first world” rich economy during this period. At the handover of sovereignty in 1997, the average GDP per capita in Hong Kong was already higher than in Britain. By 2009, this city showed the planet’s most extreme income inequality among advanced economies, with a Gini score of 0.434.11 The highest-earning tenth of the population then received 35 percent of all income, while the poorest tenth received 2 percent. It would be more revealing to know what portion “the one percent” received, but the Hong Kong government does not report fully on the super-rich. So the recorded Gini ratio understates Hong Kong’s most striking exceptionalism: the extraordinary assets of the very wealthiest people, who are called “tycoons” in standard parlance there and without unnecessary apologies. Any single value of a Gini can come from various distribution curves.12 In Hong Kong, a much smaller portion of people at the very top have more assets and receive more income, especially on an after-tax basis, than in any other polity on earth. Poor people are the other side of this coin, even though few of them complain about the wealth gap as such. Leo Goodstadt finds that in twenty-firstcentury Hong Kong, poverty has reappeared in new forms. The supply of public housing has shrunk, and private property prices have soared. Access to social services has become more expensive, and their supply has fallen far below the community’s needs. The labour force has become even more efficient than in previous decades, but earnings have failed to match the improved productivity; and for lower-paid workers, wages have declined. Instead of “trickle down”

Exploring Fears of Asset Redistribution

to the community at large from the sustained economic growth, inequality of incomes . . . has increased and is now among the worst in the world.13

19

The asset gap has risen more quickly than popular dissatisfaction about it. Neither elites nor any major group of others in this city want class war. Subjective perceptions of inequality are politically crucial.14 Unhappiness about prices, especially of housing, is severe and increasing in Hong Kong—as the 2014 protests made clear. But few of the city’s people express their thoughts about inequality itself, even though many are aware of it. Most do not mind seeing others get ahead, so long as they foresee the same opportunity for themselves. If there is an extended period of very slow progress for the majority, however, resentment may rise.15 Some theorists suggest that institutional frameworks (e.g., Hong Kong’s Basic Law that supports low taxes) affect common attitudes toward wealth, work, and luck, including ideas concerning whether the poor are lazy or just unfortunate.16 The city’s political leaders of various parties have preferred to emphasize the Hong Kong vs. mainland cleavage over the rich vs. poor one. There is no evidence of “false consciousness” about inequality, although there is evidence that Hong Kong people increasingly dislike the skewed structure of local assets, when they link it to the high rents and prices they pay. Youths in particular have been polled concerning the wealth gap, and they resent it. A “cascade” of umbrage against tycoons might occur unexpectedly.17 The trigger of such an event might be coercive action by the local police, or especially by China’s military, against political expression for more equal participation in Hong Kong governance—or even against the voicing of nonviolent ideas with which most of the city’s people disagree. The autumn of 2014 saw an escalation of protest that the local government and economic elites admitted they had not expected.18 Acceptance of income inequality in Hong Kong remains high. It is surveyed as second only behind the Philippines in a study of twenty-eight polities. A concern among Hong Kong people, according to one poll, is that the “poor” are “too poor” and need to be helped—but the “rich” are not said to be “too rich.” Many in the city think that professionals earn their incomes, while cleaners and workers are underpaid.19 This survey did not distinguish nonwork income from investment earnings, and it did not ask about political factors that generate wealth. Housing-price increases stoked some “envy of and animosity toward the rich” (xianfu choufu), partly because the mini-constitution empowers moneyed minorities who garner rents of many kinds. Public attitudes, especially on tax rates, have thus far scarcely responded to economic and social changes. Needs for revenue are increasing, although the local elite has demurred from letting the government fund most of them. Elderly people, for example, are a large and rising part of the population. The

20

Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

“old-age dependency ratio” in Hong Kong rose from 9 percent in 1980 to 19 percent in 2013.20 (In China, it rose from 9 percent to 14 percent in that period. It was 41 percent by 2014 in Japan, a country with an exceptionally large elderly population.) Hong Kong’s seniors, aged sixty-five and older, are a fifth of the population. A “total dependency ratio” is the number of seniors and youths (under age fifteen) divided by the number of workers aged fifteen to sixty-four on whom they rely for support. Hong Kong’s total dependency ratio was 35 percent in 2013.21 (That ratio for China was already 37 percent.) Few earners are now available to sustain retirees and youngsters; for every two workers in Hong Kong, there is a dependent who must be supported. This situation may in the future give ordinary employees a sense that they deserve more political influence. Most Hong Kong families are traditionally anti-leftist, however, and trade union militancy has for decades been challenged by the ideological and constitutional power of businesses. Partly to dampen the differences among politicians on this and other potentially divisive issues, a majority of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council once long ago rejected a proposal to seat each party’s members together in the chamber; this measure was adopted in a hope that mixed seating would discourage rowdy “Taiwanese parliamentary behaviour.”22 Now, however, parties and policy groups sit together in Legco, and they express themselves sharply in the chamber. Physical conflicts are rare, but Legco members use signs, shouts, umbrellas, walkouts, and other protests when they feel that the constitutionally stronger but unelected executive is steamrolling them. The main cleavage in Hong Kong politics still divides “pro-Beijing” from “pro-democracy” groups. The pro-poor/pro-rich, labor/capital division that is common in most rich political economies has for many years been largely displaced in Hong Kong by this “patriotic”/“democratic” split.23 Tycoons have great interest in minimizing political attention to their wealth; so they prefer patriotic rhetoric to any proletarian discourse. But most of Hong Kong’s politicians—including pan-democrats—also have usually downplayed public discussion of wealth differentials. An experienced participant in Hong Kong politics, who is now in government service, calls this habit “intellectually lazy” because it delays attention to serious social problems.24 The currently dominant class in Hong Kong is Western-educated and would prefer more equality if it were costless to them. But most of its members are eager to have other Hong Kong people forget that political institutions can breed wealth and can foster greed that ultimately benefits nobody. Many top tycoons are elderly and know “they can’t take it with them” after death. But they want to maintain their families’ abilities to garner profits from China trade and Hong Kong rents as long as possible, even as they also know that China and Hong Kong are both changing quickly.

Exploring Fears of Asset Redistribution

21

Competitive External Markets Generate an Ideology That Local Oligopolies Disprove In annual Economic Freedom of the World reports, Hong Kong is usually ranked first among all polities.25 The Heritage Foundation in 2014, and for two decades before that year, listed Hong Kong as the freest economy on the planet (with Singapore usually in second place).26 Hong Kong taxes are low, there are no tariffs, and government regulation of markets is almost wholly designed to maintain the city’s status as an international trader, for example by enforcement of copyright and patent laws. Hospitals and tertiary education are publicly funded for the most part, but they are managed increasingly through Thatcherite quasi-market contracts. The best secondary schools have long been run by many kinds of religious and private foundations—now with major state subsidies. The city finances teachers’ salaries, partially sets curricula, approves languages of instruction, and tests graduates. But the government does not directly own most school property or hire most teachers. The colonial legacy of relying on private initiatives and philanthropy for most social services (outside schools and hospitals) has been continued in Hong Kong since the city joined the ranks of the world’s twenty richest-per-person polities.27 Libertarians’ enthusiasm about Hong Kong’s economy would be more qualified if they were interested in looking at more information. Elder care, health, water, education, and especially public housing have all used government revenues. Huge past residential projects meant, in effect, that the local state for nearly three decades after the mid-1950s intervened massively to subsidize the price of blue-collar labor. This aided businesses during Hong Kong’s boom in light industries, which Chinese mainland exports later displaced. Government-regulated transport construction was coordinated with plans for public housing and shopping malls. Water and dam-building projects had similar results; successive reservoir projects at Plover Cove, High Island, and elsewhere provided jobs. Successive transport projects for the mass-transit rail system, cross-harbor tunnels, bridges, and the airport were similar. Such policies improved Hong Kong’s international competitiveness by allowing companies to pay their employees less when labor-intensive manufacturing was the main export sector, and later by providing more low-skill jobs when many factories moved inland. Nearly half of Hong Kong’s people still live in public housing—nearly one-third in flats rented from the government, and one-tenth in government-built subsidized-sale flats.28 None of this is called “socialist” because Hong Kong is supposed by China (and Britain and United States and most of the local population) to be devoutly capitalist. Standard political discourse in Hong Kong forbids calling the housing and water policies “welfare”—or “corporate welfare,” even though such measures have saved companies money in the past. The situation

22

Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

is complicated, because the high prices for finance of private housing (and for food, medicines, and telecoms) also resemble taxes from the viewpoint of the ordinary payer. These fees go not to the government’s treasury, but instead mostly to elites who also have constitutional veto powers over actions by the local state. The tycoons claim to be private, but when they wish, they can ban higher taxes or spending. “Functional” seats in Legco and memberships on the Chief Executive election committee give them political power to maintain a regime of high extractions from others in Hong Kong. Many small-apartment owners use up to 70 percent of their income to pay off mortgages. Property prices in the city doubled from 2010 to 2014. In twenty-six large economies where such prices were surveyed, Hong Kong not only topped the list for inflation in the cost of buying or renting a home—it did so by a large margin.29 Government programs have reduced rents for bluecollar workers, while maintaining the price of land and raising the price of private flats that many cannot afford to buy. So the city’s people pay low taxes but high rents or mortgage interest, as well as high prices for food, pharmaceuticals, and other necessities. Hong Kong is constitutionally close to Marx’s vision of a state as the board of trustees of a ruling class. The boundaries of “government” have become indistinct, because economic oligopoly has led to private fees that are practically indistinguishable from those of a tax collector, albeit not one who is chosen publicly as a representative of the taxed. This structure in Hong Kong’s political economy is not new, and it is extreme though not absolutely unique. It reaches far back into the colonial period. During most of that time, Chinese businesspeople were powerful—along with Parsis, Bagdadhi Jews, Bohra Muslims, and many other kinds of Asian and Western entrepreneurs in all fields, notably real estate and the opium trade during the first century after 1842. Starting in the 1950s, Hong Kong’s light industries became very competitive on international markets. Its textiles were exported to North America and Europe, before mainland China’s boom began in the 1970s and especially the 1980s. This British colony practically extinguished the British cloth industry. Its export economy was free and fiercely efficient. But in domestic sectors such as property, groceries, power, transport, banking, and ports, Hong Kong has had state-condoned oligopolies for decades. The relevant state has been local. London did not control it. Most companies started in families. The Jardine Group was run by the Keswick family, which had been in the Far East for generations. The Kadoories, controlling China Light and Power, had British passports and sympathies, but they were also Bagdadhi Jews who came to Shanghai and Hong Kong through Bombay. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (now officially just HSBC) was “the premier expatriate business enterprise in Hong Kong”—and it was in late-colonial times more than 60 percent Chinese in terms of its shareholders. This “British” bank was crucial in saving the Hutchison Whampoa Group after

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Sir Douglas Clague drove Hutchison’s worth down, because it facilitated the sale of Hutchison to Li Ka-shing. “British” firms during the colonial period were in many cases just apparently or sometimes British. “The Bank” was also instrumental in easing the Keswicks out of Jardine interests, so these could be sold to Li and Y. K. Pao.30 The economic empire of the United Kingdom in the Far East was at all times more local than British. Non-Chinese tycoons were in most cases less linked to London than to Chinese tycoons. Hong Kong’s government does not directly own much of Hong Kong outside of housing and land, but identifiable sets of relatively few people strongly influence both the state and the economy. The line between official and corporate power is fuzzier in Hong Kong than in any other modern high-income jurisdiction. The constitutional power of Chief Executive election committee tycoons and the functional Legco members, combined with the business elite’s nonstate powers, makes the behavioral boundaries of “government” in this city more difficult to define than in any other place that is as diversified and rich. Freedom in the economy is more constrained by private networks than most descriptions would suggest. Opportunities for oligopolistic price-fixing have been rampant. There are just two supermarket chains. One is Dairy Farm International Holdings, which owns “Wellcome,” with 280 retail outlets (associated with 25 specialty stores, making 305 in all). The other is the Watson Group’s “ParknShop,” which is part of the Hutchison-Whampoa conglomerate chaired by Li Ka-shing. ParknShop has 210 retail outlets (franchising another 47, or 257 total). The two next-largest chains in 2014 were both much smaller: China Resources with 95 stores and Jusco with only 9. So Wellcome and ParknShop are arguably oligopolists of groceries. These two chains are estimated (by securities analysts for Credit Lyonnais) to control seven-tenths of the Hong Kong retail food market.31 Cartoonist Larry Feign satirized the former as “PaynWeep”—until his newspaper, the South China Morning Post, fired him.32 A reporter found that “larger supermarkets [the two main chains] monitor prices at competitors, and if they see a supplier’s product selling cheaper elsewhere, depending on the contract terms, they can claim the difference back. ‘For example, one litre of milk, if Dairy Farm sells it at HK$17 and maybe ‘759’ [a small store] sells it at HK$15, Dairy Farm has the right to charge the HK$2 per pack back to the supplier,’ according to Ringo Wong, a director at Wilson Fine Foods, a division of Wilson International Frozen Foods (HK), the city’s largest privately owned [wholesale] food supplier.”33 Hong Kong economic ideology has been so laissez-faire that antitrust laws have not yet created a “level playing field” for entrepreneurs. The Watson/ParknShop/Li group also runs one of the two main drugstore chains. The other, Mannings, is wholly owned by the Dairy Farm/Wellcome half of this duopoly, from which Hong Kong consumers purchase many products. Extra “rent” that accrues from profits in noncompetitive markets is like

24

Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

a nonstate tax, levied by interests that also have constitutional powers and funds to restrict effective antitrust efforts. Li Ka-shing chairs the boards of Hutchison Whampoa and also of Cheung Kong Holdings, the largest property firm. Hutchison formally owns the Watson Group, which runs the drugstore chain of the same name, as well as ParknShop. Li is thus the main land magnate, container-terminal operator, and retailer of food in Hong Kong (and of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics worldwide). Hutchison further controls the Hong Kong Electric Company. One of Li Ka-shing’s sons, Victor, helps his father run Cheung Kong. Another son, Richard, manages the main telecoms company, PCCW, as well as the largest pay television network, NOW. Companies controlled by Li Ka-shing have commanded almost one-fifth of the total capitalization of the Hong Kong stock market, which attracts money from many countries.34 Hong Kong’s largest banks have directorates that interlock extensively with those of the few major land companies, and much of the population pays mortgage interest to these. Rakeoffs by tycoons in multiple sectors that relate to each other have risen in recent decades. Public housing residents in Hong Kong by 2010 spent 45 percent of their incomes on food—up from 39 percent in 1995. The International Monetary Fund’s Commodity Food Price Index for Hong Kong rose 80 percent over those fifteen years. Small independent food outlets have trouble finding space at viable rents; so the property and grocery markets are not wholly separate from each other. Large, well-heeled food corporations, which might compete with the two main chains, are kept out of Hong Kong domestic markets. Jimmy Lai, a businessman and democratic activist in the 1990s, tried to set up an online grocery facility in Hong Kong. “So powerful were his opponents, he says, they leaned on suppliers to boycott him.”35 When the large French firm Carrefour in the 1990s tried to establish a retail chain in Hong Kong—as it has successfully done in Taiwan and on the mainland—it was also driven out of town by the main duopoly. The same fate befell a similar effort by China Resources (Huarun), a PRC state-owned company that now sells relatively few groceries in Hong Kong. A “Competition Ordinance” was scheduled to come into effect in 2015 for the first time. Hong Kong’s government recently includes a Competition Commission, headed by Exco member Anna Wu, who is a very credible liberal (as is her journalist husband, Frank Ching). The commission’s effectiveness, as Wu pointed out, depends on funding. In the autumn of 2014, it had slightly more than HK$30 million, which commission member Thomas Cheng said was a low budget for the job: “Given how high legal fees are, it is entirely possible that that sum would not last us more than a case or two.” Wu said, “We are expecting a number of lawsuits in the future when we enforce the commission law”—and tycoons making big profits from anticompetitive behaviors

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can spend many dollars to fight serious antitrust efforts.36 Perhaps Hong Kong’s elites, impressed by 2014 protests, will have an epiphany and realize that their city’s economy is not absolutely free and fair. If so, the Competition Ordinance might later have some effect, but there is much work yet to do before market reality catches up with market ideology. The main restraint on trade comes from restrictions of supply at competitive prices. Retailers’ contracts often include price-maintaining clauses such as those described earlier. But these are almost surely less effective hindrances to trade than is the simpler practice of one oligopolist noting the price charged by another for a product, and then marking his own price near that level even if it is far above costs. The structure of ownership and suppliers in Hong Kong could not be changed quickly by any law, even if functional delegates in Legco were willing to pass it. Neither the tycoons nor the Chinese Communist Party, which favors large corporations on the mainland, is likely to change this pattern soon. The Basic Law lets oligopolists veto antitrust proposals. Nonstate quasi-taxes, levied by “private” tycoons who have a constitutional role in Hong Kong even though they are formally outside the government, will for some time remain high in this city’s political economy. Constitutional Corruption by Corporations This book defines “corruption” as perceived benefits to minorities that the majority may claim.37 So a kind of likely corruption comes in the form of official permissions to reclaim land for high-end residential construction projects. Cyberport, on the western end of Hong Kong Island, was at the turn of the millennium touted as an “information infrastructure project that would serve as a flagship to put Hong Kong firmly on the global information technology and services map.” It was presented as a place for cutting-edge research, Hong Kong’s Silicon Valley. Li Ka-shing’s son Richard was not the only person to bid on the project. “Officials struggled to explain why an alternative bid for the same project had been rejected, and the proposal was widely attacked not only on commercial grounds but also for cronyism. Cyberport . . . received permissions to reclaim land on a 26 hectare site, plus HK$7.8 billion in a deal that critics have denounced as ‘crony capitalism.’”38 An information technology professor at the University of Hong Kong has assured this author that no serious cyber research at all has emerged in later years from this much-ballyhooed project. But a great many high-end flats were built. Chief Executive Tung, confronted with allegations of favoritism because of his past business connections with the elder Li, tried to reassure the community with the promise that “Hong Kong is successful today because we do not have money politics, and we will definitely not condone money politics in Hong Kong.”39 There was at least tension between this reassurance and the role of the rich in the local constitution. Building upscale apartments has been the most obvi-

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ous economic activity at Cyberport and at other sites to which the government has given valuable permissions for construction. In the early 1990s, just four developers supplied 55 percent of all new residential housing in Hong Kong. Just one of them supplied more than a quarter of all new flats. The Monetary Authority chief in 2005 complained about “the structure of the market itself, in which there is a virtual oligopoly in the supply of property.”40 Hong Kong is supposed under the “two systems” framework to be capitalist—and the government piously avoids market interventions that would hurt tycoons, who supply most members of the committee that chooses the Chief Executive, as well as most functional constituency members of the legislature. The city’s regime is so laissez-faire that it lets rich people absorb rents from uncompetitive markets, in which the poor and middle classes pay high prices. Hong Kong’s external trade is highly competitive, but there is scant competition in crucial domestic markets despite rhetoric to the contrary. Antitrust legislation is thus far cosmetic, and large sectors remain oligopolized. Electricity suppliers offer another example of this formalistic capitalism. Both of the two major firms, Hong Kong Electric and China Light and Power, are private. The government gives them monopolies (such as are held by power suppliers in many countries) respectively on Hong Kong Island, and in Kowloon and the New Territories. But their regulated rates of profit are tied to the companies’ capital assets, not to management efficiency, electricity production, or demand for power. So both companies have strong incentives to overestimate future needs, underestimate environmental impacts, and overbuild electricity plants.41 China Light and Power thus decided to construct the Black Point Generating Station, in the northern New Territories, even though just three-quarters of that plant’s capacity will be used even at peak demand times. Paying for the capacity raises company profits, irrespective of the need for electricity. Although Hong Kong Electric could buy surplus power from the Black Point Station, it instead decided to expand its Lamma Island generators. A spokeswoman explained that, “as a responsible utility, we . . . must have a stable supply for our customers.”42 An environmental impact assessment on the Lamma expansion excluded from its purview the effects of a 75-kilometer gas pipeline from China, because most of its length was laid legally just outside Hong Kong waters. More important, the companies and the government’s relevant civil servants maintain secrecy about data to calculate future electricity needs; so outsiders cannot easily challenge these construction projects in public. In former Legco member Christine Loh’s words, “This is folly”—and it became a minor election issue. A Citizens Party environmental researcher said that “the most bizarre, wasteful, ridiculous option is the one we seem to be going for. The only possible reason why the sharing option [between the companies] is not even being discussed is because it is not good for Hong Kong Electric shareholders.”43 It

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is unsurprising that when a government is franchised to rich people, it regulates the economy in their interest. The standard political science definition of corruption is “behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status gains, or violates [official/legal] rules against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence.”44 This definition is inadequate for several reasons. It scarcely accounts for a situation such as Hong Kong’s, where corporate and governmental powers are merged and private parties have constitutionally mandated control over the content of public laws. Also, this definition makes documentation difficult; corrupt behavior is normally hidden from evident view, and researchers therefore practically always have to measure corruption merely as a perceived variable, conflating guesses from attitude surveys among economic notables who are thought to know about it. Furthermore, concepts of corruption change over time; for example, usury was once widely seen as corrupt, but few modern economies function without banks that charge interest.45 Finally, corruption is not necessarily a violation of law; “supreme laws” and interpretations of them can abet it.46 Corruption is best defined as a claim that goods or services that went to one network of people should instead have gone to another (usually larger, more transparent, more public). This definition may at first strike many readers as too broad, but it emphasizes that corruption is a perceived variable, that its content changes over time, and that private and public versions of it grow together. Recent street protests in Hong Kong are relevant to such claims, even though they are still not rife or justified in such blunt terms. Inequality of governmental power, combined with wealth inequality, means that claims of corruption in Hong Kong could later become more frequent. Economic freedom from government power is high in this city. But the local government’s freedom from corporate networks, to which the Basic Law gives veto powers, is exceptionally low. Hesitant Government Spending for Family Welfare Some economists, notably Chicago’s Gary Becker, have argued that inequality is good for growth. Others have suggested the opposite, and a third group of economists can find no correlation (or causation) between inequality and growth.47 Any link of inequality with growth depends partly on varying rates, over time, of returns to capital and to labor—and on those two factors’ contribution to economic expansion. Happiness or unhappiness, security or danger, are arguably as important as growth in any case. Serious study of inequality’s effect on these variables remains incomplete. Business interests claim that if there were too many democrats in Legco, Hong Kong could become a “welfare society” (fuli shehui).48 Tycoons, along

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

with journalistic commentators whom they support, often cite the word “welfare” in derogatory terms. They sometimes call poor people “spoiled,” although that adjective might conceivably also be applied to themselves. Commercial leaders have for decades dubbed government services, as distinct from private philanthropy, a great hazard. Anti-welfare sentiments are very strong in Hong Kong. They are held by many classes of people, including many who are not affluent. Poor and rich alike place bets with the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The government franchises this private organization to monopolize horse race gambling. The Jockey Club is Hong Kong’s largest philanthropy, replacing some kinds of expenditure that cost official money in most countries. Less than three-tenths of the respondents in a 2006 survey felt that the government’s Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) payments should be raised, and another quarter felt they should be cut.49 An anti–Democratic Party publicist called its arguably moderate policies on government welfare “populist drunkenness,” having “the flavor of a free lunch” (mianfei wucan weidao . . . de mincui zhuyi).50 Most Hong Kong people, at least until very recently, have mistaken their society as an open one in which hard work—rather than inherited wealth—is the main source of individuals’ prosperity. This public perception is strong, even though empirical research shows that “class-situation inheritance is prominent in the social structure of Hong Kong.”51 Socioeconomic mobility is certainly possible in this city, and there are many examples of it. But most Hongkongers overestimate how general it is. Wherever people can be required to save or spend for their own families, the government can reduce public welfare budgets. So Hong Kong’s tax-shy and abstemious Legco approved the principle of having a Mandatory Provident Fund in 1995. This MPF was instituted at a time when Legco contained its largest portion of political liberals (it is never short of economic libertarians), and some tycoons were persuaded to support it because it was explicitly inspired by Singapore’s Central Provident Fund, which dated from 1955 (four decades earlier). Singapore’s CPF is “a pro-family, defined contribution scheme, where the individual’s benefits are derived from total contributions accumulated plus the interest earned.” Its contributions, like Hong Kong’s MPF’s, are legally required deductions from wages—and Singapore employers must also pay a mandated share (usually about 16 percent of the wage, with another 20 percent coming from the employee).52 CPF money can be used for housing, pension investments, or medicine according to complex rules that the People’s Action Party (PAP) government establishes. The main fact is that the total amount the Singapore government requires be paid into each worker’s CPF account is considerable. This forced-saving mandate reduces the effects of increasing income inequality in that Southeast Asian city, even though it is determinedly not a “welfare” scheme. A Singapore citizen can exhaust his or

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her individual CPF assets, reducing them to zero. No government-paid “welfare” costs are involved. Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund was instituted much later, with lower contributions not just because tycoons accurately described it as government intervention in the labor market—but also because this intervention forced companies to pony up some of the costs. But it still lacked implementing bills when a new Legco passed an amendment about the composition of the MPF’s board of directors in early 1998. Further legislation was needed to specify investment guidelines for the accumulated money. Trade unionist Chan Yuen-han of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had to disagree with government plans; he wanted a higher portion of MPF money to be in Hong Kong bonds and a lower portion in volatile investments, “to ensure employees’ contributions are not at risk.” Businesses and bureaucrats pointed out that the return might be higher if the fund managers were less constrained.53 This was a new source of capital of interest to entrepreneurs. Hong Kong workers who were already covered by any pension schemes that had previously been set up by their companies were not required to join the MPF, but others (including the self-employed) were supposed to do so. Businesses did not like the extra costs, and contributions were lower than for Singapore’s Central Provident Fund. Also, uses of the money were less regulated in Hong Kong than in Singapore. So the social results were less important. Hong Kong tycoons’ profits were not much threatened. Further problems with the MPF became evident after the turn of the millennium, when its managing director, former Chief Secretary Rafael Hui, was jailed for corruption involving members of Hong Kong’s third-richest family, the Kwoks (who own the Sun Hung Kai property firm). A court also ordered Hui to return more than HK$11 million from bribes he had received. In 2009, Chief Executive Donald Tsang put Exco member Anna Wu in charge of the MPF. The management was then trusted, but it was still financed far less generously per worker than was the Singapore CPF that inspired it. Direct government help to the city’s poor and its swelling senior population is constitutionally constrained. The Basic Law’s Article 107 says that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) must “keep the budget commensurate with the growth rate of its gross domestic product.” Since longterm returns to capital exceed long-term economic growth rates worldwide, as Thomas Piketty has shown, this provision further raises the advantage of the owners of wealth over poorer people.54 Article 108 mandates “the low-tax policy previously pursued in Hong Kong” as a “reference” for the regional government. Most constitutions, in other polities, are not tax laws. Official welfare help in Hong Kong is minimal for people who are sick, old, disabled, homeless, or mentally unfit. Religious institutions have traditionally provided some help for them. The Comprehensive Social Security Assis-

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tance program receives some money. Its effects are difficult to measure because of what Leo Goodstadt (former Central Policy Unit chief under Christopher Patten) calls “lies, deliberate lies, and CSSA statistics.” As he writes: “The CSSA is likely to continue to be regarded as a scheme that rewards undeserving individuals with benefits that are unaffordable for Hong Kong under current economic conditions. The needy and the vulnerable have no protection against misleading and frequently malicious comment on their motives and behaviour during public discussions of CSSA by ministers and business representatives alike.”55 Hon-Kwong Lui, a conservative economist with a far more skeptical view of welfare spending than Goodstadt has, nonetheless also opined that statistics on poverty in Hong Kong are often “incorrect” and unreliable.56 Existential Commitments to Avarice and Work As Peter Evans has noted, “Predation is only a pejorative term for individually maximizing rational behavior.”57 Hong Kong’s sustained economic boom of the 1980s and 1990s gave rapaciousness a better name. Whenever greed is understood as a factor of prosperity, avaricious entrepreneurs and their political friends meet less public criticism. Intently self-interested businesses enjoy wide regard in economies that enjoy booms. Quasi-official support for this creed of greed, as justified by toil, is exceptionally strong in East Asia’s smalltiger polities, notably Hong Kong and Singapore, where “welfare” is depicted by many political leaders as a near-synonym for laziness. Avarice seems ideologically less corrupt during growth. Hong Kong tycoons take pride in fighting for money by fair means and foul. Raymond Kwok, vice chair of Sun Hung Kai Properties, philosophized that “the world is unfair, and we want to make sure the advantage becomes more and more unfair. That’s the nature of the game.”58 Gordon Wu, head of Hopewell Construction, once made a pledge that if his company’s turnpike to Guangzhou were not finished on time, he would jump into Hong Kong harbor. But then he mused there would be no danger in the dive, because “Hong Kong has more sharks on land.”59 Many tycoons came originally from poor families, and all try to avoid being eaten by their fellows who want to take control of their assets. A chapter in the autobiography of one of them, Robert Wang, is titled “Alive in the Crocodile Pit.” It records a conversation between Wang and his wife: Wife: What are you trying to prove? Can’t you be satisfied with what you have? Tycoon: That’s the way I am. This is my way of getting even with my past. ... Wife: The past is over . . . yes, behind you. There is nothing more for you to avenge. What more do you want?

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Tycoon: Revenge sees no bounds. I want to be repaid for all those lost years. . . . Wife: One day, all that pillaging and philandering will come crashing down and take the family with it.60

Wang was successful for a while in Hong Kong, networking among other businessmen who moved with him to Singapore just before the handover. After becoming very rich there, he was the target of an unfriendly takeover— and moved back to Hong Kong. His wife’s premonition of harm to his family was accurate. No single tycoon’s psychology can stand for the others, but this one at least has been frank in his memoirs. This frenetic, hard-bitten, and hard-biting attitude toward life meshes well with the Hong Kong government’s favored “business models,” which minimize official budgets to care for “lazy” people. Keynesian findings about cyclical or structural unemployment are heartily ignored.61 Governor Christopher Patten, before his time in Hong Kong, had been in the cabinet of Margaret Thatcher, who was famous as a global leader in reducing welfare. Staff and budget cuts saved money during Patten’s governorship too, lowering support for disadvantaged people in Hong Kong—despite his image as a populist who showed up at roadside shops to join crowds enjoying Hong Kong foods such as soymilk and egg tarts. Tung Chee-hwa, whose era as Chief Executive suffered the Asian financial crisis, seemed relatively insouciant about the poor: “The bubble needed correction, and it’s now being corrected. . . . There is government sympathy for people who will be unemployed in the near future, and of course it’s all part of the fortunes we have to go through. . . . What we had to do was to make our people accept the inevitability of the need for the adjustment, however painful it might be.”62 The next Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, opposed “assisting the poor by giving them financial assistance.” He likened Hong Kong to other cities that have global financial roles and attract capitalists, “but the poorest people also make their way to such cities,” as he ruefully reported. Such arguments suggested that many poor people were not legal Hong Kong residents, and their best course would be to move back whence they came. But actually, most of them were indeed denizens of Hong Kong whose jobs the tycoons had relocated to the mainland. Financial Secretary John Tsang in February 2011 said he would uphold “financial prudence” and withhold cash handouts or tax rebates from the needy, even though Hong Kong’s economy was then suffering an economic downturn. The outcry against such stinginess in such a well-heeled government was so great that, just a week later, he revised the budget and authorized “the first direct cash handouts in Hong Kong’s fiscal history.” Chief Executive Donald Tsang in October of the same year restored subsidies in the Home

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Ownership Scheme that had earlier been canceled—and he admitted that he “should have suggested the revival plan six months earlier.”63 Chief Executive Leung, after beginning his time at the helm in 2012, admitted that economic inequality had become extreme—but he claimed that any official effort to redistribute wealth “could be the [sic] major obstacle to our pro-growth policies.” Actually, obstacles other than redistribution, which is constitutionaly difficult in Hong Kong, also impeded the city’s growth. The most important of these was that other China coast cities increasingly assumed Hong Kong’s previous economic functions. Whenever poverty alleviation can be claimed to inhibit a rise of profits, however, the Hong Kong government prioritized growth above factors for well-being. Public health, environmental cleanliness, education, and especially welfare are officially suspect. Financial Secretaries for many decades have been “extremely stingy, because they have been inculcated with the belief that Hong Kong [government] has no money.”64 Tycoons in Hong Kong have been the most self-conscious class there, in part because some came from relatively impoverished family backgrounds. Many clawed their way to riches after having started small enterprises as “pillow and mat” capitalists, working hard and investing.65 But younger Hong Kong people now find it more difficult to make their “first buckets of gold”— and it is now harder also to find places in China where they can make their wealth grow. Corporate Welfare in the Housing Market Residential space is the asset that most obviously affects lives because of its unequal allocation in Hong Kong. The city’s poor mostly live in decayed public housing. The slightly richer “sandwich class” consists of middle-income service workers who are largely private renters.66 A few super-rich have houses, which are very rare in Hong Kong, or apartments with often splendid views of the harbor or bays. Geology creates part of the situation. This city is built on sharply eroded granite dikes that poke up from the sea, and in some places on sedimented flatlands or government-led reclamations.67 This urban topography is beautiful, but it means that much of the metropolis is constructed on cliffs. In 1844, just three years after the British occupied Hong Kong Island, a resident remarked that “complaints about the cost of accommodation will strike a familiar note with anyone recently paying Hong Kong rents.”68 The city is still mostly built on slopes or landfills. Every sharp incline has an official registration number, an in situ plaque displaying that information, and papers about it duly filed with the relevant government unit. Space is scarce. But the steepness of the geology does not wholly explain the steepness of the rents.

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After a fire consumed shacks at Shek Kip Mei on Christmas Day in 1953, displacing immigrants who had fled the communist revolution in China, Governor Alexander Grantham used official money to intervene in the housing market by building low-quality, high-rise concrete flats.69 This was not mainly a humanitarian program. It was an economic plan for land clearance, for reductions of epidemics and pests, and also an implicit subsidy to wages for companies then expanding into light-industrial export markets. They wanted labor at minimal salaries, which could be made yet lower if the workers got housing cheaply. Migrants continued to flood in from the communist mainland, fleeing the repressions of 1957–1958 and especially the post–Great Leap Forward famine of 1959–1961. To reduce the number of squatters in illegal slums, the Hong Kong government continued to build housing. This program was accelerated under Governor Murray MacLehose after 1971, partly because the Cultural Revolution brought to the British colony even more refugees from the mainland. But in the next two decades, before the 1997 handover, most of the city’s light-industrial factories moved to Guangdong. So the export-boosting economic rationale for the Hong Kong government’s interventionist housing program vanished. The state-owned residential towers received less new capital for either construction or renovation. Building maintenance and cleaning were privatized, and the local government’s treasury saved money as the quality of these services deteriorated. By the turn of the millennium, most such structures were (as a Legco brief put it) “old and dilapidated.” Many of the occupants were also “elderly themselves.” In the minority of cases when they had been able or willing to buy their homes, their “poorly maintained flats are probably their only assets.”70 Residential construction has continued in Hong Kong, but mostly for upscale apartments. Some high-rise buildings in estates such as Wah Fu on the southwest side of Hong Kong Island were equipped with elevator lifts (unlike the old Shek Kip Mei buildings or many of the “estates” of the 1960s). But by the new millennium, these too were run-down. Their populations were large— for example, Wah Fu has a population greater than that of seven United Nations members, although it lacks a seat in the General Assembly. New capital was mostly private, going into expensive apartments. Many of these were apparently bought by mainland immigrants (or on their behalf by Hong Kong associates). Tycoons who built upscale projects collected large rents or purchase prices from these mainlanders, whose sources of money were in some cases surely corrupt. They needed places to park unseemly wealth, and the city’s property tycoons obliged them by providing these. Near Wah Fu, a huge Résidence Bel-Air project arose as the most obvious part of Cyberport. Its advertisements brandished pictures of Provence and gold-colored furniture in Napoleonic Empire style. These apartments were

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

bought by a few Hong Kong people and by rich mainlanders seeking to move assets outside the mainland. La Résidence Wah Fu, as a wag could call it, fell far behind. The portion of Hong Kong housing owned by mainlanders, or controlled by them through family members or agents in the city, is difficult to determine, because the local government does not ask about the sources of purchase money when deeds are registered. Land and price records are available, and perhaps an estimate of change-rates in mainland ownership could be made by checking the frequency of pinyin names with purchase dates; but this measure could offer only uncertain and clumsy estimates. Conservative economist Ho Lok-sang claimed that high rents paid to tycoons would trickle down to benefit ordinary people: Some say that Hong Kong people have been spending their whole lives working for Li Ka-shing and other property tycoons, [but] this is far from the truth. . . . Today, faith in the property market has been all but destroyed by an excessively large housing supply target announced by the administration of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and by the public housing [subsidized] privatisation scheme announced by the Housing Authority. The former conveys the message that housing will be a bad investment. The latter eliminates a large segment of potential buyers of lower end private housing.71

Conservatives’ reaction to Chief Executive Tung’s policies was sharp, even if somewhat muted in public because they could reliably predict Tung would in the end be conservative too. They cared about their investments mainly, and they saw scant reason to care about the interests of people who lived in deteriorating homes. Later chief executives have followed Tung in sporadic policy announcements to improve public housing or to subsidize sales of government flats to occupants, but property interests undermine such plans with equal regularity. Another conservative Hong Kong economist, Lui Hon-kwong, argued: The provision of public housing improves the income inequality problem. However, the amounts of public expenditure required to achieve the same improvement in the Gini Coefficient and other inequality measures are very small, relative to actual public expenditure on housing. With a perfect allocation system, we only need to provide public rental housing units to those families at the bottom 15 percent of the income distribution. . . . Relatively well-off families should not be allowed to occupy subsidised public rental housing units.72

This conclusion contrasts with findings about the negative effects of dilapidated housing on the health and well-being of Hong Kong’s somewhat disadvantaged people. The methods for trying to prove that allocating more and better space to poor people is counter-effective for them come from deductions

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based on ideology rather than research. They are dubious as a firm basis of policy. When profits are involved, that does not prevent such preaching. Homeownership and Economic Well-Being Shortly after the Asian financial crisis began to affect Hong Kong in 1998, Tung’s government announced a HK$44 billion general rescue package for the local economy. Fully HK$37 billion of this amount aimed to raise property values by providing subsidized loans for home buyers. New land sales were suspended.73 An economic spokesman for the Democratic Party, Sin Chungkai, immediately criticized the official policy package for trying only to “revive the property market.” Cyd Ho of the democratic Frontier party said, “The measures are aiming at rescuing the market rather than the people. The greatest beneficiaries will be property developers.” But the (conservative) Liberal Party, the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, and even DAB legislators all spoke more positively of this plan.74 Property magnates by 2001 got “a pledge from the government that public housing’s role would be curtailed in order to avoid ‘unfairly’ crowding out the private sector.”75 Chief Executive Tung displeased real estate tycoons and owner-occupiers at first, when he promised that the government would supply more housing. Then he displeased those on waiting lists for public housing when he reversed that policy. By July 1, 2003, his government introduced an apparently patriotic anti-subversion bill, and this—rather than the more expensive house-building plans—soon became the focus of public complaint, because it threatened Hong Kong’s freedoms of speech. Disquiet stemmed both from the government’s mismanagement of land prices and from the closely related constitutional inequalities of power. The city’s business elites used patriotic discourse to displace more costly matters from public attention.76 Hong Kong’s government has turned funding for the Home Ownership Scheme on and off like a tap. Subsidies for low-income families to buy their homes have been popular but inconstant. These usually went to pay for flats the buyers previously rented from the government in state-built housing projects. Donald Tsang, serving as Tung’s financial secretary, claimed that such money was “a threat to property values.” Property magnates such as Li Kashing detested such subsidies, and he was one of Hong Kong’s most powerful (albeit nonstate) leaders. By 2010, the government nonetheless admitted that “on balance, there was support for subsidising home ownership.”77 As late as 2012, about 30 percent of Hong Kong’s people still rented public housing from the government—much of it in old and cramped buildings. Another 17 percent lived in government-subsidized flats that they owned.78 Recent demand for housing in Hong Kong is particularly high for two reasons. First, mainland buyers have bought many flats. Second, old public housing estates have deteriorated. After tycoons moved low-wage jobs into China,

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Democratization in Hong Kong—and China?

Hong Kong’s white-collar, service sector labor force would increasingly like better places to live—though many remain in the public towers because rents there are low. The supply of housing is restrained by the government because a collapse of high property prices would reduce the assets not just of owneroccupants but also of property companies that the Basic Law empowers. Officials are under effective pressure to keep land prices high. Supply is politically constrained from meeting demand. High interest rates, notably on mortgages, were a means of defending the Hong Kong dollar peg to the US dollar. This policy gave local exporters and their clients relative confidence that they could rely on the value of contracts. During the Asian financial crisis, when a reduction of property values threatened banks’ collateral, interest rates were raised further. Home buyers thus had to pay more for their mortgages, temporarily lowering demand for property— and threatening lower real estate prices. So Financial Secretary Donald Tsang proposed that banks should instead offer home buyers fixed-interest mortgage rates (preferably without government guarantees). A basic problem, as Tsang pointed out, was the underdevelopment of Hong Kong’s market for bonds, which return less than other forms of investment but are less volatile.79 A financial secretary could not traditionally have advocated government intervention in Hong Kong’s economy, but he “jawboned” proposals for reforms that would allow more middle-class people to buy homes. The Hong Kong government owns massive assets on which it receives below-market returns—because to sell them would discomfit tycoons, who can veto anything the local state might do. According to one analyst, “even if one assumes that just one third of [government-owned] rental housing was sold, [this] would add HK$18 billion a year to welfare budgets.” Economist Richard Wong suggested a policy along such lines, but it “falls at the first and highest hurdle—the government/developer nexus.”80 Accountants have accused civil servants of evaluating government assets at low cost, while being “assiduous in recording increases in liabilities, by far the biggest of which is future government pension liabilities.” Civil servants might well be able to sell more of the Hong Kong government’s hoard of possessions, or at least might garner higher returns from them, except that tycoons would lose from such moves. Land Supply, Official Lies, Property Tycoon Interests, and Constitutional Corruption Chief Executive Leung by 2012 supported a policy of “Hong Kong land for Hong Kong people” (gangren gangdi), making purchases of middle-class flats less available to mainland immigrants. But the government collected no information on the increasing portion of value in new flats that were sold to or for mainlanders. Many Hong Kong people thought this was a factor in their rent

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hikes, and Leung briefly tried to accommodate them with the gangren gangdi slogan. “However, because this policy was unpopular with the tycoons, Leung later added a precondition: “only when the market is overheated.” Furthermore, his initial plan to build 35,000 public housing units every year was reduced to 15,000.”81 Although Hong Kong’s government is executive-led, land reform is for Hong Kong (as for many other less developed Asian places) the most difficult kind of policy to implement.82 Hong Kong construction companies began, after the first decade of the millennium, to raise the supply of very small private-sale flats, especially in the New Territories. Building these did not lower the rents or prices that tycoons charged to higher-income families closer to downtown offices; so the government issued construction permits. In the first three quarters of 2014 alone, however, Hong Kong home purchase prices rose nearly 10 percent.83 In August 2014, average rents in fifty big housing projects hit an all-time record high.84 This was not an explicit issue in the Occupy Central protests, but shortage of affordable housing for service workers was one of the underlying issues. The Hong Kong government in 2012 claimed that only 69,400 people lived in subdivided flats—but after protests asserting this was a lie, it commissioned an independent study that reported the real number at 171,000. The next year, official figures claimed that the average space per occupant of subdivided flats was sixty-eight square feet—but unofficial researchers found that in fact it was just forty-eight square feet. A newspaper editorial asserted that in the two years before 2015, the “average ratio of rent to income has jumped from 29 percent to 41 percent. . . . The ultimate solution to our housing conundrum lies in adequate land supply for more public and private flats.”85 But the property tycoons have power to prevent official sales of land, and in the future this is liable to be perceived by many as a constitutional corruption. The main alleged constraint against lower prices has been land supply, but as economist Andy Xie wrote in 2014: “The usual excuse against change is that Hong Kong doesn’t have land. This is a big lie. Only 4 percent of Hong Kong’s land is given over to residential use. There is the same amount of reserved development land, and big developers hold a considerable chunk of it.”86 From colonial times, practically all land in Hong Kong has been in principle government-owned, but rented on very long-term leases that create tenancies resembling ownership.87 Permissions to reclaim new land from the sea are also closely controlled by the government and are auctioned at high prices. After Kai Tak Airport was closed (with the opening of Chek Lap Kok Airport in 1998), all but the periphery of this huge expanse of government-owned land in Kowloon has remained undeveloped. In 2015, most of the Kai Tak property was still unused landing strips separated by grass. Building there could lower Hong Kong land prices, and private interests that are officially powerful can prevent that.

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Alice Poon has written that the government’s “objective has been to collect the highest possible land premiums through a deliberately slow-paced program of selling land lease rights in return for upfront payments by the highest bidders at auctions and tenders, the backbone of the unstated high land price policy.” She notes the practice is old: “This method of capturing land value was considered the most cost-efficient method by colonial governments. Between 1970 and 1996, land revenue (land premiums, annual rent, rates, and property tax) accounted for, on average, 33% of annual government budgets. If profits tax from development companies and taxes on mortgage portfolio profits are included, up to 45% of the government’s annual revenue was based on land.”88 This tradition has continued, and it disadvantages so many that, as Poon explained in 2011, it is “a recipe for social trouble.” The government, over whose actions tycoons have power, has kept the land supply low, contrary to the interests of most Hong Kong people. Corporate Welfare at Government Expense in Sectors Other Than Housing Companies that operate factories on the mainland often maintain their whitecollar service offices in Hong Kong, partly because the courts of the HKSAR have been reliable protectors of intellectual property. Predictable rule of law attracts international traders. Patent laws are particularly important for companies in fields such as computer software, genetic engineering, and “high-end lifestyle products.”89 China claims to respect intellectual property, although it does so only sporadically.90 Hong Kong has a “front shop, back factory” relationship to Guangdong. Authorities in Guangzhou (the province capital) naturally want to change this, since the “front shop” activities have higher profit margins. Guangdong has poured money into infrastructures such as ports and airports.91 In the financial sector, Shanghai and Shenzhen act likewise, hoping to extract higher rents from “front shop” activities that Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s used to perform for all of China. The city still does this to some extent, but decreasingly. The Hong Kong government has responded by financing better education so that local companies can recruit smarter clerical and technical work forces. In the early 1970s, when China’s exports were just starting to rise, only about a quarter of Hong Kong’s people over age fifteen had secondary educations— but already by the 1990s, the secondary-educated portion had more than doubled. At the higher tertiary level, university degrees in the early 1970s were held by only one-fortieth of the city’s people over age fifteen—but by the early 1990s, that portion had also more than doubled. Then it soared as the number of Hong Kong universities (which are all government-supported) expanded from two to seven.92 The rate of enrollment in institutions granting tertiary de-

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grees among the relevant-age population was 2 percent in 1980, but already by 1994 it was 18 percent and quickly rising (and actually higher, because for every three university students in Hong Kong, another two were studying abroad).93 The portion of people over age fifteen who had some tertiary education in 1981 was below 6 percent. By 2011, it was above 27 percent.94 The tertiary enrollment rate from schools by 2015 was about 70 percent.95 At least half of Hong Kong’s primary and secondary schools are run by religious foundations. Many of these are Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), and schools are also run by Buddhist, Muslim, and Daoist organizations.96 Hong Kong is about 4 percent Catholic, for example, but very many secondary schools are Catholic foundations. The Anglican diocese also runs several particularly prestigious schools, although its congregation is not large. Private foundations have been important for decades in Hong Kong’s educational structure. These schools charge tuitions, which parents are willing to pay for the sake of their children’s futures. The government also subsidizes primary and secondary education, although reforms in the 1990s tended to lower official costs and to privatize even “direct subsidy schools,” which gained greater leeway in recruitment of students and teachers. The local state now pays heavily for the universities, all of which are line items on its budget. Businesses resist public spending, but they accept government use of money for education more willingly than they agree to other drains on the public purse. They need capable recruits for their company staffs—and businesspeople also want the option of good local universities for their own children, even though about two-fifths of Hong Kong tertiary-age students now attend universities abroad.97 Business representatives in Legco and the Chief Executive selection committee could effectively veto most uses of public funds. The Hong Kong government has a long-established habit of claiming its own penury. By the time of handover, it had amassed about HK$450 billion (US$60 billion) in fiscal reserves. Many in the city, including some past governors, were unable to see the use of running the large current-budget surpluses that accumulated this hoard. In 1992, Governor Patten sharply increased social spending, although his unpopularity with the Chinese government helped the business elite squelch some increases he wished to make. The Liberal Party campaigned for tax cuts and civil service pay freezes even after the Asian financial crisis downturn.98 Chief Executive Tung at first set out to spend more on an agenda of housing, elder care, and education—but was lobbied by Treasury Secretary Kwong Kichi and others on the traditional (by that time constitutional) norm that public spending should never rise faster than economic growth.99 The financial crisis changed this pattern only temporarily. The Basic Law, which implicitly discourages state investment in infrastructure, may have reduced Hong Kong’s ability to match the growth of new jobs that other Chinese cities have recently enjoyed. When the Milken Insti-

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tute, a US think tank, tried to rank all of Asia’s “best-performing cities,” six of the top ten were on China’s mainland (Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Tianjin were the top four; Beijing was ranked sixth, and Shanghai tenth)—but Hong Kong was fourteenth. This research can certainly be questioned on various grounds, including Hong Kong’s high base indices at the start of the period surveyed. The main factors in the study were nonetheless important: growths of GDP, new jobs, income, high-value-added output, and per capita household income.100 For a long time, Hong Kong businesses strongly resisted efforts to legislate a statutory minimum wage. But in 2011, “after more than a decade of protracted debate” in Legco, a weak law prescribing HK$28 per hour (less than US$4 per hour) was finally passed as the minimum wage. This was far lower than in other polities with production-per-capita similar to Hong Kong’s. Legco had rejected requiring any minimum wage as proposed in bills of 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In each of these years, most functional constituency members voted against the bill, and most geographically elected members voted for it. This issue divided the “pro-Beijing” camp even after the 2011 law was finally passed.101 The DAB needed support from poor people, while tycoons constantly detested the idea of any legal minimum wage. So the passage of the cosmetic minimum-wage law, specifying a low rate, meant the government again intervened in pricing labor while the tycoon legislators held their noses. Such intervention unadmittedly had happened in previous decades, whenever the government implicitly subsidized water or housing. In the new millennium, Chief Executive Donald Tsang confessed “a deep seated change” in his view, as he switched to favor a minimum wage.102 His newfound sympathy might have related to his need for DAB support, not just to an epiphany of compassion for the poor. After Tsang’s administration introduced the minimum-wage bill in mid-2009, Liberal Party delegates in Legco proposed that the rate should be set at HK$20–24 per hour (just US$2.80 in an economy as expensive as that of the United States), while the Democratic Party and trade unions suggested HK$30–33. This resulted in a compromise at HK$28. The Employers Federation of Hong Kong still urged its members to keep wage offers small, and to figure pay-per-hour excluding meal times and official holidays from the denominator of the dollars-per-hour calculation. Fixing the books in this way actually reduced the pay of some workers after passage of the new law.103 The regulation was in any case more symbolic than substantial. Only about 100,000 laborers (mainly in cleaning, retail, food, and security services—the lowest-paid twentieth of companies’ work forces, not including amahs) were expected to benefit. But their wages had been so low, their incomes would have risen fully 20 percent on average if the law could be enforced. Opponents of the minimum-wage bill predictably claimed it would

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lead to a loss of jobs. A survey several months after its passage suggested this did not occur. Minimum-wage legislation may reduce companies’ incentives to hire workers, but it also bolsters economies by putting more money in the hands of the people most likely to spend for consumption. During another economic downturn in 2012, the Financial Secretary committed HK$100 billion for a loan-guarantee program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that “may suffer financial hardship as a result of credit crunch in the coming year.” Some of the beneficiary companies were large, however, and the money did not have to be spent in Hong Kong. Leo Goodstadt has described this scheme as “undisguised political patronage . . . with little pretense that there was concrete evidence that the banks were refusing loans to SMEs for any viable business projects.”104 Entrepreneurs nonetheless have difficulty creating new firms, according to a severe critic: Years ago, the government used to sing the tune that young people should go into business for themselves. But these days, who can afford to? Most commercial leases run for three years—the first year is a money-loser; the second, a break-even year. By the third year, at the first sign of profitability, the landlord slaps an obscene rent hike that drives people out of business. The entrepreneur’s dream is no more. In the sad satellite towns of Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai, government town planners failed to include wet markets which would have provided hundreds of jobs for local residents trapped in poverty, forcing them to pay through the nose at one of two tycoon-owned supermarkets. . . . While mainlanders are busy chasing the China Dream, the Hong Kong Dream is dead, killed by self-serving and short-sighted decision-makers.105

In the process of Hong Kong’s integration with the mainland economy, large companies have fared better than SMEs. As one analyst argues, “Resourceful [rich] big companies do well in adapting to these changes. But Hong Kong’s small and medium-sized enterprises typically lack the resources or expertise to tap the mainland market.”106 SMEs hire more people, either per unit of capital or in total number, than do large corporations. For local youths who seek future careers that require middle-tier educational qualifications, the relative decline of SMEs is not good news. Future Economic and Environmental Governance for the People of Hong Kong? The Hong Kong government has in effect been a nonprofit agency of the richest members of the business elite. This pattern may slowly change, not mainly because a red flag now flies over Hong Kong but because the top leader no longer bears the stigma of being in a foreign minority. So long as exports grew and alien rule lasted, occasional executive impulses to raise taxes and services

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(as under Governor MacLehose) could be mostly quashed by Chinese tycoons. But the handover, together with competitive elections in Hong Kong and a competitive service sector in mainland cities, now threatens the continuation of this kind of regime. In Beijing, there may also be occasional flashes of propoor (if not procedural democratic) enthusiasm—and these strengthen Hong Kong parties that involve nonbusiness groups in politics, especially the DAB, some ex–Democratic Party members, and smaller networks. Later, a liberalization of the Basic Law for poorer people might occur. Constitutionally mandated government stinginess, combined with the greed of powerful nonstate networks, hurts Hong Kong people in ways that go beyond the export of jobs, economic downturns, and past-sell-date housing. The most obviously visible additional problem, though not the sole one, is air pollution. Hong Kong’s peer-reviewed Hedley Environmental Index estimates the number of early deaths, extra hospital days, and dollar losses in the city that are caused each day by bad air.107 Hong Kong people readily see the air pollution because of seasonal differences. When the winter monsoon wind is from land—from factories in Dongguan and Shenzhen rather than from the sea—the city has smog. But when summer breezes come from the sea, Hong Kong people have beautiful views of mountains and water.108 During Chinese New Year week, mainland factories close and urban air becomes clearer. Hong Kong people readily see this, and they may begin to object when they realize that many polluting plants in Guangdong are owned or managed in their own city. Environmental problems in Hong Kong will eventually be reduced. Other cities such as London and Los Angeles have faced similar problems and have made great progress against smog—when top elites mustered political will to use their cash for cleanups. Factories that yield pollution also yield profits. This money could buy air-cleaning equipment. Cooperation between Hong Kong and Guangdong will be crucial for abating the haze and the surprisingly expensive health costs it entails. Hong Kong’s and Guangdong’s political structures are likely, later, to finance environmental cleanup more fully.109 Persuading tycoons and cadres to spend money for this would require political pressure. By June 2014, Li Ka-shing admitted he was “having trouble sleeping.” At age eighty-five, after having accumulated the greatest pile of capital in Hong Kong, he gave a “gloomy speech” at Shantou University. He had founded and financed that university in his native Chaozhou region of eastern Guangdong. Wearing academic robes, he rued that “the howl of rage from polarization and the crippling cost of welfare dependence is a toxic cocktail, commingled to stall growth and foster discontent.” Surprisingly, he advocated what a reporter described as “dynamic and flexible wealth redistribution policies” that would strike the “right balance between promoting equality and economic objectives.”110 He did not specify what this balance was. Li complained that there was not enough land for development in Hong Kong; although his Cheung

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Kong conglomerate owned more land than any other private company, Chief Executive Tung’s administration had given Li’s son Richard rights to develop the large new plot at Cyberport, and analysts point to many empty tracts. This richest tycoon bewailed “widening inequality, an intensifying scarcity of resources, and a decline in trust.” Li was a person well-positioned to help solve these problems, especially to reduce the inequality. It was less clear what precise remedies he would advocate, but he was unhappy despite his wealth. Businesspeople realized that the 2014 Occupy Central movement would be less dangerous to them so long as the protesters concentrated on constitutional rather than economic repressions. As a banker warned, “Confronting the tycoons and their monopolies would revive and sustain Occupy and introduce an indefinite discount into Hong Kong stocks.” After the banker got that main money worry off his chest, he continued: “Hong Kong’s worst scenario is if Occupy shifts its attention and directs its protests towards the tycoons and their businesses. It would defuse the opposition leveled against Beijing and the Hong Kong government.”111 Chief Executive Leung, as student protesters blocked streets, nonchalantly suggested that more democracy should not allow poor people to dominate Hong Kong: “If it’s entirely a numbers game and numeric representation, then obviously you’d be talking to the half of the people in Hong Kong who earn less than US$1,800 a month.”112 This matched the thinking of Wang Zhenmin, a Beijing adviser on Hong Kong, who said that democracy would mean that the business elite would have to share more widely their “slice of the pie.” “The business community is in reality a very small group of elites in Hong Kong who control the destiny of the economy in Hong Kong. If we ignore their interests, Hong Kong capitalism will stop.” Reaction to these statements came from democrats, as well as from some in the “pro-China” DAB, and from others who sought to represent less wealthy people. The greed that Leung, Wang, and tycoons arguably represent is likely to prevent any quick democratization in Hong Kong, and this anti-leftist city of refugees is not ripe for revolution. Does inequality affect the likelihood of democratization in any political system? A recent statistical study ends (as many statistical studies do) with an agnostic conclusion. It finds no sure relationship either way, arguing that inequality as such does not necessarily help or hinder further moves toward more democratic regimes.113 Hong Kong is nonetheless an outlier internationally, because the super-rich of that city are far wealthier than in any other sizeable political jurisdiction. Carles Boix’s claims that asset inequality slows democratization, and that capital mobility curbs taxes, explain much about political development in this city. Hong Kong people are increasingly aware of the high prices and rents they pay. If they connect these livelihood problems with their dominant tycoons, then the city’s off-the-usual-regression-line inequality could increase future demands for political change from new genera-

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tions of local leaders. Business elites already know this is a medium- and longterm problem for continuation of their special powers in Hong Kong, not least because Beijing’s leaders may rely more on the DAB, and less on tycoons. The latter can move their money anywhere. Public dissatisfaction about inequality has been only a latent complaint among many in Hong Kong, but it might later “cascade” if more people begin to worry about it aloud.114 Until that time, wealth inequality is likely to remain a major hindrance to democratization in this trade port. 1. Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976 [orig. 1776]), book I, chap. 10, para. 82. 2. Carles Boix, Democracy and Redistribution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 3. 3. Arguments for intellectual complexity are in Albert O. Hirschman, “Against Parsimony: Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse,” Economics and Philosophy 1 (1985), 7–21; and Hirschman, “The Search for Paradigms as a Hindrance to Understanding,” A Bias for Hope (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971), 342–460. 4. Boix, Democracy and Redistribution, 3. Boix’s causal theory of democratization is of particular use in Hong Kong because of high inequality there. Trying to find a comprehensive “unified” theory in political science is nonetheless chancy. Michael Coppedge, Democratization and Research Methods (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), argues that historical case studies, formal models, or big-data statistics respectively lend “thickness,” “integration,” or “generalization” to understandings of democratization, while each of these methods fails adequately to achieve the other two desiderata. My view is that even admirably liberal philosophers (notably Karl Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery [London: Routledge, 2002]) are too interested in seeking what they want to define as illegitimate ways of thinking. This form of Platonism is so intent to eliminate errors that it also prevents boldness in trying to increase understanding, knowledge, science—which (like democratization) is never complete. Perhaps Popper himself understood this better than others who have used his notions dubiously when trying to shape academe. The cure is in a cannier Karl: Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia (London: Routledge, 1936). This matter is worth an endnote against the pedantry that has limited research on democracy. 5. “Planet Plutocrat,” The Economist, March 15, 2014, tab. 3, is a surprising source (because The Economist is not a leftist journal). The table cites other establishments—Forbes, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Economic Forum—as data sources. See it online at http://www.economist.com/news/international/21599041countries-where-politically-connected-businessmen-are-most-likely-prosper-planet. 6. See also Sutirtha Baguchi and Jan Svejnar, “Does Wealth Inequality Matter for Growth? The Effect of Billionaire Wealth, Income Distribution, and Poverty,” 2013, http://ftp.iza.org/dp7733.pdf, tab. A.1. This report reflects many economists’ naiveté that wealth (in Hong Kong and elsewhere) is “politically unconnected.” That is an ideology in need of tests. 7. One reason for Li’s investments outside Hong Kong was that his fortune became so large, Hong Kong’s economy decreasingly provided profitable places to put it.

Notes

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I thank Christine Loh for mentioning this. See also George Chen, “Beijing’s Closed Door Meeting with HK Tycoons Erodes Trust,” September 29, 2014, http:// www.scmp.com. 8. See George Chen, “From ‘Superman’ to ‘Big Tiger,’ Li Ka-shing Loses Favour with Beijing,” January 20, 2015, http://www.scmp.com; Chinese newspapers have applied the derogatory term “big tiger” to former security chief Zhou Yongkang (arrested for corruption in December 2014) and former CCP General Secretary Ling Jihua (demoted in that same month). See also Stephen Aldred and Irene Jay Liu, “The Princeling of Private Equity [Alvin Jiang],” April 10, 2014, http://www.reuters .com/article/2014/04/10. 9. Carine Lai and Christine Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere: A Review of Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997–2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007), 96. The tax rates are current; see http://www.gov.hk/en/residents/taxes/taxfiling /taxrates/salariesrates.htm. 10. Hon-kwong Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 26, presents the ratios—but also notes that publicly accessible government files “censored” information on incomes of HK$100,000 or higher. Exactitude in these numbers, although economist Lui attempts it, is unavailable. Lui says the pre-handover period may have shown a faster increase of inequality than the post-handover part, but that is uncertain because information on top earners remains incomplete. 11. Comparing this city with much larger countries (though not with Singapore) is contestable. But also, the Ginis on Hong Kong may underreport inequality because the regime demurs to gather data on top earners. Some social scientists love numbers more than realism. Low-income economies may have had greater income inequality than Hong Kong, but no high-income places did. Yew Chiew-ping, “Hong Kong Implements Minimum Wage,” EAI Background Brief no. 657 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2011), 10–11. 12. A Gini coefficient is based on the area under a curve that plots the portion of people in an economy (lined up from poorest to richest, normally on a horizontal axis) against the cumulative portion of wealth or income they have (on a vertical). A single Gini value does not define how steeply the curve approaches the 100 percent portions on both axes. In Hong Kong, that approach is steeper than in any other economy. 13. Leo F. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2013), viii. 14. See Stephen Tay, “Who Supports Redistribution? Subjective Income Inequality in Japan and China,” Economic and Political Studies 3:2 (July 2015), 30–59. 15. Albert O. Hirschman, “Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development,” World Development 1:12 (1973), 24–36, offers this idea especially as regards Latin America, including Brazil. The early contented stage of his “tunnel effect” is easier to prove than is the second, more rebellious period that he hypothesizes. 16. One of these is Harvard’s Peter A. Hall, whose current research explores the effects of institutions on inequality. He spoke about “political sources of social solidarity” at Princeton on April 6, 2015. 17. Timur Kuran, “Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution,” in Nancy Bermeo, ed., Liberalization and Democratization: Changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), 7–48, uses a rational-actionist approach to show that such “cascades” of expression are predictably unpredictable.

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18. Stuart Lau and Fanny W. Y. Fung, “John Tsang [financial secretary, Hong Kong’s third highest-ranking official] Admits Government Not Psychologically Prepared for Scale of Protests,” October 6, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 19. Yew Chiew-ping, “Hong Kong Implements Minimum Wage,” EAI Background Brief no. 657 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2011), 14. 20. See http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND.OL. I am very grateful to Wang Hongying for help with these figures. 21. See http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND?page=6. 22. The independent-minded reformist Frederick Fung, despite his sometime proChina tendencies, once sent observers from his ADPL party to view Taiwan’s campaign techniques and voting. They reported that “the culture of political parties has been maturely developed in Taiwan” and recommended that Hong Kong should not fear to learn from democratic experience there. Hong Kong Standard, November 30, 1993. 23. The classic treatment of elites’ benefits from having one political cleavage displace another concerns US post–Civil War tacit agreements to have Northern-Republican and Southern-Democratic arrangements trump populist efforts to moderate the social effects of capitalism. See E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960). Sophia Yan, “Hong Kong Has a Tycoon Problem,” November 2, 2014, http://money.cnn.com /2014/11/02/news/economy/hong-kong-tycoons, cites Ma Ngok and Willy Lam on this. 24. This source, widely respected in Hong Kong by various groups, sent a long and helpful e-mail to me but will remain anonymous. 25. The economists who make this ranking claim to rue that “theory . . . does not indicate what weights should be attached to the components” (low taxes, low government spending, etc.) of the economic freedom index. So they just make guesses, and they like tycoon-run political economies. The “index” is crucially informal. It addresses a professional-ideological fad for numbers, but that does not make it accurate. Fraser Institute, Economic Freedom of the World in 2011, http://www.freetheworld.com/2013/EFW2013-complete.pdf, 7. On ideologies in general, see the professionally neglected classic by Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (London: Routledge, 1936). 26. A twenty-year report is at http://www.heritage.org/index/country /hongkong. 27. On the tradition, see Elizabeth Sinn, Charity and Power (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1989). The Hong Kong Jockey Club of wealthy horse owners has an official monopoly of racetrack betting and is a major source of nonstate philanthropy. Some non-Chinese ethnic groups, such as Parsis and others whose Hong Kong wealth goes back to opium-trade days, have also donated very generously for decades. 28. These 1996 portions, not much changed in recent years, are rounded from Francis T. Lui, “Hong Kong’s Residential Housing Market and Housing Policies,” in The Other Hong Kong Report, 1997, Joseph Y. S. Cheng, ed. (Shatin: Chinese University Press, 1997), 359. 29. Hong Kong saw a 61 percent rise in property prices from 2012 to 2015; Turkey was second; the bronze went to Ireland, with only a 23 percent rise. See Anonymous, “Upwardly Mobile,” The Economist, October 3, 2015, 79. 30. Leo F. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners: The Conflict Between Public Interest and Private Profit in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2009), 168–179. 31. Benjamin Robertson, “Hong Kong’s Competition Regulator Faces Challenges

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in Supermarket Sector,” South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], June 30, 2014, Business section, 1. 32. The firing occurred after a relatively pro-Beijing tycoon bought the South China Morning Post. Because Feign’s cartoons depicting “The World of Lily Wong” were so popular, this was a relatively obvious post-handover self-censorship in Hong Kong media. See also Larry Feign, Let’s All Shut Up and Make Money! (Hong Kong: Hambalan, 1997). 33. Benjamin Robertson, “Hong Kong’s Competition Regulator Faces Challenges in Supermarket Sector,” contains this quotation and information in successive paragraphs. 34. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, 15. These data apparently refer to the mid-1980s and may not be completely up-to-date. 35. Anonymous, “In a Few Hands,” The Economist, November 1, 2000, http://www.economist.com/node/413357. 36. Gary Cheung and Amy Nip, “Lawsuit Funding Vital for Watchdog” and “Business Must Judge If Breaking New Laws,” both September 29, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 37. Reasons why this unfamiliar definition improves on predecessors are in text above endnote 45. 38. Leo F. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2013), 45. 39. Quoted in Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, 134–135. Extensive claims about Cyberport and other alleged official corruptions, including many property and securities scams, fill the pages of Victor Ho, Political Reforms and Corruption in Hong Kong, 2005, LotusBooks.net, at the University of Hong Kong Library. 40. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 100. 41. Christine Loh, a Legco member as early as 1992, was invited to brief Exco about this—and reportedly Exco member C. H. Tung said her presentation was “very interesting because he had never looked at the incentives behind the contracts between the government and the companies.” There can be doubt whether, even three decades later, any relevant Hong Kong official has yet conceived policies that would cause the electric companies to serve the public demand for power by using capital efficiently. 42. Post, March 8, 1998, 10. 43. Ibid. 44. James C. Scott, Comparative Political Corruption (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972), 4, relying on previous formulations by Nye, Banfield, and others. 45. See Lynn White, “Changing Concepts of Corruption in Communist China: Early 1950s vs. Early 1980s,” in Changes and Continuities in Chinese Communism, Yu-ming Shaw, ed. (Boulder: Westview, 1980), 316–353; and Benjamin Nelson, The Idea of Usury: From Tribal Brotherhood to Universal Otherhood, History of Ideas Series no. 3 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953). 46. In a referendum of November 2014, “Measure P” in Berkeley, California, asked voters, “Should the United States Constitution be amended to abolish the legal concept that corporations can be considered persons for purposes of the First Amendment, and the doctrine that the expenditure of money may be treated as speech?”—and 85 percent of that electorate responded “yes.” Constitutions can be seen as corrupting. 47. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 11. 48. Chengbao, September 25, 1995, 1. Li Ka-shing has (with Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew) often been quoted to impart pejorative words about “welfare society” and

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laggards who benefit from it. Li’s more recent academic speech in Shantou is reported in Fion Li, “Li Ka-shing Says Widening Inequality Keeping Him Awake,” Post, June 28, 2014, A3. 49. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 76. 50. Xinbao, January 9, 1997, 5. 51. Tsang Wing Kwong, The Class Structure of Hong Kong, Occasional Paper no. 17 (Shatin: Hong Kong Chinese University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1992), 1. 52. This example applied to 2011 Singapore residents below age fifty working in the private sector. Self-employed people in the Southeast Asian city contribute only to a Medisave program, since they can get no contributions to the CPF from corporate employers. Pundarik Mukhopadhaya, Income Inequality in Singapore (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), 138–139 (emphasis in original). 53. Post, February 26, 1998, 1. 54. Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014); and Sanford Lakoff, “Inequality as a Danger to Democracy: Reflections on Piketty’s Warning,” Political Science Quarterly 130:3 (Fall 2015), 425– 448. Piketty’s point applies to many economies—almost surely including mainland China—not just to Hong Kong, but it is especially interesting in a city where the very richest denizens own exceptional amounts. His finding suggests an increasing threat to any democracy that neglects inequality. See also http://www.oxfam.org /sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-wealth-having-all-wanting-more190115-en.pdf. 55. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 174, 186. 56. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 94. 57. Peter B. Evans, “State Structures, Government-Business Relations, and Economic Transformation,” in Business and the State in Developing Countries, Sylvia Maxfield and Ben Ross Schneider, eds. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997), 68. 58. Kwok was interviewed by Bruce Gilley and is quoted in Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 66. 59. Heard by myself from Gordon Wu. 60. Robert Wong, Walking the Tycoon’s Rope: How Ambition Drove a Poor Boy from Ningbo to Compete with the Richest Men in Hong Kong and Singapore (London: Blackworth, 2012), 312–13. 61. See John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1936). 62. Tung, D. Tsang, J. Tsang, and Leung are quoted in this and following paragraphs and in Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 4–8. 63. Kin-ming Kwong and Yew Chiew-ping, “Hong Kong Politics in 2011,” EAI Background Brief no. 689 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 5, for this and the next quotation. 64. These words come from a personal communication of a person with long government experience in Hong Kong who might nonetheless not like to be quoted. 65. The quoted phrase is from Pasuk Phongpaichit and Chris Baker, Thailand’s Boom and Bust (Chiang Mai: Silkworm, 1998). I also thank Joseph Cheng for relevant insights. 66. The term “sandwich class” is used in Hong Kong to describe families that have higher-than-average incomes but are “sandwiched” between poorer groups that receive some implicit public assistance (mainly for housing) and rich groups in the elite. The term also refers to their frequent menu during quick lunch breaks. These people are largely employed, but at mediocre wages.

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67. Many recent reclamations (e.g., at the West Kowloon Cultural District, or at Cyberport) lack low-rent as distinct from high-rent residential housing, either public or private. Available flat land, such as at the disused Kai Tak Airport, has received official redevelopment permissions very slowly. Spatial and historical analysis to relate the timing of past reclamations and apartment (nonoffice) construction to Hong Kong companies’ demand for blue-collar labor and high-rent residences has apparently not yet been attempted. 68. Quoted in Barbara-Sue White, Hong Kong: Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1996), 33. 69. Manuel Castells, L. Goh, and R. Y. W. Kwok, The Shek Kip Mei Syndrome: Economic Development and Public Housing in Hong Kong and Singapore (London: Pion, 1990). 70. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 95. 71. Post, May 18, 1998, 6. 72. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 82. 73. Post, June 23, 1998, 1. 74. Post, June 23, 1998, 2. 75. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, 137. 76. The classic political science showing how elites displace the issue most dangerous to them, no matter what it is, by drawing public attention to another, less regime-threatening cleavage, is Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People. 77. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 98. 78. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 6. 79. Post, February 23, 1998, 1. 80. Both sources are quoted in Philip Bowring, “Hong Kong Government’s Asset Hoarding Leaves Society Poorer,” September 7, 2014, http://www.scmp.com, and the next quotation is from Bowring. 81. Yew Chiew-ping and Kin-ming Kwong, “The Hong Kong Chief Executive Election and Its Aftermath,” EAI Background Brief no. 713 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 10. 82. Various country comparators are treated in Lynn White, Philippine Politics: Possibilities and Problems in a Localist Democracy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), especially a chapter on Marcos’s land reform. 83. Calculated from Sandy Li, “Cheung Kong [Li Ka-shing’s main property company] Prepares to Offer 165 sq ft Flats,” October 8, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 84. Yvonne Liu, “Rents Hit Record High on 50 Major HK Housing Estates,” September 18, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 85. Post editorial, “Hong Kong Must Do More to Ensure Adequate Living Space for Its Citizens,” July 6, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 86. Andy Xie, “Stability Will Only Return When Hong Kong Ends Its Property Tyranny,” October 15, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 87. Aside from religious buildings (cathedrals, churches, temples, mosques, a synagogue), in colonial times Crown leases to private entities covered almost all of Hong Kong that was not state land, including many parks and reservoir catchments. The HKSAR inherited this system and the rents it produces. 88. Alice Poon, “Hong Kong’s Land Policy: A Recipe for Social Trouble,” 2011, http://alicewaihanpoon.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-article-titled-hong-kongs-land.html, which cites Stephen Brown and Christine Loh, Hong Kong: The Political Economy of Land (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2002). 89. Yu Hong, “Hong Kong Broadening Its Economic Linkages with Guangdong,” EAI Background Brief no. 645 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 4.

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90. A large red banner, proclaiming that intellectual property must be protected, has hung in the main atrium of Shenzhen’s largest market for fake brands. This can be observed just beyond the mass-transit rail border crossing from Hong Kong. 91. Yu, “Hong Kong Broadening Its Economic Linkages with Guangdong,” 15. 92. The 1991 founding of a new University of Science and Technology, originally supported by Jockey Club endowments and former Exco member S. Y. Chung, roughly coincided with tycoons moving blue-collar jobs into the mainland. I thank Gerard Postiglione for this and other insights. 93. Kai-ming Cheng, “Efficiency, Equity and Quality in Higher Education in a Time of Expansion,” in The Other Hong Kong Report, 1996, Joseph Y. S. Cheng, ed. (Shatin: Chinese University Press, 1996), 409. 94. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 52. 95. See http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.TER.ENRR/countries. 96. Extensive descriptions of Hong Kong’s top middle schools, including those run by organizations in each of the religions listed here, as well as government schools, leftist schools, and other foundations, are in Xianggang zhonggxue xunli (Guide to Hong Kong Middle Schools), Li Dawei, ed. (Hong Kong: Mingbao, 1996). 97. The current portion of Hong Kong tertiary students who are at universities abroad, especially Australia, is high. In April 2015, I asked a high Hong Kong civil servant about this, but no good answer has yet been found on the Education Department website. Very many children of Hong Kong tycoons (as of top mainland CCP leaders) go to universities abroad, often in the United States, and some return to their homes afterward. 98. Post, January 27, 1998, 4. 99. Post, June 21, 1998, 10. 100. Don Weinland, “Move Over Hong Kong, Here Comes . . . Chengdu?” September 19, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 101. Legco raised the minimum wage in 2013 from HK$28 to HK$30—a 7.1 percent hike, but inflation since the earlier minimum was higher, at 8.6 percent; George Cautherly, “Raising Minimum Wage to $36 Is Both Needed and Affordable,” July 3, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 102. Yew Chiew-ping, “Hong Kong Implements Minimum Wage,” 1–5. 103. Ibid., 8–9, for this and the next paragraph. 104. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence, 45–46. 105. Philip Yeung, “Occupy Protests May Be Ending, but the Grievances Won’t Go Away,” December 9, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 106. Vincent Lo, “Hong Kong Must Go Back to Basics to Overcome Its Structural Challenges,” January 15, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 107. See the striking Hedley Index, http://hedleyindex.sph.hku/html/en, created by the late Anthony Hedley of the University of Hong Kong. 108. In summer, Hong Kong air is relatively clearer, because land absorbs solar warmth more quickly than sea does. This heats air above land, whose density becomes lower than that of air over water; so wind from the sea blows clean air over the city. But in winter, air whose temperature is lowered (and density raised) over land pushes against air whose temperature is moderated (and density reduced) over water; so then the wind blows from land, and unhealthy smog prevails. Little in Asia is more important or obvious than monsoons. 109. Caroline Jo with Lynn White, “Polluted Air or Policy Advance in HongkongGuangdong,” Asian Politics and Policy 5:1 (2013), 77–106. 110. Fion Li, “Li Ka-shing Says Widening Inequality Keeping Him Awake,” Post, June 28, 2014, A3.

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111. Peter Guy, “Occupy vs Tycoons May Be Up Next,” October 13, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 112. Agence France Presse, “CY Leung: Democracy Would See Poorer People Dominate Hong Kong” (interview with various international journalists), October 21, 2014, http://www.scmp.com; this note also covers the following paragraph about Wang Zhenmin. 113. Christian Houle, “Inequality and Democracy: Why Inequality Harms Consolidation but Does Not Affect Democratization,” World Politics 61:4 (2009), 589–622. 114. Such “cascades” of expression are shown to be unpredictable but powerful in Kuran, “Now Out of Never,” 7–48.

3 Exploring British and Chinese Legacies The democracy of the bourgeoisie is in fact a democracy for those who have a monopoly on capital, nothing more than multiple parties, elections. . . . How could we possibly do that? —Deng Xiaoping, 19871

Many of the world’s current democracies are former British colonies. Hong Kong’s Western legacy affects its current partial democracy, especially in elections for half of the Legislative Council. This lingering habit of voting may also affect future prospects of expanding popular sovereignty, despite Chinese patriotic concerns that the city’s political system must not be foreign. Analysts such as Sonny Shiu-hing Lo say Hong Kong already has a “unique system of democracy,” because of elections to part of a weak Legco and traditions of judicial independence.2 Others find this system so unique that they say it is undemocratic. This city-polity has always been deeply linked to China in demographic, economic, and familial terms. About 94 percent of the people in Hong Kong are identified as ethnic Han Chinese. Legacies of their ancestral land naturally affect their habits and sentiments. The main political tradition that the British bequeathed to Hong Kong was a habit of holding occasional competitive votes that require legitimate public debate. The most important Chinese tradition is that “father knows best” (as a Western phrase has it; this is a sometime theme worldwide), that the state is like a family, and that benign elites can best care for fellow citizens. Constitutional arrangements inherited from both the distant and recent past shape expectations of what Hong Kong’s regime type should be. How did British and Chinese political legacies interact, during the city’s growth as a Crown Colony—and then as the first Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic? This chapter follows rather than precedes the chapter on asset redistribution in order to emphasize that its approach to somewhat liberal British and somewhat conservative Chinese political traditions in Hong Kong 53

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is analytic, not descriptive. The “legacies” factors, involving impulses toward and against democratization, should be considered alongside other factors that are treated in each of the central six chapters. A history of Hong Kong’s politics is needed here, but it can be explored as it interacts with the vectors discussed in the rest of the book. Most organizations in any country are, for most of their practice, hierarchal rather than egalitarian. Top leaders strongly rule most companies, churches, schools, universities, and clubs, as well as governments. Ordinary members have limited powers, even if the partially implemented ideals of their institutions would make them ultimately potent. Absolute levels of popular sovereignty are difficult to measure. But dynamics for or against democratic change are as interesting and documentable as is any motionless comparison that tries to quantify democracy in amounts. Many written constitutions’ preambles begin with grand phrases like “We the people . . .” They then prescribe indirect rule by limited groups that claim to be representative. Yet most of the people, most of the time, are effectively excluded from power. In many historical cases, “somewhere along the line the owners of the government decide to read the constitution as if it were a democratic document.”3 They launch rights movements, civil struggles, labor politics, or student protests that step-by-step make the expansive words of laws slightly more meaningful. Democracy grows slowly during struggles that incite elites, including new and local leaders, to reassess the always-semi-hierarchal state form that can maximize benefits and minimize costs for themselves. As C. B. Macpherson wrote: “Democracy used to be a bad word. Everybody who was anybody knew that democracy . . . would be a bad thing—fatal to individual freedom and to all graces of civilized living. That was the position taken by pretty nearly all men of intelligence from the earliest historical times down to about a hundred years ago. Then, within fifty years, democracy became a good thing.”4 Some notables in Beijing also say that democracy is a good thing.5 Hong Kong’s Basic Law “mini-constitution,” passed by the National People’s Congress in Beijing, suggests this too—but implementation has been slow in Hong Kong. Article 45 of the Basic Law states: “The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive [in the ‘executive-led’ government] by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.” The National People’s Congress also legislates that “developing democracy in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [SAR] has all along been the resolute and firm stance of the Central Authorities.”6 The nominating committee for the Chief Executive, however, has a stable core of elites and is chosen by a very small minority of Hong Kong people. As a group of journalist-researchers found:

Exploring British and Chinese Legacies

A quarter of the 1,200 people who got to vote for the city’s leader in 2012 had held on to their roles for at least a decade. . . . And most of those election veterans are delegates to the National People’s Congress, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference—loyalists appointed by Beijing—business tycoons, and religious leaders. They held either uncontested or ex-officio seats, making up 77 per cent of those who had voted in all four [Chief Executive] elections since 1996. More openly representative sectors, by contrast, generally saw far fewer individuals clinging to power over a long time, the study showed. . . . The biggest group among the four-time veterans is that of NPC deputies who occupy ex-officio seats.7

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To form the committee that nominates or elects the Chief Executive, the portion of Hong Kong’s 3.7 million voters eligible to cast ballots for the majority of members (those who are not politicians on the committee ex-officio) is just 7 percent.8 Hong Kong people have long enjoyed extensive freedoms of expression and association, but few have ever had any serious power over policy. Mass election of the Legislative Council—for half its members—has been competitive during the past two decades. Those representatives’ least-restricted constitutional power is to vote against the government’s whole annual budget. Being elected gives them legitimacy. They air their views in public, sometimes uncovering scandals and often demanding reforms. But only in a few situations can they determine what the government decides. The Basic Law forbids them to introduce (or thus debate in Legco) practically any bill that has not received the Chief Executive’s signature in advance. Political veto power is still vested in the largest local business groups, and through them implicitly in Beijing, far away to the north. The economy is modern, while the constitution endorses private power by effectively giving corporations seats in the legislature and in the committee that nominates or elects the Chief Executive. The contrast between extensive civil freedoms and scant public power is certainly not unique to Hong Kong, but it is extreme there. Hong Kong people a decade ago were asked, “What does democracy mean to you?” A plurality of more than one-third responded in terms of individual day-to-day liberties, and less than half as many (about one-sixth) mentioned individual political rights—although the survey allowed them to include both.9 Responses have changed over time, however, and they largely depend on whether people see either their livelihoods or their habits of safe expression in greater current danger. Parliaments in the British tradition (as distinct from the US pattern) tend to be weak in the sense that a prime minister forms a cabinet among legislators, while other elected delegates, even those in the majority, have scant power. Legislatures can be categorized along two spectra. One is their active independence from executives. Another is their security against coups or other dissolutions.10 Hong Kong’s Legco has always lacked much independent

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power. But elections to it have bred legitimate conflict in public, resulting in a polity where non-elites, especially youths, increasingly want more say in government than their present state form allows them. British Governors’ Vice-Regal Independence and Variability Some of this book’s readers will be surprised at evidence of the extent to which Hong Kong’s top administrators in colonial times could make their own policies separate from control by London. The inaugural oath of British governors pledged allegiance to the king or queen, not to the government in London that appointed them. They were in some (not all) cases more progressive than were the longer-lasting dominant powers of the colony, who were bankers and traders. Governors were constrained, but mainly by business owners within Hong Kong. At first, these local elites were mainly Western; over time they were increasingly Chinese. The fact that businessmen were not formally part of the state institution did nothing to lessen their influence, and their companies stood (and still stand) against any increase of popular democracy because they resist losing their dominant control of the local government. Both the Legislative Council and the Executive Council date from the first Hong Kong constitution, the royal Letters Patent of 1843. British tycoons opposed giving serious power to Legco. As early as 1854, Governor John Bowring suggested a more “representative government” for Hong Kong, in which prominent Chinese would be included.11 His plans met stiff opposition in both Hong Kong and London and were eventually abandoned, setting a pattern of politics that recurred sporadically throughout the colonial period—and thereafter. The first telegraph cable connecting Hong Kong to Singapore (and London) was not completed until 1871–1872. The governorship for the three previous decades had developed considerable institutional independence from distant actors, and the effects of this foundational habit never wholly disappeared. But the governor was less distant from local notables, who had many views even if they lacked ostrich-feather-decorated hats. Governor John Pope Hennessy, who earlier in England had felt discrimination against himself as an Irish Catholic, was roundly detested by the British business elite for his “policy of always consulting Chinese interests.” Pope Hennessy (1877–1883 in Hong Kong) lifted bans on Chinese businesses buying land in Central District and appointed the first Chinese to Legco. Governor Henry Arthur Blake, another Irishman, was castigated by British traders in the 1890s for favoring the idea that non-European tycoons might build houses on the Peak—and negative comments “were heard when his wife Edith invited the first Chinese ladies to Government House.”12 But other governors, notably Francis Henry May (1912–1919), were plainly anti-Chinese.13 The governors varied a good deal on every kind of policy issue, but in practice they could ex-

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ercise some powers independent of London. Hong Kong’s colonial history of 155 years (1842 to 1997) is too complex to present in detail here, but it shows many occasions in which Chinese elites gained in strength relative to Westerners and administrators in Hong Kong, even though democracy was always kept at bay.14 Hong Kong almost ended as a British colony in 1922 and again in 1925. Strikes by Chinese seamen in each case brought trade nearly to a halt. The colonial government relied on “Chinese community leaders and traditional philanthropic institutions to act as intermediaries in the search for a settlement.”15 The Kuomintang seemed radically nationalist in the early 1920s, although Chiang Kai-shek’s regime became rightist in the second half of that decade. By the 1930s, both the KMT and the communists found supporters in Hong Kong. In September 1941, Mark Young was appointed governor. By December 25, the Japanese won the fierce Battle of Hong Kong, and they imprisoned Young for the duration of the war. By 1943, Britain and other Western countries gave up extraterritorial rights in all Chinese treaty ports except Hong Kong. Governor Young, returning to office after Japan’s 1945 surrender, favored a Municipal Council (much like the Urban Council that was established later) as well as a large budget for it and direct elections to choose the members. These plans were soon scuttled by his successor Alexander Grantham under pressure from business groups—of which the most powerful were by that time Chinese. Hong Kong’s elites became increasingly antidemocratic, as a populist revolution deluged the mainland after 1945. The Labour Party, which took power in London after World War II, planned for democratic development in all British colonies including Hong Kong. During the late 1940s, both the nationalists and the communists in China were too worried about each other to expend resources trying to evict the British colonialists. Some in the local Chinese elite were still embarrassed by the extent of their recent collaboration with the Japanese. Governor Grantham, with the support of Hong Kong Chinese leaders, represented by businessmen he appointed to Legco, in effect vetoed Hong Kong’s main historical occasion for a possible expansion of elections. Grantham detested what he called “catchwords such as democracy.” He countermanded London’s plans, practically declaring autonomy from the Labour government. He established that Hong Kong would be an exception to the policy of making British dependencies more democratic.16 Hong Kong Chinese light-industrial manufacturers, supporting Grantham’s distaste for popular sovereignty, were concerned by 1949 that the new communist state was seizing family properties on the mainland and might hinder their ability to make profits. So Hong Kong was not just the last major British colony; it was also much later than any other to have constitutional democracy, even of a limited kind. The concurrence of these two facts was no accident. China’s revolutionary

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regime tolerated a colony on Chinese soil, understanding that it would not last forever. Some Hong Kong tycoons who were not communists were nonetheless quite willing to join patriotic “united front” organizations. Many had investments or trade networks in China, and almost all had kin there. Like the communists with whom they traded, Hong Kong’s business elite and the local government it influenced were dubious of democracy. This situation contrasts starkly with that of colonies such as India or Ceylon, which held elections and established parliamentary cabinets by the 1930s. The next two governors after Grantham’s decade, Robert Black and David Trench, were Colonial Service administrators whose period in Hong Kong (1958–1971) coincided with an export boom based on light-manufacturing industries. By the late 1960s, during China’s Cultural Revolution, Governor Trench recruited support for his policies from a fairly broad range of local Chinese leaders, not just from the rich capitalists whose inability to stop street violence at that time was evident to all. The following three governors (Murray MacLehose, Edward Youde, and David Wilson, who preceded Christopher Patten’s arrival in 1992) were China specialists from the Foreign Office. All three in various ways accommodated Beijing’s strong opposition to popular democracy in Hong Kong. These British governors, constitutionally quasi-monarchal though they were, often led administrations in which various views were tolerated (as has been the case with the recent chief executives), although officials were not supposed to air dissent in public. Governor Murray MacLehose (1971–1982) stifled the plans of his Chief Secretary, Jack Cater, to install “a good dose of democracy.” But MacLehose was liked by many in Hong Kong because of his “enormous social welfare programs and the establishment of the ICAC (the Independent Commission Against Corruption),” as well as his support of district elections, albeit to fairly powerless bodies.17 Businesses continued to protest any policies for regulation, taxation, or popular voting. Carine Lai and Christine Loh describe a “MacLehose model” that improved the government’s performance legitimacy by using revenues from the then-booming economy for welfare, and by trying to buy off local political leaders without changing the constitutional structure.18 MacLehose pushed policies on education, housing, transport, and elections to local assemblies that had scant budgets. He was proChinese in public ways, and he oversaw a policy that “Chinese” (muyu, the “mother tongue”—meaning Cantonese in practice) became an official language of the colony alongside English. Yet this should not have been a surprise, in a territory that was at least 95 percent ethnic Chinese. Criticism of the “MacLehose model” may ignore that he mostly maintained order in Hong Kong, as most local people wished, although he was a non-Chinese governor while China was concluding its Cultural Revolution.19 Most of Hong Kong’s population, descended from mainlanders fleeing revo-

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lutions, were not enchanted by the Red Guards and detested that bodies floated down the Pearl River after violence on the mainland. The next governor, Edward Youde (1982–1986), continued MacLehose’s policies while political radicalism inland waned and local tycoons made huge profits from China trade— albeit they moved jobs out of Hong Kong. By 1984, Margaret Thatcher publicly concluded, after commissioning a confidential military analysis of Hong Kong defensive capabilities, that Britain must hand Hong Kong back to China in 1997, as China’s leader Deng Xiaoping demanded.20 Hopes for investment stability and a “through train” of government at the mid-1997 handover date required advance planning, and evidence suggests this began in the early 1970s.21 The Hong Kong people were not consulted at all during the crucial 1984 negotiations between Thatcher’s and Deng’s governments. In ostensible compensation, the colony’s local government surveyed possibilities for direct elections to Legco. This poll showed that most Hong Kong people clearly supported more democracy. An official discussion about increasing voters’ choice of leaders in Hong Kong was mooted under Youde in a July 1984 preliminary green paper. But in response, the Beijing government announced its opposition to any political reform in Hong Kong prior to enactment of the Basic Law, which was not scheduled to occur until 1990. The British quickly withdrew any plans they may have had for more public voting. After the arrival of David Wilson as governor in 1987–1988, his Survey Office conducted a new poll that was purposely designed to rig the results against constitutional change.22 Then a more authoritative (and conservative) white paper aimed “to preserve the well-established practice of government by consensus.” It warned that “direct elections would run the risk of a swift introduction of adversarial politics and would introduce an element of instability at a crucial time.”23 Britain’s policy, led by the incumbent governor despite some disagreements in London, backtracked on the idea that Hong Kong had any near-term need for democratization. Most power remained corporatist, for domestic reasons that a comparative politics writer, Philippe Schmitter, has theorized in general24—and because Governor Wilson followed Beijing’s wishes, which were more monotonic than London’s (or Hong Kong’s). The 1984 Joint Sino-British Declaration, and later the Basic Law passed by China’s National People’s Congress, has been described by one of the city’s democrats as a “status quo” discourse, which to say the least represented a dominant conservative ideology, whether in political or socioeconomic policies, and whether on the part of the PRC government, the British government or the society mainstream (not just the tycoons). Even though the pro-democrats at that

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time were keen to change the political logic (hence their democratization discourse), they were by and large still conservative when it came to preserving [Hong Kong’s] fiscal, social, and economic regimes. It was on the basis of such a conservative bargain that the 1997 settlement was built and established.25

The institutions recognized by these documents did not—and increasingly do not—satisfy all Hong Kong people, even if they satisfied businesspeople influential in the local polity, as well as some in London and nearly all in Beijing. Wilson’s aim was to maintain stability in Hong Kong’s links with China for the last decade of British rule. Some mainland reformers, led by General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, had voices in top CCP meetings before the Tiananmen demonstrations. But that unexpectedly large protest, spearheaded by young intellectuals, led to a purge of moderates including Zhao. After 1989, most CCP leaders were scared into radical conservatism. Governor Wilson did not use the three years of his term before Beijing’s 1989 shift (a relatively liberal period of Chinese politics) to change anything constitutional in Hong Kong. Some in Britain, and some in Hong Kong, felt that the government of the United Kingdom had placed too much emphasis on getting along with China and had insufficiently stressed the interests of the denizens of its last populous and most prosperous colony. That sentiment in London did not affect gubernatorial appointments to Hong Kong until 1992, and the governors in office continued to have considerable latitude when making policy. Democratic development was not totally stalled prior to Patten, however. The 1984 agreements had allowed more direct elections to local district boards. Many representatives who won in them were “service professionals.” Their experiences of electoral victory inspired more fervor for democratic institutions, especially among young politicians who were patriotic and enthusiastic about Hong Kong’s possible future role as a beacon of political modernity for China as a whole. They were liberal nationalists. Some saw the district posts as “springboards to the Legco.”26 By 1985, indirect elections (by members of district boards and the Urban and Regional Councils) seated twelve Legco members. Another twelve came from functional constituencies, four official members from the civil service, and others who were appointed. Each governor continued to select all of his advisers on the Executive Council (Exco). Communist Party Plans for a “Capitalist” Dictatorship of the Super-Rich The Communist Party’s explicit strategy for Hong Kong was indirect rule through the wealthiest capitalists. Xu Jiatun, as head of Xinhua News Agency from 1983 to 1990, was China’s chief representative in Hong Kong, explain-

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ing that “The essence of the future ‘Hong Kong People Ruling Hong Kong’ [gangren zhigang] arrangement is a cross-class united government under the leadership of the capitalists.”27 Beijing claimed and still claims that China is “socialist” and Hong Kong is “capitalist”—empirical evidence from both places to the contrary notwithstanding (since China’s socialist system could do much more than it does to protect workers and environments, and the Hong Kong domestic market is largely oligopolized under law rather than competitive). In Xu’s official understanding, these particular capitalists could be as domineering in Hong Kong as the proletariat is supposed to be on the mainland. The CCP rules China as a “dictatorship” (allegedly on behalf of the majority).28 Tycoons were given similar powers over their bourgeois system. In Marxist understanding, any government is like a board of directors of the ruling class. Xu knew that Hong Kong’s investors to the mainland would cooperate with China’s party-state, though less wealthy Hong Kong people might not be so amenable. Democrats Martin Lee and Szeto Wah were on the Basic Law Drafting Committee in Beijing, although they were heavily outnumbered by representatives of Hong Kong’s largest businesses. Committee decisions concerning Hong Kong’s future political structure and fiscal policy hewed closely to tycoon interests. They preserved a weak legislature and a strongly executive-led “administrative” government, which were British legacies, and they formalized provisions that guaranteed low public spending and low taxes. Plutocrats could agree with democrats that Hong Kong should retain significant autonomy from Beijing—but the CCP insisted that crucial local power be vouchsafed to tycoons. The NPC Standing Committee was empowered to “interpret” but not to nullify Hong Kong laws. The Basic Law sharply limited, by listing them, the number of China’s codes that would apply in the SAR. The only important such law was that selfsame Basic Law, the territory’s mini-constitution. A draft Basic Law, published for consultation, was available by April 1988. Conservative proposals for nomination and election of the chief executive by a committee that sharply overrepresented tycoons remained in the second draft, as did limits on directly elected seats in Legco. Yet in 1988, a fairly liberal PRC year, reformist changes were conceded by Beijing to respect Hong Kong’s legal autonomy. Reliable courts were a business interest. A law against subversion of China was to be passed by Hong Kong after the handover; Article 23 of the Basic Law mandated a need for antisedition legislation, but it refrained from specific wording on which even Beijing’s leaders must have realized there would be controversy. Also, local courts were not prohibited from reviewing “acts of state” by China that might affect Hong Kong. When Hong Kong’s people in 1989 saw the Tiananmen repression on their television sets, such provisions for separate autonomy seemed extremely valuable. China’s top leaders moved sharply to the right, as student protests began in the spring of 1989, especially after the People’s Liberation Army vi-

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olence of June 4.29 Two Hong Kong members of the Basic Law Drafting Committee resigned. Democrats Martin Lee and Szeto Wah also suspended their participation (before being sacked from the committee by the NPC Standing Committee because they led Hong Kong protests against Beijing’s Tiananmen crackdown). Nearly two-thirds of the drafting committee was composed of mainland members, and no further concessions to Hong Kong democratic interests occurred thereafter. The Basic Law was passed by the National People’s Congress in 1990, shortly after state violence in Beijing and some other Chinese cities created a sharply more local political identity in Hong Kong.30 The aim of trying to establish a through-train between the colonial and postcolonial constitutions became less achievable. Patriotic democrats were prominent in Hong Kong before 1989. Many of the city’s people feared their upcoming sovereign power, while others thought economic and national ties would later resolve tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing. The post-Tiananmen final version of the Basic Law included a provision that no ordinary bill, introduced by Legco members, could pass unless it achieved concurrent majorities separately among members from functional and geographical constituencies. This part of the mini-constitution confirmed tycoons’ veto over any law to raise taxes or spending. Rules for composing the Nominating Committee gave them similar power over the Chief Executive. The Basic Law guaranteed a government that was impotent to solve any socioeconomic problem that might be expensive. It did not specify anti-subversion rules, ensuring future conflict on issues of free speech. Legco became a limited “parliament” in the etymological, talk-shop sense. Its main role has never been to pass laws (except the government’s annual budget), but it provided “bully pulpits” for the electorally legitimated winners. They attracted attention and created politics and a party system, because their campaigns are legalized struggles in public. Legco members are constitutionally free, in effect, from any serious responsibility to govern. The leaders who have most power in Hong Kong lack the modern popular legitimacy that comes from winning competitive elections. The leaders who win such elections have scant power. Many local political groups, including the colonial administration, mooted proposals for more extensive direct elections to Legco seats. But twothirds of the polled business executives in the Federation of Hong Kong Industries in 1987 favored few direct elections, as well as postponement of them: The Federation supports the view that the maximum number of directly elected members should be set at 25% of the total. This percentage should be achieved over time. . . . The limitation on the number of directly elected members is necessary to ensure that the Legislative Council remains truly representative of all important [sic] sectors of the community and does not

Exploring British and Chinese Legacies

fall under the undue influence of one particular lobby or group. . . . The survey revealed little support for the proposition that directly elected members should replace functional constituency members on the Legislative Council. Most favoured directly elected members replacing appointed members.31

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In another very small survey of business politicians, only a tenth supported direct elections (and all of that tenth were already in Legco!).32 The first popular geographical-district elections to Legco were held as late as 1991— and even then, for just eighteen of the sixty seats. Some business elites recognized that their stance against mass participation would over time become increasingly unpopular. By 1992, the new Governor Patten clearly thought so. Patten was the first governor since Bowring and Hennessy, both more than a century earlier, to have had an electoral background in Britain as a member of parliament.33 Hong Kong’s Liberal Party, representing business interests, in 1993 still remained very gradualist about future expansions of democracy. It was difficult for conservative politicians to raise doubts of the constancy of future policies from China, but it was obvious after Tiananmen that the Beijing leadership was in a strongly anti-democratic mood. China’s domestic policies had become increasingly conservative since the purges of CCP General Secretaries Hu Yaobang (1987) and Zhao Ziyang (1989). The Liberal Party wanted to represent Hong Kong patriotic businesses—but it also wanted in principle to live up to its name. So its party manifesto called for “an evolutionary process, beginning from the Government’s recognition of the political rights of the people . . . [but the] Liberal Party will strive for a wholly democratic government, including a democratically elected Chief Executive in Hong Kong, within 10 years after 1997.”34 This manifesto followed futuristic clauses of the Basic Law that had been finalized in China’s mid-1980s reformist period. Some Hong Kong and Chinese leaders then expected change toward more popular sovereignty. The city’s democrats, led in the early 1990s by Martin Lee, showed what this would mean by actually winning elections—and they were not radical public spenders. At this time after the Tiananmen killings, groups of Hong Kong democrats united together in an organization called the Democratic Party (Minzhudang). That party fielded candidates successful at taking most of the geographical constituency seats—and a few functional ones—in the 1991, 1995, and 1998 elections. Beijing conservatives claimed that this party was a tool of Western powers, but the Democrats wanted to be Chinese patriots while not being subject to the Communist Party. The first article of the party’s mid1990s platform praised Hong Kong’s return to China, while other articles stressed that the HKSAR should retain its international links and preserve human rights. The last section of the Democratic Party manifesto said the Chinese government’s repression of the 1989 democracy movement had been a “grave mistake.”35

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After Tiananmen, PRC conservatives and Hong Kong tycoons combined with UK businesses to plan for a pre-1997 governance system based agreements between the Chinese and British governments—without input from non-tycoon Hong Kong people. They sought ways to keep the city quiet in the last years of colonial rule continuing into the post-handover period. Democrats won landslide elections in 1991, but Governor Wilson’s appointees and functional constituency members still gave Legco an anti-reform majority. British Prime Minister John Major replaced Wilson with a more political governor, Patten, who introduced populist welfare policies and raised the inherently precarious legitimacy of foreign rule among most Hong Kong people, who were not British but were also not tycoons. A few elites, especially colonial civil servants, could receive United Kingdom passports based on a point system at this time.36 Patten gave the city’s tycoons their worst fright when he proposed an electoral law creating a Legco in which most of Hong Kong’s people had strong representation for the first time ever. Patten still hoped for a through-train Legco, elected in 1995 and passing through the handover in 1997 until the end of its normal term in 1999. So he worked within the formal strictures of the Basic Law. Functional constituencies were part of that package, and he adhered to the letter (not the spirit) of the corporatist, anti-populist constitution by creating nine new functional sector groups, in which everybody with an occupation could vote. In other functional constituencies, Patten proposed that all company directors be given individual secret ballots, so that votes were no longer cast by corporations but by individuals. Patten also lowered the voting age in geographical constituencies from twenty-one to eighteen, expecting younger people to be more democratic. Single-seat districts were drawn, and the winner was the candidate with the highest number of ballots. Just 70,000 people voted in functional constituency elections before Patten, but his reforms allowed 1,100,000 to do so (sixteen times as many).37 Patten’s Legco contained no ex-officio or appointed members. None of this technically violated the Basic Law, but Beijing reacted with fury. Patten’s reforms finally passed Legco (after failure by one vote, twentyeight to twenty-nine, of a Liberal Party business amendment that would have scuppered them); this followed seventeen hours of intensive debate near the end of June 1994. Beijing immediately declared that the Legco to be elected under these rules in 1995, which had been expected to survive as a throughtrain, would be dissolved on handover day, July 1, 1997. It was soon replaced by a Provisional Legco (linshi lifa hui), “elected” in 1996 at Shenzhen, Guangdong, by the same PRC-vetted committee that chose the first Chief Executive of the SAR. Invectives against “fatty Patty” (fei Peng) from China and from Hong Kong conservatives were many and colorful: “snake,” “sinner for a thousand generations,” “prostitute of the East,” “hypocrite,” and worse. Perhaps it did

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not help that Patten had been given, as his Chinese name, the conservativesounding moniker Peng Dingkang (“Patten who stabilizes health”). The “hypocrite” designation referred to Patten’s reversal of the policies of recent previous British governors, who had prevented rather than furthered democratization. Patten was welcomed by many in Hong Kong, and he was heartily hated by others. Preparations by Governments and Parties Surrounding the Handover Even before the 1950s and 1960s, the Communist Party fostered a “proChina” community in Hong Kong. Various “leftist” groups subsisted for years in schools, stores, clubs, unions, and other institutions. This community’s political center was the Federation of Trade Unions, and it tended to keep its members somewhat separate from other Hong Kong networks at that time. The city’s mainstream and most businesspeople were severely alienated by what they saw of the Cultural Revolution. But as trade grew in the 1970s and 1980s, Beijing was able to ally with Hong Kong’s economic elite. After 1984, this traditionally dominant group (Chinese, Western, and Indian members alike) slowly shifted loyalties from the British to the new source of big profits, which was China.38 The Liberal Party by the 1990s represented business interests that were favorable to the mainland, while the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong was led by a leftist community of nontycoon “pro-China” patriots. But Hong Kong had been created largely by lineages that had fled revolutions, and most families in the city still tended to be anticommunist even while they were proud to be Chinese. Especially after 1989, the Democratic Party had a large constituency of people who plainly feared PRC politics. The Basic Law was the formal link between Hong Kong and the mainland. Acts of the National People’s Congress such as that one are, aside from the Chinese constitution, the top statutes of the country. All NPC legislations are formally called “basic laws” (jiben fa), although the term in English has been mainly used for just this one law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution. It ordains that the city’s top post is no longer held by a “governor,” which is the English word used in official PRC translations for the heads of other provincelevel units in China. The office is instead dubbed a “Chief Executive” (xingzheng zhangguan). That title suggests the top officer of a company, rather than of a polity. It accords with the official PRC view that Hong Kong should be overwhelmingly an economic place, with merely subsidiary political concerns. The A in HKSAR refers to an administrative (xingzheng, not autonomous zizhi) region.39 Hong Kong was joined to a communist country as a capitalist system, to be administered as a low-tax regime. Seven-tenths of the Basic Law Drafting

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Committee were businesspeople, and most came from large firms. The Hong Kong Basic Law franchised “capitalists” (meaning just the wealthiest tycoons) to have the controlling role in government. The Communist Party since the late 1930s had conducted “united front work” with businesses in Hong Kong, and these connections became firmer in the 1980s and 1990s, when their profits depended increasingly on mainland trade.40 Article 118 of the Basic Law mandates that the postcolonial government should encourage “investments, technological progress, and the development of new industries.”41 Tycoons can support this merely indicative planning, so long as they remain in charge. The British regime was generally laissez-faire, except in its housing and water subsidies to the price of labor. But the first Chief Executive, C. H. Tung, was activist and interventionist in reaction to the Asian financial crisis. He announced plans to expand housing. He gave permission to Li Ka-shing’s son for Cyberport development that was supposed to jump-start an information technology industry in the city. Hong Kong’s funding for universities prioritized work in fields such as medicine. Entrepreneurs were supposed to develop biotech firms. Earlier plans to expand university degree places and introduce a foundation year of more general education for first-year students were deferred, in order to save government money. Community colleges became a project of Tung’s; but because of the financial crisis and the constitutional bars to public spending, he could only urge that these colleges be self-funded and privatized unlike those of the US models he advertised. The Asian financial crisis began outside Hong Kong (in Thailand), but to combat its effects, the new SAR regime expressed intentions that were more activist than those of its British predecessors. Traditions About Wealth, Work, and Legitimacy Old elites in the 1990s got most of their profits from manufacturing industries they moved into China. They continued to collect rents, as well as shipping fees, in Hong Kong, while cutthroat competition prevailed in the export sector. Official planning was minimal, although “crony capitalism” remained strong in domestic retailing, docks, and property. Laissez-faire ideology prevented perceptions of the actual corporate socialism. Mainland history gave politics a bad name in Hong Kong, and most people were slow to complain about their powerlessness. Surveys indicated that at least during the 1990s, most Hongkongers were not angry about the wealth inequality in their city. A reason may be that parts of the economy were booming on the basis of China trade; so people whose incomes were stagnant saw others prospering and hoped they later would have similar luck. The economist Albert Hirschman has a theory concerning delays of resentment about inequality.42 Populist calls for greater civil liberties were few in the 1990s, although Hong Kong families’ historical distaste for leftist

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violence, together with knowledge of Tiananmen in1989, gave many people concern about their future. By the millennium, the tycoon elite had become largely Western-educated and were thoroughly versed in liberal political values.43 Their members who returned from the Beijing-vetted committee to choose the first SAR Chief Executive and Provisional Legco sounded openly defensive about the legitimacy of such procedures. Rita Fan (who garnered the largest number of votes for her 1998 Legco seat on the election committee, which then seated a few members), later claimed, “We have been elected by voters who are very representative of their respective fields.”44 She did not say, “. . . of Hong Kong,” because that would have been untrue. Immediately after her election, Fan volunteered her services to continue as Council President, a role she had filled in the Provisional Legco that Beijing had created. She was soon contradicted by a nonparty independent winner in the New Territories East, Andrew Wong, who had also been in the Provisional Legco, had presided over the council during earlier years—and volunteered to be Council President and replace Fan. Wong told newspaper reporters that he considered it inappropriate for Legco to elect a head who had been chosen either through functional constituencies or by the election committee.45 Geographical elections were widely seen to provide a more rightful basis for legitimate leadership than selection on a small franchise. Even the tycoons know this, although they seldom say it. Democrats did not question the legitimacy of the National People’s Congress as they questioned that of the Provisional Legislature. Several democrats stood for NPC seats—but the electoral conference was so carefully chosen that none of them could obtain the ten nomination signatures required for candidacy. They all withdrew from the race, protesting that it was a charade. In November and December 1997, the manner in which Hong Kong’s “system” would be represented in the NPC became a public issue. Because Hong Kong had no provincial congress to elect delegates, and Beijing had opponents in Legco, the selection committee was adapted to choose thirty-six members for Hong Kong’s NPC delegation. This same committee’s local members also chose the first Provisional Legco and the first Chief Executive. Jiang Enzhu, director of the Xinhua News Agency, had arrived in Hong Kong so recently that he was disqualified from residency. Because Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa did not run to be on the NPC, Jiang was the ranking official in the Hong Kong delegation; so Jiang became its presumptive head. But Jiang had been appointed from Beijing; he represented that capital rather than Hong Kong. Democrats thought him unfit to fill the delegation chief role, a position normally taken by a provincial governor or CCP secretary. Jiang was nonetheless elected—and he received the largest number of votes among the Hong Kong NPC candidates even though he was from the mainland.46

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China regards Hong Kong members of mainland political bodies as completely inside the country’s ordinary structure, with no differences between the “capitalist” and “socialist” systems, even though many members were ex-officio on Hong Kong committees too. About twenty Hong Kong deputies to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, who before the handover had depended on the Xinhua News Agency for clerical help, requested to set up an independent secretariat to aid them in Beijing. CPPCC Standing Committee member Xu Simin, a veteran conservative, said there were no funds for such an office—and “no need” for one. But Hong Kong delegates criticized Xinhua for failing to provide CPPCC documents or to call necessary meetings.47 “Hong Kong delegates” to Beijing bodies, who had concurrent membership on the committee to elect the Chief Executive, were treated as fully part of China’s system. “Drinks and dinners” characterized the campaigning for NPC seats, which conferred prestige that could prove useful for businesses. One candidate, racehorse owner Liu Lit-for, was called “Mr. Abalone”, for the seafood delicacies at dinners for electoral-conference members that he hosted. As Suzanne Pepper writes: “With the democrats shut out because of their platform, . . . only the Liberal Party issued a relatively detailed if innocuous manifesto. Otherwise, candidates played it even more safe with simple statements and brief presentations at election forums where everyone vowed their determination to serve as bridges between Hong Kong and China.”48 Hong Kong’s real politics, and the more serious politicians, were either already in the local government or conscious that the mass geographical election of May 1998, not the earlier mainland exercises forming the Provisional Legco and the delegation to the NPC, was the main chance in the city for political legitimacy. The Provisional Legco’s “Hare Quota Multimember” Electoral Law to Disfavor Democrats The Provisional Legco reduced the portion of members to be elected to future geographical seats from half to one-third of the council. Having seen the success of democrats in the 1995 public voting, Beijing and tycoon planners wanted fewer geographical representatives in the initial period after handover. The Provisional Legco also ensured a long-term disadvantage for democrats by increasing the size of electoral districts, raising the number of seats each district would fill. It established that votes would be counted in a “Hare quota and remainder” procedure (described later) that disfavors large parties with members who have somewhat divergent views. The number of geographically elected seats was reduced by ten, and replacement members were chosen indirectly by an Election Committee that was generated in a complex system of elite franchises, although these seats were slated in the Basic Law to be gradually restored in later elections by more geographical representatives. Thirty

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seats—half the council—were still chosen in occupational constituencies. In about a third of these “functional” races, the franchise was so limited, and the nomination procedures so complex, there was just a single candidate; so the winners were known as soon as the ballots were printed. In the 1995 elections that had been held under Patten’s rules, practically 100 percent of Hong Kong’s working people had two votes: one in a functional constituency ballot and one in a geographical district. But in the 1998 poll, under the Provisional Legco’s new procedures, the functional representatives were chosen by only one-fourteenth as many electors as in 1995. This narrowing of the electorate for half of Legco favored large businesses—and it strengthened executive-led government, presuming the Chief Executive would usually want policies that would not raise companies’ taxes. The narrower franchise also led to less open campaigning and less publicity for winners in functional constituencies. These changes acted like the restrictions against independent Legco members introducing bills without prior government approval, and also like the new electoral rules for multimember geographical districts (described more precisely later). All these changes tended to disfavor the Democratic Party, whose popularity in Hong Kong at that time the CCP could scarcely accept. Because of these alterations, and especially the new electoral law, democrats had scant hope of winning a majority in Legco. The number of elected reformers decreased, while their voices became relatively more strident because of their sense that China’s government was discriminating against them unfairly. They too are Chinese. The new electoral law, passed by the Provisional Legco, replaced twenty single-seat geographical districts with five much larger multimember districts. This increased the chance that pro-establishment legislators would be elected, especially if democrats split among themselves (as they were prone to do). Later elections showed that it raised the frequency with which the DAB, the pro-Beijing and pro-welfare party, could win seats with small pluralities.49 The DAB’s tensions with tycoons have been mainly implicit rather than public. Under the new electoral law, each voter in a district casts a single ballot for an ordered list of candidates. The top candidate on the list is important, but the number of seats to be filled in each district is larger than the single list for which each citizen may cast. The Provisional Legco’s law uses a “Hare quota” to determine winners in a first-round count, and then the “largest remainder method” to determine winners from the ordered lists who receive further seats up to the number assigned to the district. A Hare quota is the total number of ballots actually cast in a geographical area divided by the number of seats to be filled there. (The quota is named after a nineteenth-century social scientist, Thomas Hare.)50 Only candidates’ names, not any party’s name or logo, appear on ballots. Each party has to be internally coherent enough to achieve consensus on list rankings. This procedure gives power to minorities, and in Hong Kong these tend to be mainly conservative, although some of them are purist democratic.51

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Before the public vote, parties file with the Electoral Affairs Commission the lists of priority-ordered candidates (one or more lists per party). Any top candidate on a list that receives a Hare quota of ballots in the first-round count is a winner.52 But in that case, the full Hare quota is deducted for that list in the second round, when the lists with the highest remaining votes receive seats until the number of representatives for the district is filled. A popular candidate whose list gets a Hare quota thus “wastes votes” for his or her party or coalition. If parties file multiple lists in a district, or if they are able to use their supporters’ votes efficiently for maximizing their wins, it is very possible that none of the lists will receive a Hare quota. Most Legco members are chosen during the second-round count, in which a constituency fills up its allocation of seats. Parties or policy groups perform best if they have some vote-getting leaders, an optimal number of lists (often one or two), strong finances, and discipline to coordinate their voting blocs. For example, in the Hong Kong Island constituency during one election, the top candidate of the Civic Party list for that area got a seat on the first round. But because that reduced the list’s remaining number of votes by a whole Hare quota in the second round, the list’s next candidate had the seventh rather than the sixth highest number of votes for the remaining six seats, so she was not elected.53 This system thwarts landslides that could empower a Legco party over the Chief Executive, but it is too complex for most people to understand. Very few voters in Hong Kong fully understand what they are doing when they cast their ballots. They only have a general sense that they are voting. Something democratic must be going on, they suppose. The Electoral Law, Policy Cleavages, and Seats for Eccentrics with Pluralities Much strategizing, polling, discipline, and campaign money is needed for a centrist party or coalition to succeed maximally under this system. Self-control among candidates favoring each kind of policy (e.g., either proBeijing/pro-autonomy, or pro-rich/pro-poor) is crucial in the geographical constituencies, although some strikingly nonconformist candidates can win with relatively few votes if they acquire reputations as interesting mavericks. Their chances are best in districts that offer many seats, where successful second-round vote counts can be small pluralities. High-profile candidates, such as radical democrat “Long Hair” Leung Kok Hung in New Territories East, can get into news reports and make names for themselves that raise their counts almost irrespective of their policies.54 Candidates who are seen as “strong” or “sticking to their principles” are more successful in this electoral system than are moderate compromisers. Establishment parties are better financed and less fractious than pan-de-

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mocrats tend to be. In early post-handover years, conservatives had fewer famous charismatic candidates than democrats did; so they less often used up (or “wasted”) whole Hare quotas at the tops of their lists. Pro-Beijing conservatives played the new electoral game well, although any future PRC use of extensive coercion in Hong Kong could still unify democrats and produce a landslide. The electoral law somewhat hinders all large parties or policy groups, now including the DAB, unless they use great care in managing lists for each district and in organizing voters to cast enough (but not too many) ballots for those rosters. The system may at first seem to have sensitive “transferable vote” aspects, since ballots in excess of the quota for the first person on any list that wins the Hare number are shifted, for the second count, to the next person on that list. But Hong Kong’s procedure skips the advantage of a true transferable-vote process, because the voter cannot choose the second-choice candidate. The list-makers do that. Excess votes for any roster with a highestwinning plurality are not moved to another list representing similar policies. The second person on any list faces a greater danger of loss than if he or she had headed a separate list that enough of the relevant voters might have been coordinated to support. Candidates who have parallel but not totally consistent policy platforms or personal networks have some incentives under this system to run separately. They may then hope they can achieve a sufficiently large second-round remainder—and thereby a seat. Hong Kong’s two most prominent women politicians in early elections, Emily Lau, who founded the democratic Frontier, and Christine Loh, who founded the Citizens Party, were fairly certain of winning Legco places for themselves (and in Lau’s case, also for her running-mate on the same list) on either a Hare or remainder basis. Either of these two major politicians might conceivably at the handover have joined the Democratic Party, with which each of them had fairly comparable policies. (Lau later disbanded the Frontier and switched to the Democratic Party, which she has chaired.) Lists headed by such well-known candidates may, under the electoral law, take votes from copartisans on other lists in the district, or from the lists of other parties that have parallel policies. As the number of members allocated to a district rises, the Hare quota becomes a smaller portion of the voters. (Lau runs in New Territories East, which like New Territories West now gets ten seats; Kowloon East and West each have five, while Hong Kong Island has seven.) A policy group can often do best to field multiple lists, usually from different parties, taking a maximal number of late-to-win second-round seats by organizing blocs of voters to split their ballots optimally. Sometimes a secondcount place can be won after a first-round seat goes to a famous politician who attracts many votes to the list. Any first-round winner “wastes votes” but if very popular may garner enough to see a colleague on the list win too. Still, a top-of-list candidate needs only to beat the first-excluded person in the second-round count.

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The electoral law discourages success from broad appeal, especially among middle-of-the-road moderate politicians, although it helps candidates who push extreme views or have memorable personalities and can be elected with small pluralities (especially from the districts that seat many lawmakers). All parties gradually learn to operate in this system. In the 2012 Legco elections, the winning member who received the highest portion of votes in his constituency (on the Island) got only 21 percent—and the winner who was seated with the smallest portion (in New Territories West) received just 6 percent. In the New Territories East and New Territories West multimember districts, seven of the nine winners in each received between 7 and 9 percent of the votes; these are small winning numbers, and such low portions take no seats in most democracies. By 2012, no list in any geographical district seated more than a single Legco member. Comparisons with results from earlier elections show clearly that parties learned to obey the discipline that the Harequota-and-remainder law imposed.55 Voting results tended to divide Legco among small parties. They could cooperate; but the law was designed to maximize factional quibbling. Pro-Beijing groups have more money than pro-democratic factions for careful polling, advertisements, and coordination of votes. For example, in 2012, of the thirty elected Legco members, only three were the second-place nominees on their lists. By that year, political groups avoided using full Hare quotas, when fewer votes were sufficient to get into office.56 Pan-democratic parties were slower to learn this than were conservatives; the previously mentioned Island winner was a Civic Party democrat. The League of Social Democrats in the 2008 Legco election had been able to seat Andrew To, another “radical” democrat who won in East Kowloon—but by 2012, To ran again, while the new but similar People Power party put up another candidate (Wong Yeung-tat). These democrats in 2012 doubled the total vote for their kind of policy—but because their lists split their supporters, neither won. In the same election, the Civic Party misplaced its rather glamorous Hong Kong Island incumbent legislator (Tanya Chan, an actress and barrister) second on a single list with a new candidate (Kenneth Chan, a professor). The total votes for the party, if they had been coordinated to divide evenly between two lists headed by these candidates, would have won for each of them. But because both had been put on the same roster with the better vote-getter listed second, the incumbent lady lost. The Hare-quota-and-remainder electoral system is sometimes called a “proportional representation” method. In practice, however, it just tends to underrepresent large policy groups, especially if their leaders cannot coordinate themselves and their voters tightly. If the name at the top of a list is particularly charismatic, that list is likely to waste votes. This also lowers the chance that the second name on that list—or candidates on lists with similar policies (which those voters might have chosen instead)—will be seated in the later

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count. Hong Kong’s pan-democrats have provided especially excellent examples of such fissiparousness. Impatient “radicals” and careful “moderates” among democrats often disagree with each other. “Patriotic,” pro-Beijing factions may conceivably split in the future too, if the Chinese government cannot induce its tycoon and proletarian supporters to hold together on the other major cleavage in Hong Kong politics, the pro-rich/pro-poor (anti-tax/pro-tax, right/left) policy divide. Conservatives during the first SAR Legco elections claimed that they were in favor of proportional representation (PR); they said the Provisional Legco’s electoral law provided PR, which is a seat-allocation method used in many democracies. But the Hare rule does not use a PR method, despite very frequent public assertions that it does. Ideally, PR should give each party or list the same portion of seats as its portion of votes. But Hong Kong’s Harequota-and-remainder system tends to give the top vote-getting list or party a lower portion than proportional representation would. To take a striking example, the 1998 election rendered a very low index of proportionality, both because of the electoral law and because of functional constituencies. The Democratic Party ended up with thirteen seats, or 22 percent of the council, although it polled 43 percent of the general franchise votes. Most of its seats were geographical. The Liberal Party got seventeen seats, or 28 percent of the council, with only 3 percent of the popular votes. The main reason for the latter result is that Liberal Party candidates did well in functional and committee balloting, decided by much smaller electorates. The conservative Hong Kong Progressive Alliance got 8 percent of the seats with 0 percent of the general franchise votes. If parties that cooperate with each other are combined into reformist and conservative camps, pan-democrats have often received nearly six-tenths of the mass votes but less than one-third of Legco. This is a most unusual kind of “proportional representation.” Interest Aggregation Quandaries, Functional Constituencies, and Practical Legitimacy Half of the SAR legislature is still chosen by occupational elites, as decreed in Annex II of the Basic Law.57 Collective voting by corporations was restored by the Provisional Legco in many functional constituencies, although Legco action under Patten had abolished collective votes by companies as distinct from their individual directors. The Provisional Legco’s changes were criticized for being unpatriotic as well as undemocratic. For example, the provisional council added an insurance functional constituency whose voters numbered just 196—of which more than half were foreign corporations (especially British, US, and Japanese). The real estate functional constituency included voters that were “shelf companies,” with multiple corporate ballots administered from a single head office. In that constituency, nineteen of the votes were

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registered on the twelfth floor of Tsimshatsui Center, the headquarters of Sino Land chaired by tycoon Robert Ng. Some of the corporate voters were domiciled in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. Sir David Li, who was the Legco member for the finance functional constituency, retained his position there and as chief of the Bank of East Asia even after the US Securities and Exchange Commission levied US$16 million in fines against him for insider trading (which he never admitted, although he paid the fines). Such cases undermined the legitimacy of functional constituency representatives. Democratic Party vice chair Yeung Sum demanded that the one-tycoon-many-votes functional constituencies be abolished.58 Many functional voters were conspicuously unrepresentative even of the diverse interests in the relevant sector. Some had dubious claims to either Chinese or Hong Kong identity. As late as the 2012 elections for these delegates, most of the winners (sixteen of the thirty non–district council functional lawmakers) “ran” uncontested, against no opponents. These were dull elections. Functional constituencies are almost unique to Hong Kong.59 In Italy, Benito Mussolini used them. In Italy and Greece, various types of party-list proportional representation systems have also been common. Thai generals, eager to avoid control of the Bangkok diet by populist friends of Thaksin Shinawatra, have discussed instituting functional constituencies in Thailand’s constitution. In such places, parliaments have been fractious and bureaucrats have usually been free to run the state.60 Corporatism in politics is based on the notion that a body politic is like an organic body—such as a human, with different parts performing vital roles—but this social version of biology is often in practice less functional than hierarchical. It is opposed by the democratic idea that people are equal in political dignity, whatever their social roles. Plato, fascists, Pope Leo XIII (in the 1880s), and now Chinese communists and Hong Kong tycoons offer reasons for organizing politics in this way. The only current constitution outside Hong Kong that explicitly empowers functional constituencies in a main branch of government is the Basic Law of Macau. Economists have argued that there is no method of voting that can aggregate interests perfectly. Kenneth Arrow’s “impossibility theorem” offers plausible hard-to-deny propositions about reasonable choice and then shows that they cannot all be served simultaneously.61 Amartya Sen similarly describes a “liberal paradox”: that Pareto-efficient markets cannot work well to support a basic sense of freedom for everyone.62 There seems to be, in principle, no ideal method of interest aggregation. These arguments are mathematical and abstract, however. Their only relevance for specific electoral mechanisms, such as are debated in actual places like Hong Kong, is that voting procedures may be impossible to construct so that they represent interests incontrovertibly. Such arguments do not prove that most contemporary people think democracy is illegitimate—or worse than

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dictatorship as a way to make public choices. The apparent logical impossibility of finding a perfect means of aggregating interests need not confuse a more important question: Who gains and who loses, in concrete situations, from implementing any particular mechanism? Hong Kong’s most prominent conservative academic, Lau Siu-kai, has argued that the city’s political parties in their early years served “the expressive function of venting people’s discontent and frustration, especially against the Chinese government.”63 The post-handover electoral law, passed by the Provisional Legco, restricted the franchise, and the mini-constitution gave the executive more strength than the legislature in determining the content of laws. Such rules reinforced parties’ oppositional, secondary role. But issues of unfairness in political institutions seldom sway as many votes as do pressing problems of jobs, pollution, public health, housing, or prices. Conservative institutionalists in Hong Kong thought that the marginalization of parties could be made permanent, but public interests in these substantive issues do not disappear. Many people sense that the electoral law is complex and that the constitution cramps the power of the elected representatives. Surveys show that most in Hong Kong disliked the Provisional Legco. At its dissolution after the 1998 election, that body’s public approval rating had slumped from a low 20 percent to an even lower 13 percent. One member, Andrew Wong, said of this temporary, unelected, democracy-restricting provisional legislature, “I am sad for its emergence and am happy it is going to disappear.”64 It was originally supposed only to pass laws that were “essential” for the operation of government. But the Provisional Legco went beyond that mandate, trying to change the regime type while retaining restrictive competitive elections for form’s sake. Particularly controversial issues, notably a law against subversion, were deferred for action by the first elected SAR Legco—with results that eventually brought down the first Chief Executive’s government. Campaigns by the Frontier, Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and DAB as Frail Elections Made Strong Politics In the elections of the 1990s, Emily Lau proved that she could be a relentless canvasser in housing estates, smiling, waving, and handing out leaflets— which 98 percent of her interlocutors accepted.65 She carried a megaphone and used it so that she could be heard. Martin Lee was reportedly a hardworking campaigner, with less panache than Lau but some willingness despite his scholarly demeanor to kiss babies, travel without retainers, and press the flesh. By contrast, Allen Lee of the Liberal Party was frequently chauffeured to rallies in his Rolls-Royce. Among Liberal Party candidates, he was seen as relatively electable, but many tycoons are ineffective on the campaign trail. The Liberal Party won no geographical seat in 1998.

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Less wealthy pro-Beijing candidates adapted more readily to electoral work. The DAB’s Tsang Yok-sing had turned down top scholarships for graduate education in the United States, to teach instead at a communist school in Hong Kong, but his style differs from that of a Red Guard. Patronist networking is less important in this city’s mass elections than canvassing; so candidates try to show their faces and friendliness in public housing projects as much as possible. The turnout for voting in the government-built residential high-rises is larger than among Hong Kong’s general population. As DAB chairman Tsang put it, people who come down their staircases or lifts on election day “cannot miss the polling place.”66 Tsang and some other pro-Beijing candidates took to electioneering more easily than their rivals expected. When they won, they became more enthusiastic about electoral democracy than Beijing’s leaders have been. In 1998, Tsang had two of his campaign assistants dress up in costumes as Batman and Robin. This caught the attention of passersby at Hunghom and Whampoa Garden rallies. DAB press releases explained that the cartoon characters were “friends of justice.” Batman and Robin deferred from detailing Tsang’s policies, but they accompanied the candidate and passed out leaflets. Tsang said, “They are heroic household figures. It’s very difficult to dress up as Superman. He’s too macho.”67 Many candidates emphasized their folksiness more than their policies. Senior statesman Andrew Wong, running in New Territories East, was a nonparty candidate who won a geographical seat in the first SAR election. His young daughter Lok regularly attracted attention by attending rallies as his “election agent.” Frederick Fung, who almost won a Kowloon West seat, was often accompanied on the campaign trail by his three-year-old son, Ben-yi, whose winsomeness was clearer than Fung’s stance on how to reduce the considerable unemployment in his district. The Democratic Party winner in New Territories East, Andrew Cheng, posed for media photographers while being kissed, at the same time on each cheek, by his comely daughters aged three and seven. The winning DAB candidate in Kowloon East, Chan Yuen-han, played drums at a rock concert. Citizens Party founder Christine Loh rented a tram car for festivities to celebrate the first anniversary of her democratic group. The tram cruised along main streets of the Island, through the areas that gave her strongest electoral support. “So we are going to use the event to tell people to vote and to celebrate their vote. That’s the idea behind it. We have some members who wrote a Chinese song called I am Politics; so they’re going to be playing and singing it. It’s not a platform, but it’s why we are in politics.”68 Such tactics do not always work. Another Citizens Party candidate, Mozart Lui, running in New Territories East, lived up to his first name and serenaded reporters on a violin just after filing his candidacy papers, but he was not elected. Liberal Party candidate Ada Wong set up an electric keyboard in

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public at Causeway Bay and played “What I Did for Love” and “My Heart Will Go On”—as no doubt it did, even after she lost badly to opponents who were less musical. A pre-election poll in 1998 found that, although the Democratic Party had built up some loyalty to its organization among voters, most (55 percent) said they would cast their ballots according to their perceptions of the candidates’ “individual qualities.” Only 18 percent said they would support any party as such. Responding to another question, 42 percent said they would vote on the basis of candidates’ “past performances,” while about 30 percent said they would mostly pay attention to election platforms.69 Surveys showed that parties, even the Frontier or Citizens Party or Democratic Party or DAB, did not by themselves attract great voter support.70 Their leaders could be popular, but political organizations per se were not much respected. Electoral Politics as Anti-Government, When Businesses Control the State Soaring home prices, high food costs, and bank charges have gradually reduced the legitimacy of Hong Kong’s government-by-businesses among many voters. The Liberal Party has given some indication its leaders realize that tycoonocracy cannot last forever in a city that holds mass elections. Through its functional Legco member Ronald Arculli, it long ago came out in favor of some government support for home purchases and for low-cost mortgages to help unlucky families that had bought flats at peak prices. But the Liberal Party, representing businesses, fared poorly in the 1998 geographical polls; it fielded candidates in practically all the districts, and it lost everywhere—unable even to take second-count seats.71 One reason may be that conservative voters knew the Basic Law already puts the executive-led government on the side of businesses. They thought they did not really need to go to the polls, because they had the regime they wanted anyway. But Liberal Party strategists also looked forward hopefully to the possibility of added New Territories seats that it might win later. The party was severely embarrassed by its 1998 failure in geographical districts; it won many functional seats but was sad nonetheless. Legitimacy, according to many reports, lay mainly in the geographical seats. Even the Liberal politicians knew that. By 2004, the Liberals were able to fill two geographical seats, one each in the largest multimember districts of New Territories East and West, although its lists won on the second-round count with pluralities of just 16 and 11 percent of the votes cast.72 Yet the Liberals had nine functional seats in the previous Legco—and eight functional seats in each of the next two elections. Thereafter the tycoons’ main political party continued to perform poorly in Hong Kong’s mass elections. In 2008 and 2012 (as in 1998), the business-oriented Liberal Party candidates again won no Legco geographical seats. In-

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stead, the pro-Beijing but mostly non-business DAB prospered. A prospect of democratization concentrated Liberal leaders’ minds; so they sporadically espoused some relaxation of land costs, while also professing to help the plight of families that had already bought homes at high prices. The long-term electoral gains of the DAB and of the Democratic Party (with which Emily Lau’s Frontier merged in 2008) can partly be traced to the willingness of their candidates to spend maximal time in public housing estates, where voting is convenient, turnouts are high, and about half of Hong Kong’s population lives. In Singapore, the People’s Action Party also relies on such high-rises to ensure its always-victorious votes, and it calls these residential towers “the homelands.”73 Public Struggle and Private Goals as Main Interests, with Ideologies as Secondary Global or Chinese identities are trumpeted by candidates in Legco elections, but ordinary people usually care more about their practical situations. Onefifth of voters who say they like the Democratic Party for its liberalism nonetheless defect to other parties (sometimes the DAB, or earlier the Frontier) when they cast ballots. They are concerned about rents and unemployment. They scarcely expect a weak Legco to solve these problems after an election, but they like to be asked. Grand policy statements are thought by many candidates to be less effective than they “should” be. The DAB chairman averred, while losing a race in a pre-handover election, that his speeches about education policy and competitiveness seemed too abstract to catch the attention of constituents. He said he might have won then (as he did later) if he had given his voters in dilapidated public housing better policy on “leaky drain pipes.”74 Some candidates could deliver electors who identified with particular Chinese provinces. When Progressive Alliance member Choy So-yuk, a Fujianese, dropped out of the Hong Kong Island race (which she would have lost) to run instead for an Election Committee seat (which she won), part of her aim was to avoid taking Fujianese votes from the list of another pro-Beijing party, the DAB.75 She was in one “patriotic” faction, acting to bolster the chances of another. She used her rather impressive campaigning abilities to aid the cause of a cooperating group among immigrants from a particular province. Beijing is inevitably an underlying issue in Hong Kong elections, but China’s quiet-as-a-mouse approach to the “administrative” region shortly after the handover (not always since then) was essential to the successes of pro-Beijing DAB candidates at that time. DAB vice chair Gary Cheng denied that his party’s pro-Beijing stance would cost it votes. He said that “such attacks no longer work. The more mainland interference, the more support the demo-

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cratic camp gets.” (Despite the first word in the name of the DAB, he momentarily forgot in this statement to include his own party even nominally in “the democratic camp”—although he was just using standard Hong Kong parlance.) “But,” he continued, “there has been little interference.”76 This patriotic candidate attributed his own electoral victory in part to the restraint that Beijing showed then. Turnout Under Rain, Protests Under Rain, and the “Theory of Apathy” As late as the day before the first post-handover elections, at a Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) forum of pollsters, none predicted that the turnout would be nearly as high as its actual level proved to be: 53 percent. “Only one felt confident enough to predict the rate could be as high as 40 percent. Others maintained it would be about 30 to 35 percent.”77 Shortly before the balloting, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Suen also opined that many voters were apathetic about elections. He nearly suggested that the complex voting system, for which his own department had responsibility, was one of the reasons. “This is a new practice, and I admit that public knowledge is relatively low.”78 Evidence suggests that Suen was right to say that many people resented the many-seats-per-district list system that he had helped to institute, if only because it ensured they would have to vote against some candidates whom they liked. The unprecedentedly high turnout—in a city that many gurus had deemed anti-political—showed he was wrong to suggest that the odd electoral law caused voters to be apathetic. Democratic media interpreted the turnout as proving that Hongkongers hoped for a less elitist constitution than the Provisional Legco provided. Bad weather on election day, like the abolition since 1995 of most voters’ franchises in functional constituencies, was a factor that made the record turnout in geographical polls more impressive—even though in international comparison it was not very large. Torrential rains closed one polling station and put inches of water on the floors of others that remained open. Martin Lee noted, during the June 4, 1998, Tiananmen massacre memorial rally (also held under a downpour) that “the birth of Hong Kong’s democracy movement” had occurred during a typhoon that happened to strike the colony at the same time Beijing was placed under martial law in 1989. Handover day in 1997 also saw heavy sheets of torrential rain.79 Umbrellas have long been linked to politics in Hong Kong. Editorialists gave diverse explanations for the unexpected turnout in the first post-handover election. The South China Morning Post noted that “political apathy has been widely accepted and propagated by officials and influential opinion leaders as a fact of life—and a convenient reason to delay democratization.” The election reportedly rescinded this “theory of political

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apathy.”80 Pro-Beijing sociologist Lau Siu-kai has been the main propagator of that theory from the 1980s to the present, but it fell into doubt after the handover.81 On the other hand, the increasingly conservative Hong Kong Standard chided Democratic Party candidates who did well in the election for “flinging their mandate at all who oppose them . . . the Democratic Party needs to show its maturity. It needs to eschew those very ways which first caught the imagination of the people. Instead, it must now come up with practical solutions to work with investors and employers, to make the economy grow. . . . Then the party will not have to face up to the prospect of losing public support when the going gets even rougher.”82 Ming Pao, scolding pollsters for their inaccuracy in predicting the turnout, had an opposite message: “Only the [weather] Observatory was correct. . . . In spite of the red rainstorm warning, Hong Kong people were determined to show a drive to demonstrate to the world that Hong Kong people can rule themselves. Part of the reason for the success must be attributed to non-interference from the Central Government.”83 The democratic Pingguo ribao (Apple Daily) showed social-scientific interest and found in the turnout some disproof of individualist theory: According to the famous economist Mancur Olson, most consumers want a “free ride”—to share in the rights gained in battles carried out by others. This is no longer true of Hong Kong. The people have spoken. They are prepared to make their views known, and they want representatives who are prepared to fight for their rights. Anybody who is not prepared to represent them will pay for it at the polls.84

Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, explaining the turnout in geographical constituencies, said that public concerns about the economy must have had a role in the rising political participation.85 He did not conjecture that barnstorming was effective in Hong Kong, but Democratic Party and DAB canvassers in some areas had visited each household at least once on election day.86 Because the weather was drenching, people were in their flats (rather than taking family outings, as is usual on sunny holidays). So canvassers found them at home. Citizens had little else to do, on such a day, than to go vote. The rain may have increased turnout, rather than reducing it. Hong Kong is often subject to rain, and many later political events there, including crucial episodes in the 2014 “umbrella revolution,” were also wet affairs. Turnout was higher than expected in district races, but in many functional constituencies, it has been very low during all elections. Large portions of potential voters in some functional sectors in the post-handover election never registered to cast their ballots. A mere 5 percent of those eligible in the textiles and garment electorate (which then included only managers, not ordinary textile workers) responded to repeated appeals by the Election Committee that they mail back their voter application forms. At least four other functional con-

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stituencies also showed registration return rates lower than one-third. A government spokesman admitted that the outcome of its registration campaign in functional sectors was “unsatisfactory.”87 Not surprisingly, constituencies in which the selectorate is very small have better records. But even in some of these, such as the second industrial functional constituency, where 1,044 invitations to register were sent, just 137 replied. Results in Successive Legco Elections: Democrats Win at First, Then the DAB Vote Rises No political party received a majority of directly elected seats in the 1998 Legco election, but the Democrats and an ally got fourteen, and the DAB received nine. In the functional elections, Liberal Party businesspeople won nine seats, while the DAB and other pro-establishment parties or various conservative independents received thirteen more. Of the ten members returned from the election committee, most were predictably pro-business.88 The overall result was complex—but electoral competition was important for many posts, including a very few of the functional ones. The Democratic Party obtained 43 percent of the mass votes (as compared to 42 percent in the previous election) and remained the largest delegation in Legco. But the DAB obtained 25 percent (up from 15 percent before). Some DAB supporters were lower-middle-class; many of the candidates emerged among Federation of Trade Union bureaucrats. Most were not wealthy and were dubious about the mainland’s dictatorship. The party chair, Tsang Yoksing, may have overemphasized this in a retrospective statement: Our experience is that there were more people who came forward and told us their whole families would vote for us. They’re definitely not from the “leftwing circle.” This phenomenon has never happened before. Before the handover, there was a thorn in the heart of the people. They were worried whether democracy and human rights would be curbed and whether the DAB would become yes-men for Beijing. Yes, Beijing’s attitude of non-interference has helped us in the polls.89

A Democratic Party legislator, Lee Wing-tat, basically agreed with Tsang’s analysis: “It’s clear that quite a number of the ‘swing votes’ have gone to the DAB. There are a number of factors for the high turnout. One is voters’ consciousness of [being] ‘masters in their own home.’ They feel Hong Kong is their home . . . and tend to support the DAB. . . . Definitely, it’s going to be the Democrats versus the DAB in the future.”90 Democratic Party members also won four functional seats (in three nonbusiness sectors and a high-tech field: education, social welfare, health services, and information technology). A staunchly democratic independent, Margaret Ng, returned a solid win in this first and two later elections for the legal

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sector. Martin Lee thus headed the biggest party in the new Legco, and his Democratic Party was joined in council votes by allies. Emily Lau’s Frontier party captured no less than four geographical seats (two each in the New Territories East and West constituencies). Christine Loh fooled the early polls by capturing a seat for herself and her Citizens Party on Hong Kong Island. These victories clearly owed much to Lau’s and Loh’s formidable campaigning abilities, along with Lau’s ability to link her Frontier group with two male candidates who could muster democratic trade union votes in the New Territories. More information on Hong Kong elections, including the foundational 1998 one, is offered in an appendix to this chapter. Tung Chee-hwa, in his first speech as chief executive on handover day, said that, “Democracy is the hallmark of a new era for Hong Kong. The SAR Government will resolutely move forward to a more democratic form of government in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law.”91 But his main emphasis was not on constitutional or rights issues. His primary message concerned a matter that he realized was vital to many: the difficulty of affording decent homes in which to live. Homes, the Asian Financial Crisis, SARS, Legco Independence, and Tung’s Bad Luck Before tycoons moved most of their blue-collar jobs into China, the government had subsidized the wages that Hong Kong manufacturers had to pay. The local state built and rented cheap public flats for low-paid workers. About half of the city’s whole population lived—and still live—in these. When the tycoons’ need for local blue-collar labor plummeted after China’s opening, and they could use less expensive mainland labor instead, these high-rise buildings were not kept up well. Also, the government in the 1990s built fewer new flats. So on July 1, 1997, Chief Executive Tung spoke directly to many people’s interests by promising “an increase in the overall supply of new homes of no less than 85,000 flats a year” and “seventy percent private home ownership within ten years.”92 His Secretary for Housing Dominic Wong, interviewed on handover day, said he had discussed these plans with Tung. He admitted, “I cannot say all the promises can be done within Mr. Tung’s five-year term of service, but they could be achieved in ten years’ time.” Democratic Party deputy chair Yeung Sum wondered, on that celebratory day, whether the Chief Executive’s schemes in housing and welfare might become “empty promises” because of their high cost and the effective constitutional guarantees against big increases of government revenue. “If the public spending formula is not changed [so that budget increases could sometimes be faster than economic growth], no matter how much social planning you do, you will fail.”93 On the very next day, the Asian financial crisis began in Bangkok, with a run on the Thai bhat. This did not have immediate effects at Hong Kong, and

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“Homes for Hong Kong” was the title of a major section in Chief Executive Tung’s October 1997 policy speech, which repeated the goal of 70 percent home ownership by 2007.94 Tung’s policy address to Legco promised that the government would “speed up the supply of land” and would construct at least 85,000 flats a year. He vowed to sell 250,000 public rental flats to their tenants over the following decade.95 The difficulty with these plans to dispose of public flats was that, for years, extensive state intervention had prevented a graduated market for lowend homes from forming. Relatively cheap rents in public housing had subsidized the general price of labor during the halcyon years of light industries from the 1950s to 1970s in colonial times. Tung’s plans infuriated property tycoons, such as had voted for him in the Chief Executive selection committee, even though most of them had an interest in keeping their opposition behind closed doors. Tung admitted his awareness of the bubble in property prices as early as September 1997, and he hoped to deflate it slowly by having more flats built. As he said, “The property market is too high. It is damaging our economy. . . . It is not good for society as a whole. So to me and to the community as a whole, housing is the number one priority.” But especially after the Asian financial crisis began, property magnates wanted to keep the prices high. Within a few years, Tung reversed course; as a critic wrote, “the supply of public housing was slashed, and sales of new land were halted.”96 Property corporations, followed by government officials, argued that the many Hong Kong families that had already paid for apartments should not face a collapse in value of their largest assets. The basic problem was the weakness of the public state, in comparison with the strength of the private rich. Brian Fong puts this in terms of the “statebusiness alliance, which was once a solution for Hong Kong’s governance [but] has now become a political burden, rather than a political asset” to the regime. Fong suggests that “Hong Kong needs a realignment . . . a new governing coalition.”97 Inertia apparently prevents Beijing from seeing its Hong Kong governance problem, and tycoons are opposed to fixing it; this has made local politics increasingly unstable. By late 2003, flats in Hong Kong on average had lost seven-tenths of their 1997 worth. Many mortgages were “under water.” An official nonetheless announced that the “government will not consider setting up any funds or loan schemes to assist owners of negative assets.”98 People who had bought flats found that much of their wealth had vanished. But Hong Kong debtors, including those under water, continued to deliver on time 98 percent of their scheduled mortgage payments. They honored their commitments, even when in pain. Previous official promises that the government would build new flats were shelved, although Chief Executive Tung remained mostly mum in public about the reversal. When dilapidated buildings had to be torn down by the

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Housing Authority, the most valuable asset (land) was sold to private developers. Property magnates continued to prosper—as most of the people did not— because quickly increasing amounts of money flowing in from the mainland were parked or laundered in purchases of Hong Kong flats. To support property prices and maintain some legitimacy in the middle class, the government introduced a tax deduction for mortgage interest (up to HK$100,000).99 Allowing complicated deductions in the territory’s simple tax code had been anathema to previous governments, but this first SAR regime had political problems that required action. Public rental flats had been allocated by diverse criteria related to income. To encourage tenants to buy their flats, the Hong Kong government in 1998 raised the maximum income ceilings that families could not exceed while qualifying to purchase public apartments under the subsidized Home Ownership Scheme.100 This measure was expected to give occupants more incentives to maintain property they would henceforth own rather than rent. But it did not increase the supply of flats; so politically powerful tycoons did not veto it. Tung’s scheme offered apartments to their current occupants at as little as 18 percent of the market rate for reportedly comparable units. Many of these places had become the homes of families that had stayed there for years because of exorbitant rents for other housing, rather than because the apartments’ physical conditions were good. As one public-estate tenant put it, “Our flat leaks. We’ve tried fixing it for ten years now, but it still leaks on rainy days. I’m not going to buy it, no matter how cheap it is.”101 Convenor Chung Sze-yuen of the Executive Council (Tung’s cabinet) claimed that the Hong Kong government was at risk of running an unprecedented deficit. One reason was the Asian financial crisis, but he just as accurately specified it in terms of declining revenues from reduced government decisions to sell land.102 In other words, property tycoons’ ability to veto land sales that threatened to lower housing prices was a coequal factor creating the deficit. Property corporation owners were quickly able to change official policy from supporting ill-housed former workers, whose jobs tycoons had moved out of Hong Kong, to supporting their own land companies. They realized that the local economy was in recession, but the local constitution enabled them to serve their interest in maintaining high land prices. Seven political parties, having forty-two of Legco’s sixty votes, agreed on June 3, 1998, to insist that the government adopt a six-point plan to revive the economy: cut taxes, reduce government fees (including public utility fees), speed up the building of public infrastructure of many sorts, create more social service jobs (in health, education, welfare, and environmental protection), develop measures to help small and medium enterprises, and find some way to lower interest rates.103 The group’s aim was to spur the government to reverse a deflationary spiral. Its chair was Allen Lee of the Liberal Party, who had failed in his own bid for a geographical seat but remained a credible mediator

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(and still the leader of a party that had ten functional seats). On behalf of a group of parties—whose coherence was based less on common policies than on a common belief that the legislature should have some power when large parts of it disagreed with the executive—Lee had earlier warned the government in terms that were unprecedented for a respected former Exco member from Hong Kong’s business elite: “We [the seven parties] stand together. We are committed to what we are going to do. We are not going to back down. I don’t think there is anything the government can do to break this consensus. . . . If you’re not going to listen to us, we’re not going to listen to you. The message is very clear. Do not present anything to the Legislature, because the answer is no. We will say no to you when you come to the Finance Committee for money.”104 Trade unionist Lee Cheuk-yan of the Frontier (who disagreed with Liberal businessman Allen Lee on many issues) nonetheless agreed that that “Refusing co-operation is our biggest bargaining chip.” A spokeswoman for the Financial Secretary had to be conciliatory: “We hope that we can exchange views and discuss the various issues. We will definitely co-operate with them. But it’s not yet time for decisions.” The slump in Hong Kong’s property prices posed a danger to banks, which are inherently associated with land companies. Long-standing rules had allowed banks to lend up to 70 percent of home sale prices. When property values dropped more than 30 percent—as in fact they did within a year after the handover—the banks’ collateral on mortgages was already worth less in nominal terms than the money they had lent. But borrowers kept up payments, and financial institutions were never near bankruptcy because Hong Kong was one of the few economies that restricted mortgage lending, and only 2.5 percent of the local borrowers finally defaulted.105 A medical disaster followed the financial crisis. An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) spread by February 2003 from the mainland into Hong Kong. Guangdong leaders, including provincial CCP secretary Zhang Dejiang, had actively suppressed news of the epidemic in late 2002. This allowed the disease to spread and cross the border. Zhang was never held responsible for this—in fact he has been continuously promoted—but about 300 people died of SARS in the territory among 1,700 people who contracted it.106 The city’s economy was hurt severely, albeit temporarily. Beijing was embarrassed, but not enough to end archconservative Zhang’s promotions or his particular influence in Hong Kong affairs.107 The Chinese government by the middle of 2003 responded to discontent in Hong Kong with its Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement. This involved benefits for Hong Kong, which was then contributing three-fifths of Guangdong’s investment inflow.108 The city provided attractive office locations for external investors into China such as the United States, Taiwan, Japan, and European countries. One result was higher profits for Hong Kong companies, but another was higher local asset inequality. Most of the terri-

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tory’s people did not resent this disparity so long as they had employment and decent housing. The tycoonocracy that China’s Communist Party supported in the SAR also did not seem a pressing local problem to many—until job shortages, mortgages under water, the Asian financial crisis, and a severe epidemic added to widespread concern that the destiny of the city was controlled very far to the north. Unfulfilled Constitutional Promises: Beijing Disingenuousness or Disorganization? The Basic Law’s Annex I refers to 2007 as a year of possible change of selection method for the Chief Executive. New procedures for choosing the executive need the endorsement “of a two-thirds majority of all members of the Legislative Council and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for approval.” Those last two words (italics added) are slightly more restrictive than rules for finding new means of generating Legco. But any change in either depends on the political mood in Beijing, which has insisted on firm control over the top official in Hong Kong. A standard PRC claim is that national security could be jeopardized if the Hong Kong executive does not remain a minion of Beijing. In practice, there is no mechanism by which the territory could become independent of the sovereign state. The apparent danger perceived by China’s leaders is that the ruling party on the mainland “loses face” to the extent that Chinese people in any of its realms disdain it. Most in Hong Kong mainly want to keep their distance from the Communist Party of China, and most see democratic reform as a way to further that aim. The pro-Beijing DAB projects itself as a populist party; so in 1998 its leaders called for universal suffrage for all Legco elections a decade later, by 2008—and for a directly elected Chief Executive by 2012.109 Less than a week after the 1998 vote, perhaps noting the large turnout, DAB chair Tsang Yoksing said his party “would not be against” a convention to talk about possible amendments to the electoral system on a speeded schedule.110 The tycoons, who are a quite different pro-Beijing group, wanted more patience, but they also value Hong Kong separateness. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, former Democratic Party vice chair and a political science professor who had served in Legco, was not optimistic about quick democratization: “Even the democrats have given up any hope for an elected government [soon]. . . . [Democrats] have instead come to the rescue of top civil servants by demanding that Beijing should not impose any ‘political vetting’ of present principal officials.”111 This pessimism proved perspicacious, although the main question was whether the primary vetting of local ministers—above all the Chief Executive—would be in Hong Kong’s “system” or the mainland’s. Chief Executive Tung in May 1998 said he wanted Hong Kong’s democ-

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racy “strengthened” before it was expanded. At that time, he also said the decade delay (1997–2007) suggested in the Basic Law was in his view appropriate.112 The terms of public debate soon shifted, however, as winds from Beijing blew to the right. The Basic Law called for a review of procedures for 2007—not necessarily for a fully mass-elected Legco then, although that possibility was not excluded. Pressure for democratization could succeed, then or later, if reformists ever took over in Beijing. Conservatives in Hong Kong, including the Chief Executive, left that possibility open. They did not know what to support, or with what timing, because they were as uncertain about Beijing’s future as China’s leaders were. Many Hong Kong leaders spoke as if some further democratization were desirable and possible—and then they got no green light from the north to deliver on these suggestions. Carine Lai and Christine Loh guess that Beijing’s plan to rule out universal suffrage for the 2007–2008 election was discussed with Chief Executive Tung during his December 2003 “duty visit” to Beijing. They say it was a strategy based on “punching and stroking the victim [Hong Kong democracy] at the same time.” Tung’s Constitutional Development Task Force was supposed to consult public views, but as Lai and Loh write: “The purpose of this body was to seize the initiative on reform away from civil society and place it in the hands of the HKSAR Government. . . . Hard punches would be delivered by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, once the ground was prepared.”113 It is less clear that the governing elites in either Beijing or Hong Kong had a clear strategy than that they were more comfortable to moot change than to act on it. “Consultation” became an occasion for propaganda, feigning a commitment to eventual greater democratization but in effect asking Hong Kong people, “Are you yet sufficiently Chinese?” As for Legco, the Basic Law’s Annex II allowed that after the 2007 Chief Executive selection the legislature might be generated under new rules, so long as this had the endorsement “of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Council [half of whom at that time were scheduled to be mass-elected in the Hare way] and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for the record.” These last three words (not italicized in the original) might have allowed Hong Kong’s people to rule more of Hong Kong, if the Chief Executive and enough functional legislators agreed—in other words, if Beijing consented that more of the local people could then have a bit more influence over the local state. The year 2007 seemed for a while to be a time bomb written into the Basic Law, which had been passed in 1990. Seldom has the ostensible policy of the CCP elite toward democracy (le déluge, mais après nous) been written so clearly into any Chinese statute. But the Democratic Party lost seats in the 2004 Legco elections, even while a few Civic Party and democratic radicals won because of maverick and interesting reputations. After four months of intense debate among the twenty-five pan-democratic legislators, twenty-one of

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them could agree only on a one-page reform plan, and it was from their viewpoint more limited and slower than the schedule Beijing had seemed to promise. Realizing that not much would happen by 2007, they proposed to end functional constituencies by 2012, to add 400 district councilors in the Chief Executive nominating committee, and to make just fifty members sufficient to put a candidate on the ballot for direct election. They knew Beijing would reject this, as it had backtracked on its previous mootings.114 By 2003–2004, before any precise planning for 2007 could begin, the Chinese Communist Party pressured the Hong Kong government to enact an anti-subversion law. That issue replaced constitutional reform on the city’s main political agenda. Article 23 of the Basic Law requires the SAR to enact (as it has still not done) a local law against treason, secession, sedition, and attempts to overthrow the Chinese government. The mini-constitution is imprecise whether action on behalf of such ideas is illegal—or instead, whether advocacy of them and mere speech about them is illegal. Before the 1998 election, the South China Morning Post had sent all candidates a questionnaire, asking where they stood on this point. Campaigners in the Democratic Party, Frontier, and Citizens Party all replied that Article 23 was not about peaceful expressions of opinion. The DAB candidates said that such a law would have to cover advocacy. Many business conservatives, not wishing to offend Beijing but realizing that most Hong Kong people feared communist politicization of law, did not dare reply to the questionnaire.115 The largest public rally Hong Kong had seen since 1989 protested the anti-subversion law that Tung’s security tsarina Regina Ip proposed in 2003. Stephan Ortmann suggests that Hong Kong’s democracy movement reached its zenith when it was able to mobilize about 500,000 people on 1 July 2003. Since then, support for the movement has ebbed somewhat, and the future of the opposition largely depends on the government’s willingness to proceed with the introduction of popular elections to the Chief Executive by 2017 (delayed from the original date of 2007) and also on the government’s ability to provide efficient and effective governance.116

Because this 2003 mass demonstration was the largest ever in Hong Kong, it was in that sense a “zenith.” Its political success in scuttling the proposed law was what made it a critical juncture. For many years thereafter, public memory of this public triumph over government plans affected discourse about the city’s local constitution.117 Tung and Ip had to withdraw the bill, and Ip resigned, because Liberal Party members refused to support the bill in Legco. The necessary votes for it were lacking.118 Pro-establishment “patriots,” who had been defeated by most Hong Kong people’s dislike of the CCP, found abusive Chinese words for “traitor” to describe democrats.119 “Traitor to the Hans and collaborator” (Hanjian maiguozei), “clowns” (xiaochou), and

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the actual names of past traitors (Wu Sangui, Wang Jingwei) were favorites in this discourse. But if the government’s implicit aim was to deflect public attention from previous official suggestions about more democracy in 2007, the anti-subversion bill had that effect. Constitutional reform was further postponed. Tung also resigned after a decent interval, and his retirement necessitated a bye-selection. Donald Tsang was relatively popular among many because of his strong civil service background as Financial Secretary and then Chief Secretary. This ex-bureaucrat is Catholic. He was knighted by the queen for his public service on the very last night of the colonial era, but he was also known to be Beijing’s preferred candidate for the Chief Executive job.120 (He was in 2015 indicted for corruption, but no Chief Executive has been immune from that accusation.)121 Sir Donald Tsang at first seemed different, not just because of his signature bowties, from the existentially competitive ex-businessmen he replaced. He was the only candidate in 2005, after Tung’s resignation, to receive enough nominations in the election committee. So he was automatically made Chief Executive.122 Legacies of Executive Power: Now with Public Elections That Create Politics Hong Kong still has an ideally quasi-monarchal, executive-led government. It also has competitive elections (in the geographical constituencies) to the world’s best-legitimated powerless talkshop, the Legco. Electoral struggle attracts attention and generates politics regardless of any policies.123 So Hong Kong has lively public debate, with practical governance that seldom depends on such discussion. The Basic Law ensured energetic politics that is neatly insulated from decisionmaking. The Communist Party of China began, after the handover, to realize that its main partners in Hong Kong might cease to be tycoons (mainly represented in Legco by the Liberal Party) but would gradually become less wealthy people who vote “patriotically” for pro-Beijing candidates of the DAB. The DAB is at this writing the largest party in Legco. The proletariat in Hong Kong is better educated than in most of China, and the tycoons’ allergy to anything they can label as “welfare” has increasingly disenchanted many. The CCP had earlier assumed that its united front with tycoons in Hong Kong, fostered for many years before the handover, would last throughout the 1997–2047 era of the local separate “system.” But the inadequacy of plutocracy as an effective form of long-term modern governance became evident by 2003, even though Beijing resisted acknowledging this ineffectiveness in public for many years after that. The Chinese Communist Party in the future may choose Hong Kong leaders who are DAB associates. Chief Executive Leung to some extent represents

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these people (as Henry Tang, the alternative 2012 candidate for chief executive, did not). Tycoons still have considerable constitutional power, but they no longer serve as many of China’s interests as they once did. Conversations suggest that most of them are comfortably in denial about the medium-term political implications of this fact, and the CCP leaders as late as 2015 were not yet ready to tell them. Material business interests of Western and especially Chinese tycoons have combined with normative political legacies to shape the political contention that remains obvious in contemporary Hong Kong. Chinese traditions, to the extent they are Confucian, may not be so inimical to rights and democratization as many politicians claim. It is possible to assert that Chinese political culture, especially its emphases on the families and civility, could provide a basis for respect to social institutions that countervail coercive abuses by government. Statists have for centuries interpreted Chinese traditions otherwise, but these legacies may be compatible with tolerance for expression and esteem for persons.124 Chinese legacy practices on the mainland, and to a lesser extent in Hong Kong, nonetheless mostly militate against democratization.125 They plainly conflict with habits of autonomy that were espoused, albeit with limited results, by a few early British governors and by Governor Patten in his support for highly competitive geographical elections in the mid-1990s. After 1997, democratization has been tamed by the anti-majoritarian Hare-quota-and-remainder provisions of the electoral law that a merely Provisional Legco enacted. British legal legacies remain important for businesses, and public speech is generally free. The Chief Executive still has quasi-autocratic constitutional powers at least as subject to a distant (now compatriot) capital as they were in British times. Over the short term, tensions between the city’s two main political legacies will remain salient. In the far future, Hong Kong Chinese will find ways to reconcile them. Appendix: Parties, Personalities, and Policies in Hong Kong’s Mid-1990s Foundational Elections The main text of this chapter discusses British and Chinese legacies as they affect governance problems that have become salient in Hong Kong politics. Various leaders and parties are mentioned there, even though the chapter centers on issues. Because many of these politicians remained active in public for the whole first two decades of the HKSAR, and because I do not want to burden readers of the main text with too many names, this appendix offers further information on several major continuing actors in Hong Kong’s political drama. Pro-Beijing members of the last colonial Legco included ten conservative Liberal Party businesspeople. (The Liberal Party is called the Ziyoudang in Chinese, and its title could less ambiguously be translated as the “Freedom

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Party.”) Other conservatives elected to the last colonial Legco were three other pro-establishment legislators “from three ‘new’ united front groups,” “seven members from the ‘old,’ pro-China left, . . . six sympathetic independents,” and four democrats who were then hesitant to confront Beijing.126 A few China traders formed the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, which had close links to the Xinhua News Agency that was China’s shadow government in Hong Kong during Patten’s years. This HKPA avoided running candidates against Liberals. The business-oriented Liberal Party tended to vote together with the DAB (Minjianlian) on China issues—but the DAB’s roots grew among leftist teachers and unionists, not corporations. The Federation of Trade Unions was an old leftist proletarian group, united with the DAB and strongly guided from Beijing. These workers were, then and still as regards social and tax policies, in a shaky alliance with Liberal Party business politicians. On another side of the cosmopolitan-or-patriotic divide was the Democratic Party (Minzhu dang). But it always advocated Hong Kong’s reversion to China and won pluralities in all elections of the 1990s. Many Democratic policies were nationalistic. In 1996, the Democratic Party was the largest organization in Hong Kong to support a Chinese patriotic movement for taking the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands from Japan. The Beijing government has interests in claiming these uninhabited rocks located near Taiwan and Okinawa, which are administered by a country that many Chinese people abhor because of its violence during World War II. (The normal name for that conflict in Chinese is the Anti-Japanese War.) Patriotism is now a prime basis on which the CCP claims legitimacy. Yet the Beijing leadership’s rightfulness is also linked to economic successes, and sometime decent relations with Japan have yielded considerable trade and occasional aid. The Democratic Party’s interest is less inhibited than the CCP’s and is strongly anti-Japanese. In September 1998, a Hong Kong activist named David Chan drowned near Diaoyu, after jumping off his boat while a ship from Japan’s Maritime Security Agency tried to prevent Chan from approaching the islands. The Democratic Party then organized a full week of anti-Japanese protests in Hong Kong (which coincided with similar demonstrations on Taiwan). Beijing was embarrassed by these unauthorized patriotic activities—and it banned news about them from being broadcast on the mainland.127 The Democratic Party wants to be liberal as well as patriotic, but China’s party-state regards it as insufficiently loyal. Another Hong Kong group, Frederick Fung’s Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL or Minxie) began as a liberal reformist party whose head was also nationalist. When Fung led the ADPL in the 1995 elections, most pundits believed that only he could win a seat for his group; but after the voting, he found himself at the head of a four-member bloc in Legco that occasionally became swing votes between impatient democrats and business conservatives. Fung was al-

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lowed by Beijing to be on China’s Preparatory Committee for the new SAR government, and he cast the sole vote against establishing the nondemocratic Provisional Legislature—for which he nonetheless later ran, and on which four ADPL members were seated. But the CCP clearly did not consider Fung and his ADPL sufficiently reliable. China hoped to put the ADPL’s pro-business Hong Kong voters in the Liberal Party and its (more numerous) pro-welfare voters in the DAB. It was hard for any Hong Kong politician to be both “patriotic” and “democratic,” because of demands from both communists and localists. Emily Lau started the Frontier (Qianxian) on the basis of her 1995 victory in the Shatin Legco district (which was later part of New Territories East). In that race, she obtained three-fifths of the total vote, although a plurality would have been enough to win. By 1998, her coattails in the larger New Territories East district were long enough, despite less favorable voting procedures, to elect both herself and her running mate—also a woman, Cyd Ho—and to defeat the most skillful business politician in Hong Kong, Allen Lee, then chair of the Liberal Party.128 Running as an independent, Christine Loh won the Hong Kong Island Central seat in 1995 with about twice as many votes as her opponent. Although her stances were arguably more favorable to businesses than the Democratic Party’s, her democratic principles left her at that time out of Beijing’s choices for the Provisional Legislature. In May 1997, she founded the Citizens Party (Minquandang, which could as well be translated the “Citizens Rights Party”), and she was reelected to the 1998 Legco with a solid plurality.129 In 2000, she founded a policy research group called Civic Exchange. After that her politicking was not in Legco but in her nongovernmental organization—and in 2012, she became the local government’s Undersecretary for the Environment, a job in which she was a democratic voice within the regime. Loh’s forte for many years has been to combat irrationalities in and by Hong Kong’s bureaucracy, and she clearly hopes the best place from which to do that is an official post. In 1995 and earlier, the first-past-the-post system for Legco elections had benefited any party that was able to obtain majorities or pluralities in many jurisdictions. That earlier rule in small districts also helped locally notable independents. A Taiwan-associated candidate for the small 123 Democratic Alliance won a 1995 seat in a New Territories district where up to that time the Kuomintang was popular. But Hong Kong’s post-handover electoral law fosters coalitions that win only if they are coherent. The law benefits parties or policy groups that can cooperate with each other to maximize their Legco seats. In the earlier 1995 districts, democrats did well. The change to larger districts after the handover was designed to destabilize democrats’ networks, alElection Mechanics in Localities

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lowing pro-Beijing parties (especially the DAB) to win more seats. The DAB began, even before 1997, to promote local activities across the boundaries of the previous smaller electoral areas, knowing that they would be amalgamated into large districts for 1998 and later Legco polls.130 Candidates with strengths in local kaifong politics were threatened in the larger electoral districts. A prominent case was Frederick Fung of the ADPL, who had to leave Legco after he narrowly lost a Kowloon West seat in 1998. The Shamshuipo area, where he had networked, was much smaller than the new area in which he had to run, which also included Kowloon City, Yaumatei, Tsimshatsui, and Mongkok. Fung also lost because the DAB political machine could deliver more votes for its candidate, Tsang Yok-sing. And from the other side of the then-dominant pro-democracy or pro-China political spectrum, the Democratic Party could impugn Fung’s integrity for having joined the Provisional Legco. Sometime-democrat Fung said his ADPL “lost because of a smear campaign by the Democrats, because it had concentrated too much on Shamshuipo, and because too little had been done to promote the ADPL’s work.”131 Charisma, hard though it is to measure, could counteract such effects for some candidates. Frontier unionist Lee Cheuk-yan received many votes from nonworkers. The Citizens Party’s Christine Loh on Hong Kong Island received extra votes from places outside her main bases along the north shore of Hong Kong Island. So they were both able to win seats in 1998. The new law was also designed to change the ways in which politicians were made more enthusiastic (or less so) about their work. The electoral law’s incentives to strategizing rather than policymaking, along with the Basic Law’s weakening of the Hong Kong political body that is subject to competitive elections, discouraged politicians who wanted to make a positive difference for their city. The Hong Kong bureaucracy showed its usual taste for completeness and complexity when creating applications to be filled out by the many categories of participants in the 1998 Legco elections. Each candidate made a deposit when filing nomination papers—and then was sent a thick stack of laws and forms. Anyone who might conceivably be eligible for registration to vote in a functional constituency or an Election Committee subsector was sent a booklet of “guidance notes” to accompany the elaborate application.132 The voting rules and the qualifications of electors were (and are) so complex for the functional and committee procedures, the law specifying them required 272 pages of legalese.133 Christine Loh, a candidate in a geographical district, reports receiving a sample application form that was supposed to be completed by any shop owner who wanted to put up her election poster. This included the owner’s identity card number, address, and many other particulars. When Loh telephoned a bureaucrat to protest that practically nobody would fill out such a

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long form, she was told that this was merely a suggested “sample.” So she concocted a simpler version and advised use of that instead.134 Most parties, on the first day for nominations prior to the official six weeks of campaigning, held early-morning rallies, before fanning out to government offices where they could take oaths to the HKSAR and file their candidacy papers. DAB supporters gathered for “a high-spirited rally early in the morning” to hear chairman Tsang Yok-sing deliver a battle speech. Candidates of the Frontier, Emily Lau’s party, all showed up at their rally in bright yellow T-shirts. The Democratic Party held district rallies—perhaps because they fielded the maximum allowable number of candidates on lists in each district, and perhaps because Martin Lee happened to be abroad at the time. The Democratic Party made a point of submitting far more nominating signatures than were legally necessary—1,300 in New Territories East, and 1,000 in Kowloon West, for example.135 Parties can submit multiple lists within a single geographical constituency. For example in a later Legco election, the Democratic Party fielded two lists in New Territories East. One of these (Wong Sing Chi’s) did well in Taipo and North District, while the other (Cheng Kar Foo’s) received most of its votes in Shatin and Saikung.136 Personal constituency work by these two candidates in their respective parts of the large constituency helped the list’s vote counts. Wong had been a district councilor in the northern area, and Cheng in Shatin farther south. Similar analyses of three party lists in New Territories West during the same election, and also of a local organization by a candidate in Kowloon West, suggest that neither the pro-democratic/pro-Beijing cleavage nor the rich/poor split adequately accounts for many victories in geographical Legco voting. Local leadership, barnstorming, constituency work, and experience in previous elections and on district councils are also important. Candidates from a party or coalition often campaign together outside their districts (as occurs in other electoral systems). Emily Lau, in the Frontier that she founded, ventured to Tsuen Wan in New Territories West (where she was not on the ballot) to help her fellow Frontier candidate Lee Cheuk-yan—and they were joined at the same rally by Democrat Lau Chin-shek.137 All three won seats. Emily Lau later joined the Democratic Party, whose policies were similar to those of the Frontier. Lau eventually became Democratic Party chair. There was scant need to have separate parties when network leaders could agree and might as well file separate lists, if they expected popular support they could coordinate. In all coalitions, district candidates who predicted easy wins crossed area boundaries to help their partisans in other jurisdictions. For example, DAB candidate Chan Yuen-han shortly before the election canceled appearances in her own Kowloon East area so that she could spend the time in Kowloon West, boosting the chances of her party chairman Tsang Yoksing (who on that occasion barely won).138

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Martin Lee, campaigning on Hong Kong Island in 1998, was confident that his Democratic Party could carry two seats in the four-seat constituency. He tacitly had to concede the third Island seat to the DAB—and that party reportedly sent people to harass his rallies.139 The question in everyone’s mind was the fourth seat. Lee frankly predicted that the Democratic Party’s chances for it were slim: “We only have 55 percent of the voters’ support [later, at the election, the actual portion was less], but it would take 60 percent to get the seat.”140 He clearly preferred that Citizens Party candidate Christine Loh win that seat, rather than a conservative from the DAB or Liberal Party. So with due respect to the third name on his own party’s Island list, he saw no point in undermining Loh’s campaign, especially among private-housing and higherincome voters of the north shore, whom Loh attracted from the Liberal Party especially. So cooperation among pan-democrats was extensive, as it was between the pro-poor and pro-tycoon branches of the patriotic camp. In functional constituencies, however, party candidates usually had little campaigning to do. So some spent time helping nominees from their parties who were running in geographical constituencies, although most functional candidates were notably inactive politicians.141 Policies and Images for Getting Votes in the Foundational Campaigns

Nominees’ images, especially their perceived decisiveness, often determine outcomes in elections anywhere. Frederick Fung had joined the Provisional Legco, and that fact almost surely hurt him in the 1998 election, which he lost despite having done constituency work. His pro-Beijing but also pro-democratic stance made it difficult for him to project to voters as clear an image as, for example, Emily Lau did. When candidates were perceived as indecisive, even if they were well known and liked in their constituencies, voters apparently wondered whether they would do enough to defend local interests. Campaigning made a difference—for candidates, more than for parties. Comparisons of 1998 survey results in April with actual election results in May suggest this strongly. Many voters then had not normalized their loyalties to any of Hong Kong’s rather young parties. The Social Sciences Research Center at the University of Hong Kong assessed the portion of undecided “swing” voters before the election at 31 percent. A month later, when campaigns were trying to sway these voters, the portion had not declined—on the contrary, it had risen to 40 percent.142 Within many families, the members were unsure which party to choose— especially pan-democrats as between the Democratic Party, Citizens Party, and the Frontier, which had broadly similar policies. Different voters in a single household, a husband and wife, might agree to split their ballots. In New Territories East, where Emily Lau’s campaign was very successful but only two candidates were on her party slate (both later elected), Democratic Party work-

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ers openly suggested that families split their votes between the DP and her Frontier.143 The platforms of Hong Kong parties can be graphed along two dimensions: pro-business or pro-welfare, and pro-Beijing or pro-democracy.144 The DAB and Democratic Party have platforms that would be far from each other on the “pro-China or pro-reform” spectrum, but they are both moderately prowelfare. Members of the Liberal party, who tend to be elected in functional constituencies if at all, are generally anti-welfare. Liberals align with Beijing, the power behind the Chief Executive. The sharpness of the DAB/Democratic Party cleavage, combined with the local government’s inability to serve people who want constitutional reforms or higher public budgets, creates various political alignments depending on the relative prominence of different issues in voters’ minds. I was able to ask leaders of the three most successful parties in the foundational 1998 polls whether their policy stances, their networking activities, or instead the images of their candidates were the most crucial factors for their geographical victories. All three replied that the feistiness and articulateness of candidates was the key to electoral success.145 As Frontier leader Emily Lau put it, “The voters just wanted effective opposition voices.” Democratic Party deputy chair Anthony Cheung (then a professor of political science) agreed that ordinary people were “not stupid” and knew that the Chief Executive and most Legco members were chosen indirectly by Beijing; so voters wanted at that time to balance this power by choosing vocal advocates for other viewpoints. Even the DAB chairman, calling himself “pro-Beijing” without any need for apology, said voters were well-aware that it would be useless to elect Legco members to initiate policies in the context of the strongly executive-led government; so they elected a Legco of critics. Hong Kong’s most successful politicians might shy away from using the word “charisma,” but all agreed that they can win elections only if voters think they speak the truth. The physical layouts of the built environment of voters also affected elections. Commercial apartment buildings—unlike public housing estates—generally have no common spaces where meetings or speeches may be held, or where polling places can be established on election day. Entry to these buildings is often controlled by electronic pads. One must either know an occupant personally or else know the secret entry code, pressing it on a set of buttons at the front door. Christine Loh was a candidate who had some success with Hong Kong’s voters in private high-rises, who had middle and middle-upper incomes. She won a 1995 Island Central seat in an area where very few voters lived in public housing projects but many had private flats. She also did well in areas to the east, such as North Point, which has both well-off and “sandwich class” people. By 1998, when she had to run in a larger district covering the whole island, she reported concentrating in her previous locations (Central, Wanchai, and Eastern districts), with less emphasis on other places where her

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name was also on the ballot (Western and Southern districts), and this was enough to get her back into Legco. Loh offered an exceptionally lucid description of her 1998 campaign strategy. She realized from the start that her Citizens Party had much less money than the DAB, the Liberals, the Democrats, and perhaps also some nonparty candidates running in her constituency. So she relied extensively on using handbills that could be left by volunteers in mailboxes. For the election, nine handbills were printed on policy topics concerning the economy, human rights, food safety, democratic evolution, and women’s rights. These statements covered policy positions, but Loh was also eager that they convey distinctive images of her Citizens Party—for example, she made sure that a “shocking green” color was prominent on all of her party’s handbills and posters. Everything the Citizens Party printed was bilingual, because Loh noted that many Island voters with Chinese surnames had taken the option of filling out their electoral card applications in English. Appeals to middle-income people who had been educated in English, combined with frequent and articulate appearances on free electronic media, got Loh a seat despite a low-budget campaign. She was successful among the hard-to-mobilize voters who live in private housing blocks (“high society,” as some waggish social scientists call it). Occupants of such flats are remarkably separated from each other; they are not easily molded into a community or political movement. Loh’s policy positions often suggested the importance of maintaining land-price stability so that owners of flats would not lose assets for which they had worked hard. This attracted medium-income voters who live in the private high-rises. Many of these had strong anti-leftist attitudes that were traditional among Hong Kong’s moderately well-to-do immigrant families, but they were also supporters of Hong Kong’s regime of low taxes—and of individual rights. They were not for Leninist government. Although Loh said in public that “my main competition is the DAB,” she also hoped that “democrats split their votes,” with many voting for the Democratic Party, but also a sufficient number to elect its candidate for the Citizens Party.146 Loh’s accomplishment among these hard-to-reach middle-income voters was highlighted by the low count for the three-woman list that the Liberal Party fielded on Hong Kong Island. Verbal attacks against Loh were led by Ada Wong, the first candidate on that list. Despite a healthy tycoon-based budget for Liberal posters on roadside fences all over the Island, that list got only 7,500 votes—about a fifth of the number that would have been required to win the last seat even in the easier second-round tally. By all accounts, this was a truly dismal showing. The Liberal Party does not apologize for being a pro-business party, and the Island is a district where it might make a creditable stand in geographical constituencies. But with everyone knowing that Hong Kong already has a pro-business executive administration, the Liberals had to

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find stronger candidates in order to win seats in mass elections. It was trounced in 1998. Spokespeople for all four major parties running on Hong Kong Island in the first SAR election admitted they would concentrate their efforts in subdistricts where they knew their individual candidates had name recognition. Posters showing the second candidate on the Democratic list, Yeung Sum, were put up especially in his relatively small earlier election area, which included Western District and the populous Wah Fu housing estate. As a Democratic Party campaign manager said, “We found that a candidate who has previously run in a district would impress voters more.” Martin Lee, running for that same party in the same large Island constituency, had his picture placards put especially in Chaiwan, Quarry Bay, North Point, and Wanchai. The second candidate on the DAB list, Yip Kwok-him, must have suspected (accurately) that he was going to lose; but his name nonetheless brought some Central District, Western District, and Wah Fu votes to his party’s list, thus helping to elect its first nominee Gary Cheng.147 Rural and recent ex-farmer voters in the New Territories, especially the large NT West constituency, have been traditionalist. Neither the Kuomintang nor the Communist Party has public organizations in Hong Kong; but a party that favored the KMT, the 123 Democratic Alliance, nominated Legco candidates. They all lost in the first SAR election, partly because many of their grassroots supporters also got along well with pro-Beijing proletarian conservatives, who were increasingly coordinated by New Territories “Heung Yee Kuk” (traditional council) conservatives with DAB help. Rural voters resented any politicians, in either the pro-Beijing or democratic camps, who argued for changing old laws that still required land inheritance through the male line only. DAB candidate Tam Yiu-chung was pleased that his party got support from these hidebound localist rural landholding groups.148 On election day, the DAB’s Tam was in social terms the most conservative candidate to win a seat in the New Territories West. Policy divisions between Liberal Party tycoons and DAB workers have been advertised by neither of these Beijing-oriented groups, but they emerged even before the first SAR election. Pro-China Liberal politicians, representing businesses, had been approved (by Beijing) to no more seats in the Provisional Legco than they had won under Patten’s electoral law. In contrast to this slighting of the Liberal Party, Beijing gave the pro-China proletarian DAB a considerable increase of members in the Provisional Legco. This occurred despite major prior efforts by Liberal Party chairman Allen Lee to forge stronger links with the Chinese government.149 By 1998, the DAB was the only major Beijing-oriented party that won popularly elected seats. Under the list system, the DAB was later joined by conservative independents and other pro-China parties, while increasing its own representation or at least holding its previous number in Legco after each election.150

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Unionist DAB member Tam Yiu-chung was an appointed member of the Executive Council before the first SAR open election, even as he declared his candidacy for the Legco seat in New Territories West. Exco had decided in favor of labor imports that businesses wanted. This was a problem for Tam because his DAB party platform, which aimed to gain support from nonbusiness voters, contained exactly the opposite policy. Also, Exco’s deliberations are famously supposed to be secret. Members of the Chief Executive’s cabinet are expected, in Westminster style, not to talk about their Exco discussions in public or to vet individual views differing from those of the government. On grounds that the Exco decision on labor imports had been held in abeyance anyway because of an economic turndown, Tam said he supported the DAB platform.151 The pro-tycoon representatives could scarcely purge such an important pro-China proletarian politician, and he later won his Legco seat. Hong Kong is China’s most international city, and many wealthy and middle-class Hong Kong people have multiple passports. The Provisional Legco tried to outlaw this possibility for geographical-seat Legco members—but not for functional-seat members or corporations, or for tycoons on the crucial Nominating Committee who often have multiple nationalities and in practice enjoy veto power over the local state. Two Democratic Party candidates in 1998 had to withdraw from Legco races because they were found to have foreign rights of abode. Polls indicated this matter was not important to middleclass voters, but it was important symbolically to Beijing. The DAB raised it as an election issue against the Democratic Party even after those Democrats had left the electoral fray.152 In the election of 1995, the Democratic Party had won 60 percent of the Legco geographical seats with 40 percent of the votes. (In 1991, its predecessor, the United Democrats, had done even better, winning 67 percent of those seats with 45 percent of the votes.) By 1998, mostly because of the new electoral law, the Democratic Party’s portion of geographical seats plummeted to 45 percent, which it garnered with 43 percent of the total vote—fewer seats but more votes than in the previous election, which had been held under different district-size and counting rules. But other pan-democratic candidates, especially in the Frontier, did well. Among geographical Legco seats, the proestablishment portion rose, but 70 percent of the non-functional posts remained in the hands of democrats of various kinds. The DAB won a single seat in each 1998 geographical constituency. It filed its lists with nice precision. As the total number of directly elected representatives increased in later years (to twenty-four in 2000, then to thirty in 2004), more seats were added, notably in Kowloon East and New Territories East. The DAB tended to capture these. “Machine politics” was of increasing importance. DAB workers on election day telephoned members of the Federation of Trade Unions, asking them to go vote for pro-Beijing candidates. Mainland-funded companies’ employ-

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ees likewise received notes “reminding them” to vote for the DAB.153 The party’s chair Tsang Yok-sing, running in Kowloon West, had much help. His ADPL rival, Frederick Fung, said that the DAB had “invisible votes, ”—blocs of people who turned out on election day but whom earlier polls had undercounted. A Democratic Party spokesman agreed: “The problem is, we do not know how many ‘invisible votes’ there are for the DAB.” But Tsang denied the existence of such voters, claiming that the Democratic voters did not have “as much determination to cast their ballots” as DAB voters had.154 After the election, Labour functional constituency winner Chan Kwok-keung, who had run as an independent, declared he would join the DAB.155 The first post-handover elections had the effect of freezing the pace of democratization, rather than accelerating it. The mass-elected members remained just one-third of Legco. Victories of democrats in districts were contravened by the overwhelming majority of conservatives returned from the functional constituencies and the totally conservative result from the Election Committee (which seated ten pro-Beijing legislators and no Democrats). The Democratic Party’s victories nonetheless were surely noted by CCP leaders in Beijing—who in practice had to approve any further changes of either the electoral law or the Basic Law. They did not admit their fright, of course, but they followed these politics. Although China’s Hong Kong–minders were no doubt heartened by the DAB’s performance, the failure of their business allies in the city (notably the Liberal Party) to win any mass-elected seats surely must have disconcerted them. Elections, because they are legitimate civil struggles, attracted public attention and brought new people into politics. The campaigns matured Hong Kong’s party system by suggesting that the pan-democrats and the DAB would become the two main political groups. They were rivals of each other along a Democratic Party–cosmopolitan vs. DAB-nationalist cleavage. But each side also had some supporters who were relatively rich and many who were relatively poor. 1. Deng is quoted by Zhao Ziyang, Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Zhao Ziyang, Bao Pu, Renee Chiang, and Adi Ignatius, trans. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009), 251. 2. Sonny Shiu-hing Lo, Hong Kong’s Indigenous Democracy: Origins, Evolution, and Contentions (London: Palgrave, 2015), makes this claim for “homegrown” democracy in Hong Kong and says that “previous studies in comparative politics have focused excessively on the procedural aspects of democratization.” A rejoinder is that, although democracy is never fully representative, it is a procedure for choosing leaders. Lo qualifies Hong Kong’s democracy as “indigenous,” “unique,” and (always) “semi-” but might stress more clearly that the most powerful local leader is not chosen by many people. 3. This quotation happens to refer to the US Constitution and political struggles that led to slow extensions of rights to women, black people, and poor people (e.g., a

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“revolution” from Britain, then increasing rule by populists, a Civil War that was in some ways also a social revolution, followed by issue-centered protest movements). The idea is not specific to any particular country, however. See E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960), 114. Such analysis can be applied to political development in possible proto-democracies, not just nascent or current ones. 4. C. B. Macpherson, The Real World of Democracy (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966), 1, quoted in Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi, Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 14. 5. Yu Keping, Democracy Is a Good Thing: Essays on Politics, Society, and Culture in Contemporary China, intro. by Cheng Li (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2009). Yu is a famous academic in China and has sometimes been rumored to advise top Communist Party officials—many of whom at various times nonetheless say far less complimentary things about democratic practices that they want to perceive as Western fads. 6. This NPC resolution is included in the official presentation of the Basic Law, most easily accessible at http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext. The Chinese text lacks capital letters, but not their implication. 7. Stuart Lau, Gary Cheung, and Cedric Sam, “Hong Kong Kingmakers? The 300 Committee Members with Long History of Voting for Chief Executives,” May 11, 2015, http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/1792404/300-who-areused-voting-hong-kongs-leader. 8. Simon N. M. Young and Richard Cullen, Electing Hong Kong’s Chief Executive (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2010). 9. Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 192. 10. Kathleen Cheek-Milby, A Legislature Comes of Age: Hong Kong’s Search for Influence and Identity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 144. 11. This and some successive sections rely on Jonathan Dimbleby, The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong (London: Little, Brown, 1997), 97–107; and Suzanne Pepper, Keeping Democracy at Bay: Hong Kong and the Challenge of Chinese Political Reform (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), 44–46. Representation was linked to taxes, and early Hong Kong ideas about it had arisen already in 1847. 12. See Frank Welsh, A History of Hong Kong (London: HarperCollins, 1993), 255, 330, 342. For analysis, see Ian Scott, Political Change and the Crisis of Legitimacy in Hong Kong (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989). A basis for all studies of Hong Kong politics was laid by Norman Miners, The Government and Politics of Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1975). 13. May, especially after he barely escaped an assassination attempt on his inauguration day in 1912, deeply distrusted the then-current republican revolution in China. Earlier in 1903–1904 as acting governor, May had “the dubious honor of pushing the Peak residential segregation ordinance through the Legislative Council to lasting Chinese resentment.” In the next year, May refused to reappoint Sir Ho Kai to Legco, because the latter had tried to remain loyal to China as well as Hong Kong (and his English wife). See Pepper, Keeping Democracy at Bay, 68. 14. For the most complete treatment, see Pepper, Keeping Democracy at Bay. 15. Leo F. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners: The Conflict Between Public Interest and Private Profit in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2009), 100.

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16. Ibid., 56–57. Pepper, Keeping Democracy at Bay, 96–99, provides details on Governor Grantham’s use of Hong Kong Chinese elites’ opposition against democracy to reverse London’s proposal. 17. Quoted from Sai-wing Leung, Perception of Political Authority by the Hong Kong Chinese (Shatin: Chinese University of Hong Kong, Institute of Social Studies, 1986), 8. 18. Carine Lai and Christine Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere: A Review of Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997–2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007). 19. To put this point another way: the CCP helped legitimate Patten’s progress by having massacred students at Tiananmen. Hong Kong’s politics have seldom been separate from China’s. For criticism, see Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997– 2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007), 18–20, also 61–62. 20. A high-level British diplomat to China, who is a personal friend of mine, confirmed other reports that Prime Minister Thatcher made the 1984 agreement only after determining that her interlocutor, Deng Xiaoping, would not admit of any solution that did not give China full sovereignty at the expiry in 1997 of the 1898 unequal treaty that had established a ninety-nine-year lease of the New Territories. Deng turned down British proposals to share administration. Before that, Thatcher had commissioned a confidential report from her army advisers to answer this question: “If all of Britain’s forces outside the UK (then mainly in Germany to deter Soviet threats) were moved to Hong Kong, how many additional days could the colony hold out against a military attack from the mainland?” The advisers came back with an answer: “Three days.” This convinced even the “Iron Lady,” who had recently defended the Falklands from becoming Malvinas, to fold up the British tents in Hong Kong and go home. 21. Pepper, Keeping Democracy at Bay, 183. 22. Ian Scott, Political Change and the Crisis of Legitimacy in Hong Kong (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1989), 296; Norman Miners, “Moves Toward Representative Government, 1984–88,” in Hong Kong: Challenge of Transformation, Kathleen Cheek-Milby and Myron Mushkat, eds. (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong, Center of Asian Studies, 1989), 29; Marc Roberti, The Fall of Hong Kong (New York: Wiley, 1994), 205; and Danny Gittings, Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2013), 23. 23. Alvin Y. So, Hong Kong’s Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 90. 24. Philippe Schmitter, “Still the Century of Corporatism?” Review of Politics 1 (January 1974), 85–128, is a political science article in the form of a mystery story, with an unexpected twist at the end. 25. I thank a very knowledgeable correspondent for these words, sent in a private e-mail. 26. So, Hong Kong’s Embattled Democracy, 97. 27. China never recognized British sovereignty in Hong Kong and never established a consulate there; so Xu as chief of the local Xinhua news agency filled this role. Xu is quoted in So, Hong Kong’s Embattled Democracy, 118. 28. Chapter 1, Article 1, of the Chinese constitution (as amended) begins by stating: “The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship [sic] led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants.” Article 5 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong says: “The socialist system and policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and the previous capitalist system and way of life shall remain unchanged for 50 years.” Neither China’s constitution (in operative clauses after the preamble) nor the Basic Law mentions any political party.

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29. “Right” in standard and comparative political language means conservative. In China, shifts to CCP conservativism are often mislabeled “leftist”—but such a misnomer obscures their significance. 30. Lynn White and Cheng Li, “China Coast Identities: Region, Nation, and World,” in Lowell Dittmer and Samuel Kim, eds., China’s Quest for National Identity (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), 154–193. 31. Federation of Hong Kong Industries (Xianggang Gongye Zonghui), “Policy and Position Paper of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries on the Government’s Green Paper” (Hong Kong, 1987, mimeograph), 3–4. 32. See Shiu-hing Lo, “The Politics of Democratisation in Hong Kong,” PhD thesis (University of Toronto, 1993), 147–148. Lo reports portions of support for direct elections; but he sensibly does not claim these are based on strict sampling. Lo’s book is now The Politics of Democratization in Hong Kong (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997). 33. Pepper, Democracy at Bay, 241. 34. Liberal Party, Liberal Party Manifesto (Hong Kong, 1993), 7. 35. See http://www.dphk.org/policydet.htm, 1#1.7 (in Chinese), November 10, 1997. 36. In Macau, Portugal before the 1999 handover gave all local citizens rights to its nationality, and thus also to the European Union. Britain was not so generous to the denizens of its last major colony. 37. Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 189. 38. A somewhat neglected group is the South Asians, whose firms accounted for nearly a tenth of Hong Kong’s external trade; they included many ethnicities, among whom Hindu Sindhis were important—and notably pro-China. Barbara-Sue White, Turbans and Traders: Hong Kong’s Indian Communities (Hong Kong; Oxford University Press, 1994). 39. This admittedly may be a distinction without a difference. Nominally “autonomous” (zizhi) regions in China include Xinjiang and Tibet, which are in crucial ways less autonomous than most province-level units—and less autonomous than Hong Kong, which has the “administrative” designation. Actually, each province-level unit of China, including Hong Kong, has distinctive links to the central government. Guangdong, for example, has always been far from the capital, whereas Tianjin is close, and this distance factor affects their provincial politics. Military and oil interests are naturally stronger in Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, or Gansu than in Sichuan, for instance. Many other distinctive traits of particular province-level units could be listed. The PRC is supposed to be unitary, and it is not constitutionally federal—but it is also not politically homogeneous. Hong Kong is the most extreme case, except perhaps Taiwan. 40. See Cindy Yik-yi Chu, Chinese Communists and Hong Kong Capitalists, 1937–1997 (London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010). 41. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, 132–133. 42. Albert O. Hirschman, “Changing Tolerance for Income Inequality in the Course of Economic Development,” World Development 1:12 (1973), 24–36. 43. Ivy League institutions and Stanford are often attended by these families; for example, construction magnate Gordon Wu has a Princeton engineering degree and a son named Thomas Jefferson Wu. 44. South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], May 26, 1998, 4 (emphasis added). 45. Post, May 26, 1998, 2. 46. Suzanne Pepper, “Hong Kong Joins the National People’s Congress: A First

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Test for One Country with Two Political Systems” (paper seen in manuscript form, May 1998), 8–15. 47. Post, March 5, 1998, 6. 48. Ibid., 26–27. 49. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong now has the largest representation in Exco, Legco, and district boards. It is Hong Kong’s closest equivalent to the Chinese Communist Party. One of its leaders, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, taught at a Maoist school in Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution. He was elected to Legco and has served as the council’s president. The DAB platform is pro-Beijing, and it favors slow democratization (as tycoons mostly do not). Critics say its role is to garner votes from poor people to maintain a political structure that ensures prosperity for rich people. But DAB legislators increasingly support welfare policies that incur some government costs. 50. Thomas Hare (1806–1891) was a British electoral reformer who vetted several different balloting procedures—including the “single transferable vote” method, which arguably aggregates interests more efficiently than the Hare-quota-and-largest-remainder method currently used in Hong Kong. He is sometimes associated with “proportional representation,” which Hong Kong does not have. 51. For further background, see Douglas Rae, The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967). 52. In a landslide, it is conceivable that two candidates from a single list can be seated on the first round—but this is rare. 53. Chiew-ping Yew and Kin-ming Kwong, “Hong Kong Legislative Council Election, 2012: New Political Landscape Brings New Governance Challenges,” EAI Background Brief no. 755 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 6. 54. This phenomenon is not unique to Hong Kong. Wrestler Jesse Ventura won the governorship of Minnesota with unusual qualifications. “Tough” or “maverick” candidates often do well in democratic elections (Philippine examples include coup-leadersthen-senators Gregorio Honasan or Antonio F. Triallanes IV, boxer Manny Pacquiao, or Ferdinand Marcos). 55. In the 2008 Legco election, three winners were chosen on lists whose first candidate had a Hare quota, “wasting votes,” but the parties/coalitions managed to avoid such profligacy by 2012. Partly because the New Territories districts were allotted fewer seats in 2008 (seven in New Territories East and eight in New Territories West), the winning lists then got more varied portions of votes than in 2012; none received less than 9 percent. The highest-polling list in Hong Kong that year got 28 percent. The earlier results of 2004 evidenced less discipline, with one list getting a profligate 39 percent, using two Hare quotas and seating three very well known politicians (Andrew Cheng, Emily Lau, and Ronny Tong)—the only time in Legco history when a coalition succeeded with such a risky strategy. No other third-listed person has ever won—or is likely to win in the future. In 2000, when seats were fewer for some districts, the top list got 41 percent, and five lists used Hare quotas to elect two members. In 1998, the top two lists received egregious percentages (55 and 56 percent), and five lists “wasted votes” by seating two members. The lessening of successful pluralities shows that policy groups slowly learned how to “game” this system. But Hong Kong voters, each casting for just a single list, did not mostly know what was happening. 56. Calculated from data at http://www.elections.gov.hk/legco2012. 57. Annex II also allows an amendment procedure, but the Chief Executive (with Beijing’s approval) would have to initiate it. 58. Post, February 15, 1998, 3. 59. Christine Loh, ed., Functional Constituencies: A Unique Feature of the Hong Kong Legislative Council (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2006).

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60. Comparisons with Italy, Greece, Denmark, Third Republic France, and other historical cases might be attempted on the basis of Richard S. Katz, “Intraparty Preference Voting,” in Electoral Laws and Their Consequences, B. Grofman and A. Lijphart, eds. (New York: Agathon, 1986), 85–103. 61. Kenneth J. Arrow, “A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare,” Journal of Political Economy 5:4 (1950), 328–446. 62. Amartya Sen, “The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal,” Journal of Political Economy 78 (1970), 152–157. The arguments of both Arrow and Sen are subject to a good deal of realistic questioning, although they are generally accepted as valid exercises in purely “analytic” logic. 63. Lau Siu-kai, Public Attitude Toward Political Parties in Hong Kong, Occasional Paper no. 11 (Shatin: Hong Kong Chinese University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1992). 64. Post, April 11, 1998, 13. 65. Report by Bob Beatty, June 4, 1998. 66. Tsang Yok-sing talk, May 29, 1998. 67. Post, May 18, 1998, 6. 68. Post, May 3, 1998, Agenda section, 1. 69. Post, May 16, 1998, 6. 70. Post, March 2, 1998, 6. 71. The Liberal Party chairman, Allen Lee, obtained 34,000 votes in New Territories East—not enough to win in 1998. He was Hong Kong’s longest-serving legislator to contest the elections, and an experienced campaigner. Lee had a very well-known name throughout Hong Kong. Many conservatives were surprised and disappointed that the Liberal Party, the premier party of business, could not capture even a single mass-elected seat at that election. 72. James Tien, the Liberal Party chair in 2004, won in New Territories East with 16 percent of the vote in a seven-member district. Selina Chow won with just 11 percent for her list in New Territories West, which was allocated eight legislators. None of the other districts were drawn to allow so many incumbents. (Kowloon West had just four representatives, Kowloon East had five, and Hong Kong Island had six. The traditionally conservative two New Territories districts seated more legislators, albeit they are also more populous than the other three.) The reason for this arrangement may lie in government hopes that the main business party, the Liberal Party, might gain some legitimacy for not being returned solely in functional constituencies. But also, in New Territories East during that election, most of the democrats joined in a “United Front” list—and democrat Andrew Cheng, Frontier founder Emily Lau, and the Article 45 Concern Group’s Tong Ka-wah were all seated from it. In this case, the electoral procedures very unusually allowed as many as three candidates from the same list to win. 73. Chua Beng Huat, Political Legitimacy and Housing: Stakeholding in Singapore (London: Routledge, 1997). 74. I am indebted to research by Richard Baum for this information. 75. Suggested by Post, April 11, 1998, 4. 76. Post, April 9, 1998, 2. 77. Post, May 26, 1998, 19. 78. Post, May 22, 1998, 6. 79. In Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, I was unable to get into the handover festivities as a China academic. But as a former member of the Cecilian Singers in the city, I was invited to join a choir that sang down the Union Jack at an open-air ceremony in Tamar. This was attended by Scottish bagpipers, as well as Governor Patten and Prince Charles, whose clothes were soaked. We singers were all issued red T-shirts and were

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likewise drenched while on stage. When we returned to our tent, taking off the wet shirts, the dye had run, and we had all turned appropriately pink. 80. Comments by Chris Yeung in Post, May 26, 1998, 19. 81. Lau Siu-kai and Kuan Hsin-chi, The Ethos of the Hong Kong Chinese (Shatin: Chinese University Press, 1988). This book was published a decade earlier than the 1998 election, but it has remained influential among those who have interests in believing it. The classic sociologist of knowledge and of semi-truths is relevant; see Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (London: Routledge, 1936). Kuan Hsin-chi’s view has over time shown more adaptability to new facts than Lau’s view has. See also references in Chapter 5 of this book to critiques of Lau by Lam Wai-man, including an essay coauthored with Kuan: Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 187–208. In 2014–2015, Lau continued to insist that Hong Kong people do not much want democracy and that democrats weaken the city and country. 82. Hong Kong Standard, May 27, 1998, 8. 83. Quoted in ibid. 84. Quoted in ibid. 85. Post, May 27, 1998, 6. 86. Post, May 28, 1998, 16. 87. Post, January 15, 1998, 1. 88. Jermain T. M. Lam, The Political Dynamics of Hong Kong Under Chinese Sovereignty (Huntington, NY: Nova Science, 2000), 78–86. 89. Post, May 27, 1998, 17. 90. Ibid. 91. Post, July 2, 1997, 1. 92. Ibid. 93. Post, July 2, 1997, 6. 94. Chee-hwa Tung, “Building Hong Kong for a New Era,” address to the Provisional Legislative Council (Hong Kong: Government Information Department, October 8, 1997), 23. 95. Chee-hwa Tung, 1997 Policy Address, Information Services Department (Hong Kong: Government Printing Department, 1997). 96. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, xiii. 97. Brian C. H. Fong, Hong Kong’s Governance Under Chinese Sovereignty: The Failure of the State-Business Alliance After 1997 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), flyleaf. 98. Quoted in Leo F. Goodstadt, Poverty in the Midst of Affluence (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2013), 38. 99. Post, February 24, 1998, 4. 100. Post, February 8, 1998, 1. 101. Asiaweek, February 27, 1998, 21. 102. Post, June 9, 1998, 4. 103. The parties were the Democratic Party, Frontier, the Citizens Party, the DAB, the Liberal Party, the HKPA, and the ADPL (the last had no Legco seats but its leader, Frederick Fung, thought he could win in future elections). See Post, June 4, 1998, 1, 7. 104. Post, June 9, 1998, 1, for this and following quotes. 105. Here and at many other points, I thank Leo Goodstadt for improving this text’s accuracy. 106. Zhang Dejiang is a graduate of Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang. After his questionable leadership during the initial SARS outbreak in Foshan, Guangdong, he has held crucial posts, replacing Bo Xilai in Chongqing, then being promoted to the

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very top CCP body, the Politburo Standing Committee, and also to the chairmanship of the National People’s Congress. Under Xi Jinping, he has been the top official with responsibility for Hong Kong. Evidence suggests he is a radical reactionary in politics but not economics. 107. For more, see Lynn White, “SARS, Anti-Populism, and Elite Lies: Diseases from Which China Can Recover,” in The New Global Threat: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Its Impacts, Tommy Koh, ed. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2003), 31– 68. 108. Yu Hong, “Hong Kong Broadening Its Economic Linkages with Guangdong,” EAI Background Brief no. 645 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), i. 109. Post, April 11, 1998, 4. 110. Tsang Yok-sing spoke to a meeting at the University of Hong Kong on May 29, 1998. 111. Anthony B. L. Cheung, “Rebureaucratization of Politics in Hong Kong: Prospects After 1997,” Asian Survey 37:8 (August 1997), 733. 112. Post, May 29, 1998, 4. 113. Lai and Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere, 56. 114. Lai and Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere, 115–117. 115. Rita Fan, technically an independent legislator but one of Beijing’s main spokespersons in Legco, was among the candidates not responding. DAB nominees did respond, perhaps because they wanted to attract larger numbers of votes. See Post, May 7, 1998, 1. 116. Stephan Ortmann, Politics and Change in Singapore and Hong Kong: Containing Contention (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), 179–180. 117. See Francis L. F. Lee, and Joseph M. Chan, Media, Social Mobilization, and Mass Protest in Post-Colonial Hong Kong: The Power of a Critical Event (London: Routledge, 2011). 118. The Liberal Party feared that support of Security Secretary Ip’s bill would reduce their support even in functional constituencies (and certainly in geographical constituencies that they had hopes of carrying) in the next Legco election for enlarged New Territories districts. Also, Ip’s bill had technical flaws; it assumed that the mainland had already passed laws banning membership in listed subversive groups, but this assumption was factually incorrect. John Kamm, an internationally respected businessman who heads the Duihua Foundation and supports dialogue with Chinese officials on matters such as treatment of prisoners in the United States and China, pointed out these technical flaws in the bill, much to the irritation of Secretary Ip. 119. Zheng Yongnian and Tok Sow Keat, “Democratisation in Hong Kong: A Crisis Brewing for Beijing?” in Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: Economic Integration and Political Gridlock, Zheng Yongnian and Chiew Ping Yew, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2013), 193–194. 120. Before accepting the knighthood, Tsang asked a high official in Beijing whether he should do so, and reportedly was told that this was no problem, “you have earned it.” I was informed of this by Steve Barclay, who spoke with Tsang directly. 121. Chris Lau, “Former Hong Kong Leader Donald Tsang out on Bail After Court Hears Misconduct Charges over Luxury Shenzhen Flat Rental,” October 6, 2016, http://www.scmp.com. 122. Tung resigned in March, and Chief Secretary Tsang automatically became acting Chief Executive. Then as Legco passed a law to meet the unexpected situation of the top leader’s resignation, Tsang recused himself to run for the post—and Financial Secretary Henry Tang briefly became acting Chief Executive until Tsang was elected Chief Executive in June.

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123. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People. 124. This is the main argument in Wm. Theodore de Bary, Asian Values and Human Rights: A Confucian Communitarian Perspective (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998). 125. This argument has been made by Elizabeth J. Perry, “Chinese Conceptions of ‘Rights’: From Mencius to Mao—and Now,” Perspectives on Politics 6:1 (March 2008), 37–47, although other scholars have found recent increases of “rights consciousness.” For more on this, see the last chapter of the book. 126. Suzanne Pepper, “Hong Kong, 1997: East vs. West and the Struggle for Democratic Reform Within the Chinese State,” Asian Survey 37:8 (August 1997), 698. 127. See Erica K. Strecker and Phillip C. Saunders, “Legitimacy and the Limits of Nationalism: China and the Diaoyu Islands” (paper of March 25, 1998, by two students of mine who deserve credit), 29. 128. All of the Democratic Party Legco candidates in 1995, and practically all in 1998, were men. 129. See Xinbao, May 1, 1996, for an early article about Loh’s ideological flexibility. The South China Morning Post, May 5, 1997, reported the Citizens Party founding ceremony (which the SAR administration-elect and Xinhua did not attend; Martin Lee was among the few politicians who came). Loh called for dialogue with China. Xinbao, May 5, 1997. 130. Xinbao, July 30, 1996, has a report about the DAB’s advance planning, which was well-supported financially and long predated any publication of the boundaries of the 1998 districts. 131. Post, May 27, 1998, 7. 132. I rued that I was ineligible to vote because of my overly brief residency in Hong Kong and thus lack of citizenship, but the government sent these documents to me on an unsolicited basis during a research visa stay, just in case I might qualify in the education functional constituency, and also in the education subsector for the Election Committee balloting. I was honored by all this attention—and probably enjoyed reading the paperwork more than most recipients did. 133. Hong Kong Provisional Legislative Council Gazette, “Legislative Council Bill” (1997), C193-C365, albeit this covers the requisite Chinese and English versions together. 134. Christine Loh, speech at the University of Hong Kong on May 29, 1998. 135. Post, April 10, 1998, 1, 4. 136. Hak Yin Li, “Two Stumbling Blocks for Hong Kong’s Democratization: Personal Vote and Beijing’s Policies,” in Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democratization in East Asia, Liang Fook Lye and Wilhelm Hofmeister, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2011), 299. 137. These three are pictured together, waving to voters in the rain; Post, May 18, 1998, 6. 138. Post, May 25, 1998, 3. 139. This report was mentioned by Bob Beatty during a talk at the Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, June 4, 1998. 14. .Post, April 9, 1998, 2. 141. Post, May 25, 1998, 2. 142. Post, April 29, 1998, 6. 143. Post, May 28, 1998, 16. 144. This graph has been laid out by the Hong Kong Transition Project, as reproduced in Lai and Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere, 150. 145. Statements by Emily Lau, Anthony Cheung, and Tsang Yok-sing, University of Hong Kong symposium, May 29, 1998.

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146. The quoted phrases are from Christine Loh, speech at the University of Hong Kong, May 29, 1998. 147. Deduced from Post, May 19, 1998, 6. 148. Post, April 6, 1998, 2. 149. See both the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Standard, January 22, 1996. 150. In district council elections, the DAB representation sometimes decreased, especially after the mass demonstrations against the Tung administration’s proposal to implement the Basic Law’s Article 23 with an anti-subversion law that struck many in Hong Kong as totalist. This text does not cover the ups and downs of district council elections, but they are important largely as means of preparing candidates to run for Legco. Those local assemblies control even less money and power than the territory’s legislature has. 151. Post, April 11, 1998, 4. 152. See comments by C. K. Lau, Post, May 25, 1998, 18. 153. Post, May 25, 1998, 1. 154. Post, May 23, 1998, 6. 155. Post, May 27, 1998, 6.

4 Exploring the Impact of Modern Wealth We have had difficulty perceiving change because we have looked for the wrong kind of conflict (conflict within the government) and have underestimated the extent to which the government itself as a whole has been in conflict with other power systems. —E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People (1960)1

Seymour Martin Lipset long ago noticed that wealthy places tend to be democratic.2 Hong Kong’s per capita income is comparable to that of the United States. The latest United Nations figures, using a purchasing-powerparity measure, indicate that GDP per capita in Hong Kong and in America were respectively US$52,383 and US$52,308 in 2014.3 So Hong Kong’s average was slightly higher—and Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has been lower than that of the United States.4 Prosperous economies show market efficiencies of resource and talent allocation among many occupational interests. Liberal inclusive institutons may tend to manage diverse voices in rich polities more smoothly than authoritarian systems can. Hong Kong’s high degree of prosperity does not gainsay that its income distribution is heavily skewed toward the very rich, and costs for food and good housing are high. Also, the HK and US polities are of very different sizes, and skill-building education systems in them differ, so a generalized comparison is hard to make. Many political systems, including these two, have corporatist aspects. But if democracy correlates with socioeconomic development, and if the United States is deemed democratic, then Hong Kong on domestic grounds of wealth and social complexity could be so too.5 Modernity is best measured by the UN’s Human Development Index, which counts health and education measures equally with purchasing-powerparity income. Hong Kong as of 2014 is ranked fifteenth in the world, a “very high human development” level.6 The first sovereign nondemocracy on the list (except for Singapore, an eccentric case to be discussed later) is oil-rich Brunei, which has a lower estimated human development rank, at thirty. 111

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China’s rank is much lower, at ninety-one. Hong Kong clearly has socioeconomic traits that could relate to democracy. One general reason for what this book can call the “Lipset link” of wealth with liberalism is that rich societies are functionally diversified, having multiple interests that may be efficiently aggregated by letting legitimate public debate play a role in government decisions.7 Trying to pin down reasons for this usual Lipset link of prosperity with democracy has occupied and continues to occupy many social scientists. These efforts have bred the most frequently refined discourse among researchers of democratization. Relations of economic performance with political opening are complicated as regards timing; as Mary Gallagher shows, they can be negative over periods of a few years.8 They seem to be positive over longer hauls. Statistical studies, including many mentioned in this book, have been important in comparative research coupling wealth with democracy. One factor, which requires refinement and is highly relevant to the usual modern link, is that state regimes are not the only kind of regime. As Schattschneider says in the quotation opening this chapter, nonstate “power systems” have and create politics as surely as any government does. Their dynamic affects states. Modern economic growth empowers businesses, and sometimes workers’ unions, NGOs, and other kinds of nonstate organizations (in education, law, journalism, and other fields). These eventually influence the state through many pathways of causation—on which nobody has yet composed a fully ordered model that has general agreement from serious scholars of political change, despite some consensus about the factors that deserve study. Previous explorations have been largely prescriptive, looking for ways to expand popular semi-sovereignty. Causal theories, using concepts from Dahl, have often defined democracy as a combination of public debate and popular participation. Then they have tried to explain either of two things: the onset of democracy, or else its “consolidation” to the point that democratic habits become irreversible. For Hong Kong, it is sufficient to think about the start of such a process (because of competitive elections for half the legislature). For mainland China, where no clear start of democratization has occurred, any talk of consolidation would be very futuristic. Different authors offer different accounts of the mechanism by which development has actually become a correlate of democracy in many places. It is a statistical fact that practically all countries with more than 10 million people and high levels of income (or general modernization) are democratic.9 Some researchers, such as Lipset or Cutright, have emphasized the correlation, while others stress specific types of elites that found or repress democratic institutions. Marx, Weber, Moore, Rustow, Przeworski, Boix, Inglehart, Diamond, and Huntington have described trajectories of democratiza-

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tion in different ways. Along with writers such as Dahl, they have tried to square the correlation between high wealth and the democratic state form, on one hand, with other factors such as economic control structures, historical patterns of political evolution, elite decisions for military coups or civilian elections, income inequality and mobility, international fads for or against democracy, surveyed values, and other variables that various chapters of this book treat.10 While there is some empirical consensus that democracy is the “modern” regime type, there is also consensus that the process of creating democracy can be slow and bumpy. For sizeable polities, it is perhaps not very uncertain in the long run. Specifiable patterns of change sometimes strengthen antidemocratic elites. Liberal hopes, or perhaps the national traditions of most social scientists, have induced some reluctance to explore the extent to which early adoption of mass elections in developing countries can, at least for a while, empower authoritarians. The last chapter of this book is partly concerned with that possibility in China. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution explicitly accepts a modernistic premise: that diverse functional parts of a rich society should be represented in government. It implicitly denies another current premise: that each citizen should have an equal franchise. Conditions for Democratization of the Vice-Regal Executive—and Then Legco? China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on August 31, 2014, authoritatively stated its procedures for choosing the Hong Kong Chief Executive. A committee of 1,200 Hong Kong members, mostly vetted by Beijing, was supposed to nominate Chief Executive candidates before a later mass election. But to choose a Chief Executive in 2017, this “nominating” committee will actually become the final election committee, because more than onethird of Legco rejected the official plan, which required that a Beijing-controlled majority of that group approve each of the nominees.11 The committee is divided into four sectors of 300 members each, comprising businesspeople (industrial, commercial, and financial); professionals (lawyers, medics, others); social and labor leaders (from unions, religions, social work organizations); and politicians (all the Legco members, many district councilors, New Territories Heung Yee Kuk rural councilors, and Beijing-appointed Hong Kong members of Chinese national bodies). Beijing decrees that two or three nominees (each having won a majority on the committee) should be allowed for a later universal suffrage vote, and also that they “love China and Hong Kong.” This clause about love is vague. Archconservative NPC Standing Committee member Zhang Dejiang was chosen to make the public statement that Chief Executive candidates “do not have

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to love the Communist Party, but they cannot be opposed to the party and its one-party rule”—perhaps in Hong Kong, by this control of the constitutionally dominant executive, as well as on the mainland?12 The Hong Kong Oaths and Declarations Ordinance is less expansive, requiring all major local officials only to “bear allegiance” to the HKSAR. Under Beijing’s plan, any candidate on a mass Chief Executive ballot must be certified by half the nominating committee, which in effect is mandated to judge these questions of “love.” Then, in accord with the universal suffrage promise, all eligible Hong Kong voters would elect a leader. But two-thirds of Legco, under the Basic Law, must approve any new election procedure. Whenever as few as twenty-four of the seventy Legco lawmakers vote “no”—or abstain or are absent—then any reform proposal is defeated. Beijing’s plan for 2017 did not clear this hurdle on June 18, 2015, when twenty-eight pan-democratic legislators voted against it. They wanted to see some opportunity to put a democrat on the ballot. Rejection of this plan to restrict nominations but have mass voting for the executive delays pressure to eliminate functional constituencies in future Legco elections. This had earlier been mooted—if the Chief Executive (whose identity Beijing controls) formally reports to Beijing that there is “a need” to make the change, and then if two-thirds of Legco passes it. It is difficult to imagine, however, that many of the functional delegates would vote to abolish their own seats. The Chief Executive can calculate, along with China’s leaders, any net benefits to them of making such a change, and in future years they may actually have such benefits. But two-thirds of Legco is a high hurdle to jump, and that restriction is written into the Basic Law. Beijing would presumably have to abandon its links to tycoons in order to abolish functional constituencies. The ingenuousness of official mootings about eliminating functional delegates is subject to reasonable doubt. Young protesters on the streets in 2014 induced Chief Secretary Carrie Lam to suggest, in vague terms, possibilities on less unrepresentative ways of forming the nominating committee. It is impossible to prove that her suggestions were either sincere or insincere. But no official concessions have yet followed them. The probability of reform depends on current CCP politics and estimates by China’s elites of optimal ways of managing Hong Kong’s social problems and loyal “stability.” Beijing may also consider its own estimates of Hong Kong’s effects on political dynamics in Taiwan, although evidence of such thinking has been very scarce. This is an island whose population is about three times that of Hong Kong. The wealth of these two territories—a militarily indefensible city, and an island separated by 100 miles of water from the mainland coast—combine with their somewhat similar anticommunist traditions to present Beijing with larger policy problems than CCP leaders like to admit in public. These places’ modernity, relative to that of most but not all of the mainland

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provinces, is their most striking similarity. Liberal institutions are popular in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, although they are more restricted in the city whose “separate system” has sometimes been advertised by Beijing as a model for Taiwan later. Democrats are numerous in both of these culturally Chinese places. State Democratization from Modernization of Nonstate Polities or Individuals’ Values? Democracy is often defined solely as a norm—or really, two concurrent norms: that public contest (especially between electoral candidates) is legitimate, and that every eligible adult can participate (especially by voting for state leaders).13 Without questioning the usefulness of this two-part view of governmental democracy, the current analysis complements it by stressing that modern development creates power networks outside the state that will eventually seek to minimize their net costs by creating official institutions to manage disputes. This puts flesh on the skeleton norm that public debate is legitimate. Groups can win over their rivals if they mobilize new sources of support from nonstate actors who were previously unengaged, and modern change creates many such groups. More people become involved in politics. The Lipset link depends on the insight (expressed by Schattschneider) that nonstate networks are just as political as the state. Ideas about legitimate contest and participation do not win in politics just because reformist actors find them philosophically pleasing. They come out of pluralized situations that modern industrialization and commercialization tend to build. Adam Przeworski claims that, “Ideally, we would like to observe something like ‘pressures toward [democratic] transition’ and relate them to economic dynamics. But we cannot observe them.”14 Actually, we can try. Such pressures come mostly through subnational politics of kinds that are missed by national-level statistics (such as Przeworski and many others use). The most relevant dynamics are not captured by countrywide aggregates, because economic development always occurs in some regions more than others, and some places and groups affect politics more than others. One way to refine research on democratization is to study changes of “political culture” that social development brings. Ronald Inglehart defines modernization as “a process that increases the economic and political capabilities of a society . . . economic growth becomes the dominant societal goal, and achievement motivation becomes the dominant individual-level goal.”15 His empirical surveys suggest that values of trust, tolerance, and expression are “postmodern” or “postmaterialist.” Such values are documentably prevalent in most societies with GDP per capita levels that China is approaching and Hong Kong long ago achieved. But Inglehart’s empirical data from attitude surveys also show that these liberal values are less salient in surveyed

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“Confucian” societies (China, South Korea, and Japan) than in any of the surveyed Western societies that have an equal liking for “secular-rational” norms of authority.16 Inglehart’s central claim is that “economic development is linked with democracy because it tends to bring social and cultural changes that help democracy emerge and flourish.”17 His statistics show that “in societies that have experienced high levels of security for several decades, we should find a long-term shift from survival values toward well-being values.”18 These types are measured by answers to probes on a long questionnaire. Inglehart admits that “the assertion that cultural factors play an important role in sustaining democracy is the most controversial part of this claim.” The cultures of elites, not just of all people who can be more widely surveyed, are crucial. The founding of democracies in well-to-do East Asian nations has been problematic; but once they have been established, their maintenance is now usual. Economic Catalysts of Political Change in Hong Kong Hong Kong’s quickest socioeconomic change occurred from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, when GDP per capita rose faster than 7 percent per year (as compared with roughly 5 percent in either the preceding or the subsequent decade). This growth came from profits related to China’s even quicker boom, which began from a much lower level of average income during the same period, especially the last years of it. China’s opening altered the city’s socioeconomic structure. In the 1970s and early 1980s, two out of every three Hong Kong workers were still in manufacturing. But by the 1990s, most of the employees of Hong Kong companies were already no longer in Hong Kong, but in Guangdong. Occupations within the city largely changed from light industry to commerce. Two out of every three Hong Kong employees by the 1990s were in finance and trade.19 By 2002, services contributed 88 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP—and by 2009, the portion soared to 93 percent.20 Construction, utilities, manufacturing, and primary industries (in that order) together accounted for just 7 percent. Hong Kong’s China trade and investment during this period was the basis for both increased tycoon wealth and increased political participation by service professionals, who became advocates for nationalism and democracy. By the turn of the millennium, Hong Kong provided or channeled more than twothirds of the whole mainland’s foreign investment. The portion of Hong Kong employees in manufacturing was 41 percent in 1981. By 2011, it was below 5 percent.21 Hong Kong’s period of quasi-democratization, at least in Legco elections, coincided with the city’s economic need to upgrade the local work force toward higher value-added, “white-collar” activities. Labor-intensive functions of Hong Kong firms went across the border into “north Hong Kong” (China).

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This period also coincided with increased pressure to nationalize the local state under Beijing.2 East Asian “tiger” economies such as Taiwan and South Korea democratized in the 1980s and 1990s, and Hong Kong is comparable to these places in socioeconomic terms. Their political developments encouraged some in the former British colony to cultivate democratic expectations. Perhaps in part because of this demonstration effect, the government issued a green paper that envisaged more direct elections to Legco and to district boards shortly before the UK signed the Joint Sino-British Declaration on Hong Kong in late 1984. A consequent white paper authorized such voting, and it inspired some young democrats to win seats in the local elections of 1985. Between the 1982 and 1985 district board elections, the portion of “service professionals” on these councils (which had low budgets and scant power but bred politicians) rose from 35 to 54 percent. The portion of “businesspeople” who won these district seats fell from 44 to 28 percent. Practically all the candidates of “service professional political groups” (mostly democratic proto-parties) won the elections they contested in 1985. So did 80 percent of the nominees from organizations that can be coded in a looser category, “service professionals’ pressure groups.” In the next balloting for Legco seats, nearly one-fifth of all members (counting directly elected, functional, and official representatives together) were service sector staff, including lawyers such as Martin Lee, educators such as Szeto Wah, social workers, and doctors.23 Did this rise of middle-income politicians indicate that a new class was taking over the city’s politics—perhaps moving it in a more democratic direction? Hong Kong’s middle classes, like the so-called bourgeois classes in many other countries, can be led to support either authoritarian stability or liberal freedoms.24 It is empirically wrong to assert that all middle- or high-income people in developing countries are pro-democratic. Where a middle class fears social chaos, bourgeois people have often despised democrats and preferred authoritarians.25 Past instances in Germany, Italy, and Chile are germane, as is the recent one in Singapore with its ethnically challenging and poorer international neighbors. Singapore’s authoritarian system may depend less on either socioeconomic development or bargaining among elites than on the stability or turbulence in Muslim and Chinese ethnic politics of Malaysia and especially Indonesia. In Hong Kong’s case, challenge also comes from outside the polity, but on bases that are less dangerous to the whole local state. Ethnicity in Hong Kong is overwhelmingly Chinese, and struggle among people because of reformist-cosmopolitan or conservative-patriotic politics has been normal for a long time. Kuan Hsin-chi argued in the early 1990s that politically active people in Hong Kong were divided among democrats, moderates, and conservatives.26 Lau Siu-kai, the conservative sociologist who headed the SAR government’s

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Central Policy Unit for a decade after 2002, has been in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference since 2003. He admits that many Hong Kong elite tycoons personally depend on connections with Beijing or the West more than on connections to anybody in Hong Kong.27 The odd relationship between super-rich elites and poorer people in Hong Kong distinguishes it from most other developing polities. Hong Kong’s de facto governors, who are largely nonstate actors in the economy, care more about their trade links with the China mainland and abroad than they do about links to most of their fellow Hong Kong people. Hong Kong investors and traders have served Chinese national development. From 2004, Beijing and Guangdong authorities promoted infrastructure investment for a “pan–Pearl River” area of nine southern China provinces, plus Macau and Hong Kong.28 By 2007–2008, Guangdong’s GDP was growing at 3.5 percentage points above China’s average (which was about 10 percent, according to World Bank estimates that have been debated among econometricians). Guangdong became the province with China’s largest economy, by that time also surpassing Taiwan in gross product.29 A major reason for Guangdong’s success lay nearby, because of the former colony’s export market connections and direct Hong Kong investments that then stood at US$200 billion. There is tension, not just cooperation, in this relationship. The Chinese central government tries to reduce such strains, but it does not always succeed. Hong Kong and Guangdong “have their own blueprints for future development. . . . Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and various water ports in the Pearl River Delta are inevitably challenging Hong Kong as an entrepot. . . . Disappointingly, both the construction of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the airport coordination meeting did not progress until Beijing’s intervention.”30 Hong Kong was included in China’s twelfth five-year plan, which began in 2011. But official planning had far more tradition on the mainland than in Hong Kong, where it conflicts with local ideology (though not always with local practice). Japan had famously succeeded in international trade in fields such as automobiles and electronics after its government chose “flying goose” economic sectors to favor.31 So China chose for Hong Kong the following fields that sounded forward-looking—but were in practice unlikely to be profitable soon: “testing and certification, medical services, innovation and technology, cultural and creative industries, environmental industry, and educational services.”32 These sectors were not all appropriate for promoting exports and had never attracted as much private capital as local or Beijing officials wished. The plan to identify favored sectors contravened Hong Kong’s much-advertised allergy to government intervention in the economy. Five-year plans justify bureaucrats’ jobs; but such campaigns, except in wartime mobiliza-

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tions, have often not determined what actually happens. Cycles of boom or recession and other unexpected factors have often been more effectively causal, as have patterns of tolerance or control among central, medial, and local power networks. The main local effect of economic changes in and around Hong Kong during recent years has been to enrich tycoons further, while reducing the number of low-paid jobs for poorer people. The political results became evident no more quickly than the economic effects. Adam Przeworski and his colleagues have done a massive statistical study of democracy and development in all countries. They claim that “the durability of dictatorships is unaffected by income distribution,” and they use national statistics to show that wealth by itself does not explain the emergence of the Lipset link—although prosperity above a GDP per capita threshold discourages coups.33 They find that the Lipset correlation depends no more on whether elites face socioeconomic factors, causing leaders to prefer the liberal-electoral regime type, than on whether such factors prevent coups to reverse that decision. Przeworski defines a “dictatorship” as any regime where political “parties” have not lost elections to choose incumbents of the executive branch. Hong Kong would qualify as a dictatorship under this definition (despite free speech and a nominal ban on Chief Executive membership in any party).34 The city’s tycoons may continue to rule despite egregious income differentials—presuming they wish to do so, and presuming Beijing does not empower the DAB to replace them. Media Information Diversity as the Modernity Most Relevant to Democratization The most recent major contributor to the Lipset link discourse, Jan Teorell, has an “eclectic” view of the determinants of democracy. He cites in sophisticated fashion all the standard theories in this field—including Lipset’s earliest major approach, which stresses modernization as relevant. Teorell has found statistical evidence on the main prophylactic against reversal of democracy (after elites may establish it) in a specific kind of modernization: the spread of greater variety in media content.35 This recent finding further refines the discourse, after many other authors including Huntington, Przeworski, Rustow, and Boix and Stokes did so earlier.36 Teorell also focuses on authoritarian reversals—as their probability may be lessened by modern media, not just by any socioeconomic allergy to coups. Hong Kong has a tradition of proliferated media, even though it does not have much democracy (and its soldiers are all from the mainland). Despite evidence of self-censorship among Hong Kong journalists, Hong Kong audiences have access to a fairly wide array of information sources. The content of media may be no more important for creating credence in them than are the “branding” or “look” of a television station, smartphone app,

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or newspaper.37 Hong Kong’s media are still diverse, especially in comparison to the mainland’s. This factor would, if it were the sole determinant of regimetype change (as nobody claims it is), conduce toward some popular sovereignty in the city. Application to Hong Kong of Teorell’s finding on the importance of media variety for democratization suggests that the sometime British legacy of press freedom may be very important for political change there. The habit of diversified media in all forms (including books) is also high on the list of factors Beijing has accused of causing unrest in Hong Kong.38 Governor Christopher Patten claimed, “This government—and this Governor—will defend the freedom of the press up hill and down dale.” A newspaper editor in 1993 said, however, that the civil service “has still not shed the idea that it must control all news concerning acts of the administration.”39 This situation is complex, because not all of the British legacy was libertarian as regards media, even though the last governor was. Beijing’s efforts to nationalize the Hong Kong press began long before 1997. In 1993, Robert Kuok (a sugar trader into China) bought the South China Morning Post, the main English-language daily, read not just by expatriates but by many in Hong Kong Chinese households too. Two years, later, the Post dismissed Larry Feign, whose cartoons had been surveyed as that paper’s “most popular” feature.40 Feign had drawn Li Peng, China’s premier during the Tiananmen massacre, as a “fascist, murderous dog.” Two years later, satirical columnist Nury Vittachi was likewise sacked. Two years again after that, in 1999, Post chief editor Jonathan Fenby was also fired; he had allowed his reporters to use the word “massacre” to describe the Tiananmen event. In the next year, political analyst Willy Lam was removed from his position as China editor. Tensions within Chinese-language papers were at least as important. The pro-KMT Wah Kiu Yat Pao was closed in 1995. Sing Tao Daily has switched its allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. The newspaper that has been most critical of China is the Apple Daily (Pingguo ribao, as romanized in Mandarin, although the paper uses more Cantonese characters than most other Hong Kong papers do). It is owned by retailer Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, who is a democrat. He once had much business in China and publishes an edition of Apple Daily in Taiwan. Lai once declared that his paper “would no longer be anti-Communist”—but Apple Daily’s relations with Beijing have remained very tense. His media have been boycotted by mainland advertisers, and also by many Hong Kong companies. His journalists have been violently attacked. The Independent Commission Against Corruption has sent detectives to his offices. If this action is later proven to be justified by an independent court, the most famous rule-of-law agency in Hong Kong deserves praise—but if the action later turns out to have been politically motivated, the omen for Hong Kong’s future would be bleak. Ming Pao also has a long tradition of unrestricted reporting. This important morning paper was first to publish “scoops” on illegal con-

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structions in the family homes of both major rivals for the 2012 Chief Executive election, Henry Tang and C. Y. Leung. Hong Kong’s electronic media, especially radio, have sometimes been perceived by conservatives as taking on China and the Chief Executive. Radio Television Hong Kong, the government-owned broadcasting station, was criticized in March 1998 by Xu Simin, a senior mainland official and member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference who deals with Hong Kong affairs. Xu said that since the government pays for RTHK, the station must support official policies. Xu, aged eighty-six in 1998, was angry: “People tell me this radio station criticizes first the mainland government and then Mr. Tung from 8:00 to 10:00 o’clock in the morning every day. It then does this again from 4:00 to 6:00 o’clock in the afternoon.” He said RTHK was a “remnant of British rule” (indeed, it had been modeled on the BBC, whose television signal China encouraged Rupert Murdoch to exclude from Star TV, the main satellite transmitter to Hong Kong). Xu averred that “Mr. Tung is completely helpless. I have proposed twice that he do something [about RTHK]. He only says, ‘slowly, slowly.’” 41 When Chief Executive Tung was asked at a press conference whether he had advocated restricting the press “slowly,” he did not confirm this— though apparently he had advised patience to PRC conservatives, hoping to waylay their opposition to Hong Kong’s local liberalism and perhaps thinking it would decrease anyway over time.42 Reaction among the city’s journalists to Tung’s early ambiguity was strong; so he later spoke publicly about the importance of RTHK’s editorial independence. After making several noncommittal statements, and after a visit to Beijing, Tung said that “RTHK is a Hong Kong issue. . . . Of course, RTHK has editorial independence.” Talk shows, especially phone-in programs on RTHK, Commercial Radio, and Hit Radio, had become major means for ordinary people to express very unofficial views.43 Violence against Hong Kong liberal journalists was considerable in 1966– 1967 and after 1997. Shortly after the handover, Albert Cheng, the most listened-to radio talk show host, known widely as “Tai-pan,” was stabbed near his office and spent two months in hospital.44 The gate of Apple Daily (Pingguo ribao) owner Jimmy Lai’s home was rammed by a stolen car, near which weapons were found after the auto failed to crash through the gate and the driver fled. Ming Pao former chief editor Kevin Lau was attacked with a meat cleaver in 2014; surgery barely saved his life. Triad members were arrested in Hong Kong and in Guangdong, but it is unclear who financed this near-fatal attack—or the previous ones. Only a few of Hong Kong’s newspapers, notably the Apple Daily, the Hong Kong Economic Journal, and Mad Dog Daily, have tended to avoid selfcensorship in the post-handover period. The best book on this topic, by University of Hong Kong law professor Anne Cheung, admits that self-censorship

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is “elusive” and “difficult to prove.” Chinese University of Hong Kong surveyors have polled journalists and done content analyses of newspapers, finding that one-quarter of the reporters confess that they censor themselves, especially when writing about the mainland. Another survey of 663 Hong Kong journalists in 2014 indicated that “nearly 40 percent said they or their supervisors had recently played down information unfavorable to China’s central government, advertisers, media owners, or the local government.”45 According to mainland officials, Hong Kong reporters have freedom of the press—while also having an obligation to “social responsibility,” meaning patriotism as interpreted by Beijing. The conservatives developed a slogan: “News has no boundaries, but journalists have the motherland.”46 Issues on which Hong Kong reporters have been warned not to write include any topic that suggests embarrassment of top officials or that gives unofficial views of Beijing’s relations with Tibet, Xinjiang, or Taiwan. Hong Kong’s Cable TV in 2000 interviewed Annette Lu, the elected vice president on Taiwan, who referred to China as a “remote relative and a close neighbor.” Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong soon warned media against “disseminating” separatist views.47 More than half of the owners of media in Hong Kong are members of either the National People’s Congress or the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress.48 News organizations expect to last for many decades, and their owners know that the Basic Law provides a limited transition period for Hong Kong until 2047. So proprietors and journalists try to serve their audiences, but they cannot know at what pace or in what ways Hong Kong will be integrated with the rest of China. Anne Cheung argues that self-censorship reflects a “realization that legal protection is unpredictable, social institutional support unreliable, and political promise a mere gimmick.” Beijing faces constraints too, because open censorship would violate the Basic Law that it authorized.49 Control of the press makes readers disbelieve content, even if the well-branded media look modern. Cheung treats journalistic self-censorship as a “signaling game, where both ruler and subjects are testing each other’s boundaries.”50 Reception of news from media is affected by life experiences and education. The current generation of middle-class parents in Hong Kong was deeply impressed by the opportunities that China’s opening gave their city. But their children, more of whom have enjoyed university educations compared to the previous generation, are less “patriotic” and tend to “see China as ‘uncool’ and mainland tourists as ‘uncouth.’”51 The odd politics of rhetoric-without-governance that Legco elections produce, when combined with the training to think critically that Hong Kong schools offer—and a feeling in Beijing that Hong Kong people should be more biddable Chinese—creates dissonance for both news producers and news audiences.

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Reporters’ Work, Media Pluralism, Commercialization, and Limits on Political Advertising The 2014 World Press Freedom Index, compiled in Paris by Reporters Without Borders, gives Hong Kong a much lower ranking (61 among 180 polities) than other indices of the city’s modernization would predict. Mainland China’s press freedom is estimated by these researchers to be extremely low (175 among 180). The methods used to calculate such indices are subject to many questions. In this case, the main issue, aside from the fact that one-fifth of the score is based on Reporters Without Borders members’ estimates of violence against journalists, is that most of the index depends on attitude surveys. These probably overweight recent perceived changes in reporters’ situations, as distinct from attempts to measure behavioral levels of freedom. Nonetheless, the components that comprise four-fifths of the score are undoubtedly important if they can be assessed well (they are “media pluralism, independence, environment against self-censorship, legislative support, transparency and the quality of news infrastructure”). The 2014 report does not offer its estimated values for these components in Hong Kong or China; perhaps future editions will do so. This 2014 Reporters Without Borders study asserts that “China’s growing economic weight is allowing it to extend its influence over media in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, which had largely been spared political censorship until recently. Media independence is now in jeopardy. . . . The Chinese Communist Party’s growing subjugation of the [Hong Kong] executive and its pressure on the media through its ‘Liaison Office’ is increasingly compromising media independence there.”52 Presuming that Jan Teorell is correct that media content pluralization is the best single predictor of what maintains the long-term Lipset link between modernization and democratization, then recent directions of change in the environment for journalists in both Hong Kong and China suggest that authoritarianism could remain strong in both places. This link is a long-term one; it is often contravened by authoritarian elite decisions. In any case, a survey among reporters does not cover all sources of information available to publics in either the SAR or the mainland. Effects of the internet and social media are not included in Reporters Without Borders research, which mainly emphasizes the environment of professional journalists.53 Media commercialization has bred political marketing. But television advertising during Legco campaigns has not been permitted in Hong Kong, and conservative groups in the past opposed this and all other forms of mobilization, because they guessed such ads would further politicize the SAR. They had expected to perform even better than they actually did in post-handover elections, and they have money to pay for television advertising (for themselves and the DAB, which votes with them on “patriotic” issues). They may

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have underestimated the advantage that advertising could give conservative candidates.54 They scarcely need such help, however, because of their official benefits under the Basic Law and the electoral law. Government conservatives have favored strict constraints on political advertising in the most important media, radio and television. According to journalist Andy Ho, “Had this restriction [on political ads in media] been relaxed, we would have had more of an election atmosphere.”55 If Beijing allows a broadening of the range of representation in Legco or in the committee that handles the Chief Executive election, or if DAB-tycoon relations become more strained in the future as they might, the global affliction of televised democratic campaign ads could spread to China’s SAR. Clean Elections as a Claim That “Hong Kong People Run Hong Kong” Hong Kong’s government, joined by the central government in Beijing, might later find more interest in expanding modern elections, albeit slowly, even if tycoons resist such change for fear of asset redistribution. Large-franchise balloting for the Chief Executive and for more of Legco would suggest that “Hong Kong people run Hong Kong.” Beijing once promised they could, and China’s leaders continue to avow they can, albeit ever less credibly. Popular interest in electoral contests for Legco detracts attention from the executive, which Beijing appoints and can more easily control. Official doubletalk and double-mindedness about elections led to extensive government publicity after the handover for a “representative and reliable” Legco. Conservatives like order that can come from modern democratic legitimacy, though they do not like the political fracas that often accompanies liberalization. Teorell’s research suggests that variety in information sources is the best proxy for modernity in the link between wealth and popular sovereignty. Variety in journalism and popular knowledge is a spur to liberal thinking and debate, which is the primary element of democracy. Francis Fukuyama, who some time ago made a name for himself by declaring that history would end with democracy triumphant, has more recently examined shorter-term “political decay” alongside his main longer-term prediction. He now stresses that societies are more likely to democratize if they have a “high quality of governance,” especially for infrastructure and education.56 On that ground, Hong Kong qualifies as modern and prospectively democratic. Lam Wai-man and Kuan Hsin-chi found on the basis of a survey in the city that, “although there is some ambivalence about the possible conflict between democratization and economic efficiency, the people of Hong Kong have a passion for democracy, whether procedurally or substantively understood. . . . Modernization has produced the readiness for democracy but cannot by itself provide the institutions.”57

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The Lipset link of liberalism with modern wealth and efficient diversity does not automatically lead to democratization. In the short- and medium-term futures, and indeed already for at least two decades in the past, Hong Kong has had a socioeconomic infrastructure that would readily sustain a democratic local regime. But in practice, the Hong Kong “system” is decreasingly “separate.” As the next chapter stresses, Hong Kong’s and China’s main elites have not allowed a decision for regime liberalization to be made. These leaders in the long term face increasing costs in the city, because they disallow many voices in serious governance as distinct from raucous campaigning. Eventually these elites’ calculated net benefits from more popular sovereignty are likely to rise, unless political development with Hong Kong-Chinese characteristics turns out to be completely different from the experiences of practically all other places. Especially in this city, democratization could increase step-by-step. China would certainly not collapse, nor would the CCP do so sooner than may occur anyway. The Lipset link has limited immediate importance, but eventually it could determine Hong Kong’s regime type—and China’s too. 1. E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960), intro. by David Adamany, 124 (emphasis in original). Nonpolitical socioeconomic factors can shape politics. 2. Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man: The Social Bases of Politics, expanded ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981 [orig. 1961]). 3. The United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2014 offers these figures for 2011 and not for any later year. See http://hdr.undp.org, 160, which on the overall human development index rates the United States fifth and Hong Kong fifteenth (largely because Hong Kong’s “mean years of schooling” was slightly lower than its economic level would predict). According to Central Intelligence Agency estimates, also using a purchasing-power-parity measure, 2011 GDP per capita in Hong Kong and in the United States were respectively US$49,300 and US$48,100— the same almost-equal ranking. 4. Hong Kong unemployment in 2011 was 3.4 percent, but this is difficult to compare internationally in part because the average retirement age in Hong Kong is low. For some jobs, retirement may be required at age sixty. 5. See also Hon-kwong Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 1–5. 6. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2014. The most recent data were for the prior year. 7. This book is not the place for a general assessment of “functionalism,” which was in Lipset’s decade of the 1960s the main mode comparative social science. That fad is now out of favor—but its replacements are often less different from it than they pretend to be, and they seldom allow such comprehensive understanding of social behavior. See Lynn White, Unstately Power, vol. 1 (Armonk: Sharpe, 1999), chap. 1. 8. Short-term links, different from those in Lipset, are explored by Mary E. Gallagher, “Why China’s Economic Reforms Have Delayed Democracy,” World Politics 54 (April 2002), 338–472.

Notes

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9. Saudi Arabia may be an exception, although that country overestimates the number of its citizens, its wealth originates from a single source, and its income rank overpredicts its “human development” rank. 10. See also Anek Laothamatas, “Development and Democratization,” in Democratization in Southeast and East Asia, Anek Laothamatas, ed. (Chiangmai: Silkworm, 1997), 1–20, for an attempt to apply many such theories to Thailand; and see all of the comparative politics sources endnoted in this chapter. 11. By late June 2015, Regina Ip, an avidly pro-establishment legislator who may be well informed, wrote: “Neither the Beijing authorities nor the government in Hong Kong are minded to re-engage the pan-democrats in constitutional reform any time soon, if at all.” She opined that having Hong Kong’s “democratic development stuck in a rut” is “not a bad thing,” since effective rule by the rich is better than trying to “resolve all our social and economic ills by simply redistributing, rather than creating, wealth.” She nearly admitted that tycoons and Beijing do not favor universal suffrage as much as they claim. Regina Ip, “Democracy Rut Is No Bad Thing,” Sunday Morning Post, June 28, 2015, 18. 12. Adrian Wan, “Beijing to 2017 Candidates: You Don’t Have to Love Us, but You Can’t Oppose Us,” September 20, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 13. The now-classic statement is Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971). 14. Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi, Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 114. This book, and many other statistical analyses of democratization, uses only state-size aggregates reported by governments. 15. Ronald Inglehart, Modernizations and Post-Modernizations: Culture, Economics, and Politics in 43 Countries (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), 5. 16. Inglehart, Modernizations and Post-Modernizations, chart on page 93. Note that Inglehart’s three “Confucian” countries (China, Japan, and South Korea) could just as easily be called “Buddhist” (and since Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are all omitted from the survey, there is no way to be sure that the other name for the cluster would not be just as valid). Yet Confucian and Buddhist values are not identical. 17. Inglehart, Modernizations and Post-Modernizations, 180. 18. Ibid., 46. 19. Approximated from figures in Jermain Lam and Ka-ho Mok, “Economic Prosperity or Democracy: Dilemma of Development in Hong Kong and China,” Journal of Contemporary China 6:16 (November 1997), 463–464. 20. Yu Hong, “Hong Kong Broadening Its Economic Linkages with Guangdong,” EAI Background Brief no. 645 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 11. 21. Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 31. 22. Alvin Y. So, Hong Kong’s Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), esp. 8–9. 23. Ibid., 99–106. 24. For a neat comparison, see Misagh Parsa, “Entrepreneurs and Democratization: Iran and the Philippines,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 37:4 (October 1995), 803–830. 25. Examples are offered in Garry Rodan, “Theorizing Political Opposition in East and Southeast Asia,” in Political Oppositions in Industrializing Asia, Garry Rodan, ed. (London: Routledge, 1996), 1–39. 26. Hsin-chi Kuan, “Power Dependence and Democratic Transition: The Case of Hong Kong,” China Quarterly 128 (December 1991), 774–793.

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27. Siu-kai Lau, “Hong Kong’s Path of Democratization,” Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques 49 (1995), 71–90. 28. The nine were Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangxi, Hainan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Sichuan (so the plan included the southwest). This was not the first historical example of southern Chinese economic imperialism—but the inland extension to Sichuan was striking. Chongqing, Hubei, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and points north were excluded. Yu, “Hong Kong Broadening Its Economic Linkages with Guangdong,” 5. 29. Leo F. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners: The Conflict Between Public Interest and Private Profit in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2009), iv. 30. Hak Yin Li, “Two Stumbling Blocks for Hong Kong’s Democratization: Personal Vote and Beijing’s Policies,” in Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democratization in East Asia, Liang Fook Lye and Wilhelm Hofmeister, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2011), 309. 31. Chalmers A. Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925–1975 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982). 32. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, xxvi. 33. Przeworski et al., Democracy and Development, 120. Przeworski suggested the threshold as that after the last successful coup held in Argentina, but it would rise globally with inflation. China is now above it, and some will question whether international findings apply to that huge old polity. 34. This Hong Kong legal prohibition of Chief Executive membership in a “party” suggests one of many respects in which Przeworski’s rigid categories, useful though they are for crunching numbers, have difficulty covering specific cases. Beijing in practice requires that chief executives be allied with Liberal Party businesspeople, and in recent years more especially with the DAB. 35. Jan Teorell, Determinants of Democratization: Explaining Regime Change in the World, 1972–2006 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 11, 66–70. 36. Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968); Dankwart Rustow, “Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model,” Comparative Politics 2:3 (1970), 337–363; Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi, “Modernization: Theory and Facts,” World Politics 49 (January 1997), 159–83; and Carles Boix and Susan Stokes, “Endogenous Democratization,” World Politics 55:4 (July 2003), 517–549. 37. Daniela Stockmann, Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 38. Conservative pro-Beijing Legco member Regina Ip (founder of the New People’s Party [Xinmin Dang] and a would-be candidate for Chief Executive in 2017) repeats Beijing’s suppositions about the influence of foreign ideas and media on Hong Kong people, whom she feels should be more patriotic. She sent to me, even though I am a foreigner, her “Back Page” columns on “Ways to Counter Malign Influence” and “One Country, One People,” in South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], respectively November 27 and December 4, 2014. 39. Neville de Silva, “Patten Defends Press,” Hong Kong Standard, October 8, 1993, 1. 40. See Larry Feign, Let’s All Shut Up and Make Money! (Hong Kong: Hambalan, 1997). 41. Anne S. Y. Cheung, Self-Censorship and the Struggle for Press Freedom in Hong Kong (The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2003), 142–153, for quotations in this and the preceding paragraph. 42. Post, March 5, 1998, 1. 43. Post, March 7, 1998, 1.

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44. Albert Cheng’s severe but popular daily morning criticisms of the Tung administration were apparent causes his firing from Commercial Radio in 2004. So he ran for Legco and won a seat, which he held until 2008. He continued in broadcasting and debate—and in 2010 was awarded a Gold Bauhinia Star (the SAR’s equivalent of a post-British knighthood). Nobody has yet been arrested for Cheng’s stabbing. 45. Anonymous, “Journalists in Hong Kong and Taiwan Battle Beijing’s Influence,” February 2014, http://www.cpj.org./2014/02/attacks-on-the-press-hong-konganalysis.php. This post ends with an explanation that “the author chooses not to be identified to avoid professional repercussions.” 46. Cheung, Self-Censorship and the Struggle for Press Freedom in Hong Kong, 114. 47. Ibid., 121–127. 48. Anonymous, “Journalists in Hong Kong and Taiwan Battle Beijing’s Influence.” 49. Chapter III, Article 27, of the Basic Law says Hong Kong residents have “freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration.” 50. Cheung, Self-Censorship and the Struggle for Press Freedom in Hong Kong, 1–5. For mainland comparisons, see Daniela Stockmann, Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 51. These words are taken from a private e-mail from an extremely knowledgeable Hong Kong Chinese person, who presents this reason for youths’ resistance to the nationalization of the city’s media. 52. Reporters Without Borders, ed., World Press Freedom Index 2014, http://rsf.org/index2014/data/index2014_en.pdf; see page 2 for the methodology and a suitably impressive equation, 30–31 for the rankings, and 17 for the quotation. 53. China’s internet has been subject to much investigation. The world wide web is quite accessible in Hong Kong. See a recent essay, and its footnotes to many further sources, by Kate Xiao Zhou, “How the Internet Is Changing China,” in Democratization in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia? Local and National Perspectives, Kate Xiao Zhou, Shelley Rigger, and Lynn White, eds. (Routledge: Abingdon 2014), 232–247. 54. Discussed by Bob Beatty during a talk at the Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, June 4, 1998. 55. Post, May 3, 1998, Agenda section, 1. 56. Francis Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2014). 57. Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 188.

5 Exploring Elite Decisions In a country in which the parties are strong and well-organized, there is a chance that, since each guards itself against the others, . . . scrutinizers who are morally sound and absolutely independent will be obtained; but it is clear that these guarantees would disappear were a single party so organized and constituted above the rest as never to need worry about them. . . . What do you want to keep, in a world which is being transformed and changed? . . . Do you believe that only you will be allowed to remain immobile? Only you will be allowed to violate with impunity the eternal principles that support creation? —Count Vilfredo Pareto, 18721

Will Beijing, despite archconservative Pareto’s advice, disallow electoral democracy in Hong Kong regardless of local interests in greater equality, partly liberal legacies, a high level of socioeconomic modernization, social protest movements, and international norms of governance legitimacy? Are all these factors so weak, separately and together, that the cost to Beijing of vetoing constitutional change will remain very low in this nonsovereign “administrative” region? Or instead, might these factors affect the calculations of national and local elites, so that state choices over an extended time are affected? No matter how this question is best answered, clearly no polity establishes a new regime type, or allows regime-type revision short of violent revolution, if its leaders reject change. The elites of both China and Hong Kong seem content to do so as long as they can. They will face recurrent pressure to change, and they will probably resist it in the city until more diverse views, probably based on labor-capital conflict, emerge in the whole Chinese polity. Comparativists such as Dankwart Rustow show, on evidence from many places, that elite decisions or “pacts” are absolutely crucial in determining whether a liberal system is established.2 Others such as Eva Etzioni-Halevy, Evelyne and John Stephens, and Dietrich Rueschmeyer stress that economic change affects these decisions.3 Etzioni-Halevy writes that “governing elites [make a] gradual shift from strategies of repression to strategies of absorp129

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tion.” Often, when an elite confronts mass demands, “it does not involve coercion directly. . . . The aim . . . is not to eliminate the movement and its activities, or even to alter it completely, but rather to let it persist while dissipating its threat.”4 Hong Kong leaders have usually followed this strategy. Their behavior shows an “uncoupling” of elite and mass interests, because the tycoons are concerned with profits from activities outside the city. Local workers would be a threat to them, if voting were to raise taxes. In the pre-handover era, this super-rich part of Hong Kong was best trusted and needed by communists in Beijing. So the Basic Law franchised rich elites to run the government, while allowing protest “voices” to let off steam rhetorically without affecting substantive policies.5 Rustow and others have stressed the importance of establishing an agreed arena for politics before any choice of regime can be stable.6 A democratic principle is that some alternation of leaders must be possible; but if there is no consensus on which stage the drama of political conflict takes place, any change is on a shaky platform. In Hong Kong, state and nonstate leaders in multiple combinations often disagree on the extent to which their polity should in practice act as part of a larger entity, China. Rival politicians struggle for support in elections partly on the basis of that question. Any locally initiated proposal to amend Hong Kong’s constitution requires formal concurrent support from two Hong Kong entities that were designed usually to resist reforms: the Chief Executive (who is vetted by tycoons before inauguration) and two-thirds of Legco. Beijing’s leaders must agree to any Chief Executive who takes office, and they thus can prevent change. The Legco player in this “vetocracy” is less predictable, because both democrats and tycoons currently own more than one-third of the seats—and both are increasingly constrained by the rise of “patriotic” pro-poor politicians in the DAB. Hong Kong democrats want the broadly representative local government that the Basic Law promises and pretends to give them. Hong Kong tycoons would want to keep their taxes low even if China became communist. At the time of handover, some elites in the city spoke of greater democracy within a few years. At an early session of the 1998 Legco, Andrew Cheng of the Democratic Party was able to introduce a motion for a referendum on whether all Legco members should be directly elected by 2000, and whether the Chief Executive’s next election should be by universal suffrage. It was advisory and did not pass, but a clear aim democrats at that time of the Democratic Party, Frontier, and Citizens Party was to embarrass the DAB, whose commitment to democracy was hesitant because of an unwillingness to lose its conservative allies in Legco who got their seats from selectorates. Democrat Szeto Wah asked, “Can the DAB accept this challenge and support a referendum?” The DAB chairman and deputy chairman said the issues were “complicated” and called for more “consultation.”7

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Legco was then a mixed group: thirty functional representatives, twenty mostly reformist mass-elected delegates, plus ten conservative legislators chosen by the small Election Committee. Cheng’s motion lost overwhelmingly among the functional representatives. That was unsurprising, because very few or none of them could expect to be returned in mass elections. Among the other legislators, mostly from geographical constituencies and widely seen as more legitimate, this resolution received fifteen “yes” and fourteen “no” votes (with Legco president Rita Fan not voting).8 This was a defeat for the reformers, but it was close at least among nonfunctional delegates. From the perspective of later years, this 1998 debate about a possible 2000 all-geographical Legco election shows that democratization in Hong Kong has been much slower than some leaders soon after the handover hoped. A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing claimed that the pace of democratization was already determined in the Basic Law. DAB legislator Tsang Yok-sing in 1998 did not oppose the idea of a referendum on the matter, but he said, “It would not be appropriate to throw open the question of whether the whole legislature should be returned by direct elections at this stage.” He wanted a “government review” first.9 Members of the government’s Constitutional Development Task Force, guided by tycoons and Beijing, expressed doubts in public by early 2004 whether there was any “need” for substantial political reform. Chief Executive Tung stressed that Beijing would have to go along with any changes.10 By late April that year, the mainland’s point-man, Qiao Xiaoyang, claimed that “many Hong Kong people still had an inadequate understanding of ‘one country, two systems’ and the Basic Law. . . . Hong Kong was an economic city. Hong Kong’s constitutional development had to be in line with such an economic status.” Qiao did not clarify how any city could be just “economic,” and he said there were still “major disagreements in the Hong Kong community over the introduction of universal suffrage in 2007 [for choosing an executive] and 2008 [for Legco].”11 Beijing’s veto of universal suffrage in the first decade of the millennium caused protests, which then became official reasons to deny the mass vote—even though the city’s constitution called for it eventually. The Basic Law implies that Legco election reform is a matter for Hong Kong alone to decide, whereas Chief Executive election reform must be agreed by Beijing. Articles 45 and 68 are relevant, and Annexes I and II are crucial—although in legal terms, the NPC Standing Committee now claims that its power over any Legco reform is also substantive. The third part of Annex II, titled “Method for the Formation of the Legislative Council and Its Voting Procedures Subsequent to the Year 2007,” said that, “if there is a need to amend the provisions of this Annex, such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of the Council and the consent of the Chief Executive, and they shall be reported to the Stand-

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ing Committee of the National People’s Congress for the record” (emphasis added). The requirement for a two-thirds majority gives tycoon representatives in Legco functional seats considerable assurance that they can veto change anyway—although interestingly, this kind of bill is not subject to majorities among both the functional and nonfunctional delegates counted separately, but instead just to two-thirds of the whole membership.12 An “interpretation” by the NPC Standing Committee in 2004 stressed the “if there is a need” provision, and it charged Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to report to Beijing “whether there is a need.”13 It also said Legco election procedures might remain “unamended.” Since the Chief Executive is dependent on Beijing through its political (not legal) power to vet most members of the nominating committee before the executive’s term begins, this provision is redundant unless some future Chief Executive asserts as much independence from the sovereign regime as several colonial governors showed. China’s formally greater control over changes in the executive than in Legco suggests an official regard for the legislature’s unimportance (in Hong Kong, as normally inland too). Mainland opposition to a direct Chief Executive election by 2007 was an independent factor in reducing Hong Kong support to make that reform. By December 2003, polls showed that 70 percent of Hong Kong people wanted the change—but one year later, after Beijing made clear that no such thing would happen, the surveyed public support for demanding the change by 2007 plummeted to 46 percent.14 Beijing leaders must have noticed this. They in later years again decided to deliver less than they had seemed to promise. An irony about the richest Hong Kong economic elites is that most of them have “modern” liberal values, even though their constitutional power causes them to act in politics illiberally (or “pragmatically,” as they say). They have often sent their offspring to religious or international schools in Hong Kong, where the teaching is largely in English. For tertiary educations, the sons and daughters of politically and economically dominant families in the city (as of many top mainland leaders) have often attended universities in Western countries. This situation is not unique to Hong Kong or China; comparative study of authoritarian regimes elsewhere shows similar cognitive dissonance between the personal educations and the political situations of elites.15 Whether perceptual differences of this sort affect elite decisions is a question whose answer will require time to emerge. Citizens’ sense of political efficacy has long been seen by academic comparativists as a spur to participation.16 Such self-confidence is difficult for people to sense if they believe their regime will be determined outside their own polity. The more people identify with their city specifically, the less they may feel they can control their futures. Lam Wai-man and Kuan Hsin-chi describe the feedback mechanism: “Decisions made in Beijing have helped to create a sense of powerlessness, and this sense of powerlessness has helped to

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create the conditions for Beijing to have its way with Hong Kong.”17 Until the city’s residents figure out what their proper relationship with China is, and until the leaders of China more vocally respect the city’s people as loyal citizens of the country as well as the “separate system” within it, the SAR–China relationship will remain subject to strategizing rather than fellow feeling, and the identities of Hong Kong people will remain split. Hong Kong Identity? Chinese Identity? Hong Kong–Chinese? Chinese–Hong Kong? Pollsters have asked the city’s residents, “Would you identify yourself as a Hong Kong citizen, Chinese citizen, Hong Kong Chinese citizen, or Chinese Hong Kong citizen?” In December 2011, the most local of these four options, “Hong Kong citizen,” was chosen by 38 percent of the respondents. This localist response was higher than shortly after the handover, in December 1997. The most national, “Chinese citizen,” rose above the most local in identical surveys of 2003 to 2008. But then this patriotic/China choice fell far down to 17 percent in 2011. By that time, the “I am Hong Kong” response was twice the “I am China” response.18 In a June 2013 poll, 62 percent of the city’s people identified primarily with Hong Kong, and 38 percent did so “exclusively.” Among young people, aged eighteen to twenty-nine, the “exclusively Hong Kong” group was a majority, at 56 percent.19 By October 2014, less than 9 percent identified as solely Chinese—the lowest figure by that time, in a city which then included more mainland immigrants. This 9 percent was far less than the 32 percent who selfidentified as solely Chinese in 1998.20 Identifications of this sort do not correlate with political stances. A prominent Chinese democrat interviewee in Hong Kong reported me a survey showing that young local mainlanders are as likely to be as pro-democratic as youths of the same age who had been born in the city.21 Hong Kong is Han Chinese and rich. This city bears no resemblance, for example, to Xinjiang or Tibet, with which Beijing paranoids (and some Western human rights advocates) for their own political reasons sometimes group it. In September 2014, a book called Xianggang minzu lun (which is usually translated Hong Kong Nationalism but might also be On the Nationality of Hong Kong) was published—but it did not become famous until January 2015, when Chief Executive Leung took pains in a policy address to attack it as secessionist.22 Although Hong Kong is part of China, there is a small “Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement,” which advocates independence for the territory. Members sometimes wave the British colonial flag of Hong Kong in parades. This group sometimes claims to be patriotic in a novel way, claiming that the true Chinese culture—and language—is Cantonese, and

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that autonomy is the only way to preserve it from destruction by northern mandarins.23 The argument from linguistics is erudite and politically inconsequential. But Hong Kong people are seriously proud of their Cantonese, which northerners cannot understand unless they study it. Mandarin might be criticized as a lowest-common-denominator language; it was the dialect of the imperial bureaucracy and has fewer tones or stop consonants than most other current Chinese tongues. Just as Old English changed after Anglo-Saxons had to speak with Vikings, Mandarin lost traits that are found in earlier Chinese. Classical poetry is reputed to sound better in Cantonese. Hong Kong nativism (bentu zhuyi) was, until 2015 rallies for it, far less interesting in political terms than from a historical-linguistics viewpoint. It will not result in an independent Hong Kong. The existence of a “Hong Kong Independence Party” was reported by that time, although it was tiny (if seriously present).24 Protesters in the preceding winter, even after their departure from the streets they had obstructed, appeared at the Star Ferry pier to sing “carols” in Cantonese with strongly localist and anti-government lyrics. “Flash mobs” gathered in Mongkok after the Occupy Central tents folded, and some recurrent protesters were arrested. Just as the Beijing and Hong Kong governments clearly intended to wear down their opposition over an extended time period, the protesters wore down police likewise, appealing directly to the constables’ sense of local civic pride. What remained of Occupy Central was increasingly an autonomist movement, in which democracy was seen as a means to separate local governance from the CCP. It progressively focused on Hong Kong, not on China as a whole. In April 2015, protests against mainlanders coming into the New Territories to buy goods for resale in China led the Shenzhen government to limit exit permits to Hong Kong. In May, Beijing published a draft National Security Law that specifically and newly mentioned Hong Kong. Throughout 2015, protests became more pro-autonomy, especially when student federations at various universities in the city held rallies on June 4, 2015, to call for more Hong Kong separateness rather than more Chinese democracy as previous Tiananmen memorials had done. Some national politicians (and a few in Hong Kong) have reasons to pretend that there is a serious threat of secession from China. Conservative “lions” often gain from propagating fears. The local PLA garrison in July 2015 invited Legco members, journalists, and the presidents of local universities to witness an impressive live-fire army drill on the slopes of Castle Peak in the western New Territories—but it is doubtful whether this show of military force swayed anybody’s political stance.25 Its most important audience may have been in the mainland’s leadership, which prizes Beijing toughness. Nobody seriously guessed that Hong Kong could be an independent state, but desires for autonomy were linked to desires for more popular local voices in governance.

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Participation or Apathy as Led by “Fox” or “Lion” Elites That Rule to Survive Lau Siu-kai and Kuan Hsin-chi long ago argued that “the ethos of Hong Kong Chinese” is apolitical.26 Time has made clear, however, that Hong Kong people are increasingly interested in politics. Especially since the Tiananmen killings in 1989, many Hongkongers have feared that, in case they confront Beijing either too much or too little, the Communist Party will gain more power over them. Political apathy is politically led. Depoliticization, like its opposite, does not happen automatically. It is at least partly an elite decision, in either large or small political groups. Lam Wai-man identifies three “discourses” that Hong Kong’s elites have propagated: the belief that economic wealth and political stability depend on loyalty to China, the notion that nongovernmental activists are inherently “troublemakers,” and the oppositionists’ habit of denying that they can affect politics from outside the executive.27 These three rhetorics in different ways all discourage reform. The most usual account of political apathy in Hong Kong has depended on two factors. A “lifeboat theme” argues that the city has been a refuge from violent mainland revolutions, so that Hongkongers who fled these politics are now anti-political. A more general idea is that Chinese or Confucian culture is inherently conservative and doubtful of any reform. Sociologist Lau Siu-kai claims that Hong Kong people existentially distrust politics.28 They would not be culturally Chinese, according to this conservative discourse, unless they were apathetic about politics. An alternative thesis, espoused by Lam Wai-man, is that political apathy is specifically promoted by leaders who benefit from it.29 Hong Kong’s constitution-drafters, its government elite, and many unofficial elites tend to be activists for passivity. But Lam shows many examples of Hong Kong politicking since the middle of the past century: for rent control, for marriage law reform, for the Chinese “mother tongue” (i.e., Cantonese) as an official language, for better relations between the colony and China, for better pay to tramway workers, for reversal of Star Ferry and other transport rate increases, for withdrawal of telephone rate hikes, for an anticorruption agency, for nurses’ pay, for the expulsion of Japanese from the Diaoyutai/Senkaku islands, for reopening a school the government tried to close, and for other causes.30 To a surprising extent, activists in these disputes often said they were not engaging in “politics,” which they took as a dirty word, though they acted with enthusiastic gusto. Machiavelli and then Pareto observed that successful elites achieve two aims that are nearly contradictory: to keep the internal integrity of their leadership stable, and to adapt it for survival in response to external changes. Leaderships survive best if they contain both “lions” to maintain their reliability and internal communications, and “foxes” to garner new members and re-

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sources from outside.31 These two policies alternate in conservative and reformist phases. Pareto argued that only a combination of periodic repressiveness by lions and searching reform by foxes can stabilize an elite in power. Ordinary people try to support leaders whom they expect to help them, often preferring the reformers who are more likely to give non-elites some attention. A majority may nonetheless favor conservatives, especially in times of perceived danger. Pareto suggested that few leaders are likely be skilled for both stability and change. But this very conservative Italian count-sociologist thought this equilibrium of politics should not, in the elite’s interest, become permanently unbalanced either way. A leadership’s task is to use both coercion and welcome wisely. Effective rulers can try to recognize their group’s legitimacy by repressing others and can adapt to their external environs by recruiting helpers. In the People’s Republic of China, the same balance has often been discussed in terms of conservative tightening (shou) or reformist loosening (fang).32 In the Soviet Union, such phases were called “freezes” and “thaws.” If the loosening goes too far, the chiefs and some of the people fear political chaos. If the loosening never happens, leaders in changing contexts lack the resources they need to maintain their rule. Lions have many means of deflecting foxes’ pressures to admit new procedures and younger elites. A usual quasi-modern method is to institute elections but make the democratic posts powerless. East Asian examples abound: Hong Kong’s geographical elections to half of Legco, China’s village votes, Singapore’s mix of clean voting with legal harassment of oppositionists, or former authoritarian Taiwan’s elections to local posts (not until 1991–1992 for the National Assembly or Legislative Yuan, or until 1996 for the island’s presidency). Other examples are many, in all parts of the world. Elections, whenever elites allow them, are public struggles that attract interest and create parties, even if the winners are denied power over policies. Lions have found many constitutional ways to take the people out of democracy. Deciding to have appointed legislators, or having functional groups choose chief executives, can achieve this end. Supermajority voting and concurrent approval by different parts of an assembly can be necessary to finalize policy. Multimember districts can be constructed to favor representatives of minority parties, which elites control more easily than they can rule majorities. Prior executive approval of any bill can be required prior to legislative debate. The subjects on which elected members may pass laws can be limited. Power can be constitutionally allocated to the part of the government that is not popularly elected. Hong Kong uses all these methods.33 Some but not all are unfamiliar in the West, where anti-democrats have sometimes used other means. Elections often allow elites to center politics on personalities rather than policies. This detaches popular interest from programmatic mandates. Leninist party personnel procedures in mainland China (as in Taiwan during its martial law era) attract considerable public attention without delegitimizing the gov-

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ernment.34 Elections—which authoritarian governments often hold—catch the notice of citizens even more readily. Conservative elites in any country can gesture rhetorically at “government by the people,” while in practice disallowing it. Election turnouts in Hong Kong have varied and are sometimes low—perhaps because the bodies in which candidates can win (Legco and district councils) are constitutionally limited, not making much policy. Turnouts for Legco elections after the handover have been 53 percent (1998), 44 percent (2000), 56 percent (2004), 45 percent (2008), and 53 percent (2012).35 Turnouts in other Asian countries with fewer constitutional restrictions on elected officials are often higher—for example in the 1998 Philippine presidential election, 86 percent of eligible voters actually cast ballots, and 74 percent did so in 2010.36 Yet as that instance shows, high turnouts do not guarantee governance that helps people much. Turnouts might still be understood as rough indices of the extent to which people want the government to be theirs. The lowest Hong Kong turnouts are in votes for members of the committee to elect the Chief Executive.37 Many Hong Kong conservatives who wish to see the elite maintain its integrity do not bother to run for offices or even to vote. Governments, including Hong Kong’s, often try to impose loyalty and unity among office holders, while also including reformers within the regime. Oppositions contain “moderates” as well as radicals.38 The crucial distinction is not between government and opposition, but between lions and foxes, ideological authoritarians and ideological reformers, those who most value a regime’s unity and those who most value its ability to recruit new talents. These are the two types that Pareto described in his paradigm about the circulation of elites. Breeding Politicians and Parties Adam Przeworski adapts Robert Dahl’s concept of democracy and defines contested elections of executives as its essence.39 Przeworski writes that “contestation occurs when there exists an opposition that has some chance of winning office as a consequence of elections. . . . Democracy is a system in which parties lose elections. . . . Whenever in doubt, we classify as democracies only those systems in which incumbent parties actually did lose elections.”40 This definition is too restrictive. It treats democracy as a “dummy variable,” wholly present or absent, having values 1 or 0. That approach allows political scientists to witness to each other their professional faith that regressions on available numbers, usually at the national level, are the best means of finding truth. But democracy actually comes in historical steps and degrees, and polities include many sizes of collectivity. “Parties” also appear in many types. Some places (e.g., Taiwan) had serious contests for popular votes before the executive authority was directly

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elected and before it changed hands between parties.41 Others (e.g., Japan) had meaningful elections even while one party, which was actually a coalition of many factions, dominated the government for decades. Yet others (e.g., the Philippines, to continue just with East Asian examples) have merely evanescent parties, each of which is centered on just one or two leaders. If democracy means service to people, a state-level definition does not necessarily cover all of it. Use of Przeworski’s definitions may reduce subjective judgments in observing democratic contestation, but it does not ensure that democracy means the people own much governance.42 Small collectivities and individuals affect regime type change. Especially before Hong Kong’s 1997 handover, conservative researchers there decried a “poverty of political leaders”—or at least ones of whom they approved. Active political candidates were relatively few, in comparison with talents in business and bureaucracy. Politicians were uncertain of their positions vis-à-vis both powerful civil servants and an allegedly apolitical public. A survey of candidates in district board races showed, however, that potential nominees had strong self-motivations to become public officials. Many in the electorate reportedly had a “desire to aspire to a liberal and democratic environment [which] would provide leaders with room for actualizing their political roles of interest articulation and holding the administration accountable.”43 Potential leaders have been recruited into Hong Kong’s actual politics largely by the expectation that they could successfully achieve official power and posts. A study of elite-mass relationships in pre-handover years concluded that politicians with relatively open attitudes toward ordinary voters tended to be those “who were relatively younger, who had political group affiliations, and who intended to stand for re-election”—rather than older or nonpartisan candidates.44 Many talented people went into business power networks, not government. The early urban and regional councils, like the district boards, were training grounds for second-tier politicians who later ran for Legco seats. The councils’ main importance was not their power but their role in training local leaders. As a Governance Reform Group concluded in 2004, “District councils continue to be ineffective assemblies which do not help to improve local governance. If they are expected to play a proactive role, clearer powers and more resources have to be allocated to them.”45 Many candidates who ran for the councils in early years were service-firm staff, detached from tycoons. As Alvin So wrote, “Corporate professionals tend to ally themselves with big business to slow democratization and restrict its scope. Only service professionals have been key promoters of democratization.”46 “Also-ran” candidates have also been political trainees. They often had medium or low rankings on recent party lists in geographical Legco races. Both the Democratic Party and the DAB in 1998 fielded at least as many nominees as there were seats in each district—certainly not in the expectation that

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all of them would win, but with the effect that their names received publicity and they learned campaign techniques. Hong Kong elections are only somewhat less frequent than are those in Taiwan, and in both places recurrent campaigning has promoted enthusiasm for democracy—no matter whether the candidates ran as individuals or in parties, and no matter whether the posts to which they were elected controlled important resources.47 Party memberships in Hong Kong have always been small. The DAB has been largest, with 1,300 members at the time of the 1998 election, while the Democratic Party had half as many members then. The Frontier was not, according to its leader, formally a political party at all. It was like a club, without any members designated as whips.48 Beijing leaders and Hong Kong’s proChina business elite apparently expected the electoral law to derail these democrats quickly. To the extent conservatives predicted this, they made a miscalculation at least in the short run. Among the twenty legislators who were ousted from the previously elected Legco but ran again in 1998, eighteen (all but two) were able to regain their seats. Political scientists have written a great deal about the effects that different electoral systems have on governmental outcomes. But the resurgence of democrats in the early post-handover Legco, chosen under the Hare-quota-andremainder law, illustrates the difficulty of engineering a statute to ensure a quick and particular political result. What the voters want also makes a difference. But the long-term effects of that law, and of the Basic Law, which renders Legco nearly powerless in relation to the executive, discouraged some democrats from electoral careers.49 Civil Servants as Top Elites Both before and after HK’s handover, the civil service has been powerful in comparison with legislators. On the mainland, many national, medial, and local leaders assume that bureaucracy is the natural form of government. When CCP leaders talk about “reform,” they often refer mainly to administrative streamlining for greater efficiency. As Joseph Cheng writes, “The basic strategy of the Chinese leadership, to maintain the Party’s monopoly of political power, includes promoting economic growth, building a social security net for underprivileged groups, and absorbing the elites of various sectors into the vested-interest strata.”50 One analyst of rhetorical “frames” in Hong Kong political debate contrasts “administrative” and “pro-democratic” forms. The administrative frame of democracy is so bureaucratic and gradual that it is scarcely committed to much development of rule by the people. For example, an official Hong Kong government report in 2006 claimed that “a universal suffrage timetable can be worked out quickly, if Hong Kong people are able to agree on the design of the democracy model.”51 But civil servants knew that crucial tycoons dis-

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agreed, only in part because Beijing did, that popular sovereignty was a neartime need. Hong Kong’s bureaucracy could manage an election of any design, but as a previously powerful force in Hong Kong, the civil service had no institutional interest in elections. A decision for democracy, if ever taken, is political rather than administrative. Hong Kong’s local state bureaucracy for decades had initiated and often finally decided diverse official policies. Some writers criticized this as “administocracy.”52 Tung Chee-hwa reduced the political independence of bureaucrats, but transparency remained low in Hong Kong’s post-handover government. As a report by the Governance Reform Group of the NGO SynergyNet noted, “With no requirements for open meetings, evidence hearings, progress reports, and the disclosure of the details of advice they have rendered to the government, there is no way for the public to determine the extent to which [civil servants’] deliberations and recommendations have reflected overall public needs and preferences.”53 Chief Executive Tung was more distant from his civil service than his British predecessors, notably Governor Patten. Tung was reportedly much less confrontational in private sessions with civil servants. Analyst Danny Gittings writes that the previous British “table-thumping style of crisis management is hardly calculated to endear you to your subordinates, but it does yield results.”54 Tung initiated a Principal Officials Accountability System (POAS). Democrats had earlier advocated a Westminster-style “ministerial system,” hoping that it would increase public transparency in the executive. This depends, however, on the ministers’ style. Tung mainly appointed fellow business executives. Their previous experience was in private rather than public institutions, and transparency was not their forte. Neither was politics; they were not supposed to be Legco members. Tung’s fourteen POAS officials tended to replace civil service department heads, some of whom still enjoyed major policymaking roles. The new “ministers” served at the pleasure of the Chief Executive; they were not accountable to Legco and were not vetted by any democratic process. The POAS reform made the government even more executive-led, while lessening the powers of top civil servants. Apparent political neutrality in the city’s government secretariats had been a strength of the colonial administration. Civil service impartiality was criticized by “high-ranking Beijing officials” as a “British practice.”55 The POAS system put nonstate tycoons at least part-time into formal government, which previously they had controlled less directly, without secretarial titles. The resignations of three major principal officers shortly after the POAS was set up suggested their view that the new system enhanced the accountability of their posts to the Chief Executive, but without raising the quality of governance. Chief Secretary Anson Chan was disenchanted by the change, because she saw many of the new ministers as amateurs in their fields. But she did not

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resign as head of the civil service until January 2001, after Beijing censured her for perceived disloyalty to Chief Executive Tung.56 Tung also abolished the Urban Council and the Regional Council, which earlier had supervised limited staffs for sanitation, parks, and cultural services. Under Patten these had been directly elected—and thus had attracted some political attention. Getting rid of the councils, a middle layer of weak but elected officials above the district boards but below Legco and far below the Chief Executive, further centralized power in the hands of the quasi-ministers whose backgrounds were largely in business, not government. Separation of Powers and Judicial Independence Executives, legislators, judges, and bureaucrats are all supposed to contribute to effective rule. Modern governments have multiple parts, defined by functions, modes of choosing incumbents, or sizes of jurisdictions. Madison’s institutionalization of Montesquieu’s emphasis on divisions of power in the British constitution (as the Frenchman imagined it) has affected liberal theories of politics globally. The Chinese Communist Party rejects splitting power in this way, claiming dubiously that such a practice denies the class nature of all government. Such separations are the main aspect of Western constitutional form that centralizers such as Deng Xiaoping shunned. Deng’s successor Xi Jinping calls for more judicial independence from local governments, but not from the centralized Leninist party. Yet in Hong Kong, the lack of much electoral democracy makes government legitimacy rely more fully on “rule of law” and on the economic benefits of attracting companies that need predictable courts. Deng’s castigation of any “separation of powers,” whether right or wrong, clearly conflicts with the Basic Law. All such slogans are vague, but Article 85 says that Hong Kong courts “shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference.” Between the legislature and executive, other “checks and balances” are also allegedly built into the city’s system: four obvious examples are the need for Legco to pass any main legislation, the Chief Executive’s power of veto, Legco’s power to override, and the Article 73 procedure for the executive’s impeachment. Mainland writers, always citing Deng, have objected to such divisions of power, but they are firmly in the local constitution.57 A conundrum is that although Hong Kong and Singapore are similar— both have British legacies, tiger economies, and constitutional bills of rights58—freedoms are more restricted in Singapore than in Hong Kong, which has an even less democratic and far less autonomous polity. Ng Hon Wah finds a “rights commitment among the people in Hong Kong, but much less so in Singapore, [which] both explains and justifies the Hong Kong judi-

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ciary’s much more rigorous review of legislative and executive acts.”59 As Ng writes concerning Hong Kong, “Matters which should have been resolved through the political process occasionally reach the court by way of judicial review. The judiciary in Hong Kong enjoys much higher legitimacy than the executive and the legislature.”60 Hong Kong courts have invalidated local laws on constitutional grounds. Their assumption of the right of judicial review has been separate from the NPC Standing Committee’s insistence on its power to “interpret” the laws of the SAR. The NPC Standing Committee is supposed to become involved only when the Chief Executive takes an initiative to ask Beijing’s views on a local court’s decision. But the Hong Kong Bar Association has objected, to no avail, that the Basic Law does not give the executive any power to make such requests.61 Benny Tai, a University of Hong Kong law professor and democratic protest leader, suggests that “the Hong Kong Judiciary has learned that it can only exercise its judicial autonomy in accordance with its sense of constitutional justice, inherited mainly from the common law, if it can tactfully handle the inherent differences between ‘one country’ and ‘two systems.’”62 There is no sure agreement among judges on ways to reconcile those differences. Hong Kong courts, including the Court of Final Appeal, followed the plain wording of the Basic Law (Article 24, Section 3) by allowing rights of abode to children born on the mainland who have a Hong Kong parent, for example. Tung’s government realized that this decision, however constitutional it may have been, was very unpopular. The main reasons were two. First, most current Hong Kong people want to limit new immigration, even though they are personally descended from people who earlier left the mainland. Their enmity toward refugees and amahs who want to stay in their rich city is sharp. Second and more specifically, some Hong Kong wives of businessmen feared or knew that their husbands had mistresses, and in some cases second families, over the border. According to one report, “in the early 1990s . . . huge numbers of Hong Kong men [took] mistresses and second wives across the boundary in the Pearl River Delta, confident that the barriers to migration into Hong Kong would forever keep their second families invisible.” This did not happen, however, because a 1995 “family reunion” law allowed the Immigration Department to issue 150 visas daily to such people. In the next two decades, “a total of 1.32 million people—most of them young women married to significantly older Hong Kong men—[came] to Hong Kong under the oneway permit scheme. That is 18 percent of Hong Kong’s 7.2 million population.”63 Resentment of mainland immigrants among Hong Kong wives in this situation was predictable. (A similar sentiment has been salient among Taiwanese wives of businessmen who spend long periods on the mainland; a sarcastic joke on that island perverted the “one country, two systems” motto into a similar-sounding phrase meaning “one country, two wives” [yiguo liangqi rather than yiguo liangzhi]). Hong Kong wives passionately wanted to prohibit

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their husbands’ other clans from showing up in their city. Such intense family politics easily trumps anything “constitutional,” in the less powerful polities of city or nation. So Hong Kong civil servants publicized an overestimate of the number of children from mainland marriages (1.7 million, they guessed), and Tung in effect asked the NPC Standing Committee to overturn the decision of the Court of Final Appeal. That committee duly nullified the Hong Kong court’s “final” decision on this matter, mostly by referring to Article 22 of the Basic Law, which limits entry into Hong Kong (rather than abode there).64 By that time, however, the main issue had shifted from abode rights to the even more important question of whether Hong Kong courts, ultimately the Court of Final Appeal, still have judicial independence. Although Hong Kong rule of law is strong, liberal judge Kemal Bokhary, upon his retirement in 2012, warned that “clouds heralding a ‘storm of unprecedented ferocity’ are gathering over the rule of law in Hong Kong.”65 The separateness of the judiciary is a highly valued and valuable Hong Kong tradition, but its future is uncertain.66 Courts are not unique among Hong Kong local agencies as regards their independence. Other institutions, such as the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, also have important roles to play in governance. The most famous anticorruption agency in the world is Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, established in 1974. Similar departments in other countries are often generically called ICACs. Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau dates back to 1952, but “the top-level political backing so critical to its success did not develop” until much later.67 Such support came quickly in Hong Kong after 1973, when a chief police superintendent (Englishman Peter Godber) was shown to be egregiously corrupt—and the colonial regime, whose legitimacy was inherently shaky because of its foreignness in a Chinese city, acted decisively to set up a powerful ICAC.68 Separations of power, especially the powers to initiate laws and to subpoena accurate information under oath, have in many cases been resisted in Hong Kong as in other polities, because officials usually prefer not to be watched. In the HKSAR, the separation of powers between the Chief Executive and Legco has been so severe that these two main branches of government are often at loggerheads. Soon after new legislators took their seats in 1998, they disagreed about the meaning of the Basic Law’s Article 48, which provides that the Chief Executive must approve in advance the introduction of all revenue or expenditure motions, as well as bills affecting public business. Margaret Ng, the legal functional constituency’s member of Legco, clashed with the government’s Solicitor–General on this question. Ng is an independent democrat, but she defended the introduction of a nonbinding DAB motion about rent and tax cuts, saying that debate on it should not require the Chief Executive’s prior approval because it was proposed as an advisory resolution only. Legco’s rules of procedure indicate that the Legco President, not the

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Chief Executive, judges whether motions have to be referred to the executive for prior approval.69 Minoritarian Restrictions for the Legislature, Freedom for the Executive Different kinds of Legco bills require different kinds of majority for passage. Some measures require two-thirds supermajorities. The Basic Law differentiates “bills” (falü caoan), “motions” (yian), and “amendments” (xiuzheng an). Annex II requires that “motions, bills, or amendments to bills introduced by individual members” must pass concurrently in each separate half of Legco, created by functional constituencies or elected geographically.70 But bills introduced by the Chief Executive’s administration, and just a few other types of motion, pass if they receive majority approval from all Legco members. A motion to impeach the Chief Executive may be “initiated” by just onefourth of the Legco members, although committee procedures can impede it, and a two-thirds supermajority of Legco is required for conviction. Article 74 allows the introduction of private member bills only if they do not relate to public expenditure, political structure, or government operations. Otherwise, they are supposed to be tabled and debated only with the written consent of the Chief Executive, and this is a sharp constraint on Legco’s powers. If the Chief Executive dislikes a bill that Legco has passed, he or she may refuse to sign it and can send it back for reconsideration. If it passes again with a two-thirds majority (as is nearly inconceivable until the rules for seating functional members may be changed), the executive either signs it or dissolves Legco—a procedure that members would rue if they have any fear of failing in a new election.71 Democrats argue that such severe strictures on policy initiation within Legco, even for topics on which the government needs new laws, leave the assembly with practically no constitutional power except to veto the government’s whole annual request for money. The one bill that the Chief Executive cannot avoid filing each year is the budget (which conservative members want to keep down so that taxes remain low). Closing down the government, however, is a blunt threat for which legislators are seldom eager to take responsibility. Margaret Ng, the independent-democratic legislator for the legal constituency, argues that, “whatever the technical means of doing it, taking autonomy from Legco does not necessarily mean a compliant Legco. It will force Legco to resort to extremes, blocking the Government’s bills and finance proposals altogether.”72 Legco delegates, especially those who are legitimated by elections, have informal power. But the Chief Executive is paramount; Legco can only veto policy rather than making it. Its members’ frustration became obvious soon after the first SAR elections, when legislators of many parties joined with in-

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dependents (over two-thirds of Legco all together) to demand that the government do more to countervail the local effects of the Asian financial crisis. They met with Financial Secretary Donald Tsang, who tried to be forthcoming since he knew he would later need Legco to pass his budget. The members explicitly threatened not to do so if he ignored their concerns. Former British governors were hampered by their alien nationality. Then the new Chinese governors were hampered by Hong Kong’s limited elections. Executive leadership was real—but never as neat in practice as it may have seemed on constitutional paper, either Letters Patent or Basic Law. The government’s cabinet, the Executive Council, discusses policies in confidential meetings. Its only specific power described by the Basic Law, Section 2, is that the Chief Executive “shall consult the Executive Council before making important policy decisions”—without any further specification of which decisions are “important.” Exco includes a few top civil servants, businesspeople, and very few others. Liberal Party leader Allen Lee raised the issue of the Exco-Legco relationship in terms of the only Exco member who won a 1998 Legco seat, DAB unionist Tam Yiu-chung. Lee said, “The public perception is that the so-called Exco-Legco link has failed. If Tam Yiu-chung is to be the only legislator in Exco, it is unfair to other political parties. He has confidential information. No-one will believe he doesn’t bring it back to the DAB.”73 Lee knew whereof he spoke, because he too had served on both bodies until Governor Patten separated their membership in 1992. His comment merely began to suggest the large and hoary role in Hong Kong politics of bureaucratic secrecy, partial truths, administrative propaganda, disingenuous consultation, and occasional official lies. Hong Kong’s constitution may have been designed to raise the chance that the executive-led government has a majority in Legco. But in practice it often ensures the reverse, because restraints on Legco power discomfit all the members, who thus tend to speak against the Chief Executive. The Basic Law tends to turn the legislature’s majority into an opposition. Chief Executive Elections and Separations Between Tycoons and Proletarians The 2007 Chief Executive election was a minor watershed in Hong Kong’s democratic evolution, because it was the first contested executive election. Incumbent Donald Tsang had served two years in the top post after C.H. Tung’s resignation, and he was a clear favorite to stay in the top post, both because of Beijing’s support and because of polled popularity in the city. Tsang was opposed by democrat Alan Leong, who ended up with the pan-democratic 15 percent of the committee members’ votes. Two Tsang-Leong debates, aired live on all the television networks, were path-breaking. Leong, knowing he would lose, still said: “Hong Kong has triumphed in this first-ever contested

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race in Hong Kong and China’s democratic history.”74 This may have been a slight overstatement, but the 2007 legitimated competition for the top post in the city was nonetheless a milestone. The 2012 Chief Executive election was an embarrassment to Hong Kong’s business class and to Beijing. Executive Council convener C. Y. Leung announced in September that he would run for the top post; so he duly resigned from Exco. But most analysts thought that Beijing’s top choice for the job was Chief Secretary Henry Tang, who also duly resigned his official post in order to run. Former and current Legco presidents Rita Fan and Jasper Tsang openly “considered” running but dropped out of the race. Former Secretary for Security Regina Ip, whose 2003 stewardship of the anti-subversion bill had caused the downfall of Chief Executive Tung, also ran; she did not drop out but also did not get enough committee nominations. Her policies mesh well with those of Beijing, and she might try again for the top executive post in 2017; she is unpopular, to say the least, among democrats. Pan-democrats had about 200 votes on the 2012 election committee— enough to make a single nomination for the full committee vote if they could agree on a candidate. Some were willing, despite severe reservations about Beijing’s control of most of the committee seats, to participate in a poll conducted by University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program (POP) and thus choose a pan-democratic candidate. Albert Ho won this sweepstakes, although everyone knew that neither he nor any other democrat could win in the official committee. So finally there were three nominees on the ballot: Tang, Leung, and Ho. Tang had 390 nominators on the committee, while Leung had 305, and Ho had 184. Most very rich families in Hong Kong preferred Tang, whose nominators included Li Ka-shing and the heads of other property companies such as Henderson and Sun Hung Kai, as well as the Heung Yee Kuk chairman, and Gordon Wu of Hopewell Holdings. The Liberal Party Legco members were also Tang supporters. (All Legco members were and still are ex officio on this nomination-or-election committee.) Tang, Leung, and Ho participated in a debate, held at Radio Television Hong Kong, in which Tang accused Leung of having suppressed freedom of speech in 2003 when a license for Commercial Radio came up for renewal. Tang also said Leung had suggested that the Hong Kong police should use tear gas to control marchers in the 2003 peaceful demonstration against Legco passage of the Article 23 anti-subversion bill. Leung denied both charges (as he also has denied persistent rumors that he secretly entered the Communist Party [mimi rudang]). Tang may have done his own cause harm by asking such forward questions of Leung. Albert Ho asked both Tang and Leung to explain their positions on universal suffrage and on abolishing functional constituencies in Legco elections. Neither of the establishment candidates gave direct answers to Ho’s questions. This much sounded like democratic politics.

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It had previously emerged that Tang had illegal structures in his home, and also that he had extramarital affairs (his wife obliquely confirmed this, although Chinese elites are more French than American in such matters). Leung was also charged with a conflict of interest in judging a competition related to the West Kowloon “Cultural” District construction project. But it was difficult to prove Tang’s accusations against Leung about the conflict of interest or about the police using tear gas. Leung’s denials stuck. Beijing wanted the Chief Executive election to proceed smoothly, with a clear winner, and the POP polls showed that Leung was more popular than Tang among most Hongkongers. So Beijing tacitly switched its choice from Tang to Leung. On March 14, 2012, before the scheduled selection of the top leader on March 25, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao said that Hong Kong “can definitely elect a [Chief Executive] who is supported by the majority of Hong Kong people.” This was understood as a strong preference for a vote in which the winner would receive a majority on the committee and be more popular than rivals (as at that time Leung could claim to be—and as Donald Tsang was when he had been selected as the leader). Abraham Shek, a functional legislator for the real estate and construction sector, made equivocal remarks saying that his constituents “did not dislike Leung” and that it really did not matter who won the selection. Just four days before the ballot, Beijing intervened more clearly by sending State Council member Liu Yandong to Shenzhen, lobbying committee members to vote for Leung.75 Just before the committee met, University of Hong Kong surveyors held a mock “POP vote” online and at polling stations. The website was cyberattacked, but 220,000 participated, of whom 55 percent cast blank ballots. Most participants in the mock poll were democrats—skeptics concerning the election committee’s ability to represent the city’s many interests. The Election committee’s members came from somewhat diverse parts of Hong Kong (businesses, professions, organized unions, religions, and a few committed democrats)—but it sharply overrepresented the interests of the rich and pro-Beijing unions or parties. Restrictions of the process limited the ballot, although in 2012 there were two Chief Executive frontrunners rather than just one. The committee’s final vote (though the ballots were supposed to be secret) suggests that Li Ka-shing was joined by many others, albeit not a majority, who gave Tang 285 votes in the final tally, while Leung won with just 689. Many tycoons voted for Tang despite Beijing’s obvious support for Leung. Ho got 76, and some blank or spoiled ballots were cast. So Leung ended up with only 58 percent of the ballots in the election committee. Tang got 24 percent, and democrat Albert Ho had 6 percent. Another 6 percent of the eligible committee voters cast blank ballots, which were apparently protests either against Beijing’s switch to Leung or against the claim that Hong Kong people would determine the election result, whereas it was obvious to practically all observers that Beijing did. Yet another 6 percent were spoiled or absentee.76 The

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University of Hong Kong pollsters found that Leung entered office with a public support rating of only 35 percent.77 Soon after the selection, it emerged that Leung’s house on the Peak also contained illegal structures (as Tang’s in Kowloon did). The new Chief Executive claimed he had been unaware of that construction, although this denial was publicly doubted because of his professional training as a surveyor. These perceptions of corruption were an embarrassment to the new SAR government—and to Beijing, which did not admit as much, although its intervention had clearly determined the election’s outcome. “Hong Kong people running Hong Kong” (gangren zhigang) was the main casualty of these shenanigans. Legco Democrats in 2012 Elections, Followed by Beijing’s 2014 White Paper Pan-democrats lost seats in the 2012 Legco elections, which soon followed Leung’s advent as the city’s leader. Pan-democrats had recently been successful in stopping the government’s requirement to have a “national education” curriculum, and they barely retained veto power in Legco by winning more than a third of the council. The pro-establishment DAB became the largest Legco party, and the Democratic Party was overtaken in the popular vote by the pan-democratic Civic Party of Alan Leong (which is somewhat more “radically” populist than the Democratic Party and like it received six Legco seats). The roots of these results involved disagreements among pan-democrats and an electoral law that forces policy groups to discipline their votes in geographical constituencies. Politicians with similar ideas about policy tried to coordinate pluralities for winning a maximal number of posts—a task that pan-democrats accomplished somewhat less well than pro-Beijing politicians. But the establishment camp was also more divided than before, not just because of the Leung-Tang split, nor just between tycoons and poorer patriots, but also because the Federation of Trade Unions went “solo in this election instead of combining its party lists with the DAB. This made vote optimization trickier.”78 More than seventy lists (seventy-four, if nonparty independents are included) fought for the thirty-five geographical constituency seats and for five “super-seats” reserved for district councilors.79 By the start of 2014, sociologist and pro-Beijing publicist Lau Siu-kai claimed that disunity among pro-establishment politicians was the main cause of governance problems.80 Discord among democrats had in earlier years more usually been blamed for the extent to which the government was perceived as defective. But Lau and other conservatives increasingly and understandably dreaded tycoon-DAB divisions. Beijing’s Hong Kong gurus may well have shared this concern, although their thinking is not fully reported. If the rich vs. poor issue in the city’s politics were to become more salient, the CCP design that franchised the local government to a small minority of super-rich bour-

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geois people would more likely be challenged. Then central government control might weaken. So Beijing has an interest in making sure that the rich vs. poor discourse remains politically displaced—and the “patriotic” Chinese vs. “quasi-traitorous” Western discourse is ready at hand to dislodge it. The Hong Kong government commissioned, in as low-key a manner as possible, a bureaucratic group (even its name was unclear, lest public attention be attracted to any of its traits except its pro forma existence) to “consult” mostly conservative interest groups on “public” opinion about methods to be recommended northward for the 2017 Chief Executive election.81 Beijing issued a white paper (baipi shu) in early June 2104 asserting that “the high degree of autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong is subject to the central government’s authorization.” China’s party-state declared “comprehensive jurisdiction” over its SAR, leaving for interpretation what (if anything) the local “system” might do autonomously. In a later confirmation and extension of this policy, Beijing authorities insisted that the Chief Executive and all Hong Kong officials must “love the country and love Hong Kong.” This criterion was not defined, but it apparently required prior NPC Standing Committee approval of any important public minister or judge rather than just a pledge of allegiance to China or the HKSAR. Earlier texts with high degrees of legal formality (the Joint Sino-British Declaration, and especially the Basic Law that had been legislated by Beijing alone) had not used this wording. The novelty in 2014 was that the national government claimed sole right to vet who was legitimate in the Hong Kong executive and judiciary, and who was not. Many in the city saw that its degree of autonomy was decisively lowered by this declaration that sovereignty conferred “complete jurisdiction” in Beijing, despite Basic Law provisions that Hong Kong would have a separate “system.” Soon after the national authorities made this proclamation, some of its representatives began backpedal in efforts to contain political reaction within the city without reversing the legal claim that “complete jurisdiction” connotes. Wang Zhenmin, perhaps because of his previous reputation as a conservative, became the spokesperson chosen to aver regrets that the English translation of Chinese in the white paper had imprecisely suggested Hong Kong judges should “administrate” law, although they are not part of the executive branch. Lord Neuberger, presiding over Britain’s Supreme Court and sitting concurrently on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, which applies common-law precedents, opined that the white paper’s insistence that judges be patriotic was “not inconsistent” with rule of law. He wondered whether “there is anything to worry about” in the white paper, but he also said that he “might resign” if he felt any “present” problem arise. This implied case-law sensitivity and “man for all seasons” care. Former Hong Kong Chief Justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang opined less ambiguously that judges should not support or oppose anybody (not even the government) under the principles of fairness to all parties and judicial independence in specific cases. Their commit-

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ment was to follow law, no matter where patriotism leads. Current Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li indicated agreement with Li’s view.82 But Zhang Rongshun, an NPC Standing Committee vice chair, said that “if common law is used . . . to reject and undermine the central government’s right to govern, this is not allowed.”83 The breadth of such wordings suggested Beijing’s withdrawal of promises about Hong Kong autonomy in local affairs. Release of the white paper barely preceded the start of a planned June 20, 2014, unofficial referendum organized by democrats. They hoped to assess and drum up support for open procedures in nominating candidates for the projected 2017 Chief Executive universal suffrage vote. The white paper also preceded the wholly predictable July 1 protest rallies on the anniversary of handover day. The timing was thus a “gift” to democrats, who wanted massive participation in these protest events—but also, Beijing’s strategists may have supposed that most Hong Kong people would be alienated by any major political dissent. The University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program began an online plebiscite on June 20 in which voters could choose among three slightly different public nomination methods for Chief Executive elections—none of which were acceptable to Beijing.84 The survey’s participants had to give their Hong Kong identity card numbers, and their mobile phone numbers as a further check. If they did not wish to vote online, they could do so at polling stations that were set up mainly at universities and schools in various Hong Kong districts. Voters could abstain in the mock plebiscite if they did not like the options or the process. Nearly 800,000 participated in this unofficial referendum (after its period was extended to June 29 because of anonymous cyberattacks against the POP website). This was far more than the organizers had expected. A clear reason for the large turnout, in a vote that could not bind the government or elect any candidates, was widespread concern among Hong Kong people about the vaguely threatening “comprehensive jurisdiction” words of the white paper. China was indeed sovereign in Hong Kong, but did this practically mean that the Communist Party must be so? Limited Nomination and Popular Voice The main question for democrats became whether they should acquiesce to limited-nomination procedures that Beijing had tied to the obviously democratic plan for a universal suffrage vote. Carine Lai and Christine Loh claimed that “if the nomination procedures produce only one nominee, or even two not very popular nominees, the people may be relatively unenthusiastic about voting and will not regard the Chief Executive as having much to do with them.”85 If so, this would further threaten government legitimacy. But rich actors, who are constitutionally empowered in Hong Kong, care less about this

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threat than about increasing their wealth. The most crucial external actors, Beijing leaders, may also care less about the legitimacy of the Hong Kong government than about their hope to defend against populist discontent in the rest of China—although, as the last chapter of this book will suggest, hyper-nationalists among them might also later conceive benefits in mass PRC elections. Conservatives elsewhere have used populist appeals. Prominent Hong Kong persons urged Beijing to make compromises—or at least promises—in order to achieve the universal suffrage in Hong Kong that China’s leaders claimed they wanted. Former Chief Secretary Anson Chan called for the government to propose a law that further reform would occur after the 2017 Chief Executive election: “It needs to be in black and white, the best way being through legislation and to include a clear timetable.”86 Beijing demurred, never wanting to seem intimidated. Any decision to amend procedures on choosing the executive relates to Article 45 and Annex I of the Basic Law, whose Articles 158 (on interpretations) and 159 (on amendments) require the NPC Standing Committee to consult the Basic Law Drafting Committee, which has six Hong Kong members. Not even that much consultation happened in 2014–2015, however.87 Beijing was in a stonewalling mood, and perhaps China’s leadership despite its rhetoric did not much care what would happen in Legco. It would remain dominant no matter what Legco might do. As public demonstrations rose against the limited-nomination proposal, Hong Kong’s tycoon elites expressed disapproval but delivered no new leadership or remedies. Their objective interest in a universal suffrage election is very unclear. The city’s super-rich have much to lose, if later mass protests make more evident to Beijing that China now depends less upon them, and more on the “patriotic” DAB, than in the past. President Xi had earlier told a group of tycoons visiting Beijing to support Chief Executive Leung—even though many of them dislike Leung and had in 2012 supported his rival Henry Tang for election to the top post. Would-be Chief Executive Regina Ip, a voluble pro-establishment politician who is credible on this point, claimed that Xi’s request had silenced the tycoons: “No public criticism has surfaced, despite what they might think.”88 Many of the richest Hong Kong people nonetheless still thought very ill of Leung. Division between Beijing and the tycoons became glaringly evident when the Liberal Party chair, James Tien Pei-chun, echoed student protesters’ demands that Leung should resign. A decade earlier, after the 2003 mass march against Tung’s anti-subversion law, Tien had left Exco, fearing that if the Liberals supported the anti-subversion bill in the form proposed by the government, the Liberal Party could lose Legco seats, even in functional constituencies. This deprived Tung of the majority he needed for passage of the bill, and Tung later stepped down. Beijing, after its mid-2014 self-indulgences in the white paper, must have wished to avoid a repeat of that scenario. So Tien, after criticizing Leung, was purged from his mainland position on the

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Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. He later resigned as chair of the Liberal Party—while repeating his suggestion that Leung should go. Tien and four other Liberal legislators stuck to that opinion.89 Patriotic factions in Hong Kong have deeply divided managers, as do pan-democratic parties. Elite decisions are hard to make when leaders disagree with each other, even within groups that support similar policies. The main question for tycoons, and probably for Beijing, was whether pan-democrats could be made to take the blame (through their control of more than one-third of Legco) for depriving Hong Kong voters of their choice of Chief Executive in the executive-led government. This issue of restricting the ballot is complex, because campaigning in any election encourages the candidates, even if they are indistinguishable when nominated, to differentiate themselves from each other. Presuming that the Chinese Communist Party plays, in Chief Executive elections, the role of Iran’s clerical ayatollah in the presidential elections of that country, voters may nonetheless make gestures toward policies or personalities they prefer. The Iranian voters did this when they elected President Hassan Rouhani in 2013 from a list of candidates who had all been preapproved by authorities in Islamic religious law. In Iran, candidates for the presidency, which has some limited powers in areas including foreign and defense policy, must be preapproved by the Guardian Council; half of this group is composed of clerics chosen by the ayatollah, and the other half is lawyers including the country’s top judge. Rouhani won 51 percent of the mass vote in a field of six candidates, most or all of whom were less liberal. At least three of his opponents had close connections with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. So the public had some say, despite restricted nominations, and it elected the least conservative of the nominees. The foremost academic analyst of Iranian politics, Gary Sick, opines that “the Iranian electorate votes against the establishment every time it is given the opportunity.” With the limited-nomination ballot, “they don’t succeed in removing the existing system, but their votes do manage to support some limited reforms and serve as a constant reminder that the people are aware that the emperor has no clothes.” He cites the past elections of Mohammad Khatami in 1997 and Rouhani in 2013 as examples, as well as the manipulated 2009 election in which Mahmood Ahmadinejad was installed as president but moderates who felt the election was rigged were later able to stage massive protests that affected later elections. In that 2009 case, the reformer Mir-Hossein Mousavi lost—after a dubious vote count that “nearly brought down the government and demonstrated the depth of popular dissatisfaction with the ruling elite.”90 Ahmadinejad won in the short run, but reactionaries lost in the longer term because Iranian moderates were mobilized. Hong Kong democrats might later agree to lesser limitations on choice than they faced in 2015, because elections—even when faulty as all elections to some extent are—tend somewhat to clarify the public’s political sentiments.91

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The officially proposed procedures of the nominating committee involve two main steps. First, any of its 1,200 members can propose names, until a maximum of 240 supporters for any single candidate is reached, for an incommittee primary election. Anyone with the nod from 120 members is on this primary ballot. (If each committee person exercises his or her right to propose a name for the primary, this procedure ensures mathematically that there would be at least five and no more than ten candidates. For political reasons, the number would be closer to five than ten. One or two could be “democratic,” although that word has various interpretations as it applies to particular Hong Kong politicians.) The second step is supposed to involve secret voting, in which each committee member casts ballots for up to two of the primary nominees. The top two or three would go on to the mass election, but only if they received support from more than half of the committee members. Of the 27 pan-democrats in Legco, all but one in August 2015 took an individual vow to vote against the government’s plan for limited-nomination universal suffrage election of the Chief Executive in 2017.92 In the final vote, half a year later, all who took that vow acted on it and rejected China’s plan (as did one functional constituency delegate, representing medical doctors who do not engage in China trade). It is unclear whether the interests of either Beijing or tycoon representatives in Legco would yet really be served by a mass chief executive election— which would surely be followed by public demands to abolish Legco functional seats, as the NPC’s 2007 law moots but does not promise. Some pro-China businesspeople, who are lawmakers outside the DAB, might in the future vote against a universal suffrage proposal if they fear it will pass—or they might absent themselves or call in sick, which would have the same effect as a vote against Beijing’s bill. Fully forty-seven positive votes, from whatever parties, are necessary to legislate a mass Chief Executive election. Surveys show that most Hong Kong people did not want to return in 2017 to the committee election of the executive, such as was used in 2012; but that is what will happen. Parties of any kind could end up with public blame for denying Hongkongers their direct vote for Chief Executive in the executiveled local government—or for effectively abolishing the Hong Kong “system’s” partial autonomy from the mainland. Audrey Eu, chair of the “radical” democratic Civic Party, by April 2015 indicated some flexibility: “So far, no polls have shown that there were more than two-thirds of the people supporting pocketing [voting for] the package first. If such a situation really takes place, I think the pan-democrats should then make a decision [on what to do next].”93 Two months later, the democrats in Legco all voted against the government’s plan, which failed because fewer than two-thirds of the members supported it. The pro-establishment Legco members had no effective parliamentary whip, and most of them did not vote for the plan they said they endorsed.

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Conceivable Future Chief Executives Candidates who might pass Beijing muster as “loving China and loving Hong Kong” show some variation. A slate of such names could give voters some choice, either in the closed committee or in a mass election. Possible future Chief Executives can be described briefly, if the current incumbent, C. Y. Leung, is unable continue in office. Names often mentioned are those of Antony Leung, Bernard Chan, Regina Ip, John Tsang, perhaps even Jasper Tsang despite his public decision to retire from politics. There are also some moderate liberals whom Beijing almost surely does not trust enough, although they are loyal Chinese who could represent the city well. Antony Leung Kam-chung is often mooted as a Chief Executive-in-waiting. He was Financial Secretary from 2001 to 2003, when he had to resign because of a scandal: he had bought an expensive Lexus car shortly before announcing a tax increase on auto purchases. Rumors of ordinary retail corruption have been so common among past Chief Executive candidates, however, that they do not quickly disqualify anybody. Antony Leung has never won a major election, although other potential Chief Executives have. Bernard Charnwut Chan is the grandson of the founder of the Bank of Bangkok. He previously served on Legco as a functional representative (for the insurance sector), and he has less negative history than some of the other tycoon candidates, even though he previously held both Thai and US passports. Antony Leung and Bernard Chan are tycoon candidates. Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee is seen in Beijing as a staunch loyalist, and she may be reasonably respected by some tycoons. She is roundly detested by many Hong Kong democrats as the former Security Secretary who tried to foist an unacceptable Article 23 anti-subversion law on the city in 2003, causing a mass march that led to her and Chief Executive Tung’s resignations. Ip holds a geographical Legco seat (for the Island), although she had just a 9 percent plurality in the 2012 election and has a more acerbic record than other pro-establishment candidates listed here. John Tsang Chun-wah is Financial Secretary, holding the third-highest post in Hong Kong government, and he has sometimes been “tipped as a dark horse” to be the next Chief Executive. Tsang’s previous career has been in the civil service. Like many candidates, he has occasionally been accused of involvement in scandals (in these cases involving the Cyberport concessions and dubious expenditures for an Internet Learning Support Program). Henry Tang, the losing candidate in 2012, has urged Tsang to run for the top job—and reporters became volubly excited when Xi Jinping shook Tsang’s hand at a 2015 meeting.94 Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, a longtime loyalist to China, former teacher and principal in a Hong Kong communist school, was elected in geographical constituencies of both Kowloon and the Island. He then became Legco president, maintaining cordial contacts with a great variety of Hong Kong elites and vot-

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ers, often speaking with a frankness that suggests he might represent the city well—if he does not retire from politics. In 2012, he briefly in public considered a run for the Chief Executive job. Tsang lost face in 2015, when pro-establishment lawmakers as he sat in the Legco president’s chair absented themselves from the crucial vote on the government’s plan for the election—especially after text messages were leaked suggesting to some that he had not presided impartially. A DAB member, such as Tsang, might serve Beijing’s future interests better than a tycoon could. Tsang (like other prominent politicians in the city) may also have secret membership in the Chinese Communist Party; he has not denied that in a clear way. When Tsang was asked whether he had joined the Chinese Communist Party on a clandestine basis, he merely—and accurately—noted that most Hong Kong people dislike the CCP: “Hong Kong people’s attitude to the concept of the Communist Party is very negative.”95 This response was honest, even if it did not answer the question. Many rumors aver that Chief Executive Leung has also entered the Chinese Communist Party secretly.96 Leung has denied he is a member. Secret party membership (mimi rudang) could become an issue in Hong Kong politics, especially because the government says that there is no “consensus” on whether the executive should be allowed any party membership. The Election Ordinance, Section 31, specifies that the Chief Executive may not be under the discipline of a party; so if a Chief Executive is in a party, this must at least be unprovable until the law is changed. But having a secret communist in the top post might make him or her more persuasive to the northerners, as much as more dependent on them. Secret CCP membership might not be a disadvantage for the city, because the Basic Law requires that the Chief Executive be appointed by Beijing anyway—although the election is formally supposed to be by Hong Kong people. Mimi rudang Communist Party membership is a long-established institution for politicians in capitalist cities of China. Several deputy mayors of Shanghai in the early 1950s were secret Party members. A former communist interviewee opined that the Party sometimes decides to “absorb” bourgeois people “without announcing their [CCP] identity, so they can still have a good chance to lead democratic persons.”97 Beijing will in any case surely not allow a nominee for Chief Executive election whom the CCP has not approved. Some prominent democrats also work for the current government. They “love China and Hong Kong” and might be Chief Executive candidates, except that they are not be seen in Beijing as “200 percent loyal.”98 Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, once vice chair of the Democratic Party, has been a political science professor who is loyal to both the country and the city and serves in Chief Executive Leung’s Exco as Secretary for Housing and Transport. Other pro-regime democrats such as Christine Loh and Anna Wu have also joined the local government in crucial posts. Like Regina Ip and Jasper Tsang,

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Cheung and Loh have won geographical seats in Legco elections, although their reputations are very distinct from each other—and Beijing may not care about their electoral histories. There is some spectrum among politicians whom Beijing leaders could consider to have been sufficiently loyal, if their tastes were more like those of many Hong Kong compatriots. Parties of any kind, including the conservative kind, may underestimate the degree of public voice that could emerge after competitive mass campaigns even among limited-nomination candidates. Pan-democrats in Hong Kong’s severely divided polity might also later consider that Legco’s egregiously minoritarian functional constituencies violate democratic norms at least as much as limited nomination does. If a mass vote happens later, they would protest and negotiate for some understanding on the procedure for later abolition of functional seats and a schedule for later change in Chief Executive election procedures. The PRC government, and apparently the tycoons (though perhaps not the DAB), were uninterested in negotiating such compromises in 2015. Beijing leaders apparently thought the 2014–2015 protests were treasonous. They may not favor mass chief executive elections despite what they say, and they can easily prohibit the Hong Kong government from negotiating with democrats. In early 2015, University of Hong Kong pollsters showed that a many Hongkongers thought universal suffrage elections were “neither a step forward nor a step backward for democracy.” More took this skeptical view than thought Beijing’s proposal was progressive for democracy—or regressive for it. But a “clear majority” would have favored the government’s 2017 chief executive election plan if further reforms for the 2022 vote had been promised.99 Institutional Disarticulation as a Hindrance to Elite Decisions About Democratization Political scientist Ian Scott argues that parts of Hong Kong’s post-handover government became “disarticulated.” “In the literal sense of that word, they are ‘separate at the joints’: the relationships between the executive, the legislature and the bureaucracy . . . are uncoordinated, poorly developed, fractious and sometimes dysfunctional.”100 He cites five reasons for this situation: Beijing’s lack of a stable “blueprint” for Hong Kong’s political development, London’s similarly shifting constitutional policies during the late-colonial period, rising conflict between businesses and democrats, the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, and damage from the Asian financial crisis and rising land prices on the government’s traditional legitimation that was based on efficiency and prosperity. Even though Hong Kong after 1997 became an “administrative” region of the country with which its population could identify nationally, the elites arguably managed the city less well.

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A Chinese politician in Hong Kong, active for decades and still within the government, has recently and independently offered an analysis similar to Scott’s, citing three main aspects of Hong Kong’s “structural governance crisis.” The first is an executive-legislative “disconnect” ever since decisions to separate Chief Executive and Legco elections, rather than to follow a Westminster model ensuring lawmakers’ support for the government. A second “disconnect” divides recent mainland immigrants from Hong Kong families who have been in the city longer—and Beijing in general from the HKSAR. Third and most important, there is a gap between Hong Kong’s current social problems and the capacity of the local state to solve them: “A government without political/electoral legitimacy would be unable to undertake drastic social reforms to deal with structural issues resulting from long years of conservative regime, [resulting in] a lot of ‘consultocracy’ on top of the usual bureaucratic red tape, when it comes to policymaking for change.” Elite “pacts” for democratization are hard to achieve, if institutions and ideologies separate leaders so sharply. According to this politician within government: “Unfortunately, Hong Kong lacks visionary opposition leaders like Nelson Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi, who were prepared to negotiate a settlement with the ruling elite.”101 This assessment may be too pessimistic, because Hong Kong democrats include a variety of elites, a few of whom show willingness to compromise on gradual development of popular sovereignty if the more static traditions of China’s party-state later allow such change. The most powerfully institutionalized elite in Hong Kong, however, may now be the local branch of the Communist Party. This organization before 1997 was coordinated through the Xinhua News Agency, and it still controls important media in Hong Kong such as the Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao newspapers. Personnel that Beijing sends to this office must study methods of persuasion and “united front work” that most government cadres on the mainland do not need to use.102 After the handover, Beijing still relied on tycoons as its main political allies in the city, and Chief Executive Tung represented them. By 2005, the Chief Executive was Donald Tsang, whose former career had been entirely in the Hong Kong civil service; thus Tsang was a second major source of stable power on which Beijing could rely. By 2012, Chief Executive Leung has represented the CCP more directly. The Hong Kong branch of the Communist Party is not de jure, and its meetings need not be formally labeled as sessions of the local CCP. The Central Government Liaison Office nonetheless coordinates a great many fellow-traveling organizations, ranging from important political parties such as the DAB to trade unions, professional associations, academic groups, clan associations in the New Territories, and diverse others. Mainland organizations such as the NPC Standing Committee also have activities in the city, although they take more care to obscure these than the liaison office now normally does.103

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The city’s top government leaders, and especially China’s CCP elite, still inhibit coherent moves toward democratization. Elite decisions to postpone or prevent popular sovereignty in Hong Kong will, in the short run, almost surely prevail over pressures to increase it. By the mid-2020s, however, a “thaw” cycle inside China is possible, especially if international relations are fairly stable. Even Communist Party leaders know that dynasties, or quasi-familial regimes such as their own, do not last forever. Social demands for democratization in Hong Kong (to be explored in the next chapter) may in immediate terms deter elites’ willingness to take the risks that liberal tolerance implies. But after a decade or so, China’s leaders may become braver—and they can do so safely earlier in Hong Kong than on the mainland. 1. This quotation comes from the top-rank modern social theorist who was more conservative than any other. See The Other Pareto, Placido Bucolo and Gillian Bucolo, trans. and eds. (New York: St. Martin’s, 1980), 16–17. Related Machiavellian thinkers are Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class: Elementi di Scienza Politica, Hannah Kahn, trans. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1939); and Robert Michels, Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy, E. Paul and C. Paul, trans. (New York: Free Press, 1962). Italian thinking along these lines goes back to Roman senators versus plebian Gracchus tribunes, and Pareto generalizes this elite circulation paradigm. The most famous US realist is James Madison, in the Federalist Papers no. 10. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People, is as realist as Madison but more sanguine about the wisdom of ordinary citizens and more dubious of intellectualizing theorists. 2. Dankwart Rustow, “Transitions to Democracy: Toward a Dynamic Model,” Comparative Politics 2:3 (1970), 337–363, is the classic; Rustow’s title refers to democracy, but the logic of his argument could apply just as well to any regime type— a fact Rustow does not mention. See also works such as Philippe C. Schmitter and Terry Lynn Karl, “What Democracy Is . . . and Is Not,” in The Global Resurgence of Democracy, Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 49–62, and many other comparative studies especially about “pacts” in Latin America. 3. Dietrich Rueschmeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens, and John D. Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 201. A combined elite-and-class analysis is in Eva Etzioni-Halevy, “The Relationship Between Elites and the Working Class: On Coupling, Uncoupling, Democracy, and (In)equality in the West,” in Classes and Elites in Democracy and Democratization, Etzioni-Halevy, ed. (New York: Garland, 1997), 310–426. 4. Eva Etzioni-Halevy, The Elite Connection: Problems and Potential of Western Democracy (Cambridge: Polity, 1993), 204, quoted in Henrik Paul Bang, ed., Governance as Social and Political Communication (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), 230. Etzioni-Halevy refers to Western democracies, but her argument is applicable to Hong Kong too. 5. See Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970), esp. 87, which explores conditions under which protest “voice” (or alternatively, “exit”) changes or does not change policy. Hirschman blamed the main antiwar member of Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet, George Ball, for substantially up-

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holding the Vietnam War policy by being a public in-house advocate for reasons against it. (Hirschman also offers examples of “exit”’ that fail to improve organizational responsiveness, such as in the Nigerian railways, which remain a line item on the government budget even after shippers have deserted it.) Voice is most effective when dissatisfaction becomes severe and leaders need support from the protesters. The superrich of Hong Kong until recently have been able to maintain their power without such support, but they are increasingly tentative allies of the DAB. The rise of voice in Hong Kong threatens them. 6. See Rustow, “Transitions to Democracy,” 337–463. 7. South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], July 16, 1998, 4. 8. Ibid. 9. Post, May 27, 1998, 1. 10. Xinhua, “NPC to Discuss Tung’s Constitutional Development Report,” April 20, 2004, http://china.org.cn/english/government/93457.htm; for example, a word “substantive” in a statement that “no proposed amendment can affect the Central Authorities’ substantive power of appointment of the chief executive.” 11. In Carine Lai and Christine Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere: A Review of Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997–2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007), 65–66. 12. My thanks for insights go to Simon Young of the University of Hong Kong’s Law School. Legco, like other legislatures, has committee processes that can impede powers that the Basic Law seems to grant. For example, in 2014 after news emerged of C. Y. Leung’s receipt of a large payment from an Australian land company, some democrats started impeachment proceedings against him, following the Basic Law’s Article 73(9), which says that such a motion may be “initiated jointly by one-fourth” of Legco. But apparently because of Xi Jinping’s total support of Leung then, the matter was held up in committee. 13. See http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/en/basiclawtext/images/basiclawtext _doc18.pdf. 14. Quoted from reliable-sample polls by Michael DeGolyer of the Hong Kong Transition Project, in Lai and Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere, 69. The December 2004 poll showed that people had delayed rather than abandoned such hopes; the portion of people who then wanted direct chief executive elections to begin in 2012 rose. 15. Calvert W. Jones, “Seeing Like an Autocrat: Liberal Social Engineering in an Illiberal State,” Perspectives on Politics 13:1 (March 2015), 24–41, concerns the United Arab Emirates. 16. Gabriel A. Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963), for example page 208. 17. Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 203. 18. Kwok-ping Chou, “Why Is National Education Opposed in Hong Kong but Accepted in Macau?” EAI Background Brief no. 754 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 6. 19. Sebastian Veg, “Hong Kong’s Enduring Identity Crisis,” October 16, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/China/archive/2013. 20. “Losing Hearts and Minds: Hong Kong and Taiwan,” The Economist, December 6, 2014, 46. 21. Lest the professor-democrat attract trouble by talking with a foreigner, it is best just to note that such surveys are carried out both by pan-democratic and pro-establishment pollsters in Hong Kong. Young mainlanders attending Hong Kong secondary schools may differ from those in Hong Kong universities.

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22. Tony Cheung and Peter So, “Hong Kong Nationalism Flies Off Shelves Following Leung Chun-ying’s Policy Address Criticism,” Post, January 22, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. Leung’s audience for these remarks was in the North, not in Hong Kong. 23. See also Veg, “Hong Kong’s Enduring Identity Crisis,” which includes a link to the weak Hong Kong autonomy movement’s website. 24. “Determined: Local Passion Is Flaring, but China’s Fears of Secessionism Are Overblown,” The Economist, May 30, 2015, 41–42. 25. One commentator, however, was impressed: Alex Lo, “Battle of Castle Peak a Shot Across Hong Kong’s Bow by the PLA,” July 6, 2015, http:// www.scmp.com. 26. Siu-kai Lau and Hsin-chi Kuan, The Ethos of the Hong Kong Chinese (Shatin: Chinese University Press, 1988). 27. Wai-man Lam, Understanding the Political Culture of Hong Kong: The Paradox of Activism and Depoliticization (Armonk: Sharpe, 2004). 28. Lau and Kuan, The Ethos of the Hong Kong Chinese. 29. Ibid. 30. These examples are prior to the 1980s; activism surrounding the later decades, including the handover, is discussed at length elsewhere. Rich details are in Lam, Understanding the Political Culture of Hong Kong, 65–186. 31. See Vilfredo Pareto, The Rise and Fall of Elites, intro. by Hans Zetterberg (New York: Arno, 1979); and Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, Luigi Ricci, trans.; intro. by Christian Gauss (New York: Mentor, 1952). 32. See Richard Baum, The Cycles of Reform: Chinese Politics in the Age of Deng Xiaoping (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994). Another book, organized by the same principle but making explicit reference to Pareto, is Joseph J. Wright, The Balancing Act: A History of Modern Thailand (Oakland, CA: Pacific Rim, 1991). 33. Hong Kong’s Basic Law, together with its Electoral Law, may provide the limiting case, because they enshrine nearly the whole panoply of such methods. Singapore, which because of the international danger to that state that would be posed by political mobilization of either Chinese or Muslims, has a more justifiably illiberal system. There, these methods are complemented by frequent use of libel laws. In Hong Kong and elsewhere, Hare-quota-and-remainder voting supports the same aim—and has been of recent interest among anti-democrats in Thailand. A method that Hong Kong cannot use, although China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar have all used it, is to reserve some legislative seats for military officers. Philippine conservatives have a unique institution for making sure that policy (especially on land reform) does not become majoritarian: Kudeta is Tagalog for a threatened coup that blocks reform without actually overthrowing the government; the lions are safe, though they led illegal revolts). See Lynn White, Philippine Politics: Possibilities and Problems in a Localist Democracy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014). 34. David Dahua Yang, “The Bases of Political Legitimacy in Late-Authoritarian Taiwan,” in Legitimacy: Ambiguities of Success or Failure in East and Southeast Asia, Lynn White, ed. (Singapore: World Scientific, 1990), 67–111. 35. Hak Yin Li, “Two Stumbling Blocks for Hong Kong’s Democratization: Personal Vote and Beijing’s Policies,” in Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democratization in East Asia, Liang Fook Lye and Wilhelm Hofmeister, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2011), 305, supplemented by results from http://www.elections.gov.hk /legco2012. 36. Steven Rood, “Elections as Complicated and Important Events in the Philippines,” in John Fu-sheng Hsieh and David Newman, eds., How Asia Votes (London: Chatham, 2002), 148–150.

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37. Simon N. M. Young and Richard Cullen, Electing Hong Kong’s Chief Executive (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2010). 38. Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 121. 39. Reasons why Dahl used the overly Latinate form “contestation,” rather than “contest,” are less clear than reasons he preferred “polyarchy” to “democracy.” His books more are about modern multiple rule, than about rule-by-the-people; and he wanted readers to think harder, so he used new words. See Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971). 40. Adam Przeworski, Michael E. Alvarez, Jose Antonio Cheibub, and Fernando Limongi, Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 15–16. 41. Shelley Rigger From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Boulder: Rienner, 2001). 42. White, Philippine Politics, raises further questions about links between the words “party” and “democracy” in a “localist” system, as I do again in Lynn White, “Temporal, Spatial, and Functional Governance of China’s Reform Stability,” Journal of Contemporary China 22:83 (May 2013), 791–811. 43. Ernest Chui Wing-tak, The Ambivalence of Local Level Political Elites: Views of the 1994 District Board Election Candidates, Occasional Paper no. 44 (Shatin: Hong Kong Chinese University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1995). 44. Ernest Chui Wing-tak, Elite-Mass Relationship in Hong Kong: A Look into the Perception of Local Level Political Representatives, Occasional Paper no. 24 (Shatin: Hong Kong Chinese University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1993). 45. Governance Reform Group, SynergyNet, Hong Kong Governance in Capacity Crisis (Hong Kong: SynergyNet, 2004), 10. 46. Alvin Y. So, Hong Kong’s Embattled Democracy: A Societal Analysis (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 16. 47. For comparison, see Shelley Rigger, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (New York: Routledge, 1999); notice the unexpected and cogent meaning of the subtitle. 48. Statement by DAB chair Tsang Yok-sing and interview with Frontier leader Emily Lau, May 29, 1998. 49. An example was Christine Loh, who after strong showings in 1995 and 1998 decided not to run again for Legco. In a University of Hong Kong forum, while she was still in the legislature, she satirized herself as “the Honourable Christine Loh,” but even with that nice-sounding title, she could not get information that she needed to do her Legco job out of the government’s bureaucracy. 50. Joseph Y. S. Cheng, “Whither China’s Democracy?” in Whither China’s Democracy? Democratization in China Since the Tiananmen Incident, Cheng, ed. (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2011), 29. 51. Kaisa Oksanen, Battles of Definitions: Hong Kong and the Rhetoric of Democracy (Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag, 2009), esp. 135 for the quotation and 147. 52.. Jermain T. M. Lam, The Political Dynamics of Hong Kong Under Chinese Sovereignty (Huntington, NY: Nova Science, 2000), 108. 53. Governance Reform Group, SynergyNet, Hong Kong Governance in Capacity Crisis, 10. 54. Post, January 11, 1998, 10. 55. Governance Reform Group, SynergyNet, Hong Kong Governance in Capacity Crisis, .10. 56. Lam and Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated,” 193. 57. Danny Gittings, “Separation of Powers Under the HK Basic Law,” Social Science Research Network, December 9, 2013, http://SSRN-id2424448.pdf, 4.

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58. The constitution of Singapore provides for standard freedoms, including freedom of speech; but it also says parliament may impose “such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence.” Hong Kong does not face such ethnic mobilization dangers. 59. Ng Hon Wah, “Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty? Constitutional Review: Singapore and Hong Kong Compared,” PhD thesis (University of Hong Kong, September 2010), 3. 60. Ng, Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty? 270. 61. Ibid., 106. 62. Benny Y. T. Tai, “Judicial Autonomy in Hong Kong,” China Information 24:3 (2010), 295. 63. David Dodwell, “Mistresses and Second Wives of Hong Kong Businessmen in the Pearl River Delta,” June 3, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. Presuming the data in this Post report are right, a calculation suggests that the department slightly exceeded its daily quota. 64. The government, at http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk, offers full texts of Articles 22 and 24, and the NPC Standing Committee subcommittee’s “interpretation” that conflicted with the Article 82 provision concerning the Court of Final Appeal’s “power of final adjudication.” 65. Austin Chiu, “Retiring Court of Final Appeal Judge Kemal Bokhary Warns of Legal Turmoil,” Post, October 25, 2012, http://www.scmp.com. 66. Simon M. N. Young and Yash Ghai, eds., Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal: The Development of the Law in China’s Hong Kong (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 67. Michael Johnston, “A Brief History of Anticorruption Agencies,” in The SelfRestraining State: Power and Accountability in New Democracies, Andreas Schedler, Larry Diamond, and Marc F. Plattner, eds. (Boulder: Rienner, 1999), 217. 68. Rance P. L. Lee, ed., Corruption and Its Control in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Chinese University Press, 1981). 69. Post, July 16, 1998, 4. 70. For a few years after 1997, ten nonfunctional seats were chosen by a Beijingcontrolled committee. From 2012, five functional seats were chosen among district council members. 71. Basic Law, Articles 49–50. 72. Post, July 17, 1998, 17. 73. Post, May 28, 1998, 6. 74. Except in Taiwan since 1996, Chinese elections of top executives have been indirect. Sun Yat-sen won a 1911 provisional presidency election among representatives of provinces but not individual voters. Carrie Chan, “’Genuine’ Tsang Turns Aggressive,” HK Standard, March 16, 2007, http://www.thestandard.com.hk. 75. Yew-chiew Ping and Kin-ming Kwong, “The Hong Kong Chief Executive Election and Its Aftermath,” EAI Background Brief no. 713 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 6–7. 76. Ibid., 1–4. 77. Some University of Hong Kong faculty members have averred to me that cuts of government funding to that and other local universities are partly based on conservatives’ resentment of such polling and political activism among both staff and students. No sure evidence to prove or disprove this claim is available. Freedom House

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claimed that “a number of incidents in 2012 suggested growing threats to Hong Kong’s academic freedom. The director of the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme, known for its politically sensitive polls, was criticized in more than 80 articles and commentaries in pro-Beijing newspapers early in the year. A political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was also singled out for criticism in the papers.” Such reports increased in the following two years, despite the Basic Law’s Article 34 on free academic research. See https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/hong-kong#.Vafxvv7bLcs. 78. Yew Chiew Ping and Kin-ming Kwong, “The 2012 Legislative Council Election: New Political Landscape and Governance Challenges,” in Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: Economic Integration and Political Gridlock, Zheng Yongnian and Chiew Ping Yew, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2013), 262. 79. Yew Chiew-ping and Kin-ming Kwong, “Hong Kong Legislative Council Election, 2012: New Political Landscape Brings New Governance Challenges,” EAI Background Brief no. 755 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 1–5. 80. Radio Television Hong Kong, “New Year’s Day Rally; Disunity in the ProBeijing Camp,” January 3, 2014. 81. Simon Young, “Selective Report on Electoral Reform Consultation Further Divides Hong Kong,” July 19, 2014, http://www.scmp.com/comment/article/1556108, describes official methods of biased “consultation.” 82. Stuart Lau, “No Need to Fear Beijing’s White Paper, Says Top British Judge Lord Neuberger,” August 27, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 83. See http://www.scmp.com/topics/beijing-white-paper-2014. See also Joyce Ng, “Beijing Scholar Admits Error and Omissions in White Paper on Hong Kong,” August 28, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 84. This list of three options, whose differences are sufficiently unimportant that they need not be detailed here, had been whittled down from fifteen during debates among pro-democracy groups. 85. Lai and Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere, 162; this view predated the white paper. 86. Ying-kit Lai, “Anson Chan Calls for Law Allowing Future Changes to Election Process,” May 11, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 87. Simon N. M. Young, “Rethinking the Process of Political Reform in Hong Kong,” Hong Kong Law Journal 45:2 (2015) (pre-print supplied by Professor Young) and “Realising Universal Suffrage in Hong Kong After the Standing Committee’s Decision,” Hong Kong Law Journal 44:3 (2014), 689–708. 88. Keith Bradsher, “Amid Clamor over Democracy, Hong Kong’s Tycoons Keep Silent,” October 22, 2014, http://www.nyt.com. 89. Staff Reporters, “Defiant James Tien Repeats Call for CY Leung to Quit, Following CPPCC Expulsion,” October 30, 2014, http://www.scmp.com, includes a picture of Tien with the four other Liberal Party legislators (all from functional constituencies) who clearly agreed with him about Leung. 90. Personal communication from Professor Gary Sick, November 28, 2014. More information is at The Iran Primer, http://iranprimer.usip.org, a Web publication involving many scholars although it is sponsored by the US Institute of Peace, a quasigovernment institution. 91. See Shelley Rigger, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (New York: Routledge, 1999), which describes “no-party, no-faction” (wudang wupai) elections during Chiang Kai-shek’s authoritarian rule on Taiwan. The heart of Rigger’s argument is in her book’s subtitle: establishing frequent elections creates democratic politics, because public struggles for votes attract attention. Rigger (like her former teacher, my-

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self) has been inspired by Schattschneider’s book The Semi-Sovereign People. 92. Peter So and Joyce Ng, “Pan-Democrats Vow to Veto Any ‘Unfair’ Reform Plan,” August 21, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. The pan-democrats’ vows were taken individually, and if four or five of them had decided to vote for Beijing’s plan, then (if the functional delegates also did so, despite that plan’s potential disadvantages for themselves) it would have passed with the necessary two-thirds majority. Many assume that conservative Legco members will unanimously and forever go along with Beijing’s plan; but if they fear universal suffrage would pass, they might not. They may be content with some democrats’ success in future elections. 93. Ng Kang-chung, “The Battle to Pocket Public Opinion: A PR Fight on the Political Reform Package,” April 20, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 94. Jeffie Lam, “Does Xi Jinping Handshake Mean John Tsang Will Be Hong Kong’s Next Leader? ‘No,’ Says Current Chief CY Leung,” July 7, 2015, http://www.scmp.com; and Lam, “John Tsang Should Consider Running for Chief Executive in 2017, Says Henry Tang,” July 3, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 95. Christine Loh, Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2010), 10. 96. Ping and Kwong, “The Hong Kong Chief Executive Election and Its Aftermath,” 9, and confirmed by a friend who voted for Leung in the election committee of 2012. 97. See Lynn White, “Leadership in Shanghai,” in Leadership in the People’s Republic of China, Robert A. Scalapino, ed. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1972), 369; and White, Policies of Chaos: Organizational Causes of Violence in China’s Cultural Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 46–47. 98. I heard this derisive term “200 percent loyal” from a pro-establishment member of the 2012 election committee who is a friend. 99. David Caragliano, “Democracy in Hong Kong: Might ‘None-of-These-Candidates’ Break the Deadlock?” Brookings East Asia Commentary, February 9, 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2015/02/09; and University of Hong Kong POP report of January 12, 2015, http://hkupop.hku.hk/english/report/mpCEnOCCw8/index.html. 100. Ian Scott, “The Disarticulation of Hong Kong’s Post-Handover Political System,” China Journal 43 (January 2000), 29. 101. These insights come from a private e-mail written in 2015 by a very experienced Hong Kong Chinese source within the city’s government who should not be identified here—but views like this are tacitly held by others in official positions, too. 102. John P. Burns, “The Structure of Communist Party Control in Hong Kong,” Asian Survey 30:8 (1990), 748–765; and a very helpful 2015 personal conversation with Professor Burns. The Hong Kong Xinhua office was originally founded by cadres who had experience working in pre-communist Shanghai or with capitalists in that city. Further details, including references to Xu Jiatun’s memoirs, are in Yin Qian, “The Operation of Beijing’s Fifth Column” and “The Motivation of Beijing’s Fifth Column Policy,” both in Hong Kong in Focus: Political and Economic Issues, S. G. Rioni, ed. (New York: Nova Science, 2002), 139–203. 103. For example, the NPC Standing Committee organizes elections of its own Hong Kong delegation, and it has done this through communications not to a street address, but simply to Box 50443 at the Sai Ying Pun district post office.

6 Exploring Social Protests “We will be back.” “It’s just the beginning.” “You are only clearing a camp. You can’t clear the idea!” —Signs seen as police arrested Occupy Central protesters folding tents1

Robert Dahl defines democracy as “a political system one of the characteristics of which is the quality of being completely or almost completely responsive to all its citizens.”2 If so, many so-called democracies are very far from this ideal. “We the people” is a political actor who is difficult to identify, but revolutions and social movements have created identities that became bases for many modern nations. Some famous figures were leaders of such communal campaigns; but also, many social movements were led locally, by ordinary people acting in parallel with one another without much coordination. Pressure for democratization has become a sociopolitical movement in Hong Kong. It has been informally institutionalized in repertoires of protest: annual rallies in Victoria Park to mourn the 1989 defeat at Tiananmen, mass marches against illiberal bills for national security or education, sit-in demonstrations in front of government buildings, street blockades in Central District by 2014, and 2015 rallies for the local system to be administered separately from the country. Sidney Tarrow typifies such movements, various though they are. Many are sustained for long periods and are organized by multiple local leaders, who have fluctuating ideologies or are simply frustrated with their government. Any success for such a movement creates perceptions of opportunity in later stages; so a cycle or repertoire of protest may become normalized. Elites in Hong Kong and Beijing, who saw this syndrome in 2014– 2015, became more conservative—creating further frustrations among the protesters, and therefore nearly certain future cyclical repetitions of the movement using new methods.3

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As Frances Piven and Richard Cloward show, some “poor people’s movements” against patrons or capitalists have often lacked famous leaders or articulate ideologies. This did not prevent them from inducing political changes.4 If a reporter or political theorist had asked sans-culottes storming the Bastille, or minutemen repulsing redcoats at Concord Bridge, to give their “accounts of democracy,” the responses would not have had much philosophical coherence. But the protesters had grievances. They were angry, they wanted change in their governments, and to some extent they achieved it. China has already had a major revolution. Hong Kong’s population growth was part of the reaction to that process. Neither Britain’s colonial government nor the post-handover regime has been democratic, but “democracy” as an absolute never exists. Public perceptions of who is democratic, and who is not, are based on motion toward or away from giving “the people” more influence. In a late 2001 survey, when Hongkongers were asked whether the British “past regime” was “somewhat or very democratic,” 64 percent said it had been democratic (despite Christopher Patten’s highly unrepresentative non-Chinese ethnicity and the ideally monarchal-dictatorial Letters Patent constitution). But far fewer, only 36 percent, described Chief Executive Tung’s government as democratic—and 53 percent opined that the post-handover regime was “somewhat or very dictatorial.”5 Few deemed that Patten had been “somewhat or very dictatorial.” Democracy is a tendency more than a status. It cannot really be assessed except through trends for or against democratization. It is a perception about change, more than a fact about government. Institutions of Veto, Non-Institutionalized Protests, and Party Weakness Adam Przeworski claims that the first requisite for a transition to democracy is a formula “to institutionalize uncertainty without threatening the interests of those who can still reverse the process.”6 Uncertainty can be delayed, more than it can be institutionalized. All leaders, even conservatives, eventually lose their offices. This circulation of elites can be conceived as a quasi-biological evolutionary process. Institutions vary, regarding the ease or difficulty with which they adapt to new contexts. The government in Hong Kong is exceptionally brittle, because it cannot change unless Beijing approves. Hong Kong has a “vetocracy.”7 The local government could be classified as a consultative dictatorship; that is what the term “executive-led” means in practice. Article 54 of the Basic Law asserts that “the Chief Executive makes policy, with the assistance of the Executive Council,” and the next article empowers the top leader to appoint and remove Exco members at will. This quasi-monarchic form of government, inherited from Britain with minor

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“roundtable” aspects, is likely in the future to become a tenuous legalism. It may become politically more difficult for a Chief Executive to work solely as an autocrat in a modern pluralized place such as Hong Kong. The executive’s job is harder because this top leader is formally prohibited from joining a political party of whose support he or she might be sure. Partly for this reason, no Hong Kong party is strong in the minds of Hong Kong people. Only a minority, when polled, opine that any of the available parties are effective in solving problems. Pan-democrats are split between purists who imagine that popular sovereignty is an absolute and realists who know it is a long-term task that may be worthy as an aim but is never fully achieved. Hong Kong conservatives are equally schizophrenic; they love the profits their companies receive, yet their personal values and educations (even citizenships) are often liberal and Western.8 A survey in April 2014 showed widespread public dissatisfaction with the government and with all the city’s political parties. When asked which party best represents them, 29 percent of the respondents replied that “none does” or “don’t know.” Another 25 percent chose democratic parties that vie continually with government institutions that are also distrusted by many.9 Political ads for Legco and district council candidates grace the sides of Hong Kong streets, and from both democratic and conservative parties the most common phrase in them is Fandui! meaning “Oppose!” In Hong Kong, dissidents rely not mainly on parties but, according to one observer, “mostly on non-institutionalized tactics such as protests, sit-ins, or strikes.”10 Despite formally autocratic institutions in Hong Kong, public “rights to rebuke” the government have a long and strong history. Just before the Japanese invasion in 1941, Legco member Sir Man-kam Lo lambasted bureaucrats who used wartime powers to abuse squatters. In 1967, the Financial Secretary briefly tried to follow policies from London, devaluing the Hong Kong dollar at a time the British pound suddenly lost value—but after strenuous local objections that the British colony should not just serve British interests, he in great embarrassment revalued the Hong Kong dollar upward again. In 1974, police superintendent Peter Godber was found to be egregiously corrupt, and the government’s quick establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption was the result of sharp public outcry. These are just three examples from the long-gone colonial past. A 1998 effort to impose a sales tax met similar protests and was withdrawn. Also after the handover, critics denounced corruption in the government’s concessions to Li Ka-shing’s son, Richard Li, for development of the Cyberport “information technology” project—which is in fact mostly a residential sales and rental project, with commercial properties attached. The objections did not stop that construction; but a similar outcry at least delayed another developer’s plans for the West Kowloon “Cultural” District, which also

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involved valuable permissions to reclaim land and was also mostly a design for the construction of flats, in which both wealthy Hong Kong people and newly rich mainlanders invest.11 Other major protests in the current century have already been described in various chapters. In 2003, Tung Chee-hwa had to back down from efforts to pass a bill implementing the anti-subversion Article 23 of the Basic Law. In 2012, a bill for national education, which critics described as communist brainwashing, was similarly withdrawn after street protests defeated the chance it could get through Legco. The high price of housing remains a major potential cause of complaint against mainlanders and tycoons. The government, less than a week after the defeat of its constitutional reform plan in 2015, atypically recommended that more public money be spent to reduce this and other “livelihood” problems.12 Hong Kong has always been constitutionally autocratic, but that has not made the government totally unresponsive to public opinion. Hints of Democratization During Chief Executive Tsang’s Era In late 2005, Donald Tsang proposed a bill that did not offer universal suffrage by 2007–2008 but included minor concessions to democrats. The pan-democratic Legco members proposed to amend Tsang’s plan, but neither the amendment nor the official motion could obtain the two-thirds vote required for passage. As democratic analysts Carine Lai and Christine Loh have written, public opinion blamed this mutual failure on the democrats more than on Tsang.13 Tsang planned to run again for Chief Executive in 2007, and he promised during his campaign that he would press for universal suffrage in elections of the top leader as soon as possible (albeit with committee-limited nominations, as Beijing required). Experienced Hong Kong politicians report that Tsang worked “behind the scenes” to persuade the Beijing leaders, then President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, to accept a timetable for that procedure in 2017. Beijing’s point-man for Hong Kong and Macau affairs in 2007 was none other than the heir-apparent president-designate, Xi Jinping. A local government green paper on constitutional development reported in self-contradictory fashion that “more than half of the public supported the implementation of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the LegCo (‘dual universal suffrage’) in 2012, and at the same time, implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive first by no later than 2017 would stand a better chance of being accepted by the majority in our community.”14 As semantic perusal of that odd sentence shows, it was an official lie (typical on this topic) that most Hong Kong people did not want universal suffrage for both their executive and legislature as soon as possible if they could have it. In any case, Tsang’s plan was not as expansive as an earlier blueprint proposed by pan-democrats, who called for more directly elected representatives in Legco and on the Chief Ex-

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ecutive nomination committee too. But Tsang had to obey Beijing, and his official report northward for the first time proposed a definite timetable for reform in 2017. A 2007 law of the National People’s Congress denied universal suffrage for the 2012 chief executive election, but the same law suggested a mass vote five years later in 2017. This Beijing law also vaguely mooted possible abolition of functional seats in Legco thereafter “if need be”—meaning if Beijing then allowed the Chief Executive to suggest such a need and if the proposal could get through Legco (where some tycoon functional representatives would surely fight it, although some might join DAB support for it if Beijing ordered that). As the December 2007 NPC law said: The election of the fifth Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the year 2017 may [sic] be implemented by the method of universal suffrage [and] after the Chief Executive is selected by universal suffrage, the election of the Legislative Council . . . may be implemented by the method of electing all the members by universal suffrage.

In addition to the “may” words in this law, which would seem very lightly to bind Beijing unless the NPC repeals it, the text adds that any change must be proposed by the Chief Executive, who is Beijing’s constitutional appointee and minion: The bills on the amendments to the method for selecting the Chief Executive and the proposed amendments to such bills shall be introduced by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to the Legislative Council; such amendments must be made with the endorsement of a twothirds majority of all the members of the Legislative Council and the consent of the Chief Executive.

So Beijing retained a sure veto over any change, but it has also nearly promised more than it is likely to deliver, unless protests in Hong Kong or a thaw in Beijing change the predominant official conservatism. The link between the 2007 law and Xi Jinping has not been advertised by the central government, although he must have approved these wordings because of his job at that time. China and pro-Beijing groups in Hong Kong do not need to delay universal suffrage for the executive if they can limit further reforms through control of Chief Executive nominations. But Chinese laws (including the Basic Law) could cause increasing embarrassment to the central government if repeated postponement of universal suffrage continues to suggest that Beijing has been disingenuous about Hong Kong democracy all along. Social diversification and the rise of wealth during the fastest period of economic expansion have changed the city in ways that Beijing’s leaders have trouble accommodating.

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Perhaps their policies are clever, but it is more likely that the inconstancy of their positions is unplanned. They may not know what they are doing over time. Two years after the promising-but-indefinite 2007 law was passed, Tsang’s government announced a proposal to expand the 2012 Chief Executive Election Committee from 800 to 1,200 members, and also to add five geographical and five functional seats to Legco. The new functional “superseats” were for district councils, representing a political rather than any economic or social role (as all the other functional constituencies do). Local district council members were to nominate candidates from among themselves, and these were slated for election by a wide range of people. This plan did not alter the other, mostly small, functional sectors that are mostly reserved for businesspeople, although lawyers, teachers, medics, and unions also have functional constituencies (a few of them pan-democratic). Nor did the proposal allow more open nominations for Chief Executive. So democratic legislators, along with prominent unofficial democrats such as former Chief Secretary Anson Chan, former Democratic Party chair Martin Lee, Cardinal Zen, and lawyers in the Bar Association and Law Society expressed severe disappointment. Chief Executive Tsang and Civic Party leader Audrey Eu held a debate on the government’s plan, which Eu was widely seen to have won (Tsang’s statements were stilted because he adhered strictly to notes that reflected Beijing’s approved verbiage). Civic Exchange founder Christine Loh, a moderate democrat, agreed with the critics but pointed out that Tsang’s government had scant latitude for reform. Representatives from Beijing’s Liaison Office sat down in 2010 with Democratic Party leaders Albert Ho, Emily Lau, and Cheung Man-kwong. This was the first formal meeting of those two sides since 1989. They could reach no agreement at that meeting—but shortly before Tsang’s plan went to Legco, Ho said he would urge Democratic Party lawmakers to vote for it if the new district councilor seats were subject to election by all Hong Kong adults not casting ballots in any other functional constituency. Tsang scurried to get Beijing’s approval of that change—and finally the government’s proposals won in Legco with forty-six votes, including those of the Democratic Party (though not of the Civic Party or several other independent democrats). Compromise had won a battle, but verbal war continued between Hong Kong people who stressed their city as part of China and those wanting more autonomy for their local government. Hong Kong Families’ Anti-Leftism and the March Against “National Education” Ninety-four percent of Hong Kong people are ethnic Chinese (with 2 percent each Filipino and Indonesian, 1 percent Caucasian, and 0.4 percent Indian).15

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Before 1997, Hong Kong had been mostly populated by families fleeing leftist rebellions and revolutionary movements in China, including the nineteenthcentury Taipings and Small Swords, Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists (whom most rich people considered radical in the early 1920s), the 1949 communist revolution, the 1955–1957 campaigns against intellectuals and “rightists,” the 1958 Great Leap Forward, the 1959–1961 famine, the Cultural Revolution, and suppressions after the Tiananmen massacre. In Legco’s 1984 debate about the Sino-British Declaration that scheduled the handover, lawmaker Cheung Kam-chuen expressed trepidation: Of the 5.3 million people, about 2.6 million are Hong Kong born [although their ancestors had mostly left China earlier]. The remaining 2.7 million mostly came to Hong Kong from mainland China during the various political movements [under Mao]. . . . Some of them were suddenly deprived of all their earthly possessions and found that their own children turned into their persecutors on a charge which is nonexistent. Neighbours and relatives turned into witnesses, and the mob is the judge.16

Hong Kong families are Chinese. These most local and most powerful small polities, families, are in Hong Kong generally anti-leftist. They fear violence and theft. This is a city in which windows on very high floors of residential skyscrapers normally have sturdy metal bars to deter any odd, nonacrophobic robber who might endanger life and limb by trying to climb up so far. The 1989 killings in Beijing inspired both hate and fatalism among Hong Kong’s population concerning the mainland’s party-state. The annual June 4 rallies in Victoria Park during recent years usually brought 150,000 or more participants, although fewer people attended in 2015 after the street protests. Sebastian Veg writes that “June 4 is a kind of foundational date in Hong Kong, religiously commemorated by a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park every year, during which patriotic songs are sung.”17 This ceremony is “pan-Chinese,” including video links with former Tiananmen student leaders who fled to the West. It is also a reminder for many Hong Kong people of how intensely they want their city to remain separate from the mainland, even while they are Chinese, in order to preserve their own rights such as freedom from state violence. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong was pictured in media on handover day when it first arrived, but since then it has usually kept a low public profile. The PLA occupied fourteen of the thirtynine former British barracks, turning over others to the SAR government for redevelopment, albeit with some interesting exceptions near universities.18 The commander has been almost as invisible as his soldiers. The first PLA open house was held on October 1, the National Day after the handover, but only 5,000 tickets were available. Hong Kong Police ships are often seen in the harbor, but China’s navy has been no more in evidence than have war-

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ships of other navies, notably the American one that still calls at Hong Kong for the “rest and recreation” of its sailors. Hong Kong’s police, but not the army, were mobilized against the 2014 protesters. If dissenters return to nonviolent action after continued official rejection of their demands—as they vow they will—it is uncertain whether the national state will continue to restrain itself by avoiding the use of PLA soldiers. It nonetheless has key interests in doing so. What the Chinese communist leaders try to remember about 1989 is “chaos” (luan). The Tiananmen experience bred in them a general paranoia about social movements. They like to equate the 1989 protest with the Cultural Revolution, although it was documentably different.19 Beijing’s leaders have become “control freaks.” The richest people in Hong Kong, despite their mostly liberal personal values, profit from the top communists’ paranoias and the Hong Kong public’s fears of violence. Traditions in most of the city’s families, except for recently arrived mainlanders, conflict with official Chinese efforts to control everything. The governments in both Beijing and Hong Kong emphasize that almost everybody in the port is Chinese and therefore should be loyal to the PRC state. Many of the city’s residents, however, resist being “brainwashed” (xinao) and would like to see more practical distinction between the national state and the Communist Party. “National education” understandably increased in Hong Kong after the end of British colonialism. The reasons were many. Learning Mandarin, introducing more China questions on examination for a secondary-education diploma, raising the red flag in schools while singing the national anthem, and tours for students to “patriotic bases” inside China have been enthusiastically financed by tycoons. Such practices seemed natural to many post-1997 immigrants from the mainland, who now are nearly one-fifth of the population. Hong Kong people “do not mind learning more about China so long as knowledge has commercial value (for instance, Mandarin learning), the activities are optional (for example, study tours), or the learning process encourages critical and analytical thinking (for instance, liberal studies),” according to a Singapore analyst. But most Hong Kong native families are very anticommunist. A teaching manual that had been commissioned by the local government “commended the Communist Party of China as an ‘advanced, selfless, and united ruling group.’”20 A National Education Services Center in Hong Kong published this manual and textbooks that blamed the 1989 Tiananmen incident on “complicated international and domestic situations,” without mentioning either economic inflation or democratic politics. Chief Executive Tsang’s policy address in 2010 said that a Curriculum Development Council would review “moral and civic education at the primary and secondary levels.” A preliminary Curriculum Guide was drafted by 2012. The government’s plan was to let schools have “flexibility to follow” the guide—but then it was scheduled to become compulsory in September 2015.21

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At the end of July 2012, nearly 100,000 people, led by the largest teachers’ union, marched in the streets against passage of this government-proposed bill that would have mandated that schools later use the Curriculum Guide. Hong Kong people have expressed no aversion to learning Chinese history, but many have expressed disgust against teaching a politically biased version of it. Hong Kong students, their parents, teachers, and anti-government politicians all joined protests against the bill to implement the “Moral and National Education Curriculum Guide, Primary 1 to Secondary 6.” Chief Executive Leung saw that if he pressed for the motion in Legco, members of the Liberal Party and other pro-establishment groups (many of whom had voted against Leung in the recent Chief Executive election) were likely to abstain. These lawmakers feared that votes for the motion would hurt their chances in the upcoming September 2012 Legco election. So Leung withdrew the bill, merely saying the Curriculum Guide was still “appropriate” for schools to use.22 By contrast in Macau, where nonpolitical history education had been usual in Portuguese colonial times, later pressures for more “pro-China” patriotic education were not seriously opposed. Such a measure was passed in Macau during its 1999 handover, causing no public outcry there.23 Officials in Beijing and Hong Kong apparently thought the reaction in the post-British city might likewise be restrained—and they later learned they were wrong about that. Ideas about where people have been affect visions of where they want to go. The state has recently made it harder for Hong Kong people to be both Chinese and democratic, but this city is by no means the only place where “national education” is politically controversial. Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Turkey, and other countries have had lively politics concerning different ways to teach about the past.24 Citizens’ fear, in each case, is that current rulers will interpret history heavily in their own interest, rather than trying to teach more circumspect truths that comprehend the interests of the whole community in all its main parts. They see this as a kind of intellectual corruption, benefiting just a few at the expense of benefiting many. Democracy is minzhu zhuyi, referring to rule by the people, min.25 Minzu zhuyi might nearly be translated as “nationalism,” which in practice usually means belief in the importance of an ethnic identity (e.g., Han Chinese). These terms have had many political uses since the time when the Cantonese-Chinese leader Sun Yat-sen, for example, praised them. The word “ethnic” in English would be a weak term to describe connotations Chinese nationalism has acquired, after the predations of Westerners and Japanese in recent centuries. “Patriotism” (aiguo zhuyi) is “love of country,” but while ai clearly means “love,” guo can equally mean “country” or “state.”26 With the “state” connotation, such patriotism might as well in practice be love of the Communist Party, which according to the PRC constitution leads the state. Since guojia means “state,” aiguo zhuyi could almost be rendered “statism,” referring to the

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part of society that has a monopoly of major violence. These words for “patriotism” or “statism” muddle many practical distinctions because of the ambiguity of guo. They denote different notions that are nonetheless often assumed in China to be the main legitimators of political power. The DAB once used a campaign slogan based on the word guojia. Those two characters, if separated, mean “state/guo” and “family/jia.” The slogan was: “Without the state/country, where would the family be?” Meiyou guo, nar you jia? This was patriotic, but it was also revealing. It referred to the most important of all political institutions in China, the family, in an attempt to add luster to another, the state, which has a quite mixed popular reputation in Hong Kong. Public Protests Against Delays of Democratization, Leading to Occupy Central Hong Kong people’s willingness to march for democracy now depends on their concern that the Chinese Communist Party may increasingly affect what they can do. Patriotism is strong in this city, as is distaste for communism. The 1989 state violence at Tiananmen still disquiets some Hong Kong people, even if most mainland Chinese have never heard of it or have forgotten about it because of effective state propaganda for amnesia.27 The two largest-circulation Chinese-language democratic newspapers, Ming Pao and Pingguo ribao (Apple Daily), still report the 1989 killings.28 Among many Hong Kong people, no statute of limitation on social memory has yet excused the central government for this violence, even a quarter century later. Beijing leaders may realize (especially after police use of tear gas swelled the protests of 2014) that observable use of state force in Hong Kong would revive these memories and politicize a majority of people who currently still tend, when they can, just to dislike politics. Many in Hong Kong know that, further back in history, their families left the mainland because of revolutionary campaigns there, and Chinese families are polities that keep institutional records just as states do. The demand for public nominations of Chief Executive candidates is largely based on a sense that such a procedure would tend to strengthen the local system’s separateness from communists who have in the past used violence against fellow Chinese. Public nominations already occur for Legco elections, and no Chief Executive is likely to propose a change in the method of electing Legco members soon. Functional seats are also unlikely to be abolished unless public pressure—accompanied by a Beijing defection from tycoons to the DAB—brings that result. Beijing will keep the Chief Executive in its pocket so that (regardless of any other circumstances) he or she can officially report there is “no need” for any change that Beijing authorities dislike. Past central government affectations are nonetheless an issue, because earlier leaders of China apparently did not predict that current ideas in Beijing

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would remain as conservative as they now still are. China’s formal legislation suggests Hong Kong reforms that the national ruling party may not really want. Beijing partisans in the proletarian DAB are more likely to hope for constitutional change (as democrats do) than are tycoons, whom China now needs less than it once did. Hong Kong’s super-rich may suffer a loss of power, if protest politics intensifies beyond the level it reached in 2014. “Peacefully Occupy Central” (Heping zhanzhong) was a civil disobedience movement to block streets in Hong Kong’s financial district if the government continued to disallow public nominations (gongmin qiming) for the 2017 Chief Executive election.29 The original organizers were two professors, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, and a Baptist minister, Chu Yiu-ming. Many early supporters were young students—and in comparison to the city’s whole population, a disproportionate number were Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. They chose civil disobedience because, Tai explained, “nothing else had worked.”30 Young democratic radicals in two organizations, one called the Hong Kong Federation of Students and the other called Scholarism, preempted the original Occupy Central leaders by blockading streets in several locations before China’s National Day in 2014, when the older leaders had planned the protest to start.31 The pan-democratic camp split into radical and moderate factions (although Beijing ostracized both). The rally had no single leadership that could coordinate its activities or negotiate with the local government— which was also weakened at that time because of corruption charges against Chief Executive Leung. Beijing, rather than the SAR authorities, therefore carefully (but not publicly) supervised all official reactions to the protests. Reporters wrote that “the drawn curtains of speeding vans obscure Hong Kong officials riding inside, headed for the luxurious Bauhinia Villa in Shenzhen [owned by the Central Liaison Office], where throngs of Communist Party officials from Beijing wait to lay plans for handling the demonstrations.”32 On the weekend of September 27–28, 2014, the police used tear gas in Central District. Government force at that level was a shock, and it brought out many more protesters, including older people. They joined the demos in Central District, Admiralty, and Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, as well as in Mongkok on the Kowloon side, and at the Chinese University campus in the New Territories. Fewer sites of protest had been planned by the earlier, older Occupy Central organizers, who lost control of the movement to youths. Occupy Central moved far beyond Central, and its disparate leaders emerged among university students who made moving speeches but had scant unified organization. In Central District, “one [tear gas] barrage fired off was close to the Hong Kong Club [the most elite, well-moneyed tycoon club in town], and a large cloud of the stuff wafted into the club. There weren’t many members in the club at the time, but it bought tears to their eyes.” In historical terms, this re-

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port might be humorous if it were not also sad. The Hong Kong Club once had a beautiful building on the city’s most central square, but the tycoon members voted to tear it down, replacing it with a duller modern structure that has rental space, begetting more money. Hong Kong top elites sometimes seem to lack full commitment to their city.33 As the 2014–2015 protests mounted, Chief Executive Leung for some time made few public appearances, leaving the task of conferring with student protesters to his Chief Secretary Carrie Lam. She said she was “helpless” in efforts to lure the students into meaningful talks. When she met with a group of young demo leaders, the most articulate of them, Alex Chow, asked her a crucial question: “Do you have a time frame? Do you have a road map to see in which direction our constitutional development is going?” Her helplessness derived from her instructions (which presumably came from Beijing) to explain only the procedures China had laid down for the next Chief Executive selection—although she also told the students: “I don’t know why you don’t consider [universal suffrage] important progress in our quest for democracy.” She informed them that the Hong Kong government would report to Beijing that many in the city remained very unsatisfied with the terms of the August white paper—a fact of which China’s leaders were already well aware, although there was formalistic value in having the Chief Executive report it.34 Financial Secretary John Tsang frankly admitted that the government had “no experience or psychological preparation” for the “unprecedented” Occupy Central campaign, especially after young students took charge of it. Tsang was the third-highest official of the Hong Kong government (after Leung and Lam). He admitted he “did not sleep well” because of worry that the protests were escalating.35 For more than a century, young intellectuals have spurred many major changes in Chinese politics; prominent instances are the May 4 Movement of 1919 and the Tiananmen protests seven decades later. Students in China have traditionally come from elite groups, and their political views receive some respect even from elders who are more conservative. Chief Executive Leung, in his January 2015 policy address to Legco, had a somewhat conflicted message: We fully recognise the aspirations of our young students for democracy and their concerns about political reforms. University students are the future pillars of society and deserve our care. Hence, there is all the more reason for us to commend them for their merits and correct their mistakes. They should be guided towards a full understanding of the constitutional relationship between our country and Hong Kong so that the discussion on constitutional development would not be fruitless.36

In the same speech, he made the dubious claim that some of the students were secessionists from China, although he held back from being totally dismissive of young intellectuals.

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Recent migrations of mainlanders to Hong Kong have created some unrest among people born in the city. The immigrants are seen by some as competitors for jobs. Tensions between Hongkongers and mainlanders have ranged from issues that were symbolic (a trivial example is the normal use of simplified or of full-form Chinese characters) to those that were substantial. Already by 2010, half the babies born in Hong Kong had Chinese parents who were not Hong Kong residents, although local taxpayers are the hospitals’ main support. Some in the city decried a “lack of culture” among PRC immigrants, calling them “locusts.” A Peking University professor returned the insults, calling Hong Kong people “running dogs of colonial rule.”37 Mainlanders’ suspected effects on land prices may be the single most important of such tensions. The government cannot track the sources of new money that bids up apartment prices, but some of it has surely come in recent years from corruption by mainland cadres. Property tycoons, who influence the government, celebrate high land prices. Even though practically all Hong Kong people originally came from elsewhere in China, there is a very strong generalized tradition of disdain for new arrivals. The government is supported by much of the local populace when it restricts public rights or spending for foreigners such as Filipina amahs or Vietnamese refugees, and now to a lesser extent for ethnic Chinese. Some recent mainland immigrants are rich, but that scarcely helps their reputation because of doubts about the ways they got their money. As a PRC Chinese friend wrote in a personal e-mail, “All the [PRC] elite children and grandchildren have lots of properties and assets in Hong Kong.” The city’s government does not intervene in the land market to inquire how such assets were obtained—but many Hongkongers guess that rich immigrants from inland are corrupt. Worries among youth about their career options and environment, as well as concerns about prices and rents, underlie the 2014–2015 protests. Violent repression of such a movement, as comparative evidence from many countries shows, can bring more protesters onto the streets. Analysis of the Maidan Square demos in Kiev, the Gezi Park fracas in Istanbul, and riots against local and national authorities in São Paolo indicate that when police use tear gas or water cannons, many people join protests even though they were previously not involved in the issues that generated the unrest. They come because they oppose state brutality.38 Hong Kong police were videotaped on October 13, 2014, detaining a marcher from the Civic Party and leading him into a dark place in a garage, where they threw him to the floor and kicked him violently. The video went viral and was broadcast on Hong Kong television. Young demonstrators responded by replacing barricades that police had recently removed. They took heavy concrete covers off water drain conduits, blocking traffic tunnels to fortify the closure of some roads. Most of the city’s people are proud of the past professionalism of their police force; but Fu Hualing points out that, “as a law enforcement agency, the police are ill-fitted to meet

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competing political demands. The force is bound to be hard-pressed in maintaining order in an increasingly polarized society. . . . There may be an authoritarian DNA in any police force that may manifest itself in certain circumstances.”39 As the October 2014 demos swelled in Hong Kong, Chinese President Xi Jinping made no public comment at all about them. On a trip to Germany, Premier Li Keqiang said he was “convinced that Hongkongers, with their wisdom, are in a position—and the Hong Kong Government has the authority— to preserve the prosperity of the city and also social stability.”40 Xi and Li may understand the Communist Party’s unpopularity in Hong Kong. In public though not in practice, they leave all operative decisions to designated leaders of the local “system.” Chief Executive Leung, and probably Chief Secretary Lam and other officials, must have been in confidential conversations with Beijing during the protests, but such communication is not public. Hong Kong’s government has thus far avoided really major violence, because the public reaction against that could lead to hasty intervention by Beijing. Local rich elites might then lose much of their autonomy. So even on divisive issues such as free Chief Executive nominations, the local government has some interest in making nominal concessions to dissidents. That would be easier, when a reluctant Beijing allows it, than solving the material, nonsymbolic, expensive social problems that underlie the political fracas. The 2014– 2015 conflicts had deep roots. Housing quality and prices, the influx of mainlanders buying everything from flats to milk powder and having babies who qualify for local benefits, combined with a view among many Hong Kong people that mainlanders are cultural bumpkins. Add to this the government’s failed “patriotic education” plans, conflict over the redevelopment of land in the northeast New Territories, Chief Executive Leung’s widely criticized incompetence and indifference, and fears that the government might use more violence. All these factors motivated the protests. Lack of Labor in a City of Work The dissidence became virulent partly because Hong Kong has for decades lacked a factor that stabilizes politics in most modern polities: a publicly legitimate left-right cleavage between workers and capitalists. Instead, the richest elites have controlled most of the government with no serious need to “serve the people.” This situation now may be slowly changing, but historical examination of the weakness of the Hong Kong political left, especially trade unions, goes much of the way to explain why the government has for decades been unable to solve diurnal problems faced by many local people, and why recent conflict in the city has been severe. Workers and trade unions have been crucial supporters of democratization in some polities.41 But labor-capital relations in Hong Kong have been a minor

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topic even after the tycoons moved their investments into China. This city now has more ordinary workers than it has jobs for them. Labor-capital and poorrich relations in Hong Kong are institutionalized less effectively than in most places that are so prosperous per person on average. Empirical studies indicate that workers tend most often to go on strike when the local economy does well, workers are in shortage, inflation is low, and companies can pay their employees more. In times of crisis, when the economy is stagnant, unemployment and inflation are high, or businesses may go bankrupt, then workers avoid walkouts and are politically weak.42 The origins of these problems are not new. They do not all predate the handover, although many bases of them were laid during the British period. After that, on October 29, 1997, the Provisional Legco approved a bill that limited collective bargaining rights. Tycoons sensed (correctly) that their parties might not do well in the 1998 elections, and they did not want an open debate about trade unions in an elected Legco that would include democrats. The Provisional Legislature withheld its hand on many matters; but the conservative elite considered this issue, like the electoral law, important enough to finalize legally without public transparency. Tycoons were so eager to impede unionization that they passed this economic law against workers’ rights, even while they avoided trying to act on many other substantive matters. Similarly, a December 1997 post-handover Exco decision removed limits on imported construction workers. This decision, which was not brought to the Legislative Council that might have been expected to pass such a measure, brought a Democratic Party sit-in at the Star Ferry pier in Tsimshatsui, Kowloon. The Federation of Trade Unions (the largest pro-Beijing labor group) was severely criticized for its silence on the issue—and the Democratic Party protest at the ferry pier forced it to react because of upcoming elections, in which FTU leaders knew they would lose workers’ votes if they towed the tycoons’ line. Finally a FTU spokesman called the Exco plan “unwelcome.”43 The DAB, which is normally pro-establishment, held a protest demonstration outside government headquarters. The leftist unions had to object to companies’ plans to import more labor. The relationship of the Democratic Party to Hong Kong’s union movement (except for the teachers’ union) has long been tentative. The most prominent Democratic unionist has been Lau Chin-shek, who once resigned his Legco seat to protest the withdrawal of a pro-worker measure he supported.44 Lau’s Democratic colleagues once jokingly promised they would give money to his favorite charity every time he deigned to wear a necktie in Legco meetings. Many leading reformists are lawyers or teachers rather than proletarians.45 Since their main opposition is businesspeople, they try to attract workers’ votes mainly from white-collar employees but potentially also from the part of the electorate that wears blue collars. Most of this group votes for the DAB.

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Immigration of upscale specialists to Hong Kong from other parts of China has been encouraged by the SAR government. In 2003, a new “Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals” loosened restrictions that had been implemented earlier for entrepreneurs, expanding recruitment to include artists, athletes, and others. Also in that year, a “Capital Investment Entrant Scheme” allowed anyone with HK$10 million to buy “right of abode” by investing that much in Hong Kong. This program was criticized, and it later excluded money put into flats. Money from corruption was sloshing about the mainland in great amounts, and tycoons in Hong Kong could easily profit from providing ways to launder it. In 2006, a “Quality Migrant Admission Scheme” was established.46 The patriotic rhetoric of the DAB was in some tension with that pro-Beijing party’s effort to recruit more votes from workers, because China’s leaders’ most obvious political alliance in the city was with the very richest people. The DAB had to differ with its sometime political partners the tycoons. Some leaders in the Democratic Party, for their part, were too cosmopolitan to be entirely in tune with Hong Kong’s proletariat. Images, ideas, and traditions are important in politics. Antonio Gramsci, although he was Marxist, shared the Weberian insight that a dominant class rules most effectively when it goes beyond coercion and presents a coherent worldview that can be popular. It tries to impose a “hegemonic” ideology justifying its leadership. The extent to which most people accept this outlook consciously, or instead suspend their awareness that it is just partly true, has been a topic of much debate among philosophers and social scientists.47 The point that ideas can aid rule, however, is generally agreed. Neither the “patriotic” or “democratic” leaderships in Hong Kong had simple images. Normative concerns, including concerns for democracy, are moderated by practical material interests. One Hong Kong analyst claims that “when economic and social situations improved, demand for universal suffrage to elect the chief executive and extend political development seemed to be less prominent and imminent. This is not to say that Hongkongers do not support further democratization, but rather that they are not likely to be involved actively unless they are forced to do so, especially when their interests are under threat.”48 A problem with Hong Kong’s constitution, which favors capitalists, is that it leaves workers who have lost jobs in the changing economy without either the norms or the institutions to organize their interests. Youths who are increasingly well-educated nonetheless wonder whether they will be able to make careers in their city. They go onto the streets partly because they sense they get insufficient support from the local government. Perceived Illegitimacy in an Open, Partially Democratic Regime Legitimacy for dissent in Hong Kong is not encouraged by the government, but public opinion has nonetheless affected some public decisions. In the 2012

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race for Chief Executive, discussion of illegal structures in the house of one of the candidates, Henry Tang, combined with polls that showed C. Y. Leung to be more popular. Such news affected Beijing’s instructions to members of the selection committee, resulting in Leung’s victory.49 Later public discourse about Leung continued to affect his perceived legitimacy among many Hong Kong people. After news emerged from Australia that Leung had received a secret £4 million payoff from a land company based in Sydney, the Department of Justice authorized the director of public prosecutions, Keith Yeung Ka-hung, to handle a complaint against Leung that was filed at the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Yeung could decide to prosecute or not. There was question about whether Leung’s dubious actions occurred while he was a government official, but the ICAC can look into cases that involve private parties (indeed, only 30 percent of its cases involve officials).50 Separate from these matters that might conceivably be heard in courts later, the Basic Law, Article 47, requires that the Chief Executive be “a person of integrity.” Leung did not pass that test in the view of many. The Basic Law makes the ICAC accountable only to that executive. Beijing leaders, surely not wanting to repeat the drama that had deposed Tung Chee-hwa, were determined to support Leung, probably for a long interval. The Hong Kong civil service has long prized “squeaky-clean” norms against corruption, especially when auditing its own finances. Much of the city’s socioeconomic structure is less presentable. The domestic economy’s oligopolistic structure, and decisions like that on the Cyberport residential construction project that benefited Li Ka-shing’s son, suggest that corruption is a sometime business practice. Chief Executives Tung, Tsang, and Leung have all been tainted with accusations of corruption. Whether these are true or not, they certainly do not disqualify candidates for Hong Kong’s top job. Rich Hong Kong entrepreneurs are proud to be successful at making money, and the competitive means of doing so receive less attentive care. The chair of Sing Tao Holdings, Sally Aw Sian, led a newspaper group that defrauded advertisers by illegally inflating the circulation figures of the Hong Kong Standard. But only her subordinates were prosecuted. Aw in late 1998 was still a member of China’s National People’s Congress, and Tung Chee-hwa had been a director of her company. As Secretary of Justice Elsie Leung put the case: “I decided that Aw Sian should not be prosecuted both from the insufficiency of evidence and as a matter of public interest. . . . At that time, the Sing Tao Group was facing financial difficulty. . . . If the group should collapse, the staff faced losing employment.”51 Secretary Elsie Leung’s decision gave at least the appearance of official winking at corruption, as did government decisions for land reclamation permits and residential construction projects in parts of the New Territories and elsewhere. Corruption occurs when a small group or individual has reaped benefits that many think should have gone to a larger group.52 It is perceived, usually from the viewpoint of

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the larger group. It is an apparent rather than objective variable. The largest corruption in Hong Kong is arguably the power of the tycoons (a tiny group) over local markets, people, and the executive-led government. Elections, in which majorities or large groups decide the results, may tend to reduce perceptions of corruption. A credible stratified early-2014 survey found that 89 percent of Hong Kong people supported direct elections for the executive, while only 6 percent opposed that plan (although a much greater portion opposed limited nominations if they could have that choice).53 This level of support for more democracy was even higher than previous surveys had shown. Fully 85 percent of those polled supported direct elections for all Legco members too. Most, 57 percent, actively opposed leaving the Chief Executive Election Committee unchanged and reverting to the previous 2012 procedures that involved committee nominations and gave the city’s whole adult populace no say in choosing the local governor. Legitimacies may be promoted by small elites, but oppositions often tend to copy these incumbent leaders. Reformers promote logical antitheses. They often invert earlier legitimacies. James Scott writes that “most acts of power from below, even when they are protests . . . will largely observe the ‘rules’ even if their objective is to undermine them.”54 In South Korea, the elite before democratization tended to be militarist and oriented to capital; so the opposition became mostly civilian and labor-oriented. In Taiwan, the political elite of Chiang Kai-shek was mostly mainlander; so Taiwanese identity became the main basis for political opposition. In Hong Kong, the state elite has been mostly Westernized tycoons; so the parties that grew fastest, in the weak part of the government that could be popularly elected, were increasingly nontycoon or patriotic—notably the DAB, which is both. Students who led the 2014 protests, following a repertoire of dissent that had Chinese roots especially in 1919 and 1989, were not mainly from rich families. As winter holidays near the start of 2015 began, the Occupy protests disbanded temporarily or became more sporadic. Hong Kong leaders and people alike realized that time remained before procedures for the 2017 Chief Executive election had to be finalized. Students and police were weary, and most of the city’s traditional leaders were glad to have a respite too. “Protest fatigue” was rife, and some leaders claimed to hope against hope that Beijing would tacitly admit it had underestimated the people’s desire for democratization and might make some compromise. Albert Chen, a University of Hong Kong law professor and Basic Law Committee member, put forward in his personal capacity a proposal that avoided violating Beijing’s restrictions on choosing a Chief Executive, while allowing voters who reject those limits to express their views. Chen claimed Beijing leaders admit that some Hong Kong pan-democrats “love China.” Having a democrat on the mass ballot is conceivable, even if he or she might not be recognized as such by all other democrats. Advocate Chen argued that

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the Nominating Committee could legally put two or three candidates on the ballot for the mass vote along with a “none of the above” option.55 If that last choice received a big plurality or popular majority (an unlikely but conceivable outcome), the public’s displeasure with Beijing’s Nominating Committee would be officially recorded. The purist democrats’ point would be made; and according to Chen’s subsequently revised proposal, a reelection (at most just one) among the personal candidates could be held if the first election failed because more than half the voters had chosen “none of the above.” Former Legco president Rita Fan, an NPC Standing Committee member, said Chen’s idea was “worth considering,” although she cited Hong Kong precedents in which blank ballots were not counted. A Basic Law Committee member from the mainland, Rao Geping, almost surely stated the CCP leadership’s view when he said, “Blank votes cannot express voters’ views on the candidates. I don’t think it is a valid way of voting.” Democratic Party member Law Chi-kwong partially agreed: “While the proposal may be acceptable to Beijing, the assurance it offers the public that they won’t end up with a chief executive they don’t want is rather low” even if a “none of the above” option were available. He opined that “if the leading candidate got fewer votes than the blank ones cast, the election would seriously lack credibility. . . . taking blank ballots into account, a candidate should need to secure the backing of more than half of the voters to win the election.”56 Beijing would like to see the sure enthronement of an actual Chief Executive. A second suggestion from law professor Chen was that the Nominating Committee could vote not just for individual candidates who might be qualified to be Chief Executive, but then also for a slate of three of them who had relatively great support among the committee members. The voters of Hong Kong would choose among these by universal suffrage.57 This idea was also legally compatible with Beijing’s restrictions, and it might serve democratic interests depending on the breadth of political taste Beijing leaders were willing to allow—which apparently narrowed after the social protests of 2014. This proposal may have affected procedures in the government’s Legco bill. The method for making up a slate of nominees could take several different forms, but law professor Albert Chen’s showing that the committee could do this constitutionally suggests a way in which consensus among many of the city’s leaders might have been achieved. The main question was the degree of political variation among the nominees Beijing would allow. The main immediate effect of the protest movement was to ensure that the national leadership, whose standard Pareto-conservative interest was clear, would not budge an inch. China’s leaders must have had a good sense of their power to defeat any immediate rivals, but they were still unwilling to seem weak in the face of public demonstrations in their distant “administrative” region. Their long-term interest, however, may be populist even in “capitalist” Hong Kong. Their CCP claims to serve the people, and it sometimes uses the

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word “democratic” positively. No democracy can be executive-led unless the executive is chosen on a large franchise. But also, the legitimacy of the masselected leader is reduced to the extent the ballot does not offer choices that interest people. Non-institutionalized political movements in Hong Kong, which are severely restrained by Beijing, have not yet achieved nearly as much constitutional change as would be needed to legitimate the local government as a credibly democratic system. Over time, after the rise and then ”fatigue” of protest repertoires in 2014–2015, there may be halting and uncertain movement in that direction. Objections to Hong Kong’s constitutional corruptions are sure to continue, even if or because they may face more violent repression. The Basic Law ensures their revival in five-year cycles. The effectiveness of such movements may in the short term be negative for their purposes. Both the local and national elites are reluctant to “lose face” when confronted with street closures. Many of of the city’s family polities have deep clan traditions of anti-leftism, and street protests have just transient success although they have expressed widespread public views on politics. The governments in both Hong Kong and Beijing can in practice eventually make some concessions. It is unclear whether they will do so concerning the political spectrum of a future list of Chief Executive nominees that could in the 2020s be presented for popular vote. Angry rallies are certainly predictable when the Beijing-controlled committee meets for its small-franchise vote to select the top executive for 2017. If its choice is seen by many as irresponsibly narrow, government in Hong Kong will become an even more difficult project. Social movements, because they recur, often partially gain their objectives over intermediate and long time periods. 1. South China Morning Post [hereafter Post] staff, “‘We Will Be Back,’ Vow Protesters As Clearance Proceeds at Admiralty Occupy Site,” December 11, 2014, http://www.scmp.com, is a “photo gallery” of posters and police arresting protesters, including Legco members Emily Lau, Alan Leong, Audrey Eu, former Democratic Party chair Martin Lee, newspaper owner Jimmy Lai, activists such as Alex Chow, local celebrities such as singer Denise Ho, and others. 2. Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971), 2. 3. This summarizes ideas from Sidney Tarrow, Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, 3rd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011). 4. Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward, Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (New York: Vintage, 1979). 5. Wai-man Lam and Hsin-chi Kuan, “Democratic Transition Frustrated: The Case of Hong Kong,” in How East Asians View Democracy, Chu Yun-han, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), 194. 6. Adam Przeworski, “Some Problems in the Study of the Transition to Democracy,” in Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Comparative Perspectives, Guillermo

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O’Donnell and Philippe C. Schmitter, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), 60. 7. The term “vetocracy” is used to describe various democracies, including the US one, by Francis Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2014). 8. Christopher Patten purposely offended his anti-democratic opponents, pointing out that most of them had Western passports “in their back pockets.” If the Communist Party ever seriously threatened them, they had plenty of resources to “exit” to far-away democratic countries. 9. Hong Kong Transition Project (Baptist University), Constitutional Reform: Confrontation Looms As Hong Kong Consults, April 2014 (this is also the date of the survey), http://www.hktp.org/list/constitutional-reform.pdf. 10. Stephan Ortmann, Politics and Change in Singapore and Hong Kong: Containing Contention (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), 179. 11. Leo F. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners: The Conflict Between Public Interest and Private Profit in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2009), xv– xvi. There is evidence that “cultural” parts of this West Kowloon project are in good faith even though “cultural and residential” would be a far more accurate description of the investment. The planned museum has hired serious curators and architects. But the profits are in the upscale residential, not the cultural, aspects of the undertaking. 12. Ng Kang-chung and Lai Ying-kit, “Flats Strategy Paying Off, Says C.Y.,” Post, June 24, 2015, C3. 13. Carine Lai and Christine Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere: A Review of Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997–2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007), 88–89. 14. Green Paper on Constitutional Development, section 1.11, http://www.cmabcd2012.gov.hk/doc/consultation_document_en.pdf. 15. Lui Hon-kwong, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 110. 16. Goodstadt, Uneasy Partners, 83. 17. Sebastian Veg, “Hong Kong’s Enduring Identity Crisis,” October 16, 2013, http://www.theatlantic.com/China/archive/2013. 18. A large apartment building on Bonham Road next to the University of Hong Kong, and blocks of flats on Waterloo Road close to both Hong Kong City University and Baptist University, were retained by the PLA after British soldiers departed from them. Other military properties were given over to civilian uses. 19. Tiananmen 1989 had origins that contrast sharply with those of the Cultural Revolution, although CCP leaders have political reasons to neglect this; see Lynn White, Policies of Chaos: Organizational Causes of Violence in China’s Cultural Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989). 20. Chou Kwok-ping, “Hong Kong’s National Education Controversy,” EAI Background Brief no. 753 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 3–4. 21. Ibid., 2–3. 22. Ibid., 2–4. 23. Chou Kwok-ping, “Why Is National Education Opposed in Hong Kong but Accepted in Macau?” EAI Background Brief no. 754 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012). 24. See Mark Baildon, Loh Kah Seng, Ivy Maria Lim, Gul Inanc, and Junaidah Jaffar, eds., Controversial History Education in Asian Contexts (New York: Routledge, 2014).

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25. As readers who do not know Chinese may gather from the text here, zhuyi is like the English ending “-ism.” The terms that precede it vary in connotation, not just denotation. 26. For a theoretical comparison, see Maurizio Viroli, For Love of Country (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995). 27. Louisa Lim, The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014). 28. Kwong Kin-ming and Yew Chiew-ping, “Hong Kong Politics in 2011,” EAI Background Brief no. 689 (Singapore: NUS East Asian Institute, 2012), 11. 29. Heping zhanzhong is the whole Chinese name for “Occupy Central”; heping means “peace”—but the official English name is more saccharine: “Occupy Central with Peace and Love.” 30. Suzanne Pepper, June 24, 2014, http://www.chinaelectionsblog.net/hkfocus. 31. “Scholarism” is that organization’s translation of Xuemin Sichao, which might also be translated “Scholars’ Thought Tide.” It is not a party, although some of the teenagers who lead it, including Convenor Joshua Wong, say that after university they may enter electoral politics. 32. Keith Bradsher and Chris Buckley, “Beijing Is Directing Hong Kong Strategy, Government Insiders Say,” October 17, 2014, http://www.nyt.com. 33. Lee Kim-ming, “Which Way Now for the Political Moderates in Hong Kong?” September 30, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. Contrasts with preservations in Macau, Singapore, or Shanghai are revealing. 34. Michael Forsythe and Alan Wong, “For Chinese, a Remarkable Sight: Freewheeling Debate on Democracy,” October 21, 2014, http://www.nyt.com; and Mimi Lau and Amy Nip, “Carrie Lam ‘Helpless’ over Talks Deadlock,” October 12, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 35. Stuart Lau and Fanny W. Y. Fung, “John Tsang Admits Government Not Psychologically Prepared for Scale of Protests,” October 6, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 36. Policy address by the chief executive, from the government website, January 14, 2015, http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201501/14/P201501140331.htm. 37. Derogatory remarks by hyper-nationalist Professor Kong Qingdong of Peking University (and radio talk shows) against Hong Kong people and the Cantonese language are mentioned at http://www.chinahush.com/2012/01/25/peking-university-professor-says-some-hong-kong-people-are-dogs. Not all PRC cadres share such views. Guangzhou TV is still half in Cantonese, a language that over 60 million people normally speak. 38. Susan Stokes offered statistics on these Ukrainian, Turkish, and Brazilian demos in Princeton’s Comparative Politics Colloquium, October 14, 2014. 39. Fu Hualing, “Some Soul Searching After Occupy Central Movement,” Human Rights in China, January 28, 2015, http://www.hrichina.org/en/china-rightsforum/some-soul-searching-after-occupy-central-movement. 40. George Chen, “What Did Premier Li Really Try to Say About Occupy Central?” October 13, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 41. Dietrich Rueschmeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens, and John D. Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992). 42. Stephen Chiu, The Reign of the Market: Economy and Industrial Conflicts in Hong Kong (Shatin: Hong Kong Chinese University, Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 1992). 43. Post, December 20, 1997, 6. 44. Post, November 19, 1994, 1. 45. The Democratic Party in particular contains many teachers and recipients of higher degrees. Of twenty-three Democratic Party candidates who ran for Legco

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in 1995, for example, one-third had postgraduate degrees. More than four-fifths were under fifty years of age. (This is based on a contemporary list mimeographed by the party.) All had enjoyed previous success in earlier elections at lower levels. All, oddly, were men; vote-getters as effective as Emily Lau, Cyd Ho, and Christine Loh were all democrats, but not Democratic Party members—and the DP vice-chair Anthony Cheung later admitted to this author that the failure to recruit them had been a mistake. 46. Hon-Kwong Lui, Widening Income Distribution in Post-Handover Hong Kong, 105. 47. See Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks (New York: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971). For a more modern view, see James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985); and Timur Kuran, “Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution,” in Nancy Bermeo, ed., Liberalization and Democratization: Changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 7–48. 48. Hak Yin Li, “Two Stumbling Blocks for Hong Kong’s Democratization: Personal Vote and Beijing’s Policies,” in Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democratization in East Asia, Liang Fook Lye and Wilhelm Hofmeister, eds. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2011), 317. 49. A personal friend who was on the 2012 committee (and voted for Leung, albeit with a later case of elector’s remorse) confirmed that “Beijing decided the outcome.” 50. Further details are in Andrea Chen, “Hong Kong Anti-Graft Agency Receives Complaint About CY Leung’s HK$50m Deal,” October 9, 2014, http://www.scmp.com; and also the Sydney Morning Herald, which scooped this story. See articles especially from Ross Garnaut (son of a former Australian ambassador to China), in the Sydney Morning Herald, October 10, 2014, http://www.smh.com, especially “Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung Faces Questions over Secret $7m. Payout from Australian Firm,” October 9, 2014, http://www.smh.com. 51. Post, February 5, 1999, 1. 52. See Lynn White, “Political Mechanisms and Corruption,” in Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Economy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), 280–302; and White, “Changing Concepts of Corruption in Communist China: Early 1950s vs. Early 1980s,” in Changes and Continuities in Chinese Communism, Shaw Yu-ming, ed. (Boulder: Westview, 1988), 316–453. 53. Hong Kong Transition Project (Baptist University), Constitutional Reform. 54. James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 93. 55. Peter So, “‘None of the Above’ Should Be an Option for Voters in Hong Kong Election: Academic,” December 30, 2014; and Stuart Lau, “Is the Blank-Vote Option for 2017 Chief Executive Election a Realistic Idea?” January 13, 2005, both at http://www.scmp.com. 56. RTHK, “Void Election Idea Worth Exploring: Fan,” January 2, 2015, http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/elocal/news.htm?elocal&20150102&56&1065932. 57. Chen Hongyi, “Xianggang teshou puxuan moshi dier lun ziju de falv he zhengzhi wenti” (Legal and Political Issues in a Second Proposal for the Universal Suffrage Election of the Hong Kong Chief Executive), Zijing luntan (Hong Kong and Macau Affairs), March 2015, final version e-mailed to me by Professor Chen in February 2015.

7 Exploring International Norms All choice is opaque—we always choose with a limited understanding of what we are doing. —Onora O’Neill1

A fool who thinks he is a fool is for that very reason wise. A fool who thinks that he is wise is called a fool indeed. —Buddha, Dhammapada 63

Hong Kong is a “world city,” as its government proclaims. Many of the planet’s affluent polities are democratic. People’s observation of that fact creates an advertisement for democracy, especially in cosmopolitan places such as Hong Kong where that regime type is incomplete. Liberal-and-electoral systems are linked in many minds with cosmopolitanism and prosperity. Ordinary citizens tend not to care why this relationship is so common; they leave aside the knotty questions of historical, economic, and political causation on which social scientists have spilled lakes of ink and crunched gigabytes of data. Many just guess democracy makes people richer, happier, and freer. By the same token, however, popular commitment to democracy is reduced if it is thought to threaten economic prosperity or political peace. A slowing of local growth has been one of the catalysts for protests in Hong Kong, now that China’s other cities have taken much of the former British colony’s role as the mainland’s key gateway to the world. Many mainland Chinese ports (Shanghai, Ningbo-Zhoushan, Shenzhen, and probably others) now each transfer more shipping tonnage than Hong Kong does. Tycoons’ most usual argument against democracy has been a claim that it would hamper the growth of wealth for the city’s whole community. This case is less strong now than it was before 2000, as other Chinese cities have taken more of Hong Kong’s former functions anyway. Most of the city’s people do not study the

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reasons, even though they feel the local effects on employment and prices. The most important official reaction to this partial redundancy of the port thus far has not come mainly from the Hong Kong government, which is hampered because conservatives in Legco resist increases of spending, but instead from Beijing, which has sponsored a “Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” between Hong Kong and the rest of China. This arrangement is designed to liberalize trade among Chinese areas and give Hong Kong products free entry to the mainland.2 Yet also, Hong Kong’s people are accustomed to liberal freedoms, and many hope to forego neither these liberties nor their prosperity. They know their city is a Chinese “first world” place. Many—perhaps including some in the DAB—want it to look more modern in a global political sense too, even while it remains Chinese. International Influences on Rights and Evenhandedness in Hong Kong’s Civil Society Fairness has long been an ideal in Hong Kong. A local bill of rights “incorporates word for word the core provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, except for those relating to the reservations entered by the British government for Hong Kong.” It repeals “all pre-existing legislation that does not admit of a construction consistent with this [rights] Ordinance . . . to the extent of the inconsistency.”3 That wording gives common-law courts power to protect freedoms, if they care to exercise it. The Basic Law’s Article 39 specifies that the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) “as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws” of the HKSAR. The “as applied to Hong Kong” phrase restricts what the ICCPR can mean there, however, because Britain filed demurrals concerning the covenant’s rights of selfdetermination and concerning privileges to have elected executives and legislators. Enforcing any of the covenant’s provisions is also hindered because complaints by individuals or signatory states are supposed to go through the UN’s Human Rights Committee, which has no means of compelling compliance.4 Normal deadlock of the HKSAR’s executive and legislature—on this issue, the subversion issue, and many others—has inhibited the passage of implementing laws. Shortly after the Chinese state’s violence at Tiananmen in 1989, a task force of Legco and Exco members confidentially recommended the creation of an international agency that could monitor Beijing’s adherence to its agreements on Hong Kong: “A mechanism should be devised to handle judicially future allegations of breach of the Joint Declaration, e.g., by allowing UK, PRC, and also the HKSAR to bring such cases to the International Court of Justice. An agreement between UK and PRC on this matter may be required.”5

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Unsurprisingly, Beijing vetoed this plan to have the International Court interpret its compliance with promises it had signed. None of the task force’s recommendations appeared in the Basic Law. The task force’s existence was not revealed until 2015, when its documents were declassified. Hong Kong people’s extensive personal liberties contrast sharply, in global comparison, with the low level of popular sovereignty. The international, multistate correlation between civil liberties and political rights, as estimated by Freedom House, is very high—except for Hong Kong. Of the 209 polities surveyed for the Freedom of the World 2014 report, none that had a “civil liberties” score as high as Hong Kong’s (rated 2 on a 1-to-7 best-toworst scale) had a “political rights” score as low as the city’s (5 on that scale). The contrast of Hong Kong with the whole rest of the world is even starker: no other polity, if it was rated either a 2 or 1 for “civil liberties, was as low as 4 for political rights (and Hong Kong was rated even lower, at 5).6 Some PRC conservatives would of course dismiss such a survey as based on inappropriate Western principles. Freedom House just averages statistics and declares the city “partly free.” That conflation obscures the SAR’s real distinctiveness: extensive personal liberties, but with a high level of elite political control. Civil freedoms are evident in Hong Kong, especially when the city is compared to similarly prosperous places in Southeast Asia. For example, Singapore sues Jehovah’s Witnesses because that religious sect forbids its believers from saluting any national flag, taking an oath, or joining an army. In the Singapore People’s Action Party view, this is practical treason. But Hong Kong, by contrast, does not arrest Falungong adherents who are anathema to Beijing. They hand out leaflets in public places such as the Star Ferry pier, providing bloody pictures of human organs, which they say the Chinese Communist Party has surgeons remove from prisoners so that these body parts can be sold for revenue. Not everyone in Hong Kong delights in such gory discourse, but people there know about freedom of speech. Hong Kong’s Chief Executives have occasionally supported the expression of ideas with which they had to disagree. Chief Executive Leung in 2014 criticized a Chinese government-run newspaper, the Global Times, for claiming that Hong Kong people are too few in relation to China’s whole population to express themselves in a poll concerning the means of nominating future chief executives.7 Leung naturally agreed with Beijing that the premises of the poll questions were mistaken, but he said they could be aired in public. Democracy as Merely Rich or Western— or as a Realpolitik Interest of Other Democracies? Despite the connection between democracy and prosperity in many people’s minds, and despite the well-known economic successes of liberal-electoral

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democracies in places such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, some Chinese conservatives argue that democracy impedes wealth creation. What is the general tie between rises of prosperity and systems of rule? Statistical tests that compare many countries, seeking to show a link between economic growth and regime type (either authoritarian or democratic), show no clear correlation especially over short time periods. A good-humored study that summarizes twenty-one tests in previous authors’ articles seeking such a correlation notes that “eight found in favor of democracy, eight in favor of authoritarianism, and five discovered no difference.”8 So regime type is a “wash” as an explanation of growth. Few such studies cover long time periods, however. If more extensive histories are considered, the numbers suggest that “long-term democracy leads to stronger economic performance.”9 Enduring experience with a liberal regime leads to growth (or growth leads to that regime type), but data from practically all countries show that no state form is sure to boost growth over just a few years. Neither democrats nor dictators guarantee quick wealth. Many conservatives in China and Hong Kong argue that democracy is solely a Western regime type, inappropriate for the East. They say Chinese are uninterested in “rights.” In part, this is an understandable reaction to the racism of some early Western exponents of democracy in Asia. To cite an egregious example, Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana a century ago preached in the US Congress that God has not been preparing the English-speaking and Teutonic peoples for a thousand years for nothing but vain and idle self-contemplation and self-admiration. No. He made us master organizers of the world to establish system where chaos reigned. He has given us the spirit of progress to overwhelm the forces of reaction throughout the earth. . . . And of all our race, he has marked the American people as His chosen nation to finally lead in the redemption of the world.10

Racism also has a history in China (or Japan), although that is a separate topic.11 Over the past few years, arrogant bases for justifying a US interest in foreign democracies have given way, at least among leaders who actually make US foreign policy, to material interests in wanting more tolerance and less coercion in the domestic politics of other countries, including China. The United States has not been consistent about this over time, but there is a universally presentable Realpolitik and resource-saving reason why any liberal regime should want others like it in the world: Empirical data suggest that such states do not attack each other. Immanuel Kant was early to note this odd finding, which is perhaps unexpected and is sometimes considered naive. It has policy implications, however, and they relate to US interests discussed the last chapter of this book. Kant claimed to have a reason: “It is the spirit of commerce that sooner or later

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takes hold of every nation and is incompatible with war.”12 That assertion can be doubted, especially in relation to states that had extensive mutual trade but quickly engaged in massive violence against each other (Britain and Germany before World War I provide the best-known example, although Germany was then dubitable as a liberal state). Commerce is not a sure prophylactic against war. Neither is democracy, but at least over the past several decades, liberal countries seldom if ever have attacked each other. This “liberal nonaggression conjecture” is far more cogent as an empirical finding than as a theory. Perhaps Kant can be forgiven for philosophizing about a reason for it, but others need not do that. The proposal is usually called the “democratic peace hypothesis,” but that name is imprecise on all three words. It concerns liberalism, more than democratic elections. It is about lack of aggressions rather than any sure impulse toward peace. No hypothesized theoretical reason yet makes clear why counterevidence of it in recent historical cases is sparse to the point of vanishing.13 So it is not a theory, but the conjecture has been called an “empirical law.”14 Recent research has refined the proposition by looking at conflicts of various sizes, showing that democracies go to war just as often as other regimes—but not against each other, and often against weaker illiberal states.15 Geographical distances and alliance patterns may well affect the evidence but do not nullify it. Authoritarian countries that are arguably in the process of democratization (China may become the globe’s largest example) tend to be particularly bellicose, although research by Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder indicates that liberalizing nations are more pacific toward liberal states when democracy in them seems irreversible.16 Also, international institutions can engage nonliberal countries in peace mechanisms (e.g., at the UN where China gains “face” as a permanent member of the Security Council and has, at least thus far, acted there with considerable moderation and care).17 Such institutions help the nonviolent resolution of disputes regardless of state forms. But established states apparently need nothing more than their mutual liberalism to get along without war, whether or not they have different levels of objective power. Antidemocratic Rhetoric and Practical Needs The former Minister Mentor of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew, argued against any global value of democracy for wealth, or fairness, or peace. His claim to universalism came out of his country’s situation. Singapore is a mostly Chinese island of 5 million in a Muslim-Malay sea of 270 million (mostly in Indonesia). Lee argued that disciplined authoritarianism “lies in our genesis . . . to survive, we had to do these [coercive or illiberal] things; we inherited a bad situation.” Singapore’s history and context invoke particular south-Chi-

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nese traditions of disciplined hierarchy and hard work—though Minister Mentor Lee avoided an implication of his argument: that such illiberalism is not beneficial or adaptive everywhere. Claiming that his values are universal may increase their credibility in the city about which Lee, very appropriately, cared most. The main restraint on Singapore liberalism is not Western democracy or “Asian values.” It is instead the potential disaster that would come to that city from political organization of either Chinese or Malays against each other. Some kinds of speech or assembly there could become existential dangers to the country. Singapore is a relatively small, “racially” distinct place. Its People’s Action Party favors policies that are arguably rational in this small, ethnically challenged city-state. They are not obvious global truths, and now Singaporeans increasingly debate them. Even in that city, the ruling PAP holds formally competitive elections. Party leaders use court suits to discourage opposition, and they use an electoral law that ensures the PAP’s normal 60-plus percent of the votes captures practically all the seats in parliament. When the count dips down, the government responds—punishing dissident constituencies or candidates, or adopting better policies. The counting of ballots is reportedly clean, like much else in Singapore. PAP votes could conceivably, in a future election, drop below 50 percent. Lee advocated what he called a “Confucianist view of order between subject and ruler. In other words, you fit yourself in society—the exact opposite of the American rights of the individual. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy.”18 Singapore’s real successes have inspired leaders in China and in Hong Kong, although the context of that Southeast Asian place is very different. Singapore deserves attention here because it has produced so much of the relevant rhetoric, and because it has enthused others whose situations are sharply dissimilar. Some Asian democrats have criticized Singaporean pretensions to represent “Asian values,” although these more liberal opinions have not been as widely advertised. Kim Dae Jung in 1994 wrote a pointed riposte to Lee Kuan Yew. Kim (later president of South Korea) asked “whether democracy has been given a chance in places like Singapore.” Kim did not mince words: Lee’s view of Asian cultures is not only unsupportable but self-serving. . . . The fundamental ideas and traditions necessary for democracy existed in both Europe and Asia. Although Asians developed these ideas long before the Europeans did, Europeans formalized comprehensive and effective electoral democracy first. The invention of the electoral system is Europe’s greatest accomplishment. The fact that this system was developed elsewhere does not mean that “it will not work” in Asia.19

The universalism of Singapore’s—and in effect official Hong Kong’s— ideology can also be doubted on the basis of empirical observations in other

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nearby countries. The Asian Barometer Survey periodically polls popular support for “three key Confucian meritocratic principles” in six places that have strong Confucian backgrounds (China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam). It does the same for five non-Confucian Asian nations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Thailand). The survey result is startling: popular commitment to meritocracy is about the same in nondemocratic and democratic Confucian countries, although the “principle of passive citizenry is more prevalent in the non-democratic subregion, where the masses are not allowed to participate and compete in the political process freely.”20 Popular opinion in the non-Confucian countries is surprisingly “attached to every meritocratic principle to a significantly greater extent” than in the Confucian countries. “This finding casts a serious doubt on the Confucian Asian Values Thesis, linking democratic underdevelopment in Confucian Asia to the legacies of Confucianism.” Popular attitudes in East Asia support a mixture of meritocracy with democracy (as Western countries also have in practice). The survey nonetheless also found that in Confucian countries “there are more qualified supporters than unqualified supporters of democracy.”21 Democratic theory claims that the purpose of an electoral system is to allow ordinary citizens to help choose their rulers. But many powerful leaders are in nonstate political networks.22 Those elected as officials have restricted powers. Voters are in practice never fully “sovereign,” even collectively. Dahl emphasizes that structured political classes, rather than undifferentiated citizens, organize decision processes.23 Political parties are seen by practically all democratic theorists as essential. E. E. Schattschneider claims, “Political parties created democracy . . . democracy is unthinkable save in terms of the parties.”24 Yet parties are always hierarchies; as Robert Michels insists: “Who says organization says oligarchy.”25 Samuel Huntington writes unsentimentally that “elections are just a conservative device which gives a semblance of popular legitimacy to traditional structures and traditional leadership.”26 Hong Kong politics evidences all of these propositions with a clarity that can discomfit democrats who hope for more equality. Semi-Sovereignty and Globalist Change in Hong Kong Partly because all states and the other polities within them are largely authoritarian, or at least hierarchal, it is empirically inaccurate to romanticize merely governmental democracies. Authoritarians too are less omnipotent than they usually pretend to be. Frequent problems in thinking about democracy arguably include the following: that democratic procedures are either just a means to an end (administrative information management for economic growth and political strength) or just an end in themselves (expressing normative ideals that are seen as inherently good), because in practice they often aim

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at both these goals and fully achieve neither; and that democratic systems differ from others because the boundaries between the state, market power networks, and social power networks (“civil society”) are clear; actually, they are practically always blurred under any regime type, although a stress on democratic accountability may help to define the boundaries. Democracies are supposed to involve all of the adult people. “Universal suffrage” means that citizens can vote regardless of ethnicity, religion, economic status, or gender. Article 45 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law says universal suffrage should be the “ultimate aim” in selecting the head of the executiveled government, and also in choosing legislators. It says eligibility to be on the ballot for the Chief Executive election should be decided by “a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.” Annex 1 of the Basic Law repeats this term “broadly representative”—while authorizing an election committee that overrepresents tycoons. Democracy is an international regime type, and democracies in different countries vary greatly. The Chinese government and some Hong Kong conservatives claim that dark Western powers are behind local demands for democracy. Hong Kong people are aware that the liberal-electoral regime type is common in many other modern places, and their city has used some aspects of this form of state in independent courts and Legco elections. Democratic leaders from the city liaise frequently with Western politicians who admire them. In early 2014, Martin Lee and Anson Chan went to Washington, D.C., meeting with US officials including Vice President Joseph Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (whose electoral district includes San Francisco’s large Chinatown). Beijing protested—but Lee argued in lawyerly style that because the PRC had asked the America to endorse the 1984 Joint Sino-British Declaration, “China cannot tell the U.S., ‘none of your business,’ because they lobbied for U.S. support for it.”27 Lee knows that his cause gains sympathy abroad, but situations (trade and security conditions) sometimes trump norms. US National Security Adviser Susan Rice, reputed as an advocate for human rights, visited Beijing in September 2014 and vowed to raise Hong Kong issues—but these were among many others she had to discuss with China’s leaders. The United States favors democracy and would prefer an open Chief Executive election, but US officials’ statements come from benefits of expressing democratic values to internal US audiences, as well as from concerns for Hong Kong. China’s domestic political development is important to the United States, but Hong Kong’s possible democratic evolution does not ensure that for the long term—and dangers of Chinese expansionist nationalism create greater US concern. After the UK’s profit-motivated defection from any serious responsibility for observing adherence to the Sino-British Declaration, not much was expected to emerge from US advice to China about Hong Kong.28

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The Beijing government and some of its allies in the city such as legislator Regina Ip have asserted that Occupy Central resulted from the influence of foreigners.29 These malign actors were reputed “black hands” (hei shou). DAB leader Tsang Yok-sing disagreed, asserting, “You can’t say [the protesters] were ‘manipulated’ or even controlled by foreign influences. Some of them have their interests affected, but a lot more came because they really saw injustice in our society.”30 Politicians such as Ip arguably insult the Hong Kong demonstrators by suggesting the latter cannot think for themselves. Yet this conservative discourse, which lessens chances for democratization, will be strengthened if the US Congress strips Hong Kong of its separate status under US trade and economic laws, on the grounds that the city’s electoral procedures are not developing fast enough and that Hong Kong is now just an ordinary part of China rather than a separate system. Lawmakers from the Republican Party, after victories in November 2014, planned to do this.31 Congress members travel on diplomatic passports, and if they apply for Hong Kong visas for “fact finding” junkets to the city, they might be denied entry, although that is not sure.32 (This happened to British members of parliament, who planned a similar trip.)33 The resulting brouhaha might gratify some elected Americans’ sense of democratic identity and might confirm Beijing’s odd claim that the United States has leverage to overthrow China’s sovereignty—but it would do nothing to further democratization either in Hong Kong or China. The US State Department recommends against counter-effective self-indulgence by US politicians who have not studied the patterns that have actually created democracies anywhere. If Hong Kong and then Chinese democrats are able to steer a smooth course to a liberal PRC state—as they might fail to do before they go through a violently illiberal phase—the interests of all other democratic countries would be materially helped. It is premature, however, to be sure about either greater Hong Kong democracy or its effects throughout China. The last chapter explores those linkages. Democratization in Hong Kong vs. Discipline by the Chinese Communist Party The Basic Law is an explicitly promising democratic document. Article 45 is full of phrases that various people can interpret as definitive or not. It says the Chief Executive “shall be selected by election or through consultation held locally and shall be appointed [not ‘selected’] by the Central People’s Government.” It says the method of selection “shall be specified in the light of the actual situation,” while it also calls for “gradual and orderly progress” and says the “ultimate aim” is to choose the Chief Executive “by universal suffrage,” after a “broadly representative” committee makes nominations in accordance with “democratic procedures.” Then it refers to Annex I for details on the com-

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mittee’s membership for the first post-1997 term, saying also that if there is a need to amend those procedures by 2007, this could have happened then—but only with the Chief Executive’s consent and endorsement by two-thirds of Legco. None of the phrases just quoted is totally transparent as a guide to practice. Together, they merely give an impression that Hong Kong’s executive-led government should become more democratic. In the tumultuous autumn of 2014, after the government broke off its initial talks with protesters and violence reinflated their movement, the DAB’s Tsang Yok-sing (who may be secretly a CCP member) asserted that “the credibility of the Chief Executive election would be challenged if the nominating committee barred a pan-democrat who excelled in the campaign and scored well in opinion surveys from going forward to the public vote. . . . Beijing would pay a heavy political price, if a popular pan-democratic candidate was barred.”34 Tsang did not mention the likelihood that Beijing would be happy to pay that price in order to retain sure control over the HKSAR executive. Tsang has urged Beijing to “dispel the devil from its mind” and realize that no Chief Executive could make Hong Kong an independent country.35 But the white paper from the north insisted that any candidate on the public ballot must receive nomination endorsements from half of the committee, and Beijing controls more than that portion. The DAB Legco president Tsang Yok-sing suggested that it should be enough to allow just 10 percent of the committee to put candidates in a primary for later committee votes that could authorize a name for the mass ballot—and such a provision ended up as part of the government proposal. It would not surely get a democrat into the universal suffrage election, but it was a weak symbolic gesture toward opening the process. Tsang was so much in favor of Legco passage of universal suffrage (with limited nominations) that, although the council’s presiding officer traditionally does not vote despite having won election as a Legco member, Tsang suggested he might cast a ballot for the bill and then resign the presidency for having broken a tradition, although it is not a rule.36 He did not do so, eventually and embarrassingly presiding over the peculiar count that rendered twenty-eight “no” and just eight “yes” votes, with thirty-seven “present” but not casting. He had earlier expressed a desire to retire from politics, and Beijing’s reaction to the vote fiasco probably sealed such a fate. DAB members such as Tsang are not considered democrats by the pandemocrats, and indeed the DAB often sides with tycoons. Tsang is proChina—but his personal relations with Hong Kong democrats are reportedly cordial; he is on sociable terms with Jimmy Lai, who owns Apple Daily, the most liberal of Hong Kong’s newspapers.37 In January 2015, Tsang rejected a mainland official’s demand that he must prevent filibusters in Legco, on grounds that he must follow the council’s own rules while presiding in it.38

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Fairness as a Humane Norm in China’s Hong Kong China does not totally reject international norms as a basis for political evolution. Most Hong Kong elites are well aware of these values and have at least some respect for them. As Bruce Gilley argues, “what matters to citizens” is “the logical end point of the political process.” Moral evaluation and legitimacy are essential to politics. “Citizens relate to the state both as bearers of particularistic demands related to their doctrine-identities and as representatives of the common good as reflected in evaluations of legitimacy.”39 John Rawls could be interpreted as a narrowly Western political theorist, but Rawls’s definition of a good “political community” is nonetheless useful.40 It refers to “a fair system of social cooperation over time, from one generation to the next.”41 If any group were able to implement such a notion of fairness, it should be the Chinese people. They are at least as interested in time and generations as is any other nation. These “sons of the dragon” (and daughters) have run the longest-lasting polity on the planet, and they are understandably proud of that. They are determined their country will join the modern world, at least as one of its leaders. China is well positioned to achieve such a status, and the process of achieving it may induce values of contemporary global civilization, not just trade. Hong Kong’s adherence to norms of free speech, in particular, is of interest to mainland intellectuals. CCP leaders see that the international norm embodied in “rule of law” is beneficial for attracting investment capital and arranging trade. But since markets function efficiently, allocating resources for maximum common wealth, only when bargainers are independent of each other, they also imply some tolerance of differences. Hong Kong already is an experiment, within the PRC, for the application of such principles, as for use of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (albeit with limitations inherited from the British). Hong Kong’s practices might in the mediumand long-term future affect its sovereign, China. If that happens, such norms are likely to last robustly in the city too. 1. Quoted in Times Higher Education Supplement, February 4, 1994, 15. 2. Peter T. Y. Cheung, “Toward Collaborative Governance Between Hong Kong and Mainland China,” Urban Studies 52:10 (2015), 1915–1933. 3. Ng Hon Wah, “Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty? Constitutional Review: Singapore and Hong Kong Compared,” PhD thesis (University of Hong Kong, September 2010), 97–98. 4. Yash Ghai, Hong Kong’s New Constitutional Order: The Resumption of Chinese Sovereignty and the Basic Law (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 1997). 376–481. 5. The task force members were Ronald Arculli, Martin Lee, John Swaine, and Andrew Wong. Pro-Beijing politician Maria Tam was invited to participate, but she de-

Notes

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clined. Joyce Ng, “Task Force to Review Hong Kong’s Basic Law Set Up After Tiananmen Square Crackdown, Declassified Documents Reveal,” July 27, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 6. Based on a hand-count in the table in Freedom House, Freedom of the World 2014, http://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Freedom%20in%20the%20World %202014%20Booklet.pdf, 18–23; methods link on page 2. Singapore was rated 4 for both “civil liberties” and “political rights.” 7. “Rare Disagreement As CY Leung Takes Issue with Global Times,” South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], June 24, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 8. Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi, “Political Regimes and Economic Growth,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 7:3 (Summer 1993), 60. 9. John Gerring, Philip Bond, William T. Barndt, and Carole Moreno, “Democracy and Economic Growth: A Historical Perspective,” World Politics 57 (April 2005), 356 for the quotation and 323–364 for many statistical tests. 10. Quoted in Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), vii. 11. Frank Dikötter, The Discourse of Race in Modern China (London: Hurst, 1992). 12. Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace (New York: Columbia University Press, 1939), 37. More recently, the seminal essay is Michael Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 12:3–4 (Summer–Fall 1983), 205– 235, 323–352, which provides a definition of liberal states and surveys historical conflicts. 13. Peru-Ecuador skirmishes and the British-Icelandic “Cod War” may have been exceptions to this “liberal non-aggression conjecture.” But these were very minor; and for whatever reason, liberal states have eschewed real wars among each other. The term “conjecture” is used here as in mathematics: an assertion for which neither counterevidence nor theoretical proof has been found. (Goldbach’s Conjecture is most famous: that each even integer greater than 2 can be expressed as the sum of two primes. Number theorists are discontent because they cannot find such an integer that violates the rule, nor have they found a sure general reason why it must be so.) 14. Jack Levy pronounces this finding “as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations.” See Levy, “Domestic Politics and War,” in R. I. Rothberg and T. K. Rabb, eds., The Origin and Prevention of Major Wars (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 88. 15. Tests of the liberal nonaggression conjecture are summarized in Henry S. Farber and Joanne Gowa, “Polities and Peace,” International Security 20:2 (Fall, 1995), 123–146. See also Edward Friedman and Barrett L. McCormick, eds., What If China Doesn’t Democratize? Implications for War and Peace (Armonk: Sharpe, 2000). 16. Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War,” International Security 20:1 (Summer 1995), 5–38; but also Andrew Enterline, “Driving While Democratizing: A Rejoinder to Mansfield and Snyder,” International Security 20:4 (Spring 1996), 183–207; and Michael Doyle, Ways of War and Peace (New York: Norton, 1997). 17. The word “face” derives from lian in colloquial Chinese; it is not just an Orientalist stereotype. Perhaps the main issue in traditional Chinese political culture is who may sit at decision tables. See Susan L. Shirk, The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), chap. 9. 18. Lee is quoted, for this and preceeding paragraphs, in Erik C. Paul, Obstacles to Democratization in Southeast Asia (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), 98–99. 19. Quoted in Chee Soon Juan, Singapore: My Home Too (Singapore: Singapore Democratic Party, 1995), 98; see also 37.

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20. Doh Chull Shin, “How East Asians View Democracy,” in The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective, Daniel A. Bell and Chengyang Li, eds. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 283– 284. 21. Ibid. 22. E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960), informs many arguments in this present book. 23. Robert A. Dahl, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971); and Dahl, Who Governs? (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961). 24. E. E. Schattschneider, Party Government (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1942), 1. 25. Robert Michels, Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracies, Eden Paul and Cedar Paul, trans. (New York: Dover, 1968), 365. 26. Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968), 402. 27. Mark Landler, “Hong Kong’s Democrats Clamor for Spot on Crowded U.S. Agenda,” September 4, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/05/world/asia. 28. During Li Keqiang’s June 2014 visit to London, he avoided mentioning Hong Kong—and David Cameron in their joint news conference only said that the SinoBritish agreement was thirty years old. See http://www.gov.uk/government /speeches/david-cameron-and-li-keqiang-press-conference-june-2014. 29. Regina Ip, “Ways to Counter Malign Influence,” Post, November 27, 2014; and Ip, “One Country, One People,” Post, December 4, 2014. 30. Joyce Ng, “Jasper Tsang: Legco Middleman Finds Little Sympathy,” July 14, 2014, http://scmp.com, offers insights on Tsang’s Anglican-Marxist history and the question whether he will remain in politics. 31. Dui Hua Foundation, “Congressional Action on Hong Kong Set to Roil USChina Relations,” Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, January 15, 2015, http://duihuahrjournal.org. 32. Hong Kong’s top trade representative in New York assured me that the SAR government would grant visas to these Congress members—and had decided to do so despite their purposes that could hurt the city’s economy. Beijing might try to reverse that decision. 33. “China Blocks British MPs’ Visit to Hong Kong,” http://www.bbc.com /news/uk-politics-30267026, November 30, 2014. 34. Gary Cheung and Peter So, “Still Hope for Choice in 2017: Jasper Tsang,” October 13, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 35. Gary Cheung, “On Political Reform, Beijing Leaves No Room for Moderates,” Post, June 30, 2015, A13. 36. Andy Loo aided me on this. See http://www.legco.gov.hk/general/english/procedur/content/partj.htm#46, on Legco procedures for voting, which does not explicitly deny its president a right to vote. 37. Lai also remains in contact with Democratic Party founder Martin Lee. Joyce Ng, “Jimmy Lai Chee-ying Says He ‘Hasn’t Given One Cent’ to Occupy Central Organizers,” October 9, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 38. Peter So, “‘A Beijing Official Told Me to Stop Filibusters,’ Hong Kong Legco Chief Reveals,” February 7, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 39. Bruce Gilley, “States and Legitimacy: The Politics of Moral Authority,” PhD dissertation (Princeton University, January 2007), 109, 239.

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40. A pioneering and sympathetic comparison is Erin M. Cline, Confucius, Rawls, and the Sense of Justice (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). 41. This comes from Rawls’s last book, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), 5. This book might be read as a partial apology for his previous neglect of non-Western polities. “Justice” on one tract of the planet would be dubious, to the extent it were different on other tracts. Note that the wording of Rawls’s definition of a just polity is post-individualist or even collectivist, and also mindful of historical time—thus stronger than other formulations for these reasons.

8 Could Further Democratization in Hong Kong Affect China?

Heaven sees as my people see. Heaven hears as my people hear. —Mencius, Chapter 18(8)

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried. —Winston Churchill (1947)1

A Western academic has speculated, “Allow Hong Kong more political liberties, and people in other Chinese cities are sure to demand them too. Moreover, people will start organizing parties to challenge the Communist Party’s authority, and the next thing you know, the one-party state will come under challenge.”2 This may or may not be true. Taiwan’s competitive democracy has not, at least yet, affected the mainland except to inspire CCP elite invectives against it; and Hong Kong is smaller than Taiwan. The PRC one-party state might adapt to make broader elections serve its purposes, as many other authoritarian regimes have done.3 China’s governments of various sizes have a love-hate relationship with civil societies (which might better be called “nonstate polities”). They are often useful in helping to solve local problems. Although they are sometimes difficult for cadres to control, the state can often adapt to them.4 Hong Kong is already an economic experiment, a determinedly capitalist part of an allegedly socialist nation. It is “an ideal political laboratory for China. It has strong institutions and a strong rule-of-law culture, and Beijing can easily justify its flexible or exceptional approach to Hong Kong through the ‘one country, two systems’ formula.”5 But the CCP could also react to democratization pressures by becoming more dictatorial—or a future leader of the Chinese state might seek to rig elections on the mainland, trying to justify autocratic rule by democratic means. This has happened elsewhere. By what mechanism might mass elections of high government officials conceivably begin in China? One answer to that question is that the mainland’s 203

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spur toward such an evolution, if it ever occurs, would be different than in Hong Kong; it would almost surely begin with competition inside the ruling party (as occurred in the Soviet Union/Russia). Protests such as the May 4 Movement of 1919 or the Tiananmen demonstrations of 1989 have been seen by some Chinese intellectuals as memorably important in the country’s evolution, but in practice they were ineffective for their immediate political ends of greater democratization. In Hong Kong, the 2014 protests likewise had scant or no near-term success. But Basic Law clauses and popular expectations mean that local (and occasionally national) leaders legitimize democratic development for the city in principle. Mainland official rhetoric since 1989 has mainly mooted “intra-party democracy”—and even that is restricted, when it is referenced. The Chinese government under Xi Jinping has cracked down against democratic dissent, whereas Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s was expanding the use of elections, at least to choose local leaders.6 Mass elections on the mainland might expand when a group within the Communist Party elite sees its interest in universal suffrage. If that occurs, the pro-election leaders might be illiberal, guessing they can win votes. Most mainlanders like the sound of the word “democracy,” but they hear much official railing against “color revolutions,” and are simply unaware of China’s Tiananmen 1989 history. It is probable that most citizens on the mainland are not currently eager for much more than the minimal democracy they now have, with rural village and urban district elections in which communists can run alongside independents whom the CCP has approved. Yet there is increasing evidence of mainlanders’ frustrations with the corruption of medial cadres. There is growing “rights consciousness.”7 Demands for democratic institutions are seldom heard except among some intellectuals and urban entrepreneurs.8 Being a cadre (zuoguan) gives any local leader a reputational boost, as well as practical benefits, whether the official is elected or not.9 When Hong Kong students in 2014 began to protest limited Chief Executive nomination, most mainlanders accepted the official media disapproval and scant coverage of the southern port’s demonstrations.10 But they were curious. A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences study indicated that, late in 2014, the Hong Kong protests were the second most frequent subject of search by mainlanders who use the web.11 A small group of PRC students living abroad set up a Facebook account to support the Hong Kong protesting youths—although their leader honestly admitted, “I might not have the guts to do it if I lived on the mainland.”12 Jonathan Fox notes that “if there is more to democracy than elections, then there is more to democratization than the transition to elections, but . . . the dynamic of political transitions toward respect for other fundamental democratic rights is still not well understood.”13 Many people worldwide equate democracy with elections—and this creates dangers for China, including

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Hong Kong. Another democratic political scientist notes that “any demand for greater participation [in the city] must also secure the approval of Beijing, which needs to recognize Hong Kong’s potential as a model for the People’s Republic.”14 The Communist Party’s current leaders have expressed opposition to moving the mainland toward more electoral democracy, which they typify as a “Western” state form. A weak argument against democracy in Hong Kong (albeit perhaps the strongest substantive one that can be made) is that a mass-electoral regime might later be established in China on a Hong Kong model by a populist-patriotic national politician who could turn illiberal. Some conservative Chinese intellectuals have argued that the educational level of the mainland’s people is still so low that the populace as a whole should not be allowed to choose leaders. But the schooling of voters during many other countries’ democratizations has been and remains incomplete. People without educational certifications may just have “a different kind of knowledge . . . the problem is not how [many] Aristotles can run a democracy, but how we can organize a political community of . . . ordinary people so that it remains sensitive to their needs.”15 That would apply to Confuciuses, too. A more important issue may be effective tolerance to have different views expressed in public—or not to have them. If mass elections occurred prior to a time when mainland politics were stabilized by open debate (protected by independent judges, lawyers, and reporters—or by some more powerful social mechanism such as legitimate leftright tensions), such elections could strengthen a demagogue in Beijing. Such a leader would attack liberals throughout China, including Hong Kong. Differing “Democratic” Dictators: Marcos, Fujimori, Thaksin, Hitler, Others Electoral development of this anti-liberal kind has occurred in many countries, although it is certainly not inevitable in all democratizations. A few diverse examples may suffice here. Ferdinand Marcos won the 1965 Philippine presidential election in a nation that has a free (and purchasable) press, many civic organizations including election monitors, and exquisite separations of power among government agencies, including courts.16 Then he manipulated news of violence, some of which may have been perpetrated by his henchmen, to declare martial law. Alberto Fujimori, Peru’s populist president whose strong electoral performance rose as his violence became more obvious, provides a similar case, as details below will show. Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand loves elections; he is in that sense a great democrat. If he had to stay abroad because of corruption suits against him, his party and its exiled leader nonetheless remained so popular with voters that his sister won the premiership almost solely on the basis of her family name—until the (also corrupt) military overthrew her.

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Such cases of strong populists in early democratic development differ greatly from each other. The most infamous and extreme example is Adolf Hitler, who headed the largest party in the Reichstag after the July and November 1932 multiparty German elections (which saw a sharp rise and then a drop in Nazi popular votes). President Paul von Hindenburg, despite Hitler’s enmity of him, early in the next year followed constitutional norms by offering the chancellorship to the leader of the largest parliamentary party. Nazi intimidations destroyed the integrity of the March 1933 multiparty election, in which Hitler’s clique received 44 percent of the votes, emerging once again with the largest group of representatives. But it was the earlier, cleaner elections that had laid a claim to power by giving the Nazis pluralities. Hitler’s party rigged further German voting in November 1933, and then in 1934, 1936, and 1938.17 Like other chauvinist demagogues, Hitler created his dictatorship in stages, including early critical steps that involved competitive elections. Such leaders in various countries tend to have common traits, albeit to different degrees. All are hyper-nationalistic. All are seen as strong decisive leaders, sometimes because they are widely known to have been personally violent in the past.18 They garner votes from citizens who want firm, determined national chiefs. All develop their rule in a step-by-step manner; democratic elections alternate with violence on their roads to power.19 Most receive support from small enterprises or “civil” clubs in medium early stages of economic development.20 All have populist policies in fields such as housing, employment, education, and medicine. All are corrupt (albeit in different ways).21 All run violent anticorruption drives against their rivals. Some press for expansion of national borders. Some violate the traditional rights of ethnic minorities. All bring new participants from majorities into public activity. All are heartily detested by various older-established politicians. In many but not all such cases, recent economic change (either depressions or quick booms that create sharp inequality and pressures on land) has affected their nations. In some cases, a chip-on-the-shoulder anti-foreign nationalism is a major element in the democratic demagogue’s political platform. Ways in Which Populist, Potent, Patriotic Leaders Get Votes for Violence Marcos won the Philippine presidency democratically in 1965. He was able to declare martial law after severe 1971 spates of violence, notably the Miranda Plaza bombing that killed or injured most anti-Marcos candidates for senatorial seats (this event can be compared to the Reichstag fire, in part because responsibility for it was never proven). By 1972, Marcos dissolved the Philippine Congress and took full control of the central government. He was Ilocano, from northern Luzon, and he appointed Ilocano generals to support him. Marcos’s abysmal human rights record is less well known in the West

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than it would have been, if he had not made himself valuable to the United States by sending Philippine soldiers to fight communists in Vietnam. The Thai case is very considerably more complex. After winning landslide elections, Premier Thaksin Shinawatra was deposed in 2006 by the Thai army and a network of civilian quasi-aristocrats close to King Bhumibol. A new constitution limited political participation, to ensure that military authoritarianism rather than populist majoritarianism would dominate Thailand.22 Often-coercive soldiers overthrew the often-coercive demagogue. Thaksin had many links with police, to whom his telecoms company had sold walkie-talkie radio equipment—but generals in the army and royal network distrusted him. Like Marcos, he was far more nationalistic than the Western press reported (the name of his Thai Rak Thai Party meant “Thais Love Thais”). Thaksin persecuted Malay-Muslim rebels in the far south provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. His rivals saw him as corrupt, although he was convicted only on a legal technicality; and he led very forceful anticorruption campaigns against his opponents. Many urban Thais regarded the sale of his family’s shares of Shin Corporation to Temasek Holdings in Singapore as dubious, because his position as premier had affected their value. Thai laws regarding such sales changed shortly before the sale, and questions were raised concerning Thaksin’s nonpayment of capital-gains and land taxes. He was extremely popular among many ordinary Thais, especially in small businesses and civil societies, for generous policies to fund schools, hospitals, and housing.23 So his party won elections, especially in north and northeast Thailand, among “urbanized villagers” whose number increased along with the growth of the Thai economy.24 Thaksin’s party organized canvassers and “godfathers” (chao pho) who brought millions of Thais newly into the national polity.25 The voting blocs of Thaksin’s party remained strong even after he had to exile himself from the country because of the legal charges against him and the near certainty that the generals would arrest him if he returned to Thailand. Democratization in different countries has seen leaders with several of these traits, although they have not all been the same. Fujimori was elected president of Peru as an anti-establishment populist, with 57 percent of the vote in 1990. At that time, Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) guerrillas controlled two-fifths of the country and were waging an extremely violent campaign that Fujimori and his security chief Vladimiro Montesinos defeated just as violently. Frustrated by establishment parties that controlled the Congress, he dissolved that body in a 1992 autogolpe (similar to Marcos’s in 1972). Fujimori likewise declared martial law and secretly authorized death squads. He was castigated abroad for destroying democracy, but Peru’s economy began to show improvement. Penurious voters approved him so widely that he again won the presidency in 1995, this time with 64 percent of the vote, a higher margin than in his previous presidential campaign—after his regime’s extensive use of coercion had become evident to many. (His own wife Susana

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Higuchi publicly denounced him for corruption and ran for president against him; her charges were accurate, but she did not win.) Fujimori’s popularity clearly rose along with the rate of murders by his ministers. While he was still president, however, he had to flee Peru toward Japan in 1990, after the release of videotapes that showed his security chief bribing congressmen. Eventually he was convicted of violations including murder and embezzlement, but he never lost an election.26 Perhaps one further partial comparator will help to show that political figures bearing some similarities to the cases mentioned here have appeared in a variety of national contexts. In the early democratization of the United States, Andrew Jackson had a strongly patriotic reputation based on his military victory at the Battle of New Orleans in (or after) the War of 1812. He was a slaveowner, the scourge of the Cherokees, and organizer of the genocidal “Trail of Tears.”27 Like Marcos, Jackson in his youth was widely known to have killed a man, and this gave him a further reputation of strength. He became famous as initiator of the “spoils system,” although he also accused his foes such as John Quincy Adams of corruption. Jackson sent his soldiers to seize land from Cherokees who thought they had adapted to the US system, and he became personally wealthy because of extractions from land that he conquered from them. He expanded the domain of slave-holding westward from the Appalachians. Like Thaksin (or Hitler or Marcos or Fujimori, despite their many differences), Jackson brought both more violence and more people—white ones—into the polity. Some but not all such leaders prosper when their countries have “chips on the shoulder” or are suffering economic turmoil. In Germany of the early 1930s, the unemployment rate exceeded 30 percent, and memories of the Versailles Treaty humiliation were raw.28 In the Philippines by the 1960s and 1970s, it was evident that (contrary to earlier expectations) many other East Asian countries were prospering while the archipelago’s economy was stagnant. Marcos presented himself as a strong leader who could fix the “Philippine problem,” although in practice he failed to do so. Peru’s economy was in shambles because of violence by the guerrilla movement and mismanagement during the presidency of Fujimori’s predecessor, Alan García. Fujimori ended them both. Thailand’s Thaksin, however, gained popularity in a period of economic boom that made incomes higher and more unequal, bringing disruptive change along with more prosperity to the lives and environments of both urban and rural Thais. It is unnecessary, here, to explore the comparability of other cases that might be added to this list. (Benito Mussolini does not belong on it, because he never ran in a competitive election. Vladimir Putin in 2000 won a majority against Communist and Yabloko opponents, who got more than onethird of the votes in a balloting that was nonetheless highly questionable; this case probably qualifies, but it is omitted here because unlike the comparators it is ongoing. Robert Mugabe won in 1980 before he became extremely repres-

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sive; but he ran as a Shona hero against Ndbele opposition, and the majoritytribe aspect of the Zimbabwean election makes it difficult to compare with the other cases mooted above—each of which also had its peculiarities.) The most general point stands: violent leaders sometimes attract votes on the basis of that trait. Psychological mechanisms that cause voters to cast their ballots for strongmen have been neglected by political scientists as a topic for serious study.29 Gustave Le Bon in 1895 nonetheless offered insights on crowd behavior, which demagogues can commandeer for their own purposes. Karl Mannheim in 1936 (of all years!) showed the functionality of intent lies.30 More famous than Le Bon or Mannheim—but equally neglected in comparative politics—are novelists who provide insights on crowd psychology that totalitarians and authoritarians use. Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1880 had his Grand Inquisitor tell Jesus, “We have corrected Thy work and have founded it upon miracle, mystery, and authority. And men rejoiced that they were again led like sheep, and that the terrible gift [freedom] that had brought them so much suffering was, at last, lifted from their hearts.”31 George Orwell in his 1948 novel about 1984 claimed that communalistic leaders can induce in individuals “an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness.” Big Brother “produced fear and danger automatically,” seeming “to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector” of crowds that he led in rhythmic chants of praise for themselves and himself. His community was led “to know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it [and] the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed.”32 The training of Islamic suicide bombers involves comparable commitments to revelation. Psychologists such as Yale’s Stanley Milgram have attempted experimental science to find mechanisms by which agents sometimes turn over their consciences to authoritarians.33 Recent advances in the neuroendocrinology of the human brain may prove more useful in exploring methods by which leaders sense ways to activate predispositions that can strengthen their power over political communities. Because this field is technical biology, neuroscientists are likely to make progress concerning its social consequences before political scientists will be up to speed. Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky documents a paradigm that explores predispositions to human aggression.34 Such techniques may later extend to throw light on reasons why, under certain conditions, voters tend to elect strongmen who are violent and illiberal. None of these diverse approaches to comprehend the social psychology of early democratization’s reversals has yet been applied systematically by students of comparative politics. The reasons involve professional allergies in a discipline whose members face career problems if they expand their re-

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search too far outside their “normal” science.35 Such hang-ups weaken comparative analyses of democratization. Future research along such lines would admittedly be difficult. Adapting Mannheim’s or Le Bon’s ideas to behavioral study poses problems of theory that would be worth overcoming. Great care would be needed to make Dostoevsky’s or Orwell’s insights less descriptive, probing causes for their propositions and defining “consciousness” warily. Adapting neurobiology to explain social phenomena will require a wider range of skills than political scientists yet have. But scholarship about democratization may remain in some respects naive, until such efforts make headway. The “dark side of democracy” has been too exclusively identified by Michael Mann with ethno-nationalism.36 In the examples of democracy-goneawry just listed, dictators won their early elections on broadly nationalist and populist platforms. But ethnic exclusionism came later (and in the cases of Marcos or Fujimori, although they killed rivals, it scarcely arose). This is not to deny that some illiberal-democratic leaders developed programs of ethnic cleansing; examples of that disaster are too well known in parts of the modern world to require a list here. In China, the main targets of demagogues are more likely to be political than ethnic. Platforms of Chinese Illiberal “Democrats” Many Beijing politicians speak not just about the former glories of Chinese civilization, but also about the century of “national shame” (guochi) that followed the Opium War, when Western countries and Japan repressed Chinese. Nationalism of this kind has involved both imitation and rejection of “the other.” It spreads when members of one national group begin to see themselves as somewhat like those in another, which they simultaneously envy and resent. Liah Greenfeld shows, mostly from European examples, the historical causation of ressentiment and its clear link to the spread of nationalism among countries.37 The violence of previous Japanese and Western repressions is understandably a trope of domestic politics in China—and to a lesser extent in Hong Kong. A democratic demagogue on the mainland might later gain electoral support partly because of memories of foreign cruelties in China. Even without meaningful mainland voting, it is already possible to discern PRC leaders who have been exceptionally nationalist, corrupt, nominally anticorruption, popular, and violent. The most famous and successful of these was Mao Zedong, who disdained elections while nominally standing for them. Mao said, “Some people say elections are very good, very democratic. I think that election is a very civilized word, but I do not think there are true elections. I am an elected people’s representative from the Beijing district, but how many people in Beijing really understand me?”38 A more recent such politician was Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai.

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He was likewise hyper-patriotic, corrupt, anti-“corruption,” welfarist in many policy areas, nostalgic about Mao, and so violent (through a murder by his wife at least) that his enemies could purge him. But if a free mass election had been held in Chongqing before that event, Bo would clearly have won by a landslide. In the future, the most illiberal kind of PRC politician could become most supportive of mass elections. The likelihood that mass elections to top offices in mainland China would empower a demagogic illiberal leader is well below 100 percent, but it is above 0 percent. Such a leader might as easily emerge from the current succession procedures of the CCP, and he or she (probably not Xi) might later support a mass election if the chance of winning were great. Then, perhaps with the acquiescence of patriotic soldiers, a crowd pleaser might move toward sharply illiberal policies. Elections in sovereign countries can be way stations on demagogues’ roads to power. Votes are inherently bumptious and messy methods for choosing leaders, but open legitimate debate may eventually correct lies and unfairness, as John Stuart Mill suggested.39 In the long term, the hope that free speech can achieve this result is almost surely justified. But in shorter runs, chauvinistic patriotism endangers liberals when strongmen can attract support. Community Law for Illiberal Democracy So electoral democracy sometimes does not work for liberalism in early years after its first introduction. How can cleanly counted competitive elections be structured so they do not enhance the legitimacy of leaders who become dictators? What institutions can reduce or eliminate the chance that democracies become viciously unfair? The standard first answer is “rule of law.” But courts did little or nothing to stop the march to power of Hitler or Marcos (or diverse other dictators). The German case has been studied most thoroughly. Judges in the Weimar Republic tended to be imperial loyalists. Like most other civil servants, they were never fond of popular democracy—and by the 1930s, almost all of them readily became Nazis. Sovereignty in their view was naturally lodged in a leader (Kaiser or Führer) who could “represent” the nation collectively, not individuals whose views mass balloting tries to aggregate. Nazis did not, however, eschew elections that they could win or rig. Carl Schmitt, the best-known Nazi jurist, theorized that a national leader could posit law. This “positive” approach was contrasted to “natural” law, as well as to more leadership-constraining forms of positive law (as espoused by Hans Kelsen first in Vienna and later in Berkeley).40 In Schmitt’s view, a parliament and a bureaucracy are, in different ways, rationalistic means of government. But Schmitt argued for enthusiastic popular acclamation of a charismatic leader as the basis for orderly rule and community strength. Schmitt’s

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kind of law, which took over all German jurisprudence by the early 1930s and had been important even before that time, is similar to the ancient Chinese “legalist” (fajia) tradition, which also presumes that law should be nothing more than a tool of the state leader. In “civilized” Germany, after Nazi street violence and the 1933 Reichstag arson (or later, after Kristallnacht), courts imprisoned none of the thugs who broke the law. During Ferdinand Marcos’s slow subversion of the Philippine constitution, after his victory in the 1965 election, the corrupt courts of that country did nothing effective to stop the democratically legitimated dictator from declaring martial law and then “salvaging” (killing) some of his opponents.41 An experienced attorney in Manila, Alfonso Felix Jr., had practiced before the country’s highest courts for fifty years; and he claimed shortly before his death that he had never worked on a case in which the judge had not been bribed. “Ninety percent of the cases are decided on the basis of money.”42 Grasing Guzman, a “Godfather” in Nueva Ecija on Luzon, controlled the local Philippine constabulary. He had been charged with multiple homicides, but no court had ever found him guilty. He briefly mused that he could have made a good lawyer, but then he reconsidered: “No. I could never have survived as a lawyer. I am a man of honor. . . . I would have to bribe judges out of responsibility to my client. But judges are venal and may sell the case to the other side if it intervenes with a higher bid. Then I would have to kill the judge. . . . It is well that I used my talents otherwise.”43 Grasing ran illegal gambling games “out of civic duty,” and he claimed that the profits went to supplement the low salaries of hardworking public officials, such as the local police chief, who appointed him a “special agent.” In China, relationships between rural governments and informal local potentates are often reported in interviews—and they do not create a context for fair elections. The question becomes: What conditions can make electoral democracy safe for liberal democracy? If mainland China established some mechanism to stabilize the legitimacy of debate among candidates before holding mass elections—and of assuring leaders that they would not be permanently purged after an electoral campaign in which they said things their rivals disliked— then the danger of a democratic demagogue would be reduced. If the rest of the PRC had rule of law as surely as Hong Kong has, the probability of such illiberal leaders coming to power would be sharply lowered.44 But PRC courts lack that level of independence, and comparative studies of judiciaries in general suggest that judges are seldom as hermetically separate from local politicians as they usually claim to be. Incorruptible courts are the standard answer to concerns about democratic aberrations from liberalism. A law-abiding judiciary would surely be important and helpful for that purpose. But are courts by themselves adequate to the task of fairness in a newly rich political economy that has scant experience of elections?

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“Rule of Law” in Hybrid Regimes What exactly is “rule of law”? Most liberals would deem it more than just a situation in which written codes are enforced. “Rule by law,” i.e., by codes that manage only ordinary citizens, can be distinguished from “rule of law” that applies to all actors including state officials. This distinction is not “legal orientalism.”45 The effect of laws can be judged by their fairness to many people, not just lawmakers. Josef Stalin, for example, was a stickler for rule by laws— which in effect he had written. His “show trials” of the late 1930s followed his legal codes punctiliously.46 Other totalitarians such as Mao Zedong have been less formal. Mao was an unapologetic proponent of coercive Chinese “legalist” traditions that were theorized by the writer Han Fei in the third century B.C.E. Violent rulers often frame laws to their own advantage. But they and their regimes do not last forever, especially because they tend to overreach politically, provoking national or international reactions. This has been the experience of many strong rulers such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Marcos, and Fujimori. The trouble with “rule by men” (or “rule by law” rather than “rule of law”) is that it is corrupt, in the sense of that word used throughout this book. In China, not just in other countries, many increasingly see “rule by men” as offering benefits to just a few people that should instead have gone to many. China has a party-government involving central, medial, and local jurisdictions (and families, which are the most powerful local polities). These sizes of collectivity have leaders with different interests. “Lower” administrative units do not always obey “higher” ones.47 Local leaders can often hide information from national leaders. This is not a democratic practice, but local freedoms within centralized or partially centralized polities are common. They are also acknowledged, albeit vaguely, in some federal constitutions.48 For this and other reasons, it is mistaken to conceptualize as total diametric opposites democratic liberalism and authoritarianism. There is a practical spectrum of regimes, not a sharp democratic-or-autocratic division of them. This range can be discerned in the degrees to which elites allow legitimate oppositions, or also in the degrees to which they are able (or unable) to control media use, co-opt rivals, implement biased electoral laws, rig votes, sanction judges, or make farmers and workers depend on incumbents’ patronage. All democracies are more elitist, and most authoritarian regimes are less totalist, than discourse in English generally suggests. Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way admit diverse kinds of “hybrid regimes” or “competitive authoritarianisms,” which are called by many names: “‘semidemocracy,’ ‘virtual democracy’ . . . ‘pseudodemocracy,’ ‘illiberal democracy,’ ‘semi-authoritarianism,’ ‘soft authoritarianism,’ ‘electoral authoritarianism,’ and Freedom House’s ‘partly free.’”49 Transitions from hybrid regimes may move toward either the democratic or the authoritarian pole, to the extent those multicomponent ideal types can be coherently conceptualized. Places as dif-

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ferent as Mexico and Taiwan were one-party regimes that became more democratic. Places as different as Russia and Zimbabwe had nominally democratic forms but have moved to become more autocratic, at least for the nonce. As Levitsky and Way show, “Authoritarian governments may coexist indefinitely with meaningful democratic institutions.” They suggest that “as long as incumbents avoid egregious (and well-publicized) rights abuses and do not cancel or openly steal elections, the contradictions inherent in competitive authoritarianism may be manageable.” But “the presence of elections, legislatures, courts, and independent media creates periodic opportunities for challenges by opposition forces.”50 In some early democracies, the main form of electoral fraud was not votebuying but was intervention by local officials telling people how to cast ballots. Intimidation by cadres or local employers was common. Modern occupational diversity, however, correlated with fewer officials and employers scaring people to vote in ways the local notables wished. District leaders often tried to dictate the politics of public and private sector employees, but workers in heterogeneous economies could find new jobs if their bosses fired them.51 Local wealth may eventually correlate with less electoral pressure of this sort. But until that happens in China, cadres of medium-size jurisdictions could favor elections whose results they can control. They do not want to be regulated by laws, but socioeconomic diversification could restrain them. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2014, China ranks 76 among 99 polities (while Hong Kong is at rank 16).52 These ratings conflate large differences among components of the index, which are subject to debate as regards their values and weightings. On “protection of fundamental rights”—such as freedoms of expression, assembly, and strike—China is estimated to rank very low (96 of 99 countries). On that component, Hong Kong is also much lower than its general level (ranked 29 of 99, whereas Hong Kong’s general “rule of law” level is 16 according to these researchers). Both China and Hong Kong rank higher on “order and security” measures, because crime and civil violence are relatively rare (or in China, less reported). With regard to internal or external “constraints on government powers,” China is estimated to rank low (92)—as to some extent is Hong Kong (24)—relative to their conflated “rule of law” levels. The index is useful, even though it is still a work-in-progress that later can be improved. It rightly suggests that the rule of law in mainland China is also very much a work-in-progress. The top CCP leaders explicitly agree with that, although they want to use law rather than be constrained by law. The World Economic Forum, in some contrast to the World Justice Project, ranked Hong Kong’s judiciary as the fifth most independent in the world.53 This well-heeled group ranked China as having the 60th most independent judiciary among 144 economies. Hong Kong registered below its high “independent judiciary” ranking on World Economic Forum indices of “undue

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influence” in courts or “favoritism in decisions of government officials.” But since these were just a few of the more than one hundred numerical rankings by which that rich group’s economists tried to assess each of 144 polities, the results show nearly as much about enthusiasm for numbers as about actual situations. The World Economic Forum, which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland, can afford big attitude surveys and a large computer. The exactness of its data, or those of the World Justice Project, is subject to question— not just because the two sets of analysts are in slight disagreement with each other. Xi Jinping’s Legal Reforms Xi Jinping’s proposals on legal reform call for “regularization, specialization, and professionalization” of the judiciary—under Communist Party leadership. More professionalized courts in China, such as Xi advocated by 2014, might lead to a later situation in which constitutional guarantees of free speech were protected. This would be crucial for seriously competitive elections, if China’s elite ever decides to allow these, and if legal fairness extends to political as well as economic cases. In Singapore, a tiny state that huge China’s elite admires, such conditions are changing but still questionable.54 In 2015, Xi’s minions arrested Chinese lawyers for bringing suits in Chinese courts to enforce liberal aspects of Chinese laws. In any case, elections are certainly not Xi’s main purpose for legal reform. He evidently interprets the PRC constitution to impede legitimacy for any major public disagreements or contending political parties. Concrete social problems in China generate debate on all the issues that conflicting political parties would address if they existed. Fixating analysis on courts alone is an inadequate means to find the causes of change in Chinese law. Larger social trends outside the formal and often inconsistent texts from constitutions, legislatures, and courts are needed to predict what happens in both politics and law.55 The preamble of China’s current state constitution posits: Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, . . . the Chinese people of all nationalities will continue to adhere to the people’s democratic dictatorship and the socialist road . . . [and] class struggle will continue to exist within certain bounds for a long time to come. . . . [So a] system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation led by the Communist Party of China will continue to exist and develop for a long time to come. (emphasis added)

After that preamble (of which legal communalists such as Carl Schmitt would approve), the implementing sections of the constitution do not mention the Communist Party at all. They scarcely need to do so, because everyone knows the party’s will and current ability to grip power.

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None of this is new. Reduced violence after the overthrow of the radical Gang of Four was not closely linked with improvements in the legal system.56 Local elections were held, but perceptions of corruption were surveyed to increase. An increase in voting does not always mean a short-run drop in social violence. Benedict Anderson found in Thailand a statistical correlation between the growth of fiscal power among elected officers and a rise in candidate murders.57 PRC courts will remain too weak to protect legitimate public debate until the movement to strengthen them meets less resistance from medial cadres. The solution to this problem, like many others such as pollution, workers’ rights, or food safety, is subject to “scale politics” and policies in middle sizes of collectivity.58 “Rule of law” rhetoric, which became salient by Xi’s time, might eventually justify its implementation. That would require freedom for the same advocates whom Xi has repressed. Such implementation would help make potential early-democratic politicians in China less subject to arbitrary violence from each other. Competent courts could reduce problems of vote-buying, if competitive elections spread into China. Such results are no more ensured than is an elite decision to have serious elections, although they are possible in the future. Xi’s colleagues suggest that court budgets should be taken out of the hands of local officials. They advocate “rule of law work teams” adhering strictly to control by Party leaders at the provincial and national levels. Yet the phrase “work teams,” resurrected from Mao’s time, and Xi’s constant emphasis on the importance of Party guidance tend to suggest the “both red and expert” (youhong youzhuan) theme that was important in an earlier PRC period. In Mao’s era, sloganizing for both loyalty and professionalism did not create a modern legal system. Ling Bin of Peking University Law School calls for a “Chinese way to the rule of law.” Ling contrasts Western “rule of law through specialization” (zhuanshi fazhi) with “rule of law through popularization” (minben fazhi), which he considers more appropriate for China—even though he does not deny that law experts have a secondary role to play.59 Ling’s discourse resembles Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt’s populist and leader-centered ideas about assessing the public morality of a legal system. It has long been observed that specialist law breeds jargon that most people cannot fully understand and tends to favor the rich, who can hire expensive lawyers, causing many people to feel no connection to jurisprudence. Violators are sanctioned only after they commit illegal acts; there is scant educational attempt to prevent them from wanting to break laws in the first place. Specialization in law, as in medicine, may be curative but is not preventive. As a Stanford law professor once wrote, “at some point the transgressions become so serious that the state intervenes . . . the entire majesty of the law is visited upon the malfeasant . . . no one is reformed.”60 Ling argues that communitarian law recognizes the people’s inter-

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ests better than technical law does—and it can recognize leadership by the Communist Party that is supposed to represent them. This becomes a “self-orientalizing” view of law, presuming (as Ling does) that contradictory principles to promote justice are identifiable in “East” and “West” regions rather than being universal.61 Xi Jinping’s highly advertised political commitment to professional courts is not monotonic. His stress on Party control of courts raises the old question of who monitors the monitors.62 Xi’s regime has cracked down on Chinese lawyers who try to enforce liberal aspects of Chinese laws that protect citizens’ rights. The NGO Human Rights Watch writes that Xi’s government “places arbitrary curbs on expression, association, assembly, and religion; prohibits independent labor unions and human rights organizations; and maintains Party control over all judicial institutions.”63 In June and July 2015, hundreds of lawyers and human rights advocates were arrested. Police may legally hold people “up to 37 days before prosecutors approve their formal arrests,” but in practice they often do so longer. The lawyer-miscreants are said to “to draw attention to sensitive cases, seriously disturbing social order.”64 Chinese courts are losing their leaders because they are opposed, sometimes violently, by mid-level bureaucrats. Chinese judges are resigning their prestigious posts in droves, because of “heavy caseloads, low professional standards, bad pay, and government [including local Party] interference—as well as the growing threat of violence at the hands of angry petitioners. . . . The number of judges has barely grown since 2007, while the number of cases has swelled by almost 50 percent.” A Beijing magistrate who resigned after being at work for just five years complained to a Chinese journalist that, “had I felt at least intellectually satisfied, I wouldn’t have left my job.”65 Xi’s centralist reforms might begin to correct this defection of the judiciary, but China is large and the problem is not mainly in the central administration. Businesses and Party committees like to control local court decisions. If litigants’ violence or the pervasive CCP legal committees within courts prevent judges from deciding cases according to written laws, there is scant need to wonder why the magistrates resign. Xi’s proposals for “rule of law” aim to control local but not central authorities. They plan to reduce the influence of county, city, and district governments over the appointments of judges. They would replace a “case filing” process (under which courts can refuse to hear cases) with a “case registration” system. They emphasize the primacy of procedural justice, and they suggest that leading nonjudicial cadres who interfere in court decisions should be punished—perhaps under law rather than Party disciplinary procedures, although the CCP processes have certainly not been abandoned. Xi’s reforms would establish circuit courts subject to regulation by the Supreme People’s Court. They could let prosecutors work in more than a single province, and they moot the possibility of more public interest suits.66

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China’s local officials have long been adept at hiding information from “upper” levels. Separating justice agencies (procurators, judges, lawyers, and various kinds of police) from control by local Party cadres will be difficult. Even if Xi’s reforms succeed, oversight of courts would still be subject to nontransparency in relatively central or provincial CCP networks. As dissident human rights lawyer Teng Biao noted on a Hong Kong website, the Party’s rhetoric about “rule of law” may be “like a rooster dreaming he could lay eggs.”67 Reactive Courts: More Political Than Independent? Teng may be too pessimistic. But after Xi’s reforms, courts might still not be strong enough to protect liberalism from democracy if the latter were allowed. Leaders define limits of uncertainty, when they can. Voting introduces unpredictability for elites, and in such situations comparative law scholars such as Ran Hirschl predict an increase of “jursitocracy.”68 But Hirschl is writing about courts in places that have strong constitutional review powers, not places such as Singapore or China, where “rule of law” is designed to keep businesses happy but not to restrain the state. A “judicialization of politics” increases predictability but not necessarily neutrality in courts. That process is not as blind as Lady Justice is supposed to be. It seems in practice to correlate with the “third wave” of new democracies that Samuel Huntington identified during the late twentieth century. Later, however, after nations develop laws giving leaders confidence that elites can alternate in power without violence and without permanent victories, then rule of law can become stable, with courts more detached from particular political factions. If local politics on the mainland becomes more “judicialized,” it will not automatically become fairer. Corruption is probably the main cause for courts in China now, and corruption is currently systemic rather than just a result of moral failings among individuals. China’s leaders see this, and sometimes they publicly admit it. Premier Li Keqiang in early 2015 said that “systemic, institutional and structural problems have become ‘tigers in the road’ holding up development.”69 Endemic corruption is China’s largest political problem, as everybody including the top leaders knows. Xi Jinping has launched a campaign against it, but fair courts are needed to make any improvement permanent. They face institutionalized opposition. High officials who control appointments in Communist Party personnel departments often collect bribes for jobs that they hand out, including judgeships. Luo Yinguo, for example, was the Party chief in Maoming, Guangdong (which has a population of 6 million). “Luo set posts with specific price tags: 200,000 yuan for a technology posting; two million yuan for a departmentlevel one; 10 million yuan for a deputy mayor position. He even put a price on his own post—100 million yuan. At trial, Luo claimed China’s officialdom

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was a marketplace where certain corrupt officials sold and other corrupt officials bought positions.” Selling government posts of all sorts, in the military as well as the civilian bureaucracy, was reported briefly on the website of the Xinhua News Agency: Xu Caihou, 70, who retired as vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission last year [2013] and from the Politburo in 2012, and Gu Junshan, former PLA deputy logistics chief have been accused of accepting bribes to promote hundreds of officers, raking in tens of millions of yuan. The rule of the market is simple: the larger the “investment” for a position, the higher the return that will be sought. The payments also explain why the civil service has become the most sought-after job by youngsters on the mainland, with 76 percent of [PRC] university graduates viewing it as their top career choice. The figure is 2 percent in Singapore, 3 percent in the United States, and 5 percent in France.70

Judgeships are crucial posts that become more important as a political economy diversifies. When money or honor is involved in decisions that courts make, bribery is a major hazard to fairness—and judges become subject to intimidation. If legal jobs were as available for sale as other posts have reportedly become, keeping corruption, money, and violence out of electoral politics would be extraordinarily difficult. Xi Jinping’s era has seen the retirement of many judges, not because their jobs are unimportant for China but because they are so important they are dangerous to any incumbents who cannot be bribed. Building the institutional capacity of courts, especially by educating and paying judges well, is crucial to the process of separating them from partial political interests. Elites at various sizes of collectivity mediate such development, determining what resources are given—or not given—to the judiciary. Sometimes elites order judges to intervene politically. This can happen in China. (In a comparative case, the Thai king did this to support the first antiThaksin coup. He met personally with top judges and in effect suggested that they forget about impartiality. In 2006–2008, Thai judges were “pulled into the political fray” on behalf of conservative elites, strengthening “rule by law” while eroding “rule of law.”)71 Courts often acquire power through historical tension with other government institutions, sometimes led by famous past judges (John Marshall is a US example). Professional recruitment of new judges may be strongly politicized, or it may be vetted by their vocational peers in law.72 Qualifications of legal education may be important or unimportant in promotions. Judiciary budgets are subject to approval by nonjudicial powers that decide on competing claims to revenue. Courts’ growth in capacity or fairness requires elite political decisions, just as any democratization does.73 “Rule of law” is like “democracy”; either is difficult to define if seen as static. Neither is measurable as an absolute. The most useful empirical discus-

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sions about such concepts are about directions of change in them, “democratization” or “legalization.” Hong Kong has a well-established reputation for rule of law; but the main current concern is an opposite trend, which could be called delegalization. Laws about freedoms (not economic contracts) are subjects of concern. The relationship of courts to popular politics and to other parts of government takes time to evolve. As with decisions for or against any regime type, leaders initiate the process. David Law argues that when judges’ verdicts are implemented, “the successful exercise of judicial power in the face of opposition or criticism merely begets even more judicial power . . . because constitutional courts perform a watchdog function, the people have reason to support their independence even if specific judicial decisions happen to be unpopular.”74 Courts may become powerful if parties, armies, congresses, or other political institutions for any reason collapse (as happened for example in Colombia).75 This kind of syndrome can strengthen courts—but only if it starts. In China, it has not begun because the judiciary remains subject to a strong Communist Party. Constitutional review is not part of Xi’s rule-of-law campaign. In some future era that idea might begin to influence policy. The most relevant size of CCP collectivity to govern future courts may be larger than in the past, but it is still unclear whether such a change will bring more fairness in legal decisions. A graph produced by Wang Yuhua, using the best available local data on judicial corruption in China, suggests that Chinese counties with relatively high levels of modern production have had somewhat less court corruption, although this relationship is weak or nonexistent in poor counties. Wang shows that authoritarian rulers such as those who run the CCP “respect the rule of law when they need the cooperation of organized interest groups that control valuable and mobile assets but are not politically connected.”76 The best examples of such groups are alien investors. But ethnic Chinese investors, including tycoons from Hong Kong, “do not exert a positive pressure on court funding,” because they can more easily establish particularistic connections with government cadres, and they have mobile capital. They do not want an all-partiesequal level playing field or rule of law. They prosper best when the political economy is structurally unfair and is based on trust networks among individuals. Wang’s argument could be extended to link the growth of impartial law with the growth of labor unions and business associations. Workers and managers may become organized with increasingly greater independence from local Party committees that earlier coordinated them, if they can defend such autonomy in courts. Leaders of modern labor and capital might normalize politics, echoing the left-right cleavage that is common in most rich countries. Such evolution could be even more important for democratization than rule of law.

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Elections, Debates in New Media, and Rule of Law Courts aid democracratization—but that issue may also be reversed: Do elections aid rule of law? Does legitimized public debate do so? A recent comparative study answers uncertainly, by noting that popular ideas on policy can over short time periods be fickle and easily led: “Large, heterogeneous majorities may shift priorities with astonishing speed, playing into the hands of skilled political entrepreneurs, [although] where public support for rights does exist, both judicial independence and the rule of law will be stronger.”77 In China, public support for rights as distinct from duties is a topic that divides researchers.78 Over time, “rights consciousness” seems to be rising on the mainland (and in Hong Kong). The growth of information sources, spurred by electronic gadgets that are now used widely in China, makes people more aware of public outcomes they see as just or unjust. Elections tend to diversify public information, as modern electronic media do, and authoritarians try to adapt to such change. The government, prosecutors, commercial enterprises, and many citizens use new media. The boom of cell phones, cameras, websites, and virtual networks aids government surveillance, just as it also aids the spread of information that may develop popular opinions or judicial fairness among them.79 Conservative authoritarians use these machines for their purposes, just as liberal reformers do for theirs. Like electronic gadgetry, electoral democracy offers occasions for the expression of disparate information. Courts that can deal with such diversity are strengthened, and other courts may be unable to cope with so many new demands.80 In either case, judicial institutions that seek to retain or increase their powers pay attention to their political environs. Comparative research suggests that judiciaries generally remain reactive and partial institutions. This is the usual pattern, even though some of any court’s legitimacy depends on its supposed impartiality and separation from current politics. Most political scientists of democratization, hoping for mass elections in which freedom of speech by candidates is defended, cite “rule of law” for legitimate contest as the main component (by many accounts the absolute prerequisite) of stable expansions of political participation. But comparative legal scholars shed doubt on the idea that courts decide separately from their immediate contexts. Law research suggests that the veiling-with-ignorance, blinding-justice process of trying to insulate courts from politics is never complete, even when it is desirable. John Hart Ely stresses that, although constitutional interpretation by unelected justices conflicts with democratic ideals, judges who base their decisions solely on procedural rather than substantive fairness do not raise this problem; they leave politics to politicians. Modern courts decide cases on the basis of written rules or past precedents; they tend to steer away from deciding on other conceptions of right. They prefer to “play it safe,” leaving main chances to political figures.81

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This is especially true in China—and it is also true in Hong Kong, which has a more independent judiciary. Simon Young, in a pioneering study of judicial review in Hong Kong elections, notes 2006 and 2013 UN Human Rights Committee findings that institutionalized inequalities in voting for both Legco and the Chief Executive violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (whether or not they violate British-legacy reservations about the ICCPR’s application to Hong Kong). Young notes that the city’s courts do not remedy important qualifications of rights caused by “functional constituencies, the election committee, the election of the chief executive and corporate voting.” These are all “matters that courts tolerate, even to the extent of holding fundamental rights in abeyance, while giving time and space to governments, legislators and the people to work out the proper way forward.”82 Judges in many or all places remain reactive, albeit sometimes slowly reactive, to their political contexts. If rule of law, especially in countries without much experience of limited government or democracy, cannot by itself reliably restrain political abuses of local state power, then what can? Is there anything else that could make Chinese mass elections safe for Chinese liberalism? Would an Irresolvable Left-Right Conflict Be Enough to Protect Pluralism? Many established democracies are stabilized by labor/capital cleavages (left/right, whig/tory, Democratic/Republican, market-regulating/market-promoting . . . the words vary more than the meanings). Debates between workers and capitalists are never final in modern political economies. Agreement in general cannot be found on fair ways of defining the extent to which people, their environs, and their work earnings may or may not become commodities in markets that allocate resources efficiently and thus may increase common wealth.83 So leaders with either the leftist or the rightist preference can be reasonably certain that, even if they lose one election, they stand a chance of winning a later one. Their issues will not vanish, even if they are voted out of office on any particular occasion. (Some democracies, such as Ireland or Belgium or Taiwan, have seen alternations of government based on “ethnic” or “subethnic” preferences rather than economic classes; but these polities are few—and China is mostly homogeneous in ethnic terms because there are so many Hans, despite geographical distinctions that may be made among them.) Normally channeled contention between working people and businesspeople is the likeliest source of future stability in Chinese politics, no matter whether the PRC regime remains nondemocratic or whether its elite allows mass elections. A usual precursor of democratization is the eclipse of land-controlling elites in agricultural economies by worker- and capital-associated elites that

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conflict with each other, as Barrington Moore and others have argued comparatively. The local powers of both labor and business in market economies usually tend to rise relative to that of bureaucrats. Leaders may then decide to channel worker-capital conflict into democratic institutions that could manage it peaceably.84 If so, this state form is occasionally overthrown; but a recent statistical study suggests that the longer the electoral-liberal regime type lasts, the less likely it is to be replaced.85 Usually the emergence of left-right politics begins in authoritarian “hybrid regime” eras, before serious political conflict between labor and capital is fully safe for one or both of them. While the left-leaning Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) dominated Mexico, for example, opposition elites had no real chance of winning important elections. But voters by 1998 already realized that the main opposition was an alternative. Two more years passed before the first non-PRI candidate in seven decades (Vicente Fox of the National Action Party [PAN]) won the presidency, defeating his rival from the longterm, decreasingly strong authoritarian regime. Comparators of any kind can be no more than suggestive—and China lacks the habit of multiparty elections that Mexico developed even while it had a one-party government. In Taiwan, the practice of frequent local elections under authoritarian rulers (Chiang Kaishek and his son) was followed by later democracy.86 The leftists are not always proletarian. Blue-collar workers often play a lesser role in reform than white-collar or upper-middle-class service clerics. Workers are unionized in some potential democracies, but not in all. Truly rightist conservatives may be socialist cadres who strongly resemble capitalist plutocrats (in China, these are often mislabeled “leftists”). Other cleavages, such as those between city dwellers and urban immigrants, can also affect democratizations. Most of the relevant literature nonetheless deals with conflicts between leaders of workers and representatives of capital. Those studies are not yet about China, where such a dynamic could play out with slightly different kinds of actors. The main point is that rule of law, although it is almost certainly important as a catalyst of liberal democratization, probably needs the buttress of some hard-to-resolve socioeconomic division to prevent elections from legitimating dictators. Economic Protests and Democratization The mechanisms by which economic change influences elite decision for or against democracy are various. Some of these relate to particular bases of early growth (minerals, export networks, agricultural fecundity, or other features that create differences among countries). Comparative research on such variations has begun.87 High elites, including top leaders in China, seldom have much incentive to democratize. Middle classes, especially upper middle classes after they become richer, are hesitant to give more power to their

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poorer fellow citizens. But where working classes can push for democratic transitions, often by going on strikes that show their political and economic power, change usually comes in bumpy waves. China is the world’s most populous country, but it may face an unskilled labor shortage before most citizens become affluent, perhaps in part because many youths want schooling that overqualifies them for available jobs. The World Bank reported for 2012 that 150 million Chinese still had earnings of less than US$1.25 per day.88 Nobel economist Arthur Lewis showed that managers of capital in any developing economy receive a financial windfall between the time they begin to apply new technologies for labor-intensive exports and a later time when they must begin paying higher wages. The supply of labor dries up that is willing to work near agricultural subsistence pay. In China, as compared to most developing countries, the lowering of population growth (only partly because of the one-child policy) has arrived early, at a lower level of real GDP per capita, than in other countries relative to the end of this windfall.89 The absolute number of Chinese farmers has declined since the turn of the millennium, and the portion of people mainly occupied in agriculture plummeted from about 70 percent in 1980 to 40 percent in 2008, with further drops later. Over half of all Chinese now live in “urban” places. China’s dependency ratio is 37 percent—not much different from that in richer Hong Kong, at 35 percent.90 This should give mainland laborers greater ability to bargain for better pay and should strengthen trade unions. Elites really need them. The shortage of workers may allow them more often to go on effective strikes, if their demands are ignored. Hong Kong capital and trade connections have been crucial for such change in China. By 2005, one-third of all jobs in Guangdong were held by immigrant workers with household registrations in other provinces. Factories then already had problems hiring enough labor.91 Migrant workers suffer repressions from local governments; but China’s labor shortage raises the industrial proletariat’s bargaining power regardless of the desires of the communist managers of capital. The Communist Party’s de facto capitalists face increasing problems from restive workers.92 This does not mean they will necessarily grant more democracy soon, or that the proletariat is “conscious” as a class, but it means that laborers objectively have more power if they can organize to use it. Sociologist Anita Chan, during early reform years, described quasi-military discipline in Guangdong export factories near Hong Kong. More recently, by contrast, she described a lessening of such repression.93 Proletarian dissident Han Dongfang founded the Beijing Autonomous Workers Federation in 1989 and remains a critic of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), but already by 2011 he was somewhat less critical. He gave evidence that some communist unions began to help workers. He wrote that, “although some ACFTU officials are trying to make a positive impact, there are still many others who are reluctant to involve workers in negotiations. . . .

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Even the Party, which in the past only had its own interests to consider, now has to listen to the voice of the workers and respond to their increasingly clear and angry calls for change.”94 He noted a few decent pay packages, as well as strikes and worker riots, which have increased sharply in China despite official efforts to restrict the reporting of them. Labor unrest has risen as China’s economic growth has slackened. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reported that 2014 saw “a swift and sizeable increase” in “labor protests.” In the first three quarters of that year, 721,000 mainland demonstrators were involved; this was an 11 percent increase on the same period in 2013. Economic slowdown has led to “disputes over unpaid wages, layoffs and compensation, work insurance, and benefits.”95 Each of seven large rallies in that time involved more than 5,000 parading workers, and two involved more than 10,000. The construction sector is particularly affected, as banks try to prevent a property bubble burst and to help asset prices descend toward a soft landing. The “proletarian” Party has trouble trying to solve labor problems, because many of its cadres are now also capitalists. Connections between enterprises and local governments are strong. The extent to which China’s laws are actually enforced to help workers remains moot.96 Because of the increasing labor shortage, legal protections for proletarians might become more effective in the future, but communist managers of capital remain much stronger than are representatives of labor. This pattern may alter in the future, and ordinary nonrich citizens and workers could gain more leverage, as China’s growth depends increasingly on domestic consumption rather than exports. “Democracy within the Party” (dangnei minzhu) might in the future help leaders who want to mediate decisions on left-right issues.97 That will depend on the extent to which top officials continue to regard expressions of diverse policies as inherently unpatriotic or destabilizing—even when solving the causes of protests would cost “real money.” Writer Jia Yunyong has claimed that “intra-party democracy” would portend a later wider democracy: “The ruling party’s logic is that the extent of democracy will expand, based on intraparty and grassroots democracy, resulting ultimately in people’s democracy for the whole society.”98 In recent years under Xi, there has been less discussion than heretofore of “democracy within the Party”—but this somewhat ambiguous phrase could be revived if the top leaders think it can help them. Elections, even with restrictions, tend to create their own dynamics, and these could eventually develop on left-right bases in China. Whenever candidates compete seriously, on this or other cleavages, canvassing for votes makes them public spectacles of struggle. Even if nominees begin with identical policies and images, a campaign separates them. This gives voters some choice—and a bit more power. The display of electoral struggle, when allowed, tends over time to bring more popular sovereignty. Under what condi-

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tions, however, does voting create problems of internal discipline for a party that wants to remain “resiliently” authoritarian, controlling everything? Or under what conditions do elections help such a party rule? Elections That Strengthen Authoritarians, Sometimes Becoming Proto-Democratic “Elections with a different number” (cha’e xuanju) are very mildly competitive; they let the number of candidates exceed the number of seats that will be filled. This technique, taken originally from Soviet practice and used in China only occasionally before 1987, was the method in that year’s CCP Central Committee election. In any cha’e xuanju, the number of nominees is not far above the number of incumbencies. The seats to be filled are in large official bodies rather than executive posts. The main point of public interest, in the result of any “election with a different number,” is the identities and images of the few losers rather than of the many winners. What voters dislike, rather than what they like, is the main information. Candidates who appear on the ballot are still supposed to be vetted in advance by Communist Party authorities, but some face the public shame of loss. Voters express limited preferences, but these may be interesting. Elections can help the CCP co-opt social notables who are not members. Control of nominations gives Party leaders some ability to designate insiders who are favored and outsiders who are prevented from running for offices. Article 34 of China’s constitution avers that, “All citizens of the People’s Republic of China who have reached the age of eighteen have the right to vote and stand for election . . . except for persons deprived of political rights according to law.” Practice does not, however, follow this supreme law. A top CCP leader, Yu Zhengsheng, gave a speech blasting “independent candidates” who nominated themselves on the internet for county and township people’s congress elections: “The border in dealing with such people is whether [they] support the constitution and Communist leadership.” Yu said that independent candidates were of four types: “The first are those who sincerely hope to participate in the supervision of the Party and government; the second are those who sincerely hope to supervise the Party and government but without much experience; third are those who aim for personal fame; and fourth are those pursuing the Western system and wanting to overthrow the current one.” He said the third and fourth kinds would make China “a venue for politicians to compete for different interests, a casino of political ambitions and a land divided”—such as he claimed had happened on Taiwan.99 Multi-candidate procedures for nominations and elections have been tried experimentally in some places, but these are usually (not always) kept under

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Party control. In Henan, a real estate tycoon named Cao Tian in 2011 tried— without CCP approval—to finance his own campaign to be mayor of Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Cao had earlier been praised as “one of the top ten influential citizens of Henan,” whose population was then 90 million. He claimed that his campaign chest, which he called an “anticorruption security fund,” held 100 million yuan. But he denied trying to “buy” the mayoralty. Cao said, “If I am elected and am then connected to any kind of corruption during my term, all the money will be donated right away to poor students.” Police, tax officials, and land agencies soon appeared at his home, and he fled into hiding. Cao was not unique; in that same year, many other candidates nationwide declared their candidacies; some received CCP approvals, and a few of them won.100 A large statistical study by Jason Brownlee suggests that if an authoritarian regime holds elections, the chance that it will be succeeded by a democratic regime rises.101 Jennifer Gandhi and Ellen Lust-Okar, after making an overview of recent research about elections in nondemocratic polities, conclude that “although elections sometimes may foster democratization, it is no longer easy to assume that elections necessarily undermine authoritarian regimes; in fact, the opposite generally appears to be true.”102 That may well be so in short and medium terms, but Brownlee’s findings—together with important cases such as Mexico or Taiwan—suggest that the habit of elections in one-party states tends to foster democracy in the long term.103 Legco’s pan-democrats, thinking of such comparisons, might have “pocketed” the government’s universal suffrage proposal, voting for it while at the same time promising to hold later demos against limited nominations. They chose otherwise, and only the future will tell whether this judgment was correct for their purposes. Not all democratizations involve violent unfairness of the kind that elected illiberals have brought to some polities. An example, much derided by officials on China’s mainland, is Taiwan, which is without doubt culturally Chinese. The transition there involved brief violence, notably in February 1947 when “mainlander” police fired on unarmed Taiwanese. But Chiang Kaishek had been shunted onto an island 86 percent of whose people self-identified somewhat differently than he did. His regime’s response in the 1950s was to have a land reform run by tillers, to pass laws allowing the establishment of new businesses, and to let ambitious Taiwanese found economic power networks in exchange for staying temporarily out of politics and the armed services. Yet these nonstate business power networks gradually influenced the state. Before the turn of the millennium, oppositional politics in public was legitimated on Taiwan. Mainland China’s independent businesses now flourish too, although it is still unclear to what extent they may demand political tolerance for local nonstate powers’ autonomy in the future.

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Likely Elite Responses to Demands for Change in China The degree of social threat that a national elite feels is almost surely a crucial domestic factor determining its impulse to permit—or resist—the habit of competitive elections. That relationship may be bell-shaped. Top elites are most inclined to allow elections when the threat to themselves is medium. They are unlikely to do so when the threat is very low, because they can keep power without seeking electoral consent. And they are unlikely to approve voting if the popular threat is quite high, because then elections could well displace them. One of the problems with discussions of the kind that authors such as Lipset initiated—and Rustow, Przeworski, Boix, and others refined—is the somewhat greater mathematical difficulty of establishing statistical correlations with curvilinear rather than straight-line relationships.104 The PRC elite faces only some demand for elections, especially from a minority of intellectuals more than from the populace at large. A 2013 document, sent internally and confidentially to all major divisions of the Communist Party, listed five top “false ideological trends” as follows, in order. The first and worst was “promoting Western constitutional democracy [including] the separation of powers, the multi-party system, general elections, independent judiciaries.” Second was espousal of “universal values,” although this conservative CCP tirade against them oddly specified that these values are all “Western.” Third was “promoting civil society.” Fourth was “neoliberalism.” Fifth was “the West’s idea of journalism, challenging China’s principle that the media and publishing should be subject to Party discipline.”105 Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this document was that it was supposed to be kept confidential—an apparent admission that it was so blunt it would be politically counter-effective to present to people in Hong Kong or Taiwan, or in public even on the mainland. Such statements are contested there. For example, Peking University law professor Shen Kui criticized the Minister of Education for claiming that liberal principles should never be studied.106 Party conservatives may or may not be dominant in China at particular times, but these “lions” have reformist “fox” opponents. No coherent ideological group can be permanently sure of controlling everything political in Beijing or in the rest of the country. Evidence from other nations (Germany, the Philippines, Thailand, Peru) is cited here to argue that a radically illiberal populist top leader might result from the introduction of mass elections in China. This possibility is perhaps no greater than the likelihood that such a leader could also emerge from current succession norms that do not involve general elections. Presumably Xi Jinping was an initiator of the sharply anti-liberal 2013 CCP document cited in the previous paragraphs; but if so, he did not have the confidence to issue it publicly, and it does not represent the views of all PRC political elites, some of whom are not “lions” in the Machiavelli-Pareto sense. Not all of Xi’s own past policies appear to have followed a consistent ideological line. The top leader in China can leave options open.

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A question is whether archconservatives who have jobs in the People’s Liberation Army would want to purge political reformers, if the latter were ever close to dominance (as hardliners in the Soviet army tried and failed to do against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991, an action that led to Boris Yeltsin’s decision that seceded Russia from the Soviet Union). The Chinese army is controlled by the CCP, not directly by the central government; but at least a few of its officers say this form of organization weakens China’s national defense. Senior Colonel Li Jie opined in 2015 that “under the existing political situation in China, it’s impractical and impossible to turn the PLA into a national army because [the principle that] ‘party commands the gun’ had been a rule and core value of the army.”107 As long as it remains so, the limited constitutional democracy that persists in Hong Kong (or the extensive democracy of Taiwan) probably will not spread into mainland China. Yet nobody can be sure how long this situation will last. Likely Elite Responses to Demands for Change in Hong Kong Beijing’s political allies in Hong Kong currently face a higher demand for more democracy than does the mainland elite. China’s leaders try to delegitimize the city’s democrats, who are Chinese but refuse to equate their nationality with the Party-state. While the central government allows that democratization should in theory be an ultimate aim for Hong Kong, it presents multiple reasons why the local demand for it need not be met—the gist of which is that local people should be more “patriotic,” more Chinese in a sense the CCP insists on defining. Wang Zhenmin, a Basic Law Committee member, suggested in 2006 the bases of Beijing’s worries about Hong Kong democracy. Wang first said that, prior to universal suffrage, he wanted to see more local “consensus” in favor of mass voting, although he knew that a tiny vocal minority of tycoons for their own private reasons would continue to oppose the election of any Chief Executive they had not approved in advance. He secondly wanted assurances that popular voting would “facilitate the development of a capitalist economy”; he was unconcerned that the mainland’s Communist Party had been instrumental in creating for Hong Kong the world’s least-egalitarian modern political economy. Wang thirdly wanted an anti-subversion law to implement the Basic Law’s Article 23 as a precondition for universal suffrage, although he knew that most Hong Kong people oppose such a law in the form Beijing would prefer it; and the NPC later passed another law that made Hong Kong debate on this issue unnecessary. Wang fourthly wanted more patriotic “national education” in the city. He fifthly wanted a less “confrontational” political culture, ignoring that such confrontation emerges from Basic Law rules for executive supremacy and competitive Legco elections. Lastly, Wang wanted “sufficient time” so that a Chief Executive selected by universal suffrage

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would not face “greater pressure from public opinions [so that the leader’s] ways of handling matters would change accordingly.”108 This list of six conditions for universal suffrage was largely a list of political instabilities to which Beijing’s policies had contributed, although Wang did not explain them in that way. The issues he listed are all still live in the city’s politics. But if PRC leaders would allow it, an open election of the executive could be held without actually endangering Hong Kong’s status as part of the Chinese nation. Xi Jinping’s view of Hong Kong after his succession to China’s presidency is not entirely clear. Before then, by October 2007, Xi chaired the Central Hong Kong and Macau Work Coordination Group. In December of that year, when Xi was still Beijing’s point man for Hong Kong, the National People’s Congress passed its law suggesting a universal suffrage election in the territory by 2017 and possible abolition of functional constituencies in Legco thereafter.109 Xi must have supported Beijing’s 2007 “soft” approach to the city’s diversity—although since the August 2014 Beijing announcement of “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, and then the veto by Legco pan-democrats of the government’s proposal for 2017, no new plan has been implemented. After meeting with tycoons in September 2014, Xi still claimed to reporters that he “unswervingly” supported democratic development in Hong Kong.110 His reputation for foresight might have been challenged by the protests later that autumn, but Xi may also not be quite as conservative as other figures such as Wang Zhenmin. At the time of this writing, there is no sure evidence on Xi’s thinking despite understandable claims about this standpattism made by Hong Kong democrats. Xi surely wants discipline and order in Hong Kong, but he is likely to remain strong enough later perhaps to reverse his 2014–2015 support for Chief Executive Leung. Beijing’s committee procedure for the local leader’s election will probably not be changed, because China’s leaders do not want to seem weak after street protests. They want to preapprove any list of Chief Executive candidates, but the political spectrum that they allow among these might or might not be narrow. Standpatters such as Wang Zhenming, who is Dean of the Law School at politically prestigious Tsinghua University, are opposed to open democracy because they are unsure of the consequences. Even they do not totally eschew the word “democracy,” however. They are concerned at the possibility that more open elections would be difficult for the Communist Party to contain in its specially designated capitalist territory. Wang argues, oddly, that taking “full consideration” of the interests of the tiny minority of very rich people in Hong Kong is a “balanced” policy: “That’s why we require balanced participation. We require nominating committees and functional constituencies.”111 It is easy to wonder whether leaders in Beijing perceive dissonance between their use of terms such as “balance” or “broadly representative” and the results

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of policies that exclude most of the Hong Kong population from governance. If and when they do, they might begin to favor quasi-democratic elements within the DAB over tycoons. Judicial Means of Protecting Electoral Fairness in Hong Kong On the mainland, without a rule of law such as Hong Kong has, elections could be subverted to legitimize illiberal demagogues. Mass voting there, if held before local Communist Party committees were abolished in PRC courts, could be subject to local fraud or purchase. In Hong Kong, the courts, media, and Independent Commission Against Corruption are potent enough to ensure that such malfeasance would be punished. Hong Kong does not face the same dangers from mass elections that China could. The Hong Kong judiciary reproduces itself on very professional grounds. It includes judges from many other common-law jurisdictions, often on a rotating basis in superior panels such as the Court of Final Appeal. When a judgeship becomes vacant, the Hong Kong Bar Association and other educated specialists vet candidates. Article 88 of the Basic Law specifies that judges are “appointed by the Chief Executive on the recommendation of an independent commission composed of local judges, persons from the legal profession and eminent persons from other sectors.” This Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission has nine members: the Chief Justice, the Secretary for Justice, two other judges, a barrister, a solicitor, and three “lay” persons who might nonetheless have some legal training. The Chief Executive thus far has not sought to second-guess this group—but since that leader appoints them all, they can scarcely be independent of that office. It would be interesting to know the extent of influence of the “lay” members and the extent of their agreement or disagreement with the other members on specific appointments. Judges of the Court of Final Appeal must be endorsed also by votes in Legco.112 If public accusations of bias or lack of professionalism in judicial appointments were to arise in Hong Kong, one of the city’s main attractions for businesses would be reduced. Thus far, the most questionable instance was the retirement, ostensibly because he had reached age sixty-five, of the most liberal member of the Court of Final Appeal, Justice Kemal Bokhary. He had dissented concerning the court’s referral of an international case to Beijing, and he was criticized in mainland newspapers that claimed he gave information to US diplomats. Also, his appointed replacement was older. He warned that other judges might be cowed “because they fear something similar may happen to them.”113 Liberal advocates tend to be constitutionalists. Before the British left, many of the most patriotic and idealistic lawyers in Hong Kong became the most ardent democrats, including Martin Lee. They hoped that their rich, modern city, with a model ICAC and reliable courts, could encourage political lib-

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eralism in all of China. To the extent they may still think so, or to the extent the CCP might allow mass elections on the large mainland before the establishment of stronger courts or socioeconomic bases for stable political competition, they might beware what they want. They could get it, and the results could turn out badly for China—and later for liberals in Hong Kong too. Alternatively, careful management of China’s social protests by middle-income and worker leaders (including Party reformers) could provide a political “soft landing” for China. Authoritarian or Democratic Legitimacy in China? All the factors examined in this book, attempting to assess Hong Kong’s potential for democratization, can also be explored in China. Asset redistribution among cadres at medial levels in China could raise fears against a change of regime type, although capital mobility from China is chancy, inequality of wealth is not quite as severe as in Hong Kong, and cadres in many places might calculate that local elections would help them hide corruptions. Legacy practices are surely important, and most of the relevant political traditions on the mainland refer to highly centralized rule under an emperor, warlord, generalissimo, or party head—albeit with concurrent traditions that local leaders can hide information about their areas.114 As regards China’s general level of modernization, the United Nations Development Programme on the most robust metric now classes this vast nation as having “high human development,” ranked 91 among 187 countries in 2014.115 So any elite decision to establish mass elections, unlikely though it is in the near future, might not be overthrown. The chance of such a decision being taken at the national level is not zero, but it would occur largely depending on the extent to which it were supported or resisted in bureaucratic institutions, including the army. Consciousness about global rights norms seems to be rising, but their effect on elite decisions for democratization would not be decisive separate from other factors. Study of protest movements in China recently suggests that public media, dissatisfied officials, and nongovernmental organizations may work between the cracks of China’s “fragmented” system to change policies.116 China has seen major disruptive social movements in the past, but the revolution was costly. A further rise of peaceful public demonstrations and labor protest would probably be prerequisite to any major elite decision to try democracy. Chinese dissidents’ most coherent appeal to attempt the democratic regime type, “Charter 08,” called for liberal institutions: independent judges, freedom of expression, multiple independent parties, and human rights. Liu Xiaobo was the most famous drafter and signatory—before he got a Chinese jail term and then a Nobel Prize.117 Most mainlanders have forgotten him and his 2008 movement, but some elites have not. Charter 08 insisted that “officials in key positions at all levels of government must be the product of elec-

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tions”—but it demanded “direct elections” only to legislatures at first, trying that method to choose executives only later. For the mainland, this Charter 08 circumspectness was, on comparative evidence, very wise. Hong Kong students now demand more than that charter did, and conditions could justify that. Their city’s socioeconomic and judicial development is more modern than the mainland’s, where rural and recent ex-rural voters would dominate a mass electorate. Law-bound judges, free speech, and professional safety for journalists, academics, lawyers, and prosecutors are more important to liberal democracy than are elections. These are firmly established in Hong Kong but not on the mainland. Such institutions are reliably stabilized by legitimacy for left/right, labor/capital debate, which has recently become slightly more evident in Hong Kong even though workers remain weak. The richest tycoons have probably passed the zenith of their political power. Nobody, in China or outside, knows how much longer the Beijing government will retain its anti-democratic conservatism. Many scholars stress the extent of “authoritarian resilience” on the mainland.118 Winds of change have sometimes blown through Beijing, for example in the 1980s. New reformists, latter-day Hu Yaobangs or Zhao Ziyangs, could conceivably reappear there— or they might not.119 Resentment of Maoist politics has now faded with time, but China’s new social and economic problems affect elite decisions. Before any revival of proto-liberal reform, chauvinists in China may see that mass elections could help them. This would be bad news for most Chinese people and for democrats everywhere, but perhaps such a fate can be forestalled. Democratic Interests Outside and Inside China The United States has strong interests in doing whatever it can to encourage China’s smooth, rather than bumpy, transition to tolerant participatory politics. The historical but nontheoretical “liberal nonaggression conjecture,” discussed in the previous chapter, has become an explicit and rational basis of US foreign policy. President Bill Clinton put it concisely in a State of the Union speech: “Democracies don’t attack each other.”120 If so, and presuming the United States is a democracy, America has a universalist and realist, rather than culture-specific or moralizing, argument that a long-term aim of policy should be to expand the number and power of other democracies. European and Asian liberal states could have the same goal as a solid basis for their policies too—although all countries can benefit from trade with China too, no matter what its regime type. The United States could want to maximize its international interests while minimizing its needs to spend treasure and lives in future wars. China, because of its size and increasing national power, is the country to which these security considerations are most relevant. If a nationalist demagogue were to take charge in China, either through election or through older CCP selection procedures, Beijing might well take

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an existential decision to recover the “lost province” of Taiwan. US policy is that the cross-Strait disagreement must be solved peacefully and that the United States should deter war against Taiwan, as long as the US president judges it can, presuming the Taipei government does not abjure being Chinese or otherwise cause Beijing leaders to start a war. (State Department lawyers do not publicize their claim that sovereignty over the island is undecided, but the United States recognizes that “all Chinese” have no doubt that there is just one China and Taiwan is part of it.)121 If Hong Kong electoral democratization spreads into mainland China, the long-term possibility for reconciliation between the mainland and Taiwan might conceivably improve—but if elections empower a chauvinist in Beijing, the medium-term danger of a Sino-American war could rise. This could also occur without any change of current leadership succession procedures in China. Material US interests are arguably harmed by Beijing’s unintended aid, in its August 2014 white paper on Hong Kong, to Taiwan’s pro-autonomist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). On the island in the November 2014 municipal “nine-in-one” elections, DPP-associated candidates won mayoralties in central Taipei City and in Taichung (each with 57 percent of the votes). Kuomintang candidates had previously won in these places. The DPP also took the races in its traditional strongholds of Kaohsiung and Tainan, as well as Chiayi, Ilan, Taoyuan, and Yunlin counties, and elsewhere. The KMT did likewise in suburban New Taipei and Keelung, as well as in the counties of Hsinchu, Miaoli, Nantou, and Taitung—and on China-coast islands that are in Fujian rather than Taiwan (Quemoy and Matsu). But the win of KMT chair Eric Chu in New Taipei was by a slim margin of just 1 percent in an important KMT-leaning area.122 Chu planned to meet Xi Jinping in Beijing in late May 2015, and a tacit reason for the trip may have been his effort to convince Xi that China’s Beijing policy was hurting the KMT.123 Ma Ying-jeou, while still president on the island, did meet Xi in Singapore late that year. The DPP’s Tsai Ing-wen received 46 percent of the presidential vote in 2012, and in January 2016 she is very likely to win the presidency in Taiwan. Xi Jinping, largely through his policies for Hong Kong, has in effect been her best campaign manager. If China’s leaders want to establish a Taiwan SAR, as Xi suggested to a group of visiting Taiwanese in September 2014, they might ponder that their “comprehensive jurisdiction” claim in Hong Kong has helped Tsai. Her DPP—and most KMT members too—will surely resist pressure to make Taiwan’s top governors subject to CCP approval, as Hong Kong’s are. Sonny Lo Shui-hing somewhat wistfully claims that “Beijing may well seek to use the Hong Kong model of democratisation to appeal to Taiwan for political dialogue.”124 But such an appeal is most unlikely to be attractive in Taipei, especially after the August 2014 white paper and China’s uncompromising approach toward most of Hong Kong’s mass-elected legislators.

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Both the KMT and DPP define democracy as Hong Kong pan-democrats do, and restricted nominations are not included in their idea of it. As Lo admits, “Hong Kong’s young activists have been taking inspiration from the Taiwanese . . . Sunflower students’ movement.”125 The Sunflower students occupied Taipei streets, and for a while the Taiwan legislative chamber, to oppose a bill for greater economic integration with the mainland. The DPP’s successes in 2014 elections were not mainly caused by concerns about Beijing’s Hong Kong policies; local concerns were a greater factor in votes for the autonomist party.126 In future years, however, Beijing’s claims on Hong Kong might conceivably be moderated because of demonstration effects on Taiwan (e.g., if Beijing allowed a liberal Chief Executive candidate whom the Chinese government might nonetheless deem loyal). Hong Kong’s effects on Taiwan have recently hindered PRC unification with the “lost province.” Hardline Leninists in Beijing may disserve China’s national interests by wanting so much control, but Chinese leaders decide such things. If they choose to invade Taiwan before 2020, a detailed formal military analysis suggests they may well fail to win.127 Amphibious and paratroop landings would almost surely be required, and these operations are not just costly but also very risky. Such a war would be disastrous for many, perhaps including the CCP leaders, but Chinese nationalism would not vanish even if the mainland lost. Unless China liberalizes sooner than is likely, this is a large problem for democrats, especially those on Taiwan. No foreign country has much leverage to change China’s trajectory. American reasons to hope for a less corrupt and fairer regime in that huge country are material, not just normative. The neo-Kantian “liberal nonaggression conjecture” suggests that if the planet’s largest fast-rising power were to democratize smoothly, rather than going through a chauvinist interval, major US savings of resources and perhaps of lives could be expected. Some studies of international relations, as well as comparative politics, indicate that although major “power transitions” have in some past cases involved wars, such shifts have at other times been reasonably peaceful.128 There is no evident reason why the Lipset link between modernity and democracy will not apply to China, as it has to other large wealthy countries. As Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder show, democratizing countries may tend to be bellicose but “not all countries experience significant violence during democratic transitions . . . transitional countries that were comparatively well-endowed with the prerequisites for democratic politics, such as relatively competent and impartial state institutions, were unlikely to detour into violence.”129 Transparent legitimate debate, without great coercion, is likely in the long run to become the main mode of politics in China. Elite and popular enthusiasm for the liberal-democratic form of government rises and falls both domestically and internationally in temporary waves. So too, on a global basis, does elite and popular enthusiasm for authoritarian government.130 Beijing will not

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allow a regime in Hong Kong that could come into serious conflict with China’s central authorities. But China’s leaders might later conceivably allow more electoral democracy on the mainland to aid local governance of issues in their political economy. They could strengthen rule of law, as supported in particular by legal aid to whistleblowers, academics, journalists, and defense lawyers.131 In 2014–2015, China’s influence over Hong Kong seemed to be rising, but there is earlier evidence that through informal mechanisms Hong Kong’s example has had minor political effects on the mainland.132 In the 2020s, perhaps as early as 2022, it is likely that Hong Kong will have some kind of mass election for the Chief Executive. Whether or not pandemocrats and localists in Legco fall below one-third of the seats and lose their veto over constitutional reform, competitive elections will still generate politics. Beijing will probably maintain its attempts to stonewall most of the pandemocrats’ efforts; so their stalwart defense of more open nominations may well not achieve that goal quickly or completely, but Hong Kong people will continue to explore many kinds of compromise in public. The national government faces more governance problems in the city than it admits. Modern “livelihood issues” there will not be solved until politicians of the DAB and Democratic Party more fully replace those of the functional constituency sort. Beijing’s reliance on a very few of the richest capitalists will probably decrease. Social protests will recur and may be directed specifically at tycoons, perhaps at a lower but more effective level of protest than in 2014. Electoral pressures in this diverse city will influence national and local elites’ calculations of their net benefits. China’s communist leaders may in the future find reasons to allow more legitimate public expression of demands by both mainland and Hong Kong workers, not just managers of capital. At the time of this writing, Xi Jinping is leading a “freeze,” but China will in future times also have “thaws.” The conclusion of this book must be pessimistic for Hong Kong democratization in the short and medium terms, almost surely pessimistic for China in the medium term, and eventually optimistic from a democratic viewpoint for both the PRC and its HKSAR in the long term. If the Beijing elite continues to disallow major political voices from its citizens in the country’s most modern cities, its costs will rise. In political terms, Hong Kong is the most developed of these places. This gem of the south may later prove to be a beacon of fairness for the whole country. 1. This often-quoted sentence abbreviates Churchill’s longer remark, made in the Commons on November 11, 1947—after his defeat by Labour in the 1945 election. 2. Mel Gurtov, “Post #44: Democracy Under the Gun: Hong Kong and Other Asian Stories,” September 7, 2014, http://mgurtov.wordpress.com; or long ago, Andrew Scobell, “Hong Kong’s Influence on China: The Tail That Wags the Dog?” Asian Survey 28:6 (June 1988), 599–612.

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3. See Jennifer Gandhi and Ellen Lust-Okar, “Elections Under Authoritarianism,” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (2009), 403–422. 4. Jessica C. Teets, Civil Society Under Authoritarianism: The China Model (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014), offers information on local and central PRC governments’ balancing acts, trying both to use “civil” societies for state purposes and to tame their politics. 5. Injoo Sohn and Richard C. Bush III, “New Challenges in the Periphery of China,” Brookings Opinion, November 7, 2014, http://www.brookings.edu /research/opinions/214/11/07. 6. See Patricia Kim, “Why There Won’t Be an Occupy Beijing,” October 21, 2014, http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/why-there-wont-be-an-occupy-beijing. 7. Emphases on Chinese people’s consciousness about either rights or duties frame a major ongoing debate among political scientists of China. For example, contrast Elizabeth J. Perry, “Chinese Conceptions of ‘Rights’: From Mencius to Mao—and Now,” Perspectives on Politics 6:1 (March 2008), 37–47, with works by Kevin J. O’Brien and Li Lianjiang, such as “The Politics of Lodging Complaints in Rural China,” China Quarterly 143 (September 1995), 756–782, or Rightful Resistance in Rural China ( New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), or “Popular Contention and Its Impact in Rural China,” Comparative Political Studies 38 (April 2005), 235– 259. 8. A recent review article of relevant Chinese and Western works is Ngeow Chow Bing, “Discourses on Chinese-Style Democracy in China,” China: An International Journal 12:3 (December 2014), 94–114. 9. For a pioneering specification of these benefits among the (indirectly elected and actually appointed) National People’s Congress deputies, see Rory Truex, “The Returns to Office in a ‘Rubber Stamp’ Parliament,” American Political Science Review 108:2 (2014), 235–251. 10. I briefly stayed in Guangdong during the summer of 2014. A local television station in Huizhou carried Hong Kong news, with video, of severe conflict in Legco between democrats and conservatives—but it cut to advertisements after the newscasters had already begun to show some minutes of legislators shouting at ministers. They clumsily returned to coverage of the rampage in Legco before the Hong Kong newsroom’s story ended. Hermetic closure of the liberal city’s border with the mainland, as regards news, is impracticable. 11. The report is at http://rthk.hk/rthk/news/elocal/news.htm?elocal&20141225 &56&1064029, kindly sent to me by Professor Priscilla Roberts. 12. Chen Yifei and Raquel Carvalho, “Mainland Chinese Youths Launch Facebook Campaign to Support Hong Kong Protesters,” October 3, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. 13. Jonathan Fox, “The Difficult Transition from Clientelism to Citizenship,” World Politics 46 (January 1994), 151. 14. Stephan Ortmann, Politics and Change in Singapore and Hong Kong: Containing Contention (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), 188. 15. E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People (Hinsdale, IL: Dreyden, 1960), 135. 16. Lynn White, Philippine Politics: Possibilities and Problems in a Localist Democracy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), especially the two chapters about ”Marcos’s Failed Centralization and Land from the Tiller,” 100-17 and about “Law of Rule and Power of Separations,” 118-34. 17. Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (New York: Penguin, 2004). 18. Marcos is a well-documented case; he had been convicted as a youth of murdering a rival of his father in Ilocos Norte. For more about Philippine politicians—from a lightweight boxer, to an autonomist Muslim landlord, to coup leader–senators—all of

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whose vote-counts rose after they showed their decisiveness by showing their violence, see White, Philippine Politics. 19. Such leaders’ boldest domestic and international moves came at later stages, long after their democratic elections. A month-by-month account of the single year that saw the Anschluss, the Axis pact, Munich, the absorption of Czechoslovakia, Kristallnacht, and other proofs of violence is Giles MacDonough, 1938: Hitler’s Gamble (New York: Basic, 2009). 20. On the Hitler case, see Sheri Berman, “Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic,” World Politics 49 (April 1997), 401–429. On Thaksin’s support among SMEs, see Lynn White, Political Booms: Local Money and Power in Taiwan, East China, Thailand, and the Philippines (Singapore: World Scientific, 2009)—although the argument here should not be read to say Thaksin has been quite like Hitler or Marcos or Fujimori or Jackson or other leaders with partially comparable traits. They are similar in specifiable ways, and different in others. 21. Edwin Edwards of Louisiana was widely deemed corrupt (on the basis of wellpublicized trials alleging numerous offenses)—but he was repeatedly elected to Congress and to the state’s governorship. In 2001, he was convicted on a federal racketeering charge and was imprisoned for eight years. The details are far too many to cover here, but it is clear that many of Edwards’s voters were not put off by evidence of his corruptions. Many democracies (and authoritarian regimes) have seen such cases of strongman popularity. 22. For more, see Kevin Hewison, “Constitutions, Regimes, and Power in Thailand,” Democratization 14:5 (2007), 928–945. 23. I thank Kevin Hewison, Erik Kuhonta, Duncan McCargo, and my longtime friend Anthony Diller for improving the accuracy of this passage about Thaksin—although they bear no responsibility for mistakes that may remain in the text. 24. See Nauremon Thabchumpon and Duncan McCargo, “Urbanized Villagers in the 2010 Thai Redshirt Protests,” Asian Survey 51:6 (November–December 2011), 993–1018. 25. See Erik Martínez Kuhonta, “Democracy and Inequality in Thailand: The Rise of the Red Shirts,” in Democratization in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia? Local and National Perspectives, Kate Xiao Zhou, Shelley Rigger, and Lynn White, eds. (Routledge: Abingdon 2014), 66–84. Also, White, Political Booms. 26. Fujimori differs from the other demagogues discussed here in that his oppressions were not against minorities. He had very strong electoral support from indigent Peruvians, and his own origin in a minority (just 1 percent of Peruvians have Japanese ancestry) was for many proof that he would be decisively anti-establishment after Latino leaders of both the neoliberal and Marxist kinds had left Peru’s political economy in distress. For a good sense of both the mass popularity and crimes of “el Chino,” see The Fall of Fujimori: Democracy and Terrorism Collide (Cinema Libre Studio, 2006, DVD). Fujimori’s intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, was eventually convicted of murder, embezzlement, bribery, drug trafficking, and other crimes; he was partly financed by the US Central Intelligence Agency. Fujimori made a trip from Japan to Chile, whence he did not expect to be extradited back to Peru to face murder charges. 27. On Jackson’s populist racism, see Steve Inskeep, Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (New York: Penguin, 2015). Prior to Inskeep’s recent book, US racism against Native Americans has been sharply underreported. Democrat Thomas Jefferson said their “barbarities . . . justified extermination.” Much later, Theodore Roosevelt said their “extermination was as ultimately beneficial as it was inevitable.” See Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (New York: Cambridge University

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Press, 2005), ix—although the topic of the book in your hands differs from Mann’s in ways explained later. 28. Max Weber practically predicted the possibility that charismatic dictators might rise to salve the resentments of national populations whose members felt caught in “iron cages” of legalistic rationality, millions of 1914–1918 war deaths, and (for Germany) a vengeful surrender treaty. Weber died in 1920. 29. Strong women might be studied comparatively, too. Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, and Margaret Thacher all led their countries in wars, although they were also different from each other and from the strongmen noted earlier. 30. Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, is now most easily available on http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/445/pg445.html. Karl Mannheim wrote the classic on social consciousness and lies, Ideology and Utopia: An Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge (London: Routledge, 1936). Mannheim in 1933 was ousted from a professorship in Frankfurt, and he migrated to London. His critique of heuristic deceits challenges collective norms that, even in an academic profession, can underlie individuals’ career stability in a field whose complexity requires multiple inconsistent approaches for understanding. Political scientists should honestly explore the political ideologies of their own discipline. 31. Emphasis in original. See the Grand Inquisitor’s speech in Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 57, reprinting a 1912 translation by Constance Garnett of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. 32. George Orwell, 1984 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 103, also 37–38. I thank Uriel Abulof, who studies the politics of patriotic populist Benjamin Netanyahu among others, for reminding me of this and the Dostoevsky text. Further insights come from Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, new ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 [orig. 1951]), and writers about social alienation. Orwell’s “consciously to induce unconsciousness” improves on James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985). 33. Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (New York: HarperCollins, 1974), is controversial as regards both its methods and its conclusions. 34. Robert Sapolsky, Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd ed. DVD (Chantilly, VA: Teaching Company, 2000). 35. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964). 36. Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy, in which many of the disasters were perpetrated by anti-liberals who were ethnic-majoritarian (Khmers, Rwandans, Turks, Serbs, others) but certainly not democratic when they committed the murders. 37. Liah Greenfeld, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 15–16. 38. See Wang Xizhe, “Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution,” in Anita Chan, Stanley Rosen, and Jonathan Unger, On Socialist Democracy and the Chinese Legal System (Armonk: Sharpe, 1985), 216 for the Mao quotation, and 178–260 for the full Eighteenth-Brumaire-style critique of this kind of leader. This brilliant Marxist analysis of the most famous PRC chairman landed Wang in a PRC jail. 39. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Gertrude Himmelfarb, ed. (London: Penguin, 1985), 84. 40. Extensive scholarship on the role of lawyers and legal theory in the Nazi takeover includes: Alan E. Steiweis and Robert D. Rachlin, eds., The Law in Nazi Germany: Ideology, Opportunism, and the Perversion of Justice (New York: Berghahn, 2014); Ingo Müller, Hitler’s Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich, Deborah L. Schnei-

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der, trans. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992); Peter C. Caldwell and William E. Scheuerman, eds., From Liberal Democracy to Fascism: Legal and Political Thought in the Weimar Republic (Boston: Humanities Press, 2000); Richard Miller, Nazi Justiz: Law of the Holocaust (New York: Praeger, 1995); and Michael Stolleis, The Law Under the Swastika, Thomas Dunlap, trans. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). I am very grateful to Sheri Berman for advice on this literature. 41. White, Philippine Politics, especially the chapter “Law of Rule, Power of Separations.” 42. Alan Berlow, Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge on the Philippine Island of Negros (New York: Pantheon, 1996), 96. 43. Ibid., 39. 44. Former University of Hong Kong Law School dean Johannes Chan, with others, has sponsored Hong Kong–China exchanges of jurists and lawyers. Legal ideas coming from ethnic Chinese might have been more acceptable in the CCP than such ideas coming from foreigners. But by late 2015, Chan was vetoed for promotion to a major University of Hong Kong administrative post, and the reasons were political. Joyce Ng, “Academics’ Alliance Slams ‘Incredulous’ Reasons Given for Rejecting Johannes Chan Appointment as HKU Pro-Vice-Chancellor,” October 9, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 45. See Teemu Ruskola, Legal Orientalism: China, the United States, and Modern Law (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013). But also see a critique of the use by Reynaldo Ileto of existential “orientalism” to denigrate consequentialist scholarship, in White, Philippine Politics, 220–221. 46. Robert Sharlet, “Stalinism and Soviet Legal Culture,” in Stalinism: Essays in Historical Interpretation, Robert C. Tucker, ed. (New York: Norton, 1977), 155–179. 47. See Lynn White, “Temporal, Spatial, and Functional Governance of China’s Reform Stability,” Journal of Contemporary China 22:83 (May 2013), 791–811. 48. The most famous example is the Ninth Amendment in the US Bill of Rights: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Many jurists say this provision creates no rights; it only prevents the federal government from infringing “other” undefined freedoms, or from denying or even merely disparaging these. The words seem more literary than legalistic—and are thus all the more boldly sweeping. The Tenth Amendment is somewhat similar and refers to the states. 49. Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way, “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13:2 (2002), 51. 50. Ibid., 58–59. 51. Isabela Mares reported her research on the well-documented elections of late imperial Germany in a lecture, “From Open Secrets to Secret Ballots,” Princeton Comparative Politics Colloquium, March 31, 2015. 52. The Rule of Law Index 2014 is conveniently online at http://www.worldjusticeproject.org, as are its diverse components. For comparison, the general ranking of the United States on this index is taken by these researchers to be 19 (slightly lower than Hong Kong’s). Small or ethnically homogeneous places fare better on many international indices than do large or ethnically heterogeneous countries; China is very large but 92 percent Han, while Hong Kong is small and 94 percent Han. Various interpretations may be made concerning links between this index’s components and actual rule of law. For example, the Philippines is estimated to have general rank 60—but is thought to do better (rank 39) for the “constraints on government powers” component. Nonetheless, as I show in White, Philippine Politics, in the chapter “Law of Rule, Power of Separations,” the large number of constitutionally legitimated Philippine separate agencies constrains governance so much that rule of law and fairness suffer. A

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high “constraints” rating may or may not improve official justice, depending on other circumstances (e.g., how much socioeconomic corruption is perceived, whether the president is a dictator, or whether the terms-in-office of agencies’ leaders coincide with each other or instead overlap to produce governmental gridlock rather than effectiveness in solving social problems). Similar quibbles may also be raised about other components of the index. 53. World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2014–2015, http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-competitiveness-report-2014-2015. Unlike Hong Kong, China was ranked above its “judicial independence” level on the “undue influence” or “favoritism in decisions of government officials” scores. The index calculation is complex, but it relies partly on an “Executive Opinion Survey,” and the businesspeople are just guessing. They supply some numbers, the economists provide merely plausible equations, and the forum can pay for a big computer. It is not all as exact as it pretends to be. 54. Singapore’s Internal Security Act provides very broadly for “preventive detention, the prevention of subversion . . . and for matters incidental thereto.” It is on the government website at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/aol/search/display/view.w3p;query =DocId%3A5ba26ddb-fd4c-4e2e-8071-478c08941758%20Depth%3A0%20Status %3Ainforce;rec=0. People may be held indefinitely in administrative procedures on this ethnically challenged “Chinese island in a Malay-Muslim sea.” China despite its easier environment goes further, having extralegal “black jails.” 55. Mark Jia, “China’s Constitutional Entrepreneurs,” a path-breaking article that Jia (a Harvard law student) sent in pre-publication draft to me. 56. I owe this insight to an e-mail from Wang Hongying. 57. Benedict Anderson, “Murder and Progress in Modern Siam,” New Left Review 181 (1990), 33–48. 58. John K. Yasuda, Why Is My Milk Blue? China’s Food Safety Crisis and Scale Politics (forthcoming book draft sent by it’s author to me in February 2015; earlier a University of California, Berkeley, PhD thesis in political science). Also, White, “Temporal, Spatial, and Functional Governance of China’s Reform Stability,” 791–811. 59. Ling Bin, Fazhi de Zhongguo daolu (The Chinese Way to the Rule of Law), (Beijing: Beijing Daxue Chuban She, 2014); Zhang Yi deserves credit for this reference. 60. Victor H. Li, “Law and Penology: Systems of Reform and Correction,” in China’s Developmental Experience, Michel Oksenberg, ed. (New York: Praeger, 1973), 149, does not use the medical terms “preventive” and “curative” but carries the same idea into law. 61. The term “self-orientalizing” is used in Ruskola, Legal Orientalism, though not to reach conclusions of this sort. It could also apply to a tycoon discourse about the kind of state form appropriate for Hong Kong. 62. In Satire X, the Roman poet Juvenal asked, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 63. Human Rights Watch, World Report 2014, http://www.hrw.org/worldreport/2014/country-chapters/china. 64. Verna Yu, “Chinese Police Detain More Than 100 Lawyers and Activists in Weekend Sweep,” July 13, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 65. The quotations are in Stanley Lubman, “China’s Exodus of Judges,” May 4, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/05/04. 66. Pei Minxin, “Squaring the Circle: Rule According to Law in a One-Party State,” October 30, 2014, http://www.chinausfocus.com; and Stanley Lubman, “As China Cracks Down on Dissidents, It Also Promises Legal Reform,” China Real Time, November 28, 2014 (for the latter, see http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/11/28). 67. Quoted in Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley, “China Moves to Reinforce Rule of Law, with Caveats,” October 23, 2014, http://www.nyt.com.

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68. See Ran Hirschl, “The New Constitutionalism and the Judicialization of Pure Politics Worldwide,” Fordham Law Review 75 (2006), 721–754; and Hirschl, “The Judicialization of Politics,” in Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics, Keith E. Whittington, ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 119–141. Wordings and ideas in this text have been greatly aided by Simon Young of the University of Hong Kong Law School. 69. Dinny McMahon, “Tigers on the Road Clawing Back China’s Reforms, Premier Says,” March 5, 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/03/05. 70. Cary Huang, “Deleted Xinhua Report Gives Rare Insight into China Corruption,” November 30, 2014, http://www.scmp.com. This report came from the site of China’s official news agency, but it was taken off the Internet soon after being posted. I thank Mark Jia for mentioning this source. 71. The Thai king’s meeting with judges was broadcast on television, and my friend Anthony Diller (a professor of Thai linguistics, able to follow royal speech) heard it. See also Björn Dressel, “Judicialization of Politics or Politicization of the Judiciary? Considerations from Recent Events in Thailand,” Pacific Review 23:5 (2010), 671–691; quotations are from 671–672. 72. Simon M. N. Young and Yash Ghai, eds., Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal: The Development of the Law in China’s Hong Kong (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). 73. See David S. Law, “Judicial Comparativism and Judicial Diplomacy,” paper of October 11, 2014, sent to me; forthcoming Washington University in St. Louis Legal Studies Research Paper no. 14-03-02. 74. David S. Law (in pinyin, Liu), “A Theory of Judicial Power and Judicial Review,” Georgetown Law Journal 97 (2009), 724. 75. David Landau, “Political Institutions and Judicial Role in Comparative Constitutional Law,” Harvard International Law Journal 51:2 (2010), 319–479. 76. Wang Yuhua, Tying the Autocrat’s Hands: The Rise of the Rule of Law in China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 3–4 (emphasis in original); see also 136. 77. Gretchen Helmke and Frances Rosenbluth, “Regimes and the Rule of Law: Judicial Independence in Comparative Perspective,” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (2009), 362. 78. See Sohn and Bush, “New Challenges in the Periphery of China.”. 79. The academic literature on Chinese media is so extensive that there is no room or need to try to mention it all in a single endnote. An important recent work is Daniela Stockmann, Media Commercialization and Authoritarian Rule in China (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013). Bibliographies in books such as Susan L. Shirk, ed., Changing Media, Changing China (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), may be useful. See also Kate Xiao Zhou with Stephen Zierak, “How the Internet Is Changing China,” in Zhou, Rigger, and White, Democratization in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia? 232–247. 80. This is a judicial form of the main argument in Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968). 81. This line of argument is partly inspired by e-mails from Martin Flaherty of New York University Law School. The next few sentences similarly rely on ideas from David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis. See also John Hart Ely, Democracy and Distrust: A Theory of Judicial Review (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981), concerning courts’ reactivity to contexts; and Cass Sunstein, The Partial Constitution (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), concerning the tendency of courts to confirm the status quo as if it were always just. Sunstein

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famously argues that courts should decide questions on narrow procedural grounds in order to energize legislators’ public debate. But in early-democratizing situations, before norms of legitimate political competition are established, that advice may need to be amended. 82. Simon M. N. Young, “Judicial Review of Elections in Hong Kong: Resolving a Contradiction,” in Judicial Review of Elections in Asia, Po Jen Yap, ed. (Abingdon: Routledge, forthcoming 2016). 83. See Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Social and Economic Origins of Our Time (New York: Rinehart, 1944), works by John Locke, and other classics that Polanyi cites. 84. Barrington Moore Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (Boston: Beacon, 1966), includes ideas about an earlier China when bureaucrats were even stronger relative to other groups than they now have become. Other cases, such as India with its well-legitimated parliament and the Indian Administrative Service, that were imported from Britain, had democratic institutions prior to higher per capita incomes. Such examples are few (and India now has many industries). 85. Thomas Denk and Carsten Anckar, “Length of Independence and Democratic Failure,” Contemporary Politics 20:4 (2014), 385–401. 86. Shelley Rigger, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (New York: Routledge, 1999). 87. See Dietrich Rueschmeyer, Evelyne Huber Stephens, and John D. Stephens, Capitalist Development and Democracy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 165, 171, fig. 5.1–5.2, which compare these factors in various Latin American countries over three waves of democratization. 88. Mandy Zuo, “14 Areas Targeted in Plan to Improve the Lives of Poor,” South China Morning Post [hereafter Post], November 6, 2011, A3. 89. The word “early” in the text sentence refers to international comparators; the end of China’s biggest export profits from exploiting labor is occurring at a lower level of per capita income or modernization (as measured in any of the various alternative ways), relative to the records of other countries. Arthur Lewis, “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour,” Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 22:2 (May 1954),139–191. 90. World Bank, Working for a World Free of Poverty, 2014 http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.DPND. 91. Dali Yang, “China’s Looming Labor Shortage,” Far Eastern Economic Review nos. 1–2 (2005), 20. 92. Elizabeth J. Perry is the main author on this subject and its history. See, for example, her Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993). 93. Contrast Anita Chan, “Boot Camp at the Shoe Factory,” Washington Post, November 3, 1996, C1; with Chan, “Recent Trends in Chinese Labour Issues,” China Perspectives 57 (January–February, 2005), 23–31. 94. Han Dongfang, “China’s Main Union Is Yet to Earn Its Job: Strikes and Riots Are Now Pushing China’s Official Trade Union into Properly Defending Workers’ Rights,” and Tania Branigan, “Tiananmen Square Activist Gives Support to China’s Official Union,” in The Guardian, respectively June 26 and 27, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk,. 95. Chun Han Wong, “Labor Disputes a Growing Threat to Social Stability in China, a Think Tank Says,” December 25, 2014, http://blog.wsj.com/chinarealtime /2014/12/25.

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96. See practically any article, any date, at http://chinalaborwatch.org. 97. See Cheng Li, “The Local Factor in China’s Intra-Party Democracy,” in Zhou, Rigger, and White, Democratization in China, Korea, and Southeast Asia? 87–109. 98. Quoted in Willy Lam, “Intra-Party Democracy with Chinese Characteristics,” in Whither China’s Democracy? Democratization in China Since the Tiananmen Incident, Joseph Y. S. Cheng, ed. (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2011), 34. 99. Quoted in Cary Huang, “Top Cadre Warns of ‘Political Casino,’” Post, June 6, 2011, A6. 100. Priscilla Jiao, “Independent Candidate Vows to Spend 100 Million RMB,” Post, July 31, 2011; and China Elections and Governance Online, June 10, 2011, http://chinaelectionsblog.net. 101. Jason Brownlee, “Harbinger of Democracy: Competitive Elections Before the End of Authoritarianism,” in Democratization by Elections, Staffan Lindberg, ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), 128–147. 102. Jennifer Gandhi and Ellen Lust-Okar, “Elections Under Authoritarianism,” Annual Review of Political Science 12 (2009), 417. 103. On the particularly relevant Taiwan case, see the main conclusion in Rigger, Politics in Taiwan. Further research is by David Dahua Yang, thus far mostly unpublished but partly in “The Bases of Political Legitimacy in Late-Authoritarian Taiwan,” in Legitimacy: Ambiguities of Success or Failure in East and Southeast Asia, Lynn White, ed. (Singapore: World Scientific, 2005), 67–111. 104. For example, see Adam Przeworski and Fernando Limongi, “Modernization: Theory and Facts,” World Politics 49 (January 1997), 159–183; and Carles Boix and Susan Stokes, “Endogenous Democratization,” World Politics 55:4 (July 2003), 517–549. 105. “Communiqué on the Current State of the Ideological Sphere: A Notice from the Central Committee of the CCP’s General Office,” April 22, 2013, http://chinafile.com/document-9-chinafile-translation. 106. Donald C. Clarke, “Shen Kui and His Three Questions,” January 31, 2015, http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/2015/01/shen-kui-and-histhree-questions.html. 107. Colonel Li, a retired officer, was responding to a RAND Corporation report on PLA capabilities, which he recommended as “a good reference to Beijing, too.” Minnie Chan, “China ‘Not Ready to Win Wars’ Despite PLA Modernisation, Says US Report,” February 13, 2015, http://www.scmp.com. 108. Carine Lai and Christine Loh, From Nowhere to Nowhere: A Review of Constitutional Development, Hong Kong, 1997–2007 (Hong Kong: Civic Exchange, 2007), 101–102. 109. Alice Miller, “Xi Jinping and the Party Apparatus,” China Leadership Monitor 25 (2008), http://media.hoover.org/documents/CLM25AM.pdf, 1. 110. David Tweed, “How to End Hong Kong Protests a Tricky Question for Xi,” September 30, 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com. 111. Quoted in Michael Forsythe and Keith Bradsher, “On Hong Kong, Democracy, and Protecting the Rich,” August 29, 2014, http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com /2014/08/29/wang-zhenmin-on-hong-kong-democracy-and-protecting-the-rich/?_r=0. 112. Danny Gittings, Introduction to the Hong Kong Basic Law (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2013), 82. I am grateful to Lawrence Liu for mentioning this source. 113. Eddie Luk, “I Wasn’t Asked to Stay On, Says Liberal Judge,” The Standard, March 29, 2012, http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?art_id=121155&con _type=1. 114. On hiding information, see Susan L. Shirk, The Political Logic of Economic Reform in China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), chap. 9.

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115. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2014, http://hdr.undp.org, 161. 116. See Andrew C. Mertha, “‘Fragmented Authoritarianism 2.0’: Political Pluralization in the Chinese Policy Process,” China Quarterly 200 (2009), 995–1012; and Mertha, China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008). 117. Many of the original 350 signatories, including prominent law professors in China, remain free—and they have been joined by about 5,000 other signers. Some Hong Kong democrats, including at least fourteen Legco members, have signed or praised Charter ’08. Central government leaders have reverted to the public amnesia policy about the history of Chinese democracy; they avoid any mention of this document. See Liu Xiaobo, Charter ’08, and the Challenges of Political Reform in China, Jean-Philippe Béja, Fu Hualing, and Eva Pils, eds. (Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press, 2012). 118. Three accounts are Andrew J. Nathan, “Authoritarian Resilience,” Journal of Democracy 14:1 (2003), 6–17; David Shambaugh, China’s Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008); and Pierre F. Landry, Decentralized Authoritarianism in China: The Communist Party’s Control of Local Elites in the Post-Mao Era (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008). 119. See especially the books of Cheng Li, such as China’s Leaders: The New Generation (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) and Chinese Politics in the Era of Collective Leadership (forthcoming). Also, Cheng Li and Lynn White, “The Thirteenth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party: From Mobilizers to Managers,” Asian Survey 28:4 (April 1988), 371–399; Li and White, “The Army in the Succession to Deng Xiaoping: Familiar Fealties and Technocratic Trends,” Asian Survey 33:8 (August 1993), 757–786; and Li and White, “The Fifteenth Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party: Full-Fledged Technocratic Leadership with Partial Control by Jiang Zemin,” Asian Survey 38:3 (March 1998), 401–434. 120. “Excerpts from President Clinton’s State of the Union Message,” New York Times, January 26, 1994, A17. 121. See the 1943 Cairo Declaration (which was not a treaty but gave Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China the Japanese surrenders on Taiwan), the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan (to which no Chinese co-signers were invited from either the mainland or Taiwan), 1958 notes by State Department lawyer Ely Maurer, the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, the 1979 Carter-Hua normalization communiqué, the Taiwan Relations Act, and other sources. These may be found on the internet; their gist is that the United States will deter unprovoked war against Taiwan as long as it can, and it wants to respect Taiwan’s people but supposes the island may eventually be Chinese. For more, see Lynn White, “America at the Taiwan Strait: Five Scenarios,” Asian Perspective 31:3 (2007), 5–40. This issue deserves attention because it shows the importance to all democrats of China remaining a peaceful power. But electoral democratization raises questions that are well explored in Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War,” International Security 20:1 (Summer 1995), 5–38. 122. Min-hua Huang, “Taiwan’s Changing Political Landscape: The KMT’s Landslide Defeat in the Nine-in-One Elections,” December 8, 2014, http://www.brookings .edu/research/opinions/2014/12/08-taiwan-political-landscape-elections-huang. 123. Austin Ramzy, “China’s President to Meet with Head of Taiwan’s Governing Party Next Month,” April 24, 2015, http://www.nyt.com. Chu at first declined to run for president in 2016, although everybody knew he would be the KMT’s strongest candidate—so then he changed his mind and ran. In effect, though, the KMT ceded this presidential election to the DPP.

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124. Sonny Lo Shui-hing, “The ‘Taiwanization’ of Hong Kong Politics,” March 25, 2015, http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1746962/taiwanisation-hong-kong-politics. An earlier draft, which Professor Lo kindly e-mailed to me, more boldly suggested that Legco passage of Beijing’s election procedures would be a basis for Beijing appeals to Taiwan; but this claim was wisely reduced in later publication by this important scholar of Hong Kong politics. 125. Lo Shui-hing, “The ‘Taiwanization’ of Hong Kong Politics.” 126. John F. Copper, Taiwan’s Nine-in-One Election: Gauging Politics, the Parties, and Future Leaders (Baltimore: University of Maryland School of Law, 1914), scarcely mentions Hong Kong as a factor in the 2014 election but predicts Tsai’s victory in the island’s 2016 election. 127. Roger Cliff, China’s Military Power: Assessing Current and Future Capabilities (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 182–223. I am definitely not a “tanks-and-guns” analyst—but Cliff, who long ago was my student in a seminar on Chinese development, can do this crucial job. Cliff offers a documented paradigm that should be required reading for anybody who is interested in preventing a Sino-American war. 128. Steve Chan, China, the U.S., and the Power-Transition Theory: A Critique (London: Routledge, 2008). I have covered reasons for hoping Chan’s argument that a power transition toward China might be peaceful in Lynn White, China Perspectives 1 (2009), 109–110, http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/4789. 129. Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “The Sequencing ‘Fallacy,’” in Debates on Democratization, Larry Diamond, Marc F. Plattner, and Philip J. Costopoulos, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), 159. 130. Samuel Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991). Offering statistical confirmation of international fads for regime types, see Carles Boix, “Democracy, Development, and the International System,” American Political Science Review 105 (November 2011), 809–828. 131. The best recent treatment is by Mark Jia, Legal Aid and the Rule of Law in the People’s Republic of China, Contemporary Asian Studies Series, vol. 2001, no. 1 (Baltimore: University of Maryland School of Law, 2011), http://digitalcommons .law.umaryland.edu/mscas/vol2011/iss1/1. 132. Peter T. Y. Cheung, “Who’s Influencing Whom? Exploring the Influence of Hong Kong on Politics and Governance in China,” Asian Survey 51:4 (2011), 713–738; and Wu Guoguang, “Hong Kong’s Political Influence over China: Institutional, Informative, and Interactive Dynamics of Sovereignty,” Pacific Review 21:3 (2008), 279–302.

Acronyms

ACFTU ADPL CCP CPF CPPCC CSSA DAB DPP Exco FTU GDP GNP HKPA HKSAR ICAC ICCPR KMT Legco MPF NGO NPC PAN

All-China Federation of Trade Unions Association for Democratic People’s Livelihood Chinese Communist Party Central Provident Fund (Singapore) Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong Democratic Progressive Party (on Taiwan) Executive Council (governor’s or chief executive’s cabinet) Federation of Trade Unions gross domestic product gross national product Hong Kong Progressive Alliance Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China Independent Commission Against Corruption International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Kuomintang Legislative Council of the HKSAR Mandatory Provident Fund (Hong Kong, modeled on Singapore’s CPF) nongovernmental organization National People’s Congress (Beijing) Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party) (Mexico)

247

248 PAP PLA POAS POP PRC PRI RTHK SAR SARS SMEs

List of Acronyms

People’s Action Party (Singapore) People’s Liberation Army Principal Officials Accountability System (Hong Kong) Public Opinion Program (University of Hong Kong pollsters) People’s Republic of China Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party, Mexico) Radio Television Hong Kong (formally independent public broad caster) Special Administrative Region (either Hong Kong or Macau) severe acute respiratory syndrome small and medium enterprises

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Index

ACFTU. See All-China Federation of Trade Unions Adams, John Quincy, 208 Administrative regions, 65 Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals, 180 ADPL. See Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood Advertising, 123–124 Ahmadinejad, Mahmood, 152 Aiguo zhuyi (patriotism), 173–174 Air pollution, 42 “Alive in the Crocodile Pit” (Wang), 30 All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), 224 Anderson, Benedict, 216 Antidemocratic elites, 113 Anti-government, 77–78 Anti-leftism, 170–174 Anti-reform majority, 64 Antisedition legislation, 61 Anti-subversion law, 35, 88–89, 109n150, 151, 154 Apple Daily, 120–121 Arculli, Ronald, 77, 199n5 Arrow, Kenneth, 74 Articles. See Basic Law Asian Financial crisis, 66, 82–84, 145, 156 Assets: gap, 19; movements, 16–17; redistribution, 2 Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL), 91–92 Aung San Suu Kyi, 157 Authoritarian system, 193, 213–214; China’s legitimacy of, 232–233; elec-

tions strengthening, 226–227; leftright politics and, 223; liberals and, 11; in Singapore, 117, 193–195; Taiwan ruled by, 163n91 Autonomy, 61–63, 134, 149, 170

Baipi shu (white papers), 149 Ball, George, 158n5 Balloting, 104n50, 124, 152 Basic Law, 160n33; Annex I, 86, 131; Annex II, 131, 144; Article 5 of, 102n28; Article 22 of, 143; Article 23 of, 61, 88, 109n150, 154, 229; Article 39 of, 190; Article 45 of, 54, 131, 151, 196–197; Article 47 of, 181; Article 48 of, 143; Article 68 of, 131; Article 73 of, 141; Article 74 of, 144; Article 85 of, 141; Article 88 of, 231; Article 107 of, 29; Article 118 of, 66; Article 158 of, 151; Article 159 of, 151; committee, 182; democratic development from, 6, 82; democratization and, 131; Legco member approval in, 8; of Macau, 74; National People’s Congress passing, 59–60, 62; oligopolist’s vetoes in, 25; state investment discouraged in, 39–40; transition period limited by, 122 Basic Law Drafting Committee, 61–62, 65–66, 151 Becker, Gary, 27 Beveridge, Albert, 192 Biden, Joseph, 196 Bill of Rights, U.S., 240n48 Black, Robert, 58 Black hands (hei shou), 197

263

264

Index

Black Point Generating Station, 26 Blake, Henry Arthur, 56 Blue-collar workers, 223 Bo Xilai, 106n106, 210 Boix, Carles, 15–16, 43 Bokhary, Kemal, 143, 231 Bowring, John, 56 British colonialism, 172 British government, 56, 59, 66 Brownlee, Jason, 227 Buddhism, 126n16 Bully pulpits, 62 Business elites, 41–44, 63, 135–136, 139–141 Business models, 31

Cairo Declaration, 245n121 Campaigning, 46n22, 95–100, 105n71, 218 Candidates, 71, 93–94, 154, 183, 186n45, 226 Cantonese, 134, 135 Capital Investment Entrant Scheme, 180 Capitalism, 1, 25, 46n23, 61, 65–66, 183–184 Capitalist dictatorship, 60–65 Carine Lai, 58, 87, 150, 168 Carrefour, 24 Cartoons, 47n32 Case registration system, 217 Cash handouts, 31–32 Cater, Jack, 58 Causal theories, 112 CCP. See Chinese Communist Party Censorship, 119, 122 Central District, 175–176 Central government, 103n39, 149, 245n117 Central Provident Fund, 28–29 Chan, Anita, 224 Chan, Anson, 140, 170, 196 Chan, David, 91 Chan, Johannes, 240 Chan Kin-man, 185 Chan Kwok-keung, 100 Chan Yuen-han, 29, 76, 94 Charnwut Chan, Bernard, 154 Charter 08, 232–233, 245n117 Checks and balances, 141 Chen, Albert, 182–183 Cheng, Albert, 128n44

Cheng, Andrew, 105n72, 130 Cheng, Gary, 78, 98 Cheng, Joseph, 139 Cheng, Thomas, 24 Cheung, Anne, 121–122 Cheung, Anthony, 96 Cheung Bing-leung, Anthony, 86, 155 Cheung Kam-chuen, 171 Cheung Man-kwong, 170 Chiang Kai-shek, 57, 163n91, 182, 227, 245n121 Chief Executive, 6, 65, 90, 113–114, 154–156, 197–198; ballot restrictions and, 152; China’s role in selecting, 130–133; election reform and, 131– 132, 145–148; impeachment of, 144; large-franchise balloting for, 124; Leung, C. Y., running for, 146–148; Tsang, D., and, 89, 157; Tung Cheehwa as, 80–82; Xi Jinping and role of, 10 China, 58, 103n39, 210, 223–224, 241n53; authoritarian or democratic legitimacy in, 232–233; Chief Executive and role of, 130–133; courts in, 217–220; democratic interests of, 232–236; democratic newspapers in, 174; discontent response of, 85–86; domestic policies of, 63; economic imperialism and, 127n28; elections and, 78–79, 153; elites demanding change in, 228–229; Guangdong’s economy in, 118; Hong Kong and, 5– 11, 86, 118–119, 133–134, 171, 197, 236; international norms and, 199; labor protests in, 225; Liberal Party representing interests of, 65; mass elections in, 203–204, 211–212; patriotic movement of, 91; press freedom in, 123; racism and rights in, 192; Rule of Law Index 2014 and, 240n52; social problems in, 215; socialism in, 61; sovereignty of, 102n20; Taiwan and, 234–235, 246n124; trade and exports of, 18, 243n89; universal suffrage and, 87; unskilled labor shortage in, 224; U.S. encouraging transition of, 233 China Resources, 24 Chinese Communist Party (CCP), 10–11, 60–63, 87–92, 103n29, 139, 155

Index

Chinese song, 76 Chow, Alex, 176 Chow, Selina, 105n72 Choy So-yuk, 78 Chu, Eric, 234, 245n123 Chu Yiu-ming, 175 Chung, S. Y., 50n92 Chung Sze-yuen, 84 Citizen votes, 196 Citizens Party, 71, 76, 92, 108n129 Citizens rights, 103n36, 192 Civic Exchange, 170 Civic Party, 70, 72, 153 Civil liberties, 66–67, 191 Civil servants, 139–141, 143, 181 Civil society, 190–191, 203, 228, 237n4 Clague, Douglas, 23 Cliff, Roger, 246n127 Climate, 50n108 Clinton, Bill, 233 Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, 85 Cloward, Richard, 166 Cod war, 200n13 Collective voting, 73–74 Colonialism, 172 Color revolutions, 204 Commerce, 192–193 Commodity Food Price Index, 24 Communist Party of China, 6, 9, 66, 89– 90, 155, 158, 215; anti-subversion law and, 88; capitalist dictatorship plans of, 60–65; power splitting rejected by, 141 Community colleges, 66 Community law, 211–212 Comparative theories, 2 Competition Ordinance, 24–25 Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), 28–30 Confucian societies, 116, 195 Conservative elites, 137 Conservatives, in Liberal Party, 90–91 Constitution, 25–27, 43, 89–90, 130, 240n48; of Singapore, 162n58; of United States, 47n46 Constitutional democracy, 54, 57–58, 229 Constitutional Development Task Force, 131 Constitutionalists, 231

265

Construction industry, 37, 179 Corporations, 17, 25–27, 32–35, 38–39 Corporatism, 74 Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, 143 Corruption, 25–27, 181–182, 205, 218, 238n21 Coup threat (Kudeta), 160n33 Court of Final Appeal, 143, 231 Courts, 190, 217–220 Crony capitalism, 25, 66 Cross-Strait disagreement, 234 Crowd psychology, 209 Crown Colony, 53 Crown leases, 49n87 CSSA. See Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Cultural Revolution, 10, 17, 58, 65, 172 Curriculum Guide, 172–173 Cutright, 112 Cyberport, 25, 33–34, 43, 66, 167

DAB. See Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong Dahl, Robert, 112–113, 137, 161n39, 165, 195 Dairy Farm International Holdings, 23 Debates, 145–146, 146–147 Delegalization, 219–220 Democracy, 20, 101n5, 136, 204, 205, 210, 225; China and, 232–236; community law for, 211–212; concurrent norms of, 115; constitutions and, 54, 57–58, 229; Dahl defining, 165; defining, 137–138; development of, 6, 82; economic development in, 116, 189–190; elections and, 137–139, 183–184, 195, 227; Hong Kong and, 100n2, 195–199; income levels in, 112–113; legitimacy for dissent in, 180–184; pan-, 7, 9, 70–72, 146, 148, 164n92; prosperity and, 191–193; term translation in, 173–174; transition to, 166–167 Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), 40, 89, 98, 100, 104n49; district council elections and, 109n150; elected representatives of, 99; electoral gains of, 78; Liberal Party

266

Index

voting with, 91; pro-establishment politicians of, 148–149; swing votes to, 81; Tsang Y., candidate of, 93–94 Democratic dissent, 204 Democratic frontier, 71 Democratic Party, 40, 63, 67, 91, 186n45; economic growth and, 79– 80; electoral gains of, 78; Legco elections and, 87–88, 99; nomination procedures of, 150–153; union movement and, 179–180; votes for, 77, 81 Democratic peace hypothesis, 193 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 234 Democratization, 8, 11, 44n4, 157, 168– 170, 182–183; Basic Law and, 131; China lacking incentives for, 223– 224; economic protests and, 223– 226; inequality influencing, 43–44; institutional disarticulation and, 156– 158; land-controlling elites and, 222– 223; modern media and, 119–122; political changes and, 1–2, 115–116; political vetting in, 86–87; protests against delays of, 174–178; quasi-, 116–117; sociopolitical movement for, 165–166; trade unions and, 178– 179; unified causal theory of, 15; vice-regal executive in, 113–115 Deng Xiaoping, 59, 102n20, 141, 204 Dependency ratio, 224 Dictatorship, 60–65, 119 Diller, Anthony, 242n71 Direct elections, 59, 62–63, 233 Direct subsidy schools, 39 District council elections, 109n150 Domestic policies, 63 Dostoevsky, Fyodor, 209–210 DPP. See Democratic Progressive Party Drugstore chains, 23–24

Economics, 18, 28, 35–36, 116–119, 125 Economy, 44n7, 116, 127n28, 189–190; distribution in, 17–18; freedom in, 27; growth of, 79–80; Guangdong’s, 118; of Hong Kong, 18, 44n7; inequality in, 32; protests about, 223– 226; revival of, 84–85 Education, 4, 21, 38–39, 170–174 Edwards, Edwin, 238n21

Elderly people, 19–20 Elected representatives, 99 Elected seats, 68 Election Ordinance Section 31, 155 Elections, 109n150, 137–139, 183–184, 195, 225–227; China and, 78–79, 153; direct, 59, 62–63, 233; in Hong Kong, 100n2, 124–125; indirect, 60; Legco, 87–88, 99; mass, 10, 63, 203– 204, 211–212; posters for, 93–94; post-handover, 79, 100; reform of, 131–132, 145–148; rule of law influenced by, 221–222; universal suffrage, 11. See also Legco elections Electoral Affairs Commission, 70 Electoral democratization, 11 Electoral gains, 78 Electoral law, 69, 71–72, 75, 160n33 Electoral politics, 77–78 Electoral systems, 195 Electricity suppliers, 26 Elite-mass relationships, 138–139 Elites, 113, 129–130, 135–137, 157, 228–229; business, 41–44, 63, 139– 141; land-controlling, 222–223; political, 182 Ely, John Hart, 221 Empirical law, 193 Entrepreneurs, 51 Environmental problems, 42 Establishment parties, 70–71 Ethnic Chinese, 170–171 Ethnic identity, 173–174 Etzioni-Halevy, Eva, 129 Eu, Audrey, 153, 170 Evans, Peter, 30 Exco-Legco relationships, 145 Executive council, 56, 145 Executive power, 89–90 Exports, 22, 243n89 External trade, 26

Fairness, 199, 231–232 False ideological trends, 228 Family reunion law, 142 Famous Singapore, 12n2 Fan, Rita, 67, 107n115, 146, 183 Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), 81, 91, 99, 148, 179 Feedback mechanism, 132 Feign, Larry, 23, 120

Index

Felix, Alfonso, Jr., 212 Fenby, Jonathan, 120 Flaherty, Martin, 242n81 Flash mob, 134 Fong, Brian, 83 Foreign policy, 127n38, 192 Foundational campaigns, 95–100 Fox, Jonathan, 204 Fox, Vicente, 223 Fox elites, 135–137 Freedoms, 35, 55, 141–142, 199 Frontier leader, 96 FTU. See Federation of Trade Unions Fujimori, Alberto, 205, 207, 238n26 Fukuyama, Francis, 124 Functional constituency, 73–74 Functional representatives, 69 Functional sector groups, 64 Functionalism, 125n7 Fung, Ben-yi, 76 Fung, Frederick, 46n22, 76, 91–93, 95, 100

Gallagher, Mary, 112 Gandhi, Jennifer, 227 Gang of Four, 216 Gangren gangdi slogan, 37 García, Alan, 208 GDP. See Gross domestic product Geographical seats, 75 Gilley, Bruce, 199 Gini coefficient, 34, 45n12 Gini ratio, 17 Gittings, Danny, 140 Globalization, 5 Godber, Peter, 143, 167 Goodstadt, Leo, 18, 30, 41 Governance Reform Group, 138 Government, 2–3, 27–30, 36, 165–166; anti-, 77–78; British, 56, 59, 66; central, 103n39, 149, 245n117; regulations, 17 Gramsci, Antonio, 180 Grantham, Alexander, 33, 57 Great Leap Forward famine, 33 Greenfeld, Liah, 210 Gross domestic product (GDP), 16 Gu Junshan, 219 Guangdong, 38, 42, 103n39, 116, 118, 237n10 Guangzhou, 38

Guerrillas, Sendero Luminoso, 207 Guzman, Grasing, 212

267

Han Chinese, 53 Han Dongfang, 224 Hare, Thomas, 69, 104n50 Hare-quota-and-remainder method, 9, 12n10, 68–73, 139, 160n33 Hedley Environmental Index, 42 Hei shou (Black hands), 197 Hennessy, John Pope, 56 Heping zhanzhong (Peacefully Occupy Central), 175–178 High-rise buildings, 33 Higuchi, Susana, 207–208 Hirschl, Ran, 218 Hirschman, Albert, 66, 158n5 Hitler, Adolf, 206 HKPA. See Hong Kong Progressive Alliance HKSAR. See Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Ho, Albert, 146–147, 170 Ho, Andy, 124 Ho, Cyd, 35, 92 Ho Lok-sang, 34 Home Ownership Scheme, 31–32, 35, 84 Homeownership, 35–36 “Homes for Hong Kong,” 83 Hong Kong, 31–32, 41–44, 50n108, 83– 84, 88–89, 127n38, 170–174; capitalist system in, 1, 61, 65–66; China and, 5–11, 86, 118–119, 133–134, 171, 197, 236; civil liberties in, 191; constitutional amendments in, 130; constitutional democracy in, 54, 57– 58, 229; democracy and, 100n2, 195– 199; economics of, 18, 44n7; elections in, 100n2, 124–125; environmental problems in, 42; fairness in, 199, 231–232; globalization and, 5; human development in, 125n3; identity of, 133–134; Independence Party of, 134; judiciary ranking of, 214–215; labor lacking in, 178–180; leadership in, 3–4; media pluralization in, 123–124; modernity of, 3, 111–112; per capita income in, 111; policy dilemmas of, 9–10; politics in, 2–3, 7, 21–22, 135, 203–205; property prices in, 85; rule of law in,

268

Index

143; social movements in, 4; socioeconomic change in, 116–119, 125; structural governance crisis in, 157; University of, 162n77; vetocracy in, 166–167; wealth inequality in, 2, 15– 20, 66; Western legacy of, 53, 57; women politicians of, 71 Hong Kong Bar Association, 231 Hong Kong Club, 175–176 Hong Kong Electric Company, 24 Hong Kong Island Central seat, 92–93, 96–97 Hong Kong Jockey Club, 28 Hong Kong Monetary Authority, 143 Hong Kong Nationalism (Xianggang minzu lun), 133 Hong Kong Oaths and Declarations Ordinance, 114 Hong Kong Progressive Alliance (HKPA), 35, 73, 91 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), 29, 65, 190–191 Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), 22 Hon-Kwong Lui, 30, 45n10 Housing Authority, 17 HSBC. See Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Hu Jintao, 168 Hu Yaobang, 63, 233 Hui, Rafael, 29 Human brain, 209 Human development, 125n3, 126n9 Human rights, 196, 206–207 Human Rights Watch, 217 Huntington, Samuel, 2, 195, 218 Hutchison Whampoa Group, 22 Hybrid regimes, 213–215

I am Politics (Chinese song), 76 ICAC. See Independent Commission Against Corruption ICCPR. See International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Identity, of Hong Kong, 133–134 Immigration, 177 Impeachment, 144, 159n12 Impossibility theorem, 74 Income levels, 34, 97, 111–113, 117 Independence Party, 134 Independent candidates, 226

Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), 120, 143, 167, 181 India, 243n84 Indirect elections, 60 Individualist theory, 80 Inequality, 27–30, 34, 43–44, 45n10, 45n11; in economy, 32; wealth, 2, 15–20, 66 Inflation, 22 Inglehart, Ronald, 115–116 Institutional disarticulation, 156–158 Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), 223 Intellectual property, 50n90 Interest aggregation, 74–75 International Court of Justice, 190 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), 5, 190 International norms, 190–191, 199 Intra-party democracy, 204, 225 Investments, state, 39–40 Invisible notes, 100 Ip, Regina, 88, 107n118, 126n11, 146, 151, 154, 197 Iran, 13n12, 152

Jackson, Andrew, 208 Japan, 118 Jefferson, Thomas, 238n26 Jia Yunyong, 225 Jiang Enzhu, 67 Joint Declaration, 190–191 Journalism, 121, 228 Judicial independence, 141–144, 241n53 Judiciary ranking, 214–215 Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (Rawls), 202n41

Kadoories, 22 Kai Tak property, 37, 49n67 Kaifong politics, 93 Kamm, John, 107n118 Kant, Immanuel, 192 Khatami, Mohammad, 152 Kim Dae Jung, 194 Kong Qingdong, 186n37 Kuan Hsin-chi, 117, 124, 132, 135 Kudeta (coup threat), 160n33 Kuok, Robert, 120 Kuomintang, 57 Kwok, Raymond, 30

Index

Kwong Kichi, 39

Labor, 177–180, 224, 225 Labour Party, 57 Lai, Jimmy, 24, 120–121, 198 Lam, Carrie, 114, 176 Lam Wai-man, 124, 132, 135 Land prices, 38, 177 Land-controlling elites, 222–223 Large-franchise balloting, 124 Lau, Emily, 75, 81, 82, 92–95, 96, 105n72, 170 Lau, Kevin, 121 Lau Chin-shek, 94, 179 Lau Siu-kai, 75, 80, 117, 135, 148 Lau Wong-fat, 12n10 Law, David, 220 Law Chi-kwong, 183 Laws, 134, 142, 160n33, 193; anti-subversion, 35, 88–89, 109n150, 151, 154; community, 211–212; electoral, 69, 71–72, 75, 160n33; rule of, 5, 10, 143, 203, 211–216, 219–222. See also Basic Law Le Bon, Gustave, 209–210 Leadership, 3–4 League of Social Democrats, 72 Lee, Allen, 75, 84, 92, 98, 105n71, 145 Lee, Martin, 61–63, 75, 79, 82, 94–95, 98, 196; on task force, 199n5 Lee, Mentor, 194 Lee Cheuk-yan, 85, 93 Lee Kwan Yew, 193–194 Left-right politics, 170–174, 223, 225– 226 Legal reforms, 215–218 Legco elections, 12n10, 72, 116–117, 132, 148–150, 182; Democratic Party and, 87–88, 99; Hare quota in, 104n55; independence lacking in, 55–56; mechanics of, 92–95; procedures of, 114; results in, 81–82; turnout for, 137; universal suffrage and, 8–9 Legco members, 40, 60, 62, 70, 131, 184n1; Basic Law requiring approval of, 8; pan-democratic, 7, 9; rampage of, 237n10 Legislative council, 20, 56 Legislature, 61, 144–145, 161n49 Legitimacy for dissent, 180–184

269

Leong, Alan, 145, 148 Letters of Patent of 1843, 56 Leung, C. Y., 13n12, 36, 43, 121, 159n12, 191; Chief Executive post and, 146–148; Communist Party and, 155; Occupy Central protests and, 176–178 Leung, Elsie, 181 Leung Ka-lau, 12n10 Leung Kam-chung, Antony, 154 Leung Kok Hung (“Long Hair”), 70 Levitsky, Steven, 213–214 Lewis, Arthur, 224 Li, David, 74 Li, Richard, 167 Li Jie, 229 Li Ka-shing, 13n12, 23–25, 34, 66, 146– 147, 167, 181; asset movements and, 16–17; subsidies detested by, 35; wealth distribution policies of, 42–43 Li Keqiang, 178, 218 Li Kwok-nang, Andrew, 149 Li Pao, 23 Li Peng, 120 Libel laws, 160n33 Liberal electoral regime, 196 Liberal nonaggression conjecture, 193, 200n13, 233, 235 Liberal Party, 35, 40, 73, 77–78, 90–91, 107n118; business interests represented by, 63; China’s interests represented by, 65; geographical seats won by, 75 Liberalism, 11, 67, 211 Liberties, 66–67, 191, 203–205 Lifeboat theme, 135 Ling Bin, 216 Ling Jihua, 45n8 Lion elites, 135–137 Lipset, Seymour Martin, 3, 111–112, 115, 119 Lipset link, 112, 115, 119, 123–125, 235 Liu Lit-for, 68 Lui, Mozart, 76 Liu Xiaobo, 232 Liu Yandong, 147 Livelihood issues, 168, 236 Lo Shui-hing, Sonny, 234 Loh, Christine, 7, 26, 71, 76, 82, 87, 92– 98; as Civic Exchange founder, 170; Exco presentation of, 47n41; as legis-

270

Index

lator, 161n49; MacLehose model described by, 58; nomination procedures and, 150–153 Lu, Annette, 122 Lui Hon-kwong, 34 Luo Yinguo, 218 Lust-Okar, Ellen, 227

Ma Tao-li, Geoffrey, 150 Ma Wan Ke, 12n4 Ma Ying-jeou, 234 Machine politics, 99 MacLehose, Murray, 33, 58–59 Macpherson, C. B., 54 Madison, James, 158n1 Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), 28– 29 Mandela, Nelson, 157 Mann, Michael, 210 Mannheim, Karl, 44n4, 209–210, 239n30 Mansfield, Edward, 193, 235 Mao Zedong, 210, 213 Marcos, Ferdinand, 205–207, 212, 237n18 Mass elections, 10, 63, 203–204, 211– 212 Maurer, Ely, 245n121 May, Francis Henry, 56, 101n13 Media, 119–124 Medical disaster, 85 Michels, Robert, 195 Middle-class flats, 36–37 Middle-income politicians, 117 Middle-income voters, 97 Migrant workers, 224 Milgram, Stanley, 209 Military properties, 185n18 Mill, John Stuart, 211 Ming Pao, 80, 120 Minimum wage, 40 Ministerial system, 140 Minoritarian restrictions, 144–145 Mock poll, 147 Modernity, 3, 111–112, 119–122, 232 Monetary Authority, 26 Money, 33 Montesinos, Vladimiro, 207, 238n26 Moore, Barrington, 223 Mortgages, 83–84 Mousavi, Mir-Hossein, 152

MPF. See Mandatory Provident Fund Mugabe, Robert, 208 Municipal Council, 57 Murdoch, Rupert, 121 Mussolini, Benito, 74 “My Heart Will Go On,” 77

National Education, 170–174 National Education Services Center, 172 National leadership, 183–184 National People’s Congress, 54–55, 59– 60, 62, 67, 132, 169–170, 230 National People’s Congress Standing Committee, 113, 164n103 National Security Law, 134 Nationalism, 7, 173–174, 210 Native Americans, 238n26 Nazi Germany, 211–212 Neoliberalism, 228 New Territories, 134 Newspapers, 120–122, 157, 174, 191 Ng, Margaret, 81, 143, 144 Ng, Robert, 74 Ng Hon Wah, 141 1984 (Orwell), 208 Ninth Amendment, 240n48 Nominating committee, 113–114, 153, 183 Nomination procedures, 150–153

Occupy Central, 4, 6–7, 43, 134, 174– 178, 197 O’Donnell, Guillermo, 8 Old-age dependency ratio, 20 Oligopoly, 17, 21–25, 23 Olson, Mancur, 80 One country, two systems, 142, 203 One country, two wives, 142 One-tycoon-many-votes, 74 One-way permit scheme, 142 Opium War, 210 Ortmann, Stephan, 88 Orwell, George, 209–210

Pan-democracy, 7, 9, 70–72, 146, 148, 164n92 Pao, Y. K., 23 PAP. See People’s Action Party Pareto, Vilfredo, 129, 136 Parliaments, 55, 74 Path dependencies, 2–3

Index

Patriotism (aiguo zhuyi), 91, 173–174 Patten, Christopher, 31, 39, 63–65, 120, 185n8 Peacefully Occupy Central (Heping zhanzhong), 175–178 Pelosi, Nancy, 196 Peng Dingkang, 65 People Powerparty, 72 People’s Action Party (PAP), 28, 78, 191, 194 People’s Liberation Army (PLA), 61–62, 171 People’s Republic of China (PRC), 6, 211–212, 226 Pepper, Suzanne, 68 Per capita income, 111 Philippines, 208, 240n52 Piketty, Thomas, 29 Piven, Frances, 166 PLA. See People’s Liberation Army Platonism, 44n4 POAS. See Principal Officials Accountability System Police arrests, 184n1 Policies, 9–10, 42–43, 71, 172–173; domestic, 63; foreign, 127n38, 192 Political parties, 78–79, 84–85, 137–139, 167 Politicians, 71, 117, 148–149 Politics, 1, 86–87, 93, 99, 115–116, 138– 139; apathy in, 135; community of, 199; discourse in, 21–22; dynamics in, 114–115; electoral, 77–78; elites in, 182; in Hong Kong, 2–3, 7, 21– 22, 135, 203–205; left-right, 223, 225–226; liberties from, 203–205; rights of, 191; transparency in, 140 Pollution, 42 Poon, Alice, 38 POP. See Public Opinion Program Popular elected seats, 98 Popular sovereignty, 6, 54, 158 Post-handover election, 79, 100 Postiglione, Gerard, 12n3 Poverty, 18 Power splitting, 141 Power systems, 112 PR. See Proportional representation method PRC. See People’s Republic of China Press freedom, 123

271

PRI. See Institutional Revolutionary Party Prices, 22, 24, 38, 85, 177 Principal Officials Accountability System (POAS), 140 Private sector, 35 Pro-Beijing groups, 72 Pro-China patriotic education, 173 Pro-democracy groups, 20 Production-per-capita, 40 Pro-establishment politicians, 148–149 Property prices, 22, 85 Property tycoons, 177 Proportional representation (PR) method, 72–73 Prosperity, 112, 191–193 Protests, 165–168, 180–184, 184n1; democratization delay, 174–178; economic, 223–226; labor, 225; Occupy Central, 4, 6–7, 174–178 Provisional Legco, 67–70, 73–75, 99, 179 Przeworski, Adam, 115, 119, 127n33, 127n34, 137, 166 Public housing, 18, 21, 32–35, 83 Public knowledge, 79 Public Opinion Program (POP), 146, 150 Public sovereignty, 2 Public voting, 59 Putin, Vladimir, 208

Qiao Xiaoyang, 131 Quality Migrant Admission Scheme, 180 Quasi-autocratic constitutional powers, 90 Quasi-democratization, 116–117

Racism, 192, 238n26 Racketeering, 238n21 Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), 79, 121 Rawls, John, 199, 202n41 Reactive courts, 218–220 Real Estate functional constituency, 73– 74 Redistribution, asset, 2 Reforms, in education, 4 Refugees, 177 Regional Council, 141 Regulations, government, 17 Religious foundations, 39

272

Index

Rent hike, 41 Rental housing, 36 Reporters Without Borders, 123 Repression, 177 Republican Party, 197 Résidence Bel-Air project, 33–34 Residential segregation ordinance, 101n13 Residential towers, 33 Resignation, of Tung Chee-hwa, 89, 107n122 Revenue systems, 17, 19–20 Rice, Susan, 196 Right to vote, 226 Rights consciousness, 204, 221 Roosevelt, Theodore, 238n26 Rouhani, Hassan, 13n12, 152 RTHK. See Radio Television Hong Kong Rueschmeyer, Dietrich, 129 Rule by men, 213 Rule of law, 5, 10, 143, 203, 211–216, 219–222 Rule of Law Index 2014, 214, 240n52 Rustow, Dankwart, 3, 129–130

San Francisco Peace Treaty, 245n121 Sandwich class, 32, 48n66, 96 SAR. See Special Administrative Region SARS. See Severe acute respiratory syndrome Saudi Arabia, 12n2, 126n9 Schattschneider, E. E., 195 Schmitt, Carl, 211, 215–216 Schmitter, Philippe, 8, 59 Scholarism (Xuemin Sichao), 175, 186n31 Schools, 39, 76 Scott, Ian, 156 Scott, James, 182 Self-censorship, 119, 122 Self-orientalizing, 217, 241n61 Sen, Amartya, 74 Sendero Luminoso guerrillas, 207 Separation of powers, 141–144, 205 Service professionals, 60, 117 Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), 85 Shanghai, 38 Shatin Legco district, 92 Shek, Abraham, 147 Shek Kip Mei, 33

Shelf companies, 73 Shen Kui, 228 Shenzhen, 38 Shinawatra, Thaksin, 74, 205, 207 Shiu-hing Lo, Sonny, 53 Sick, Gary, 152 Sin Chungkai, 35 Sing Tao Group, 181 Singapore, 12n2, 16, 117, 141–142, 162n58, 193–195 Sir Man-kam Lo, 167 Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 41 Snyder, Jack, 193, 235 Social issues, 4, 215 Socialism, 21, 61 Societies, 27–28, 116, 190–191, 195, 203, 228, 237n4 Socioeconomics, 28, 116–119, 125 Sociopolitical movement, 165–166 Song, Chinese, 76 Sons of the dragon, 199 South Asians, 103n38 South Korea, 117, 182 Sovereignty, 102n20, 102n27 Soviet Union, 136 Special Administrative Region (SAR), 54 Stalin, Josef, 213 Statism, 173–174 Status quo discourse, 59 Stephens, Evelyne, 129 Stephens, John, 129 Structural governance crisis, 157 Students, tertiary, 50n97 Subdivided flats, 37 Subsidies, 35, 39 Suen, Michael, 79 Sun Yat-sen, 162n74, 173 Sunflower student movement, 235 Sunstein, Cass, 242n81 Supermarket chains, 23 Swaine, John, 199n5 Swing votes, 81 Szeto Wah, 61–62, 117, 130

Tai, Benny, 142, 175 Taiwan, 46n22, 114–117, 163n91, 182, 234–235, 245n121, 246n124 Tam, Maria, 199n5 Tam Yiu-chung, 98–99, 145

Index

Tang, Henry, 13n12, 107n122, 121, 146– 147, 151, 181 Tarrow, Sidney, 165 Task force, 199n5 Tear gas, 175–176 Telegraph cable, 56 Teng Biao, 218 Teorell, Jan, 119, 123 Textiles, 22 Thailand, 207 Thatcher, Margaret, 31, 59, 102n20 Tiananmen massacre, 79, 120, 135, 156, 171–172, 176; Joint Declaration after, 190–191; separate autonomy and, 61–63; Zhao purged after, 60 Tien, James, 13n11, 105n72 Tien Pei-chun, James, 151 To, Andrew, 72 Tong, Ronny, 8, 9 Tong Ka-wah, 105n72 Top-of-list candidates, 71 Total dependency ratio, 20 Trade, 18, 25, 26 Trade unions, 81, 91, 99, 148, 178–179, 224 Trail of Tears, 208 Transferable votes, 71 Transition period, 122 Transport projects, 21 Trench, David, 58 Tsai Ing-wen, 234 Tsang, Donald, 29, 31, 35–36, 40, 145, 147, 168–170; as Chief Executive, 89, 157; policy address of, 172–173 Tsang, John, 31, 176 Tsang Yok-sing, 81, 86, 100, 107n122, 131, 197–198; communist school teaching by, 76; as DAB candidate, 93–94 Tsang Yok-sing, Jasper, 104n49, 146, 154–155 Tung Chee-hwa, 31, 34, 47n41, 66, 67, 145, 181; anti-subversion law of, 151; civil servants and, 140–141; “Homes for Hong Kong” by, 83; political transparency and, 140; resignation of, 89, 107n122; voter turnout and, 80–82 Tycoons, 30, 33, 34, 118, 132, 154, 189– 190; constitutional power of, 89–90; liberal political values of, 67; property, 177; votes of, 74

273

Umbrella movement, 7 Unemployment, 125n4 Unified causal theory, 15 Union movement, 179–180 United front, 58, 66 United States (U.S.), 10, 233, 240n52, 245n121; Bill of Rights, 240n48; constitution of, 47n46; foreign policy of, 192; human development in, 125n3; per capita income in, 111 Universal suffrage, 12n10, 113, 131, 168–170, 183, 196–198; Article 23 and, 229; China and, 87; elections, 11; leaders calling for, 86; Legco elections and, 8–9; vote against, 153 Universal values, 228 Universalism, 193–195 University of Hong Kong, 162n77 University of Science and Technology, 50n92 Unskilled labor shortage, 224 Urban Council, 141 U.S. See United States

Veg, Sebastian, 171 Ventura, Jesse, 104n54 Verbal attacks, 97–98 Versailles Treaty, 208 Vetocracy, 130, 166–167 Vice-regal executive, 113–115 Vietnam War, 158n5 Vietnamese refugees, 177 Violence, 121, 177 Vittachi, Nury, 120 Voting, 70–71, 73–81, 95–100, 196, 226

Wah Fu, 33 Wang, Robert, 30 Wang Yuhua, 220 Wang Zhenmin, 43, 149, 229–230 Way, Lucan, 213–214 Wealth distribution, 17–18, 32, 42–43 Wealth inequality, 2, 15–20, 66 Weber, Max, 239n28 Weimar Republic, 211 Welfare, 27–30, 89 Welfare society, 27–28 Wen Jiabao, 147, 168 West Kowloon project, 185n11 Western legacy, 53, 57 “What I Did for Love,” 77

274

Index

White papers (baipi shu), 149 Wilson, David, 59–60, 64 Wilson International Frozen Foods, 23 Wing-tat, Lee, 81 Wong, Ada, 76, 97 Wong, Andrew, 67, 75–76, 199n5 Wong, Dominic, 82 Wong, Joshua, 12n4, 186n31 Wong, Nelson, 8 Wong, Ringo, 23 Work teams, 216 Workers, 216, 223–224 World Economic Forum, 214–215 “The World of Lily Wong” (cartoons), 47n32 Wu, Anna, 24, 29 Wu, Gordon, 30, 146

Xi Jinping, 7, 141, 168–169, 178, 228, 230, 234; Chief Executive role and, 10; corruption campaign of, 218; democratic dissent and, 204; freeze led by, 236; legal reforms of, 215– 218 Xianggang minzu lun (Hong Kong Nationalism), 133

Xie, Andy, 37 Xu Caihou, 219 Xu Jiatun, 60 Xu Simin, 68, 121 Xuemin Sichao (Scholarism), 175, 186n31

Yeung Ka-hung, Keith, 181 Yeung Sum, 74, 82, 98 Yip Kwok-him, 98 Youde, Edward, 59 Young, Mark, 57 Young, Simon, 159n12, 222 Yu Keping, 101n5 Yu Zhengsheng, 226

Zhang Dejiang, 85, 106n106, 113 Zhang Rongshun, 150 Zhao Ziyang, 60, 63, 233 Zhou Yongkang, 45n8

About the Book

Hong Kong and its relationship with China make for a uniquely intriguing study in democratization. What has hindered or caused greater popular sovereignty in Hong Kong? Over what time period and under what conditions could further democratization occur? Addressing these questions through the lens of comparative democratization theories, Lynn White explores Hong Kong’s complicated politics—and how further democratization in Hong Kong could affect China. Lynn T. White III is professor emeritus and senior research scholar in the Woodrow Wilson Center, Department of Politics, and East Asian Studies Program at Princeton University.

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