Hong Kong: Still One Country, Two Systems?


Asia: Beyond the Headlines

In the last month, Hong Kong has seen mass demonstrations and tensions as great as any since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China. The cause: anger over Beijing’s ruling on how Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive will be elected. At the time of the 1997 handover, China pledged that by 2017 the people of Hong Kong would have the right to vote for their Chief Executive. In August of this year, Beijing ruled that while all the people of Hong Kong could vote, China would determine who the candidates were. Pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong saw this decision as Beijing reneging on a promise — an empty election with candidates that do not represent them. Beijing and the current Chief Executive, C.Y. Leung, insist that the decision conforms to Hong Kong’s Basic Law framework, which serves as the legal foundation for the city. The demonstrators have appealed to President Xi Jinping to revisit the process, though experts say it is highly unlikely Beijing will give in to their demands.

No matter the outcome of these demonstrations, divisions in Hong Kong’s society have been laid bare. Beyond the election process — many in Hong Kong fear losing their unique status under the concept of "One Country, Two Systems." Others fear damage may be done to Hong Kong’s status as a free-wheeling global financial center. Join us for a discussion on the root causes that have led to the demonstrations and what the future holds in store for Hong Kong.


Ho-Fung Hung, Sociologist and Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University

S. Alice Mong, Executive Director, Asia Society Hong Kong (via Skype)

Orville Schell (moderator), Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society

Fred Teng, CEO, NewsChina Magazine

Ishaan Tharoor, Reporter, the Washington Post


Outreach Partner:


Can't make it to this program? Tune in to AsiaSociety.org/Live at 6:30 pm New York time for a free live video webcast. Viewers are encouraged to submit questions to moderator@asiasociety.org or via Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #AskAsia.

Event Details

Tue 28 Oct 2014
6:30 - 8 p.m.
725 Park Avenue New York, NY
Buy Tickets - Members
Buy Tickets
Members: $10; Students/Seniors: $7; Nonmembers: $10
Add to Calendar 20141028T223000 20141029T000000 UTC Asia Society: Hong Kong: Still One Country, Two Systems? 725 Park Avenue New York, NY