JANUARY 2007, NUMBER FIVE
By Anson Chan
Despite recurring demonstrations that the Hong Kong people want a more democratic political system, there has been too little progress toward creating one since the 1997 handover of sovereignty to China, writes Anson Chan, former Chief Secretary of the Hong Kong government.
By Regina Ip
Developing democracy in Hong Kong has proven to be more complex than anticipated, writes Regina Ip, chairperson of the Savantas Policy Insitute and former government Secretary for Security. One essential need is to improve cooperation between the executive and the legislative branches by making it possible to elect representatives able to form a “pro-China” ruling coalition with governing authority in Legco.
By Audrey Eu
The bureacracy-led Hong Kong government is too often out of touch with popular needs, argues Audrey Eu, a co-founder of the pro-democracy Civic Party. The voting franchise needs to be expanded as quickly as possible so that truly representative political parties can exercise government power in a responsible way. The Civic Party has some specific plans for doing so.
By Wendy Leutert
The political franchise may be expanded from time to time, but distinct limits will remain in force, writes Wendy Leutert, an employee of a New York law firm who served an internship at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. She believes Beijing officials are so distrustful of local autonomy in Hong Kong that they will insist on rules—a “bottleneck”—that keeps power in the hands of those they favor.
By Shiu Sin-por
Political evolution is always untidy and Hong Kong also faces some serious economic challenges, argues Shiu Sinpor, a senior visiting fellow at Tsinghua University in Beijing and former executive director of the One Country, Two Systems Institute, a policy research organization in Hong Kong. Though its first decade under Chinese sovereignty has been largely successful, the coming years may bring new tensions in both politics and economics.