Hong Kong’s Civil Society in an Age of Renewed Sino-American Rivalry
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service
When President George H. W. Bush signed the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act into law on October 5, 1992, he made a commitment to recognize the British colony as a freestanding polity beyond the transfer of its sovereignty to China, which was then less than a half-decade away.1 His idea was to honor its renowned economic freedom by ensuring that, as a separate customs territory, it would not be affected by future sanctions against Beijing. For years thereafter, this legislation has contributed much to Hong Kong’s continued prosperity, confidence, and close ties with the United States. Yet there is a catch: it authorizes the sitting president to terminate the special arrangement with an executive order whenever he determines that Hong Kong is no longer distinct from China. The scenario, once only hypothetical, is increasingly becoming the new reality.
Georgetown University. School of Foreign Service. Asian Studies Program.
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