The New Landscape of Hong Kong Politics: 2008 Legislative Council Elections and Its Implications

Photo source: South China Morning Post

Citation: Hak Yin Li and Zhengxu Wang, “The New Landscape of Hong Kong Politics – 2008 Legislative Council Elections and Its Implications”, China Discussion Paper 46 (2009): 1-16.

Abstract: The 2008 Legislative Council elections have unveiled a new political landscape in Hong Kong. First, there were conflicts within the pro-Beijing camp reflected by the closely-fought contest between the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and the Liberal Party (LP) during the election. Second, there was a split within the pro-democracy camp as well indicated by the League of Social Democrats (LSD) openly criticizing the moderate Civic Party (CP), while the pro-democracy camp refused any coordination during the electoral campaign. Third, the LP seemed to have lost the support of the Beijing government with the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong supporting the DAB and other pro-Beijing “independent” candidates rather than the LP. These contrasting political developments suggest that the pro-Beijing force in Hong Kong has been consolidated under the DAB, which helps Beijing to stabilize Hong Kong politics. In the meantime, the pro-democracy camp failed to form a unified force in the competition between numerous political parties.