Hong Kong’s role as a mediator between China and the West: Changes under C. Y. Leung’s Administration

Photo source: CNN

Citation: Hak Yin Li, “Hong Kong’s role as a mediator between China and the West: Changes under C. Y. Leung Administration”, in Evaluation of the C. Y. Leung Administration, ed. Joseph Y. S. Cheng (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2020), 219-246.



Abstract: Hong Kong’s international status has been given special attention worldwide because of its historical background and geo-strategic importance. The West has treated Hong Kong as an enclave that shares similar democratic values, legal norms, and capitalistic business environment, while Mainland China has utilised Hong Kong to break their international isolation and facilitate trade relations with other countries before and after the handover in 1997, respectively. From a Western perspective, keeping Hong Kong’s status quo is the primary goal, but China is cautious of foreign intervention in Hong Kong for fear of it becoming a Western base to challenge the legitimacy and rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In this tug of war, it seems that the C. Y. Leung administration moved closer to Beijing’s desire to limit foreign influence.