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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: The focus of this book chapter is to investigate how C. Y. Leung’s administration managed Hong Kong’s external relations within the framework of “one country, two systems.” By analysing official policy statements and employing a process-tracing methodology supported by empirical evidence, this chapter identifies the administration’s inclination towards fulfilling Beijing’s desires. Hong Kong’s role as a mediator between China and the West has been diminished due to Beijing’s growing concerns regarding foreign interference. Moreover, the administration’s compromises on human rights, the rule of law, press freedom, and freedom of movement have tarnished Hong Kong’s international standing. In this context, the chapter explores the new international role that Beijing has assigned to Hong Kong, specifically in conducting track II diplomacy and sending diplomatic signals to foreign countries. This is exemplified through cases such as the implementation of a free maritime port policy, the visit of a special envoy from the Philippines to Hong Kong, and the seizure of a Singaporean armoured vehicle in Hong Kong.