New Bottle, Old Wine: China’s Governance of Hong Kong in View of Its Policies in the Restive Borderlands

Bill Chou


This paper reviews Beijing’s Hong Kong policy, arguing that the policy mirrors China’s policy towards its restive borderlands represented by Tibet and Xinjiang. The rule of Hong Kong and other borderlands in China will be understood in an analytical framework that highlights four broad policies of governing borderlands: promises of a high degree of local autonomy; extension of politico-administrative control; cultural assimilation; and economic integration and domination. These policies may be conceptualised within the term “coercion.” It is argued that before Hong Kong’s retrocession to China in 1997, the PRC’s approach to the territory, in comparison to its approaches to Tibet and Xinjiang, was the least coercive – that is, China initially promised Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy over domestic affairs. The degree of coercion was stepped up when Hongkongers were perceived as becoming increasingly alienated from the new regime.

Full Text: PDF (English)

Logo von Hamburg University Press und der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky Logo des GIGA-Institut Logo der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft Logo der Leibniz-Gesellschaft