The Involvement of the Business Elite in the Drafting of Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Problems of the United Front Policy, 1985–1990

  • Cindy Yik-yi Chu


From 1985 to 1990, a number of groups participated in the drafting of the Basic Law, which would be the “mini-constitution” of the SAR after Hong Kong’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty. During this period, the Hong Kong people engaged in fierce debates as the different groups put forth their proposals for the most suitable political institutions of the future SAR. The most heated arguments were centered on the constitutional structure of the SAR, namely, the election of its chief executive and legislature.1 These five years, crucial in Hong Kong’s history, witnessed the implementation of China’s united front policy toward the territory. Beijing adopted characteristic united front tactics to secure allies, win over those who were neutral, and fight opponents, with the ultimate aim to increase the number of China’s supporters. This chapter argues that Beijing had considerable difficulty in achieving this objective.


Chief Executive Business Leader Political Reform Electoral College Business Establishment 
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© Cindy Yik-yi Chu 2010

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  • Cindy Yik-yi Chu

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