The Selection of the Chief Executive, May–December 1996
Tung Chee-hwa was elected the chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR in December 1996. There had already been much speculation about Hong Kong’s future. Its return to China was unprecedented, as this did not bring about independence for the territory but rather resulted in its subordination under an ideologically different system. Beijing had boasted that the “one country, two systems” concept was a great innovation that would be beneficial to Hong Kong’s “prosperity and stability,” and if successfully implemented, would have implications for reunification with Taiwan. The world watched the handover, but Hong Kong people had lived with anxiety about this event for more than a decade, and were ready to work with China. This chapter attempts to see how the three different parties—Beijing, the election candidates, and the local people—took advantage of the situation in 1996 to prepare for Chinese rule of the SAR, and exerted influence on the course of events leading to the election of the chief executive in December.
KeywordsPublic Opinion Chief Executive Approval Rating Selection Committee Unite Front
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