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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

How Hong Kongers Have Reacted to the Changes since the 2000s

With Dr Ivan Hon

Series:  LSE Seminar on Chinese Worlds in Comparative Perspective

Date: Tuesday 6 June from 6–8pm

Venue: Seligman Library, 6th Floor, Old Building, LSE

Chair:  Dr Fang-long Shih (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

Respondent: Dr Ho-lok Victor Fan (King's College London)


On 1 July 2003, a severe economic crisis in Taiwan and protests against Basic Law Article 23 led to a massive demonstration. The Chinese central government responded with measures to support the HK economy. These included: allowing more tourists from the Mainland to visit HK; concluding the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement; allowing more Mainland companies to be listed on the HK stock exchange; developing HK into an RMB offshore trading centre; and changing China's policy in HK by strengthening the role of the Liaison Office of the Central People‘s Government in HK.

Since then, Hong Kong has undergone many political, economic and social changes: the Liaison Office has intervened in local elections and affairs; the central government has suppressed HK’s democratic development; HK's economy has become dependent on and integrated with the Mainland economy; and the penetration of China’s state capitalism and culture and practices into HK. This has prompted a series of reactions from the people of HK, such as resistance by Pan-democrats in the Legislative Council, who want universal suffrage for choosing the chief executive and Legco; conflicts between HK and Mainland people, the rise of HK identity and anti-Chinese sentiment; and the Occupy Central and Umbrella Movement, as well as the rise of localism.

In this presentation, I will highlight and analyse these changes and reactions in a systematic and chronological way to stimulate audience discussions.

I will argue that these changes can be attributed to change in HK’s relative economic significance to China, as well as China’s views on modern Western systems and values. Although localists and radical social protests are being suppressed, localism will continue to grow while social movements and protests might resurge in the future if the current political-economic structures, socio-economic problems and social divisions of HK remain unchanged.

About the Speaker

Dr Ivan Hon (BA, MA, MPhil, PhD, CL, MCIL) received his PhD in Religious Studies from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Wales. He also has an MPhil in Study of Religion and MA in Japanese Religion from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, an MA in International Business from Sophia University, Japan, and a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington, USA.  

Dr Hon's research interests lie in comparative culture, religion and philosophy, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, East Asian (e.g. China, Japan and Korea) traditional cultures’ interaction with modernity and modern capitalism. 

Dr Hon also has a strong interest in language and translation.  He is a Chartered Linguist (CL) and a member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL).  He has been interpreting English and Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin) for government agencies and public services in the London area, as well as translating written English, Chinese and Japanese medical, legal and commercial materials for translation agencies.  He also works as a language mentor and assessor at the Mary Ward Centre.

Dr Hon also has professional experience in research on business and professional ethics education at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has worked in the financial management department of a Japanese electronic company and the loan department of a Japanese bank, and he has taught commercial courses, English and Japanese at colleges in Hong Kong.