The Reality and Future of the Hong Kong Crisis

The 2019 protests in Hong Kong have riveted the world, as their focus has expanded from an extradition bill to alleged police misconduct, Hong Kong’s electoral system, and the broader relationship between Hong Kong and the government in Beijing. Understanding the history of the Sino-British negotiations, the deeper social, economic and political roots of the protests and the responses of Beijing and the Hong Kong government are of utmost importance into assess the future course for the city and proposed unification with Taiwan. In the eyes of many, Hong Kong has become a living example of the failure of public policy and political analysis, and raises questions about whether poor leadership has contributed to the present crisis. The most pressing questions are: What is the way forward for Hong Kong, what is the future of China’s promise that “One Country, Two Systems” will last until 2047, and what is the impact of the Hong Kong crisis on cross-Strait relations?

Join us for a panel discussion on these developments in Hong Kong and their impact on Taiwan, China, and U.S. policy are Harry Harding, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Virginia; Syaru Shirley Lin, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Dr. Dalena Wright, expert on the history of the Sino-British negotiations about the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. Speaking from their current experiences living and working in Hong Kong as well as recent trips and teaching tenures in Taiwan, the three experts will share their observations on the political, economic and social reality in Hong Kong and the potential course out of the current stalemate. Lunch will be served.


Harry Harding, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Virginia

Harry Harding is University Professor of Public Policy and Faculty Senior Fellow in the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. He is presently writing a history of U.S.-China relations since the mid-1990s. Prior to UVa, Harding held appointments at Swarthmore, Stanford, the Wilson Center, Brookings, and George Washington University.

Syaru Shirley Lin, Adjunct Professor of Political Economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Syaru Shirley Lin is on the faculty of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Virginia and was previously a partner at Goldman Sachs. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma, was published by Stanford in 2016 and in Chinese in 2019. She is now researching East Asian economies in the high-income trap.

Dalena Wright, Author, British Foreign Policy and the Return of Hong Kong to China

Dalena Wright is an expert on Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong with a long career in USAID, the State Department, and Capitol Hill. She was a nonresident senior fellow of Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. Wright received her doctorate at the University of Cambridge. 

Part of the Chinese Foreign Policy Project
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