Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2018


Since the official transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from Great Britain to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed under a special set of laws dubbed “One Country, Two Systems”. Though Hong Kong and the mainland are one country, the People’s Republic of China, they are governed under two different systems with regards to economic and political policy. This two-system agreement has been seen as a guarantor of Hong Kong’s Western-style democracy and political freedoms, especially as compared to the rest of the People’s Republic. However, the system was set to be in place for only fifty years and is due to expire in 2047. The upcoming expiration of the One Country, Two Systems style of governance has led to speculation as to whether or not 2047 will spell the end of Hong Kong’s way of life. Through data gathered from research into other studies of the same topic, as well as interviews with experts from Hong Kong, these fears seem unfounded. Because of Hong Kong’s significant economic importance to China, as well as the presence of Western interests and nationals in Hong Kong, the expiration of the One Country, Two Systems law is not expected to affect any sort of significant change for Hong Kong. Though the Chinese government is likely to continue suppression of independence movements, and immigration to the island is expected to increase, the general projection for Hong Kong after the expiration of the Two Systems law will continue into the future in a very similar way since cost and gains do not seem to be equitable for mainland China.