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civil

servants.

There

was

an

implicit

assumption

by

British

of

icials

that

the

Chinese

lacked the requisite qualities to reach the higher echelons of the bureaucracy.7

and

It was not until this was enshrined

the Joint Declaration of

in

the

Basic

Law.

The

1984 Basic

that localization began in earnest, Law requires that holders of top

government positions foreign abode. This population has made

in the SAR be Hong Kong ethnic Chinese without the right of condition is generally a re lection of the signi icant gains the local in terms of skills and professionalism that began to challenge the

expatriate elite well before 1997. Localization of an increasingly strong Hong Kong identity.

may be regarded Moreover, Hong

as a natural consequence Kong people have gained

technological

skills,

academic

qualifications

and

professional

experience

while

continuing

to be dominated by an expatriate elite.

However, the

(1998a) regards experience’.8

localisation

as

having

stripped

‘the

Civil

Policy Committee of the HKDF Service of much of its talent and

To what extent is governance shaped by the Confucianist philosophy in Hong Kong? According to Clark and Chan (1995: 122) ‘the absence of state controls allowed commercial enterpreneurship and a skilled labor force to produce a highly dynamic economy, thus demonstrating the often hypothesized linkage between Confucian culture and an aptitude for small-scale business’. Indeed it may be argued that the Confucian patriarchal culture moulds the ‘strong society’ in Hong Kong and this culture is reflected in the bureaucracy. Chinese values are further reinforced by the emphasis on line rather

than staff positions in on ‘power distance’ centralised.9

human meant

resource management. that organisations in

Furthermore, Hong Kong

the cultural emphasis tended to be highly

Reunification with China

Possibly a greater influence than that of globalisation on local politics in Hong Kong was reuni ication with China, which is a unique factor in explaining administrative reform in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the outcome of an unusual process of decolonization. Instead of the process being a preparation for independence, China replaced Britain as Hong

7 8

See the excellent discussion in Chan (1997: 571). For a full discussion of localization in the Hong Kong civil service, see Huque et al (1998), chapter 4.

17

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