Law, Hong Kong has considerable autonomy from China and maintains its own currency and border control with the mainland. In effect, the only matters left to China are defence and foreign policy. Thus, Hong Kong’s status as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China means that it is ‘semi-autonomous’, in theory at least. As Tang (2000: 5) argues, ‘with the departure of the British, Hong Kong has acquired a higher degree of autonomy constitutionally under Chinese sovereignty than under its previous colonial master’.
Earlier Hong Kong was described as an ‘administrative understanding its governance. Indeed, Hong Kong is regarded fusion between politics and bureaucracy at the centre of government ‘has been conceptualized as an ideal type of
state’, which is the key to as a classic example of the government. Hong Kong's ‘bureaucratic polity’ which
practises the ‘administrative absorption of politics’ before the introduction of the democratic reforms in
(Cheek-Milby 1989: 221). Thus, the mid-1980s, Hong Kong was
labelled an ‘administrative repository of centralised state and administration. The civil
state’.3 power service
This means the in Hong Kong with is the only political
bureaucracy is effectively the no demarcation between politics institution in Hong Kong. Post-
1997, the senior civil service is still participation remains relatively limited, in Hong Kong is perceived as highly
the political executive and the scope for political despite recent democratic reforms. Thus, the state autonomous and aloof from society. On the other
hand, the civil service is also regarded as a ‘powerful but (Lee, cited in Huque et al 1998: 16). Whatever the degree bureaucracy in Hong Kong has considerably more power systems in Western liberal democracies.
conservative force in society’ of autonomy from society, the and status than civil service
The historical reason for Hong Kong’s highly centralised systems was to ensure
that the Governor could exercise control
and be fully briefed.
Kong had a fairly to the appropriate
Secretary of State responsible for colonial legacy of depoliticization, Kong’s bureaucratic polity is the
Hong Kong affairs in London. In addition to the Cooper and Lui (1990: 333) also argue that Hong product of ‘an apathetic political culture’ and ‘the
Chinese tradition of deference to authority’. The civil service effectively constitutes the public sector in Hong Kong.
the policy guidance of a government secretariat, government departments and agencies,