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Work-in-Progress Workshop in Hong Kong Studies 2023 #6

Workshop 2023 #6

Date & Time: May 25, 2023, 11:00-12:00 HKT

Format: Virtually via Zoom

Provisional Title: Decolonization and the Triangular Collaboration for Democracy in Cold War Hong Kong: A Case Study of the Democratic Self-Government Party of Hong Kong and Beyond

Presenter: Kenneth Yung, Acquisitions Editor, Hong Kong University Press, University of Hong Kong


* Angelina Y. Chin is associate professor of history at Pomona College.

* Florence Mok is a Nanyang Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University.


After the end of the Second World War, the British resumed their colonial rule of Hong Kong. In 1946, Mark Young (1886–1974), who resumed his governorship of the city, proposed constitutional reforms that were to introduce representative democracy in the city. The 1949 Communist takeover, however, deterred the British from realizing the plan for fear that any constitutional reforms in Hong Kong would agitate the new Communist regime and prompt it to occupy the city.

Still, political activists from the local Chinese and expatriate elites were keen to advocate for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. Coincidentally, a number of exiled politicians from China settled down in Hong Kong and began to pay more attention to local politics in the mid-1950s. Sharing similar democratic ideals for a future Hong Kong, these three groups of people attempted to form a partnership in the mid-1960s so as to strengthen their influence in the political arena, leading to the foundation of the Democratic Self-Government Party of Hong Kong. Through a study of this collaboration, I argue that the impact of decolonization became a binding force among different groups of political activists. It is hoped that this study will shed light on the relationship between decolonization and the political endeavors of democrats in Hong Kong in the pre-MacLehose years.

Keywords: Decolonization, constitutional reforms, the Democratic Self-Government Party, pre-MacLehose years

Project type: Journal article

Kenneth Yung, Acquisitions Editor, Hong Kong University Press
Date & Time
25 May 2023 at 11:00 HKT