City on the Edge: Hong Kong under Chinese rule

The 2019 protests and the 2020 National Security Law ushered in a new phase for Hong Kong’s existence as a global metropolis, financial centre, and enclave at the edge of a great power. In the context of local social and political grievances, the gradual undermining of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has long been met with fierce resistance on part of Hong Kong society. As the City’s freedoms seem all but extinguished, what future is possible for a Hong Kong under Chinese rule? What lessons should be drawn from the City’s experiences over the last decades and what does this mean for our assessment of China’s future as a global power as well as the country’s relationship with the West?

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China, LSE IDEAS China Foresight hosted a webinar discussing Professor Ho-fung Hung’s latest book City on Edge: Hong Kong under Chinese Rule.


This webinar was held on Friday 1 July 2022.

Meet the speakers and chair

Tania Branigan is a Guardian leader writer. She spent seven years as the Guardian's China correspondent.

Bi-yu Chang is Deputy Director of the Centre of Taiwan Studies and Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, University of London. Her research interests are in the areas of identity politics, nation-building, cultural politics, and theatre. In recent years the focus of her research has taken a spatial turn, including place identity, spatial construction, and cartographic representation. Since 2016, she has been researching the politics of Taiwan’s tourism, unpicking the intricate relationship between identity, place, and power. She has twice been awarded Taiwan Fellowship (2016, 2019) and is now working on a new project on the relationship between textbooks after education reform and Taiwan’s identity politics. She is co-editor of and contributor to many books and has published articles in journals both in Chinese and English.  In recent years, she published her monograph Place, Identity, and National Imagination in Post-war Taiwan(2015) and co-edited a book Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming (2019), both by Routledge. In 2021, her chapters appear in Taiwan: From Language to Identity and Ideology (edited by Chris Shei),  Taiwan’s Contemporary Indigenous Peoples, (edited by Dafydd Fell, et al.), and in Italian Journal di Limes (il numero 9/21, special edition “Taiwan, l’anti-Cina”).

Ho-fung Hung is the Henry M. and Elizabeth P. Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University. The author of the award-winning The Protest with Chinese Characteristics (2011) and The China Boom (2015), he has been featured or cited in media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, The Guardian and South China Morning Post.

Christopher R. Hughes is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he also served as Director of the Asia Research Centre from 2002 to 2005. His PhD (from the LSE) was on the topic Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism: National Identity and Status in International Society and was awarded the British International Studies Association best thesis of the year prize for 1995. He teaches specialist courses in the International Politics of the Asia Pacific, Chinese Foreign and Security Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. His research focuses on the Asia-Pacific with special reference to Chinese foreign policy and politics, with monographs on Taiwan and Chinese Nationalism (Routledge 1997), China and the Internet: Politics of the Digital Leap Forward (edited with Gudrun Wacker, Routledge 2003) and Chinese Nationalism in the Global Era (Routledge 2006). He has various articles on Chinese politics and foreign policy, the international politics of the Asia Pacific, international relations theory and foreign policy in leading academic journals.


LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.