Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Yu Ping

First Page



This Article explores the human rights forecast following Hong Kong's reintegration into China. The Article first reviews the British human rights record in Hong Kong, and explains why China was angered by last-ditch British political reform. It then explores the legal framework of Hong Kong, including the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Hong Kong, and concludes that neither offers significant protection for human rights in Hong Kong. In particular, Chinese state security and state secrets laws are likely to be used to suppress political dissidents, journalists, international organizations, and other "foreign elements" in Hong Kong. The Article next examines international human rights law and concludes that such law is an equally weak mechanism for protecting human rights in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's reintegration into China is likely to bring short-term erosion of human rights in Hong Kong. That reintegration may influence China itself in positive ways, however, as Hong Kong serves as a human rights focal point and as a link toward China's further modernization.