Hong Kong: an attachment to democracy.
Contrary to the intentions of the Chinese government and despite appearances the May 1998 elections for Hong Kong's legislature failed to destroy the voters' attachment to political parties and to individuals committed to democratic reform. The outcome made it impossible for the government to maintain a minimalist rôle in managing Hong Kong's response to the major economic upheavals facing the entire region and within a month forced the introduction of a package of measures to relieve hardship and revive the economy. The article traces the approach to the question of democracy against the background of the complex negotiations that led up to the restoration of Hong Kong to Chinese rule and the shaping of the post-1997 political system. It outlines the efforts by Christopher Patten, Hong Kong's last Governor, to secure the post-1997 legislature for the supporters of democracy and the innate hostility of the Chinese leadership towards conventional democratic process. (author's)