PRC United Front strategy

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The PRC United Front strategy is a series of coordinated efforts directed by the Communist Chinese Government centralized in Beijing to attain greater control over Hong Kong. To accomplish this aim, a number of different strategies have been used since the 1980s.[1] Today the control is mostly done through manipulation of local elections.


Its public agency is the PRC's Liaison Office. Prior to revision of these policies, it was the Hong Kong branch of Xinhua News Agency. The Communist Party of China is the de facto driving force behind this office.[2] The stated goal of this office is to afford greater control by Beijing over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


During this period, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and the Hong Kong Chinese Reform Association were the three proxies organisations for the PRC. Following the Cultural Revolution and Macau's success, they attempted to wrestle control from the British Colonial government through the Hong Kong 1967 leftist riots. However this attempted failed and damaged their influence and reputation for a decade.


In the 1980s Beijing tried to control the territory by absorbing Hong Kong's business elite into the United Front system. The business members were designated as "delegates" and "advisers".[1]

After Communist China's Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, the strategy was changed. Because the working and peasant class far outnumber the appointed government elite, Policy makers in Beijing realized they could not afford to let democracy take root in the general populace. They decided to manipulate the minds of the 2 million workers and ordinary wage earners in Hong Kong. They explicitly target the leadership of Kaifong associations, district boards and local municipal councils.[1]

Up until the 1980s the Communist Chinese government did not want to form its own pro-authoritarian political parties in Hong Kong as the pro-democracy camp was clearly more popular.[1]


Maoist strategy[edit]

The group uses a Mao Zedong strategy described as:

The front does not destroy democratic individuals (like Martin Lee), because the political cost of doing so is too high.[2] It basically keeps the opposing parties divided so they are weak and non-threatening. In this case, the opposing enemy is Hong Kong's democratic party, because it represents the wishes of the people in a democratic society.[2]

Post 1997[edit]

The united front coordinates the nomination and campaigns in the Legislative Council (LegCo) and local elections. Sometimes part of the party is listed as "independents" and run for elections.[2] An example is Regina Ip in the 2007 Hong Kong Island by-election.

While the One country, two systems separate Hong Kong and Macau from Beijing rule, it attempts to swing voters away from the democratic parties to keep them weak. An example is The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which was installed to target middle to lower class citizens in Hong Kong by gaining presence in the Hong Kong real estate market.[2]

In December 2017, Wang Zhenmin, the legal chief for the China Liaison Office, confirmed that Chinese Communist Party was actively promoting it's agenda of 'Mainlandization' of Hong Kong. He was quoted saying “Since July 1, 1997, Hong Kong’s political colour undoubtedly became red, meaning it has become part of red China. So there is no question of whether Hong Kong is ‘becoming red’ because Hong Kong has already been red since 1997, when it came under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party." [3]

In May 2018, Jonathan Choi Koon-shum and CY Leung, prominent figures from the Pro-Beijing camp, started promoting the concept of 'Greater Bay Area identity' in order to counter Hong Kong localism and self-determination and as presenting a possible future for Hong Kong after 2047 [4][5]


The front also rely on allies that have grassroots in Hong Kong's society such as the following:[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Horlemann, Ralf. [2002] (2002). Hong Kong's transition to Chinese Rule. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29681-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Richard C. Bush. [2005] (2005). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-1288-X.
  3. ^
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