How Hong Kong Really Works


To give an idea of how Hong Kong’s power structure works, and the interlocking relationship between its power brokers, government agencies and oligarchs, we group together a series of stories Asia Sentinel has carried over the last year. We include the experience of the residents of one redeveloped area to give an indication of the harm done to the quality of life when government agencies exercise their power virtually unchecked and without seeking public input.



Hong Kong Needs Accountability Not Consensus

Make no mistake. Beijing will deliver a “consultation” on democracy, but it will consult with itself, not Hong Kong’s citizens.

By Philip Bowring


Railroading Hong Kong's Development

Hong Kong's citizens have no real voice in government land policy — and they suffer for it.

By Alice Poon


A Broken System: Hong Kong Property development

Hong Kong's urban planners are under fire from a wide range of critics — even property developers — seeking to make the territory a more livable place. That hasn't slowed them down.

By Doug Crets

stonecutters bridge

A Bridge too Near?

Hong Kong keeps the construction industry humming with what critics say is an unnecessary bridge.

By Hamish McKenzie


Tearing the Urban Heart out of Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Urban Renewal Agency clear cuts yet another vibrant area

By Alice Poon


No Tiresome Competition Here

Hong Kong’s proposed new competition law barely scratches the surface and leaves the oligarchs pretty much alone

By Alice Poon


Forcible Removal

Jay Shaw is managing director and CEO of Net Dimensions, a Hong Kong-based software company. Shaw and his wife, Rhea Briones-Shaw, lived in the Western Addition of the city until 2003, when they were forced out by the Urban Redevelopment Agency, which tore down their neighborhood and replaced it with an apartment block. They now live in Tin Hau in Causeway Bay. This is their story.

The URA’s Response

We note with regret that the picture painted in Alice Poon’s article “Tearing the Urban Heart out of Hong Kong” on the Urban Renewal Authority (URA)’s Kwun Tong Town Centre Redevelopment Project is lopsided and misleading. We write therefore to put things in their proper perspective.


All in the Family

The Rise of the next generation of the Li family in Hong Kong says a lot about how the place really works.

Hong Kong’s Overflowing Pork Barrel

Two decades ago, the Hong Kong government figured out how to get the money for massive construction. Now it’s stuck with it.