Hong Kong’s autonomy within China is akin to a house built on sand. This article examines how Hong Kong’s autonomy has weathered the waves over the years by adopting a news events analysis approach, documenting the Hong Kong government and the CCP-state’s divergence from the autonomy, democratization, and human rights provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law since 1997. The case study of Hong Kong indicates the profound challenge of practicing territorial autonomy within a communist state and points to a new research direction for conducting comparative autonomies studies across communist and post-communist states.

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