Drawing on archival materials, Michael Ng challenges the widely accepted narrative that freedom of expression in Hong Kong is a legacy of British rule of law. Demonstrating that the media and schools were pervasively censored for much of the colonial period and only liberated at a very late stage of British rule, this book complicates our understanding of how Hong Kong came to be a city that championed free speech by the late 1990s. With extensive use of primary sources, the free press, freedom of speech and judicial independence are all revealed to be products of Britain's China strategy. Ng shows that, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, Hong Kong's legal history was deeply affected by China's relations with world powers. Demonstrating that Hong Kong's freedoms drifted along waves of change in global politics, this book offers a new perspective on the British legal regime in Hong Kong.
Pip Nicholson - William Hearn Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (People and Community), Melbourne Law School
Taisu Zhang - Professor of Law, Yale Law School and author of The Ideological Foundations of Qing Taxation (2022)
Matthew Erie - Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies, University of Oxford and author of China and Islam (2016)
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