There can be little doubt that Hong Kong has stood out as a particularly intense East Asian news hotspot in recent years. Whether reports have focused on pro-democracy protests, abducted booksellers or PRC Mainland integration plans, most of this news has revolved around a common theme - namely questions over Beijing's ruling Chinese Communist Party and its influence in Hong Kong.
On this background, Christine Loh
’s book Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong
(Hong Kong University Press, 2018) is an indispensable guide to the Party's approaches to Hong Kong over time. As a former-lawmaker in the city’s Legislative Council, founder of the think tank Civic Exchange, and many other things, Loh makes the most of her unique vantage point on contemporary CCP affairs, as well her invaluable access to insights from the her hometown's colonial past. This book sets its analysis of how the Party seeks to maintain supremacy in Hong Kong within all-important historical context, and consequently will be a vital resource for anyone wishing to understand the questions of political culture, power and influence which are pivotal to the future of East Asia and the world at large.
Ed Pulford is a postdoctoral researcher at the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center, Hokkaido University. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.