Anson Chan and Martin Lee

Former Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service under British sovereignty in Hong Kong, and Founding Chairman of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party
'One country, two systems. Fact or fiction?'
Thursday, 13 October 2016
Arrive from 11.30am, lunch 12 noon, speaker 12.30 concludes 1.30pm

Registrations for this event are now closed. Please contact reception for further details.

Anson Chan and Martin Lee will be speaking about the future prospects for Hong Kong’s civic freedoms, its high degree of autonomy and the rule of law, given the current political climate relating to Beijing’s current policies on Hong Kong. Specifically, they will ask whether the promises made to Hong Kong by the two signatories of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong are being honoured, and why this should matter to the world. The Declaration is registered with The United Nations.


Anson Chan GBM, GCMG, CBE, JP

Anson Chan was the first Chinese and the first woman to assume the post of Chief Secretary and Head of the Civil Service under British sovereignty in Hong Kong.  She was the international symbol of continuity when she remained in post, as the first Chief Secretary for Administration, after Hong Kong’s transition to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. She was thus second-in-command of Hong Kong to both Chris Patten, the last British Governor, and to C H Tung, the first Chinese Chief Executive . She was then sometimes described as the most powerful woman in Asia. She oversaw many infrastructure developments, including Hong Kong’s new iconic airport.  During her earlier years in the Civil Service she successfully led a campaign for equal pay and conditions for women. After her retirement from the Civil Service, she was elected to  the Hong Kong   Legislative Council.  She is now active in promoting principles of good governance and democracy in Hong Kong and defending “one country, two systems, Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”.

In 1997 she felt confident in reassuring the world that Hong Kong’s way of life and commercial sanctity would continue. She now sees threats, which she is here to discuss. She  has been a strong defender of Hong Kong’s free press, and is a former Trustee of Reuter’s.  She  is the Convenor of Hong Kong 2020 and a founding director of Project Citizens Foundation.

Anson Chan was born in Shanghai. She studied English Literature at Hong Kong University. Her mother, Fang Zhaoling, was a famous Chinese artist.

Martin Lee QC SC

Martin Lee was the Founding Chairman of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, and a long-standing legislator. He is often regarded as the father of Hong Kong’s democracy movement.  He is the winner of numerous international human rights awards, including the 1995 International Human Rights Award of the American Bar Association. He is a senior Hong Kong barrister, and was on the Chinese committee which drafted Hong Kong’s constitutional Basic Law, until he had to leave this Committee after he protested against the Tiananmen Square massacre. He has a long history of advocacy for Hong Kong’s freedoms as promised in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, in specific conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  He argues that because the Declaration is registered with The United Nations, the parties’ compliance with the Declaration is of proper international concern. He has had White House discussions on Hong Kong civic developments with both President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Gore, and later with Vice-President Joe Biden, as well as having presented to committees of the US Congress and the UK Parliament.