It has been just over twenty years since the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China. In that time, the city has continued to be economically dynamic, but faces social, economic, and political challenges. Forces seeking to liberalize the electoral system and introduce universal suffrage were unable to find a compromise with those who were concerned about stability or the risk of alienating the sovereign authority in Beijing. This has led to a stalemate in the ordinary political process and touched sensitive nerves throughout the system. The jailing of protestors and the persistent calls for assurance of a high degree of autonomy have heightened anxiety in Hong Kong society.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office convened a special invitation-only event to present a retrospective of Hong Kong since 1997 and discuss the future of its relationship with Beijing. Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan presented a luncheon keynote discussing recent developments in Hong Kong, its overall financial situation, and the evolution of ties with Mainland China.

This event was cosponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.


10:00 to 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Hong Kong Since 1997

Richard C. Bush, Peter J. Levesque, James V. Feinerman, Helen Chan, Douglas H. Paal

12:15 to 12:30 p.m.


12:30 p.m.


1:10 to 1:15 p.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Clement Leung

1:15 to 1:50 p.m.

Keynote Address

Paul Chan


Paul Chan

Paul Chan was appointed financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on January 16, 2017.  Before his current appointment, he served as secretary for development from July 2012 to January 2017.

Clement Leung

Clement Leung was appointed on February 3, 2014 as Hong Kong commissioner for economic and trade affairs to the United States, the most senior representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in North America.

Douglas H. Paal

Douglas H. Paal is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and was an unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan as director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Richard C. Bush

Richard Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, holds the The Michael H. Armacost Chair and Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, and is co-director of the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studes.

Peter J. Levesque

Peter J. Levesque is CEO of Modern Terminals Limited and the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Modern Terminals he served as senior vice president and global head of the CEVA Logistics Supply Chain Group. 

James V. Feinerman

James V. Feinerman is  the James M. Morita professor of Asian legal studies at Georgetown University Law Center and concurrently serves as the associate dean for international and transnational Law. He is a specialist in Chinese and Asian law.  

Helen Chan

Helen Chan was appointed government economist of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2008.  She previously served as principal economist.