The constitutional hurdles for direct election of Mr Tung's replacement appear insurmountable. But since the shelving of the national security bill, the word "insurmountable" seems to be fading from the Hong Kong lexicon. The territory's people may yet give the world another surprise.
Given the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, it would be wise for President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to dump Mr Tung and give Hong Kong a fresh start.
Veron Hung analyzed the political, social, and economic circumstances surrounding the recent crisis and discuss how it has changed the political dynamics in Hong Kong. Minxin Pei covered how this crisis has influenced elite politics in China and examined its ramifications.
The recent demonstrations in Hong Kong against a draconian national security bill and Tung Chee-hwa have led some observers to suggest that Hong Kong people are anti-Beijing. They are wrong. Far from being anti-Beijing, many of Hong Kong's residents are favourably disposed towards the Chinese leadership. That could change, though, if Beijing blocks the local reforms they are demanding.
Observers often think that policymakers make decisions as a result of carefully reasoned and vetted processes that take into account potential strategic and long-term implications. In reality, decisions by both U.S. and Chinese officials concerning the bilateral relationship have been made on the basis of very personal and short-term political reasons.
The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China was the most serious test of China's new leadership's ability to deal with crisis. Although the Chinese government has effectively contained the epidemic for now, there is much uncertainty about the effects of this crisis on China's political stability and economic performance.
The China Program invited two distinguished scholars to comment on the potential impact of U.S. political and military ties with Japan and Taiwan on the current Sino-U.S. relationship.
The Pentagon's proposal to sell missiles to Taiwan must rank in a league of most ill-considered policy initiatives by itself. Obviously, the timing for pressuring Taiwan to purchase these systems is awkward. The US should seek all the diplomatic and strategic help it can get from China, and clearly it is no time to slap Beijing in the face.
If the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia can reach a basic understanding on how to handle North Korea, the effort to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program and accept a reasonable "more-for-more" agreement, while not easy, should enjoy a reasonable chance of success.