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Hidden Chinese Systemic: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in the EU

As a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC, Hong Kong enjoys unique competences to maintain external relations with other sovereign states and international organizations. A key role in Hong Kong’s paradiplomacy is played by Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) which serve as the de-facto embassies of the Hong Kong Government. However, the international relations of Hong Kong, known as an interconnected business hub, have been dramatically affected by Beijing’s curtailment of Hong Kong’s autonomy. 

The policy paper Hidden Chinese Systemic Rivalry: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices in the EU, authored by Iverson Ng, analyzes changes in the discourse of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices (HKETOs) in Europe. It illustrates how the offices have gradually been transformed from apolitical bodies representing Hong Kong’s economic and trade interests abroad into political instruments upholding the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) national security interests.

Written by

Iverson Ng

Iverson Ng is a Ph.D. candidate at Tallinn University's School of Humanities, focusing on the judicial border between Hong Kong and mainland China following the implementation of the 2020 Hong Kong National Security Law. He concurrently works as Junior Research Fellow for the EU-funded project ''Advancing Trans-Regional Border Studies'' at Tallinn University’s Eur-Asian Border Lab in collaboration with the University of East Finland and University of Amsterdam.