In 2012 Hong Kong will select a new chief executive and legislature in elections that will be more broad-based than in previous years. The two sets of elections will see small but important changes in the political development of the Special Administrative Region.
Over the years, Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers and activists have pushed for hastening the pace of political reform, but with little success. Part of the problem is that many in the territory, such as those in the finance sector, oppose rapid political reform because they fear it will threaten stability and bring turmoil to the financial market.
Changes in the leadership of the Communist Party of China in 2012 will most likely introduce more caution and uncertainty than most pro-democracy activists had hoped, and it will not be easy for Hong Kong’s next leader, the city's lawmakers and Beijing's new leadership to work together towards a solution that pleases all.
Chatham House, formally known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a world-leading institute based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs.