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Free trade as a force of political stability? The case of mainland China and Hong Kong

Villalta Puig, Gonzalo; Chan, Vinci


Gonzalo Villalta Puig

Vinci Chan


Is free trade a force of political stability? This article argues that, while political stability could be a cause, it is not always a consequence of free trade. To test this argument, the article analyses the political causes and consequences of the external and internal trade liberalisation initiatives of Mainland China and Hong Kong through a selection of their current and proposed free trade agreements and free trade zones, namely, the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Agreement, Hong Kong Free Port, and China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Together, these initiatives comprise a uniquely outlier case study on individual customs territories in a common state jurisdiction with contrary political economies. This article concludes that the effectiveness of free trade as a force of political stability is, by and large, more of a perception than a reality.


Villalta Puig, G., & Chan, V. (2017). Free trade as a force of political stability? The case of mainland China and Hong Kong. International Lawyer, 49(3), 299-323

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 15, 2017
Publication Date 2017-02
Deposit Date Apr 10, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 10, 2017
Journal The international lawyer
Print ISSN 0020-7810
Publisher American Bar Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Issue 3
Pages 299-323
Keywords Free trade
Public URL
Additional Information This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article published in The international lawyer, 2016, v.49 issue 3, pages 299-323.


Article.pdf (626 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted with Permission by The International Lawyer of the American Bar Association

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