One Country, Two Systems
Cross-Border Crime between Hong Kong and China
The legal issues evoked by cross-border crime in Hong Kong and China are sparse and what does exist is mostly in Chinese. This book provides the first systematic, comprehensive, and in-depth analysis of how Chinese, British, Hong Kong, and international law were applied in the “Big Spender” case. Kam C. Wong outlines the respective positions of various parties to the dispute. Part of the case’s fascination involves competing interests, and that political clout counted for more than legal theory.
“Big Spender” may be little known outside Hong Kong and China, but he made history there. It was the first time a Hong Kong legal resident had been prosecuted, tried, and ultimately executed in China for acts largely perpetrated in Hong Kong. The case tested the limits of the one-country, two-systems approach under which Hong Kong and China coexist. It also forced politicians, government officials, and the public in both Hong Kong and China to come to terms with the legal and policy issues related to cross-border crime.
Wong sees the “Big Spender” case as making clear the dire need for both sides to find workable solutions to concurrent jurisdiction, police cooperation, and judicial assistance. Until there is an acceptable arrangement governing the rendition of offenders between Hong Kong and mainland China, the one- country, two-systems formula cannot be stabilized. This is a “case study” in large-scale terms.
“In a political atmosphere where political elites and legal intellectuals, both local and abroad, tend to side with Hong Kong as if protecting David from a human-rights abusing Goliath, Wong’s perspective that Hong Kong must look beyond the local impact of the case and strive for a settlement in line with the true spirit of “one country, two systems,” which is the eventual reintegration with China, is a breath of fresh air. Moreover, the wealth of literature and other materials he used to formulate his perspective no doubt achieves his intention that the book be a “working-policy paper for deciding important legal policy issues raised in the ‘Big Spender’ case” as well as an “academic treatise for scholars who want to understand cross-border crime and related jurisprudential issues.” Yet, because of the broad stroke of legal analysis employed, this book would likely appeal to the general reader as well.”
—Chuen Tien Nadine Chen, Crime, Law and Social Change
“Professor Wong’s book . . . constitutes a rare source of bottom-up insights regarding a specific aspect of the cross-border architecture, crime, that is subjected by the author, via the case study method, to detailed and intensive analytical scrutiny that is underpinned by effective observations grounded in the criminal justice literature.”
—Dr. Roda Mushkat, Professor of International Law, Johns Hopkins University