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Higher Education Subsector
|Born||1949 (age 70–71)|
|Political party||Civic Party|
Power for Democracy
Alliance for True Democracy
|Education||La Salle College|
University of Hong Kong
Victoria University of Wellington
|Known for||Universal suffrage activism|
|Sub-discipline||Chinese foreign policy|
Hong Kong politics
Open Learning Institute
Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, JP (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; born 1949) is a Hong Kong political scientist and democracy activist. He had been the secretary general of the Civic Party and convenor of pro-democratic groups including Power for Democracy and Alliance for True Democracy.
Cheng was educated at the La Salle College and graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1972 and the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1973 with a bachelor's degrees in Social Science and Arts respectively. He later obtain a doctoral degree from the Flinders University of South Australia in 1979.
He had been teaching at the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1977 to 1989 and the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong from 1989 to 1991. Between 1991 and 1992, he was hired as a full-time member of the Central Policy Unit, a think tank of the Hong Kong government. He joined the City University of Hong Kong as a chair professor of the Political Science and Coordinator of the Contemporary China Research Project in July 1992. He was specialised in Chinese foreign policy, Hong Kong politics and International politics. He is the founding editor of the Hong Kong Journal of Social Sciences and The Journal of Comparative Asian Development and served as the founding president of the Asian Studies Association of Hong Kong from 2005 to 2007. He had been recently retired in June 2015.
Before he retired in March 2015, Cheng was demoted by the City University of Hong Kong from the chair professor to a regular professor after an investigation into allegations of him taking the credit for his former research assistant's work in articles published in academic journals more than a decade ago.
Cheng had been a commentator on political affairs and witnessed the Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong's sovereignty in the early 1980s.
He was the convenor of the Power for Democracy, a pro-democratic organisation set up in 2002 to co-ordinate the pan-democracy camp in the elections to avoid clashes. He was the founding secretary general of the Civic Party when it was founded in March 2003. Cheng ran in the chairman of the Civic Party in 2011, but was beaten by Kenneth Chan Ka-lok, who was backed by the most of the party veterans by an 11-vote margin after a heated campaign that saw some complaining about the fairness of the contest. He was also the director of the New School for Democracy founded in 2011. He is also member of the Election Committee, a 1,200-member electoral college responsible for electing the Chief Executive, representing Higher Education Subsector.
In 2013, he was made convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy, a group aimed to demand for the genuine democracy in the 2014-15 constitutional reform proposals. The alliance put forward a three-track proposal to allow the public, political parties and a nominating committee to nominate candidate for the 2017 Chief Executive election. The proposal was not accepted as the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) set limits on the electoral method in its decision on 31 August.
He is an Australian citizen, married and has one son and one daughter.