Joseph Cheng
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Joseph Cheng

Joseph Cheng
Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, 2015 (cropped).jpg
Election Committee
Higher Education Subsector

Personal details
Born1949 (age 70–71)
Political partyCivic Party
Other political
Pan-democratic camp
Power for Democracy
Alliance for True Democracy
EducationLa Salle College
University of Hong Kong
Victoria University of Wellington
Flinders University
Known forUniversal suffrage activism
Joseph Cheng
Academic work
DisciplinePolitical Science
Sub-disciplineChinese foreign policy
Hong Kong politics
International politics
InstitutionsChinese University
Open Learning Institute
City University

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.

Education and academic career

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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3]


  • "China's Relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council States: Multilevel Diplomacy in a Divided Arab World." China Review 16.1 (2016): 35-64.
  • "The Emergence of Radical Politics in Hong Kong: Causes and Impact." China Review 14.1 (2014): 199-232.
  • "The "Chongqing Model": What It Means to China Today." Journal of Comparative Asian Development 12.3 (2013): 411-42.
  • "The 2012 Chief Executive Election in Hong Kong and the Challenges for the Chinese Authorities." East Asian Policy 5.2 (2013): 91-103.
  • "China's Negotiation Strategy in Recovering Hong Kong." Issues & Studies 48.2 (2012): 127-93.
  • "The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation: China's Initiative in Regional Institutional Building." Journal of Contemporary Asia 41.4 (2011): 632-56.
  • "The Tiananmen Incident and the Pro-Democracy Movement in Hong Kong." China Perspectives 2 (2009): 91-100.
  • "The pro-democracy movement: A lost decade?." European View 7.1 (2008): 53-66.
  • "Hong Kong's Democrats Stumble." Journal of Democracy 16.1 (2005): 138-52.
  • "The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area: genesis and implications." Australian Journal of International Affairs 58.2 (2004): 257-77.
  • "China's Overseas Chinese Policy in the Globalization Era: Challenges and Responses." Journal of Comparative Asian Development 3.1 (2004): 157-82. (With Ngok Kinglun and Philip Y. K. Cheng)
  • "Elections and Political Parties in Hong Kong's Political Development." Journal of Contemporary Asia 31.3 (2001): 346-74.
  • "Hong Kong in the Eyes of Chinese Cadres." Asian Affairs 27.2 (2000): 93-109. (with K. L. Ngok)
  • "China's Policy Toward Hong Kong: A Taste of "One Country, Two Systems"." Issues & Studies 33.8 (1997): 1-25.
  • "What Awaits the People of Hong Kong?." Security Dialogue 28.2 (1997): 237-42.
  • Economic and social development in South China. Editor alongside Stewart MacPherson. Edward Elgar Publishing, 1996.
  • "The Changing Political Attitudes of the Senior Bureaucrats in Hong Kong's Transition." China Quarterly 147 (1996): 912-37. (with Jane C. Y. Lee)
  • "Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong After the Beijing Massacre." Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 23 (1990): 161-85.
  • "The Post-1997 Government in Hong Kong: Toward a Stronger Legislature." Asian Survey 29.8 (1989): 731-48.
  • "Political Modernisation in Hong Kong." Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 27.3 (1989): 294-320.
  • "Hong Kong: The Pressure to Converge." International Affairs 63.2 (1987): 271-83.
  • "Elite Participation in Development: Administration in the New Territories of Hong Kong." Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 22.3 (1984): 276-302.
  • "The Future of Hong Kong: A Hong Kong 'Belonger's' View." International Affairs 58.3 (1982): 476-88.


Cheng had been a commentator on political affairs and witnessed the Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong's sovereignty in the early 1980s.[1]

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.[4] 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.[3]

Personal life

He is an Australian citizen, married and has one son and one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a peace broker at breaking point". South China Morning Post. 13 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Joseph Cheng".
  3. ^ a b Sung, Timmy (27 May 2015). "Pro-democracy academic Joseph Cheng Yu-shek demoted by Hong Kong's City University". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ "Civic Party elects new leader, chairman". Radio Television Hong Kong. 8 January 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 2011.
Party political offices
New title Secretary-General of Civic Party
Succeeded by
Kenneth Chan

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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