Hong Kong in the Wider Constitutional Order

All CUHK undergraduate students admitted in 2022-23 and thereafter are required to take two one-unit online courses on China as part of the University’s Core Curriculum: UGCP1001 “Understanding China” and UGCP 1002 “Hong Kong in the Wider Constitutional Order”.  Undergraduate students admitted before 2022-23 may take UGCP1001 as an elective course but the course cannot be taken to fulfil the University General Education requirements. The two courses are offered every term (including the University Summer Session) in each academic year.

UGCP1002 Hong Kong in the Wider Constitutional Order

The course views the overall development of Hong Kong from the perspectives of the nation and the wider constitutional order in China. It highlights the interlocking relations between law, national security and national development in the context of state capacity building in modern Chinese history, and introduces the fundamental constitutional principles underlying the One-Country-Two-Systems framework, the Basic Law of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong National Security Law.


The video lectures of UGCP1002 consist of the following four modules:

  • Basic Concepts and Themes
  • China’s Rise: A Bicentennial Perspective
  • One Country, Two Systems: Past and Present
  • National Security in the Wider Constitutional Order

Learning Outcomes

Students enrolled in this course will be able to:

  1. articulate the concept of “constitutional order” and the importance of understanding the position of Hong Kong in the wider constitutional order of China and the special administrative region;
  2. describe the dimensions of state capacity and its crucial role in the economic development of China;
  3. explain how the loss of Hong Kong in the wake of the Opium war is a symbol of state failure, as well as the historical roots of the rise of national insecurity from the mid-19th century onwards;
  4. describe the strategic objectives of China in adopting the “one country, two systems” framework and the central tenets of the framework;
  5. describe the key features of the Hong Kong Basic Law and explain how it relates to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China;
  6. identify types of insecurity in the contemporary world that are related to national security;
  7. describe the principles and key features of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKNSL);
  8. recognise a broader notion of HKNSL as an integral part of China’s constitutional system, which promotes multiple national developmental goals and pluralistic general principles for security and development in the region and the whole nation.

Course Assessment

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Video Lectures and Online Assignments

The video lectures, including an introduction and five main modules, will be uploaded to Blackboard in sequence. While the video lectures will be available for students’ viewing at any time after being uploaded, the online assignment for a module must be completed within a specified period.

To better schedule their learning, students enrolled in the course are advised to view the video lectures to complete the online assignments before their submission deadlines through Blackboard.

Optional Consultation Sessions

Consultation sessions will be conducted to help students achieve a better understanding of the video lectures and required readings.

The consultation sessions are optional. Students are welcome to raise questions and reflect on the contents of individual modules in these sessions. The information about the consultation sessions will be posted on Blackboard.