At the 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong SAR, Path of Democracy released its first report on its attempt to calibrate the current state of ‘One Country Two Systems’ (henceforth 1C2S). The Index serves anyone who is interested in the progress of 1C2S.

The 1C2S Index is developed based on a public opinion survey in Hong Kong on 1C2S, and also international indices that compare Hong Kong with other countries and territories in relation to human rights, various freedoms and democracy.

To complement our public opinion survey on 1C2S, we also introduced a 1C2S Mass Media Index (MMI) by making use of big-data to measure the sentiment of Hong Kong newspapers towards 1C2S since 1998 as news sentiment has very significant influences on public opinion.

It should be stressed that Index (A), Index (B), and MMI are determined by perception and may or may not reflect the reality. Even so, changes in perceptions of 1C2S of the HK public, of international think tanks, and of the HK press are nevertheless important. We will analyse the reasons for the changes in these perceptions as they are crucial for the implementation of 1C2S.

Summary (Feb 2019)


Index score

The performance of 1C2S implementation stands at:



1) Index (A): Evaluation of the HK public

Index (A) (average of 9 dimensions) declined from 5.05 to 4.84, falling by 4.2% since the 3rd survey in mid-2018. This was the first time in the 4 surveys that the decline in Index (A) was statistically significant, sending a worrisome signal.


2) Index (B): Evaluations of international think tanks

Index (B), the Freedom and Democracy Index: HK’s score rose from 7.99 in 2010 to a peak of 8.14 in 2012, rising by 1.9%, largely as a result of the rise in HK’s Democracy Index. In 2018, Index (B) declined to 7.89, falling by 3.1% from the peak.


3) 1C2S Mass Media Index (1C2S MMI)

MMI rose to a peak of 105 points in March 2018 under the new administration of Carrie Lam. However, the trend reversed in mid-2018, declining to 90 points in late 2018, falling by 15%.


Methodological Notes

1C2S Index is the average of Index (A) and Index (B).

Index (A) is the average of sub-scores obtained from 9 questions on different dimensions of 1C2S in a telephone poll conducted by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Index (B) is the average of 3 indices, namely, the Economic Freedom Index and Personal Freedom Index of CATO-Fraser Institutes, and the Democracy Index of the EIU (Economic Intelligence Unit).

1C2S MMI is a net sentiment index of newspaper articles over a given time. MMI is set at 100 in the base month of July 2017, the 20th anniversary of HK’s return to China.