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 public opinion, international perception, 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 (2023 H1)

Index score

The performance of 1C2S implementation stands at:

6.02 (+0.10)


1) Public Opinion

The latest reading is 5.22 in July 2023. Compared to last round in January 2023, the index increased by 4.8%. All twelve sub-pillars in public opinion rose. The greatest increases came from ‘resolving via dialogue and negotiation’, ‘full implementation of 1C2S in the future’ and ‘self-conduct of administrative affairs.


2) International Perspective

The score continued to fall from the estimate of 6.87 in 2022 H2 to 6.82 in 2023 H1. Due to time lag in the compilation of international indices, further decline at the international level is anticipated given the perceived deterioration in rule of law, freedom of association and freedom of expression.


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

MMI continued its rising trend with the restructuring of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. Following director Xia Baolong’s visit to Hong Kong, these gestures from the central government were warmly welcomed by media reports and commentaries. Discussion of different views entered the collectively positive media scene when the proposed reform plan of District Council sparked widespread debate on the new local administration measures. The all-time peak was followed by a steep fall, with a recording of 139.7 in 2023 Q2, as reports released by foreign governments levelled constant criticisms against the state of rule of law and freedoms in Hong Kong.


Methodological Notes

1C2S Index is the average of public opinion and international perception.

The three pillars on public opinion, namely ‘high degree of autonomy’, ‘human rights and freedom’ and ‘Hong Kong-Mainland relationship’ are the evaluation by Hong Kong public on different dimensions of 1C2S.

The three pillars on international perception, namely ‘economic openness’, ‘civil liberty’ and ‘democratic development’, are the evaluation by international think tanks on various aspects of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.

1C2S MMI measures daily net sentiment of media reports from television and radio stations, daily newspapers and online-only media that were published since 1998.