Environmental Collaboration within a Country? Tackling Cross-Border Electronic Waste Movement between Mainland China and Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Natalie Wai-man WONG
  • Lawrence Ka-ki HO

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Journal / PublicationChina: An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


Both Hong Kong and mainland China are affected by illegal electronic waste disposal and transfers, which negatively impact ecosystems and human health. The Chinese government has signed the Basel Convention, while Hong Kong has not enforced the Chinese policies but implements separate control policies under the “one country, two systems” framework. As seen in other transboundary environmental collaborations, both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments have made collaborative efforts to tackle electronic waste movement, but institutional constraints have hindered the effectiveness of cross-border environmental collaboration. This study aims to understand interagency relationships between Hong Kong and mainland China since the sovereignty resumption in 1997, and examines the interagency collaboration of two different political systems within China, from a meso-level perspective. The authors raise the following questions: How have the Hong Kong and the Chinese governments managed electronic waste in addressing cross-border environmental problems? How have institutional constraints hindered the tackling of cross-border electronic waste movement? What are the lessons learnt from cross-border air and water quality management for electronic waste control? Built on the concept of interagency collaboration, a framework for assessing cross-border interagency collaboration is proposed for an enhanced understanding of the interagency relationships between two different political systems within a country.