An examination of China's accommodation of Western constitutional values, in the light of the pending return of British Hong Kong to China. The Joint Declaration which governs the return guarantees a continuance of these values, and this study looks at the resulting tensions between East and West. For over a century China has only selectively applied the values of western liberal constitutionalism. Now it must admit Hong Kong to its territory, with its capitalist system and lifestyle, common law legal system, independent judiciary, commitment to human rights and increased democracy. The resulting confrontation is analyzed, with the intention of exposing constitutional development in Hong Kong and improving our understanding of it in Asia as a whole.