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From 1985 to 1990 Hong Kong was involved in the drafting of the Basic Law, a mini-constitution, for the Special Administrative Region (SAR) after Hong Kong reverted to Chinese sovereignty. During this process, the people of Hong Kong engaged in fierce debates as different parties put forth their proposals for the most appropriate political institutions of the future SAR. While these five years were crucial to Hong Kong’s history, this period also witnessed the implementation of China’s united front policy toward the region. Characteristic of united-front tactics, Beijing took the initiative of securing its allies, winning over those that were neutral, and fighting its opponents. As the ultimate objective of the united front policy was to increase China’s supporters, this article argues that Beijing failed in its task.