The flag of Hong Kong flies from a ferry boat on July 2, 1997, a day after the previous British colony returned to Chinese language rule.
Romeo Gacad | AFP | Getty Pictures
Beijing on Friday proposed modifications to “enhance” Hong Kong’s electoral system — a extensively anticipated transfer as China tightened its hold on the semi-autonomous area.
Earlier than the proposal was introduced, Chinese language Premier Li Keqiang mentioned initially of China’s annual “Two Sessions” parliamentary assembly that the nation will “resolutely guard towards and deter exterior forces’ interference” within the metropolis.
The proposed modifications embody adjusting the scale, composition and formation of Hong Kong’s election committee, which selects the town’s chief or chief government, said state media Xinhua.
Beijing additionally needs to increase the committee’s perform to incorporate electing a “comparatively massive share” of Hong Kong’s legislative physique, and nominating candidates for the physique, mentioned Xinhua.
Final week, a number of media retailers reported that potential modifications to Hong Kong’s electoral system would maintain again Hong Kong’s pro-democracy politicians.
Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to Chinese language rule in 1997. The town is ruled underneath a “one nation, two programs” precept that offers it larger autonomy than different mainland Chinese language cities, together with restricted election rights.
Beijing has been criticized internationally — by international locations together with the U.S. and the U.K. — for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy that was promised underneath the “one nation, two programs” framework.
Proposed modifications to Hong Kong’s electoral system got here a few 12 months after Beijing bypassed the town’s laws to enact a controversial national security law.
Implementation of the regulation adopted months of pro-democracy protests within the metropolis that typically turned violent. Chinese officials and state media had typically blamed “exterior forces” for the Hong Kong protests.
Wang Chen, vice chairman of the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress Standing Committee, mentioned on Friday that “rioting and turbulence” in Hong Kong level to “clear loopholes and deficiencies” within the electoral system, reported Xinhua.
The Nationwide Individuals’s Congress is China’s prime legislature.
Chen added that modifications have to be made in order that Hong Kong is ruled solely by “patriots,” in response to the report.