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China Secures Its Hold on Hong Kong With Sweeping Electoral Reforms

MIN READMar 5, 2021 | 21:01 GMT

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening session of the National People's Congress on March 5, 2021, in Beijing, China.

(Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Extensive Hong Kong electoral reforms risk permanently sidelining the pro-democracy opposition by giving pro-Beijing forces free rein to pursue measures that substantially erode the city’s autonomy and limit unrest. On March 5, electoral changes were introduced in China's National People's Congress as legislators convened a weeklong meeting as part of China’s annual “two sessions” policymaking meetings. Although the full details have not been publicly released, the vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, Wang Chen, said the reforms would create a "democratic process with Hong Kong characteristics," noting specifically that the Basic Law provisions on the roles of the city’s chief executive and Legislative Council would be amended. The NPC will vote on the changes on March 11. ...

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