China’s parliament approves plan to reform Hong Kong’s electoral system

China’s parliament approves plan to reform Hong Kong’s electoral system”

China's legislators gathered in the Great Hall of the People burst into applause when the vote came in 2,895 to 0, with one abstention.

Chinese lawmakers broke out into applause for more than a minute after voting through the draft decision - the longest ovation among all the bills approved on Thursday - reflecting their overwhelming support for election reform.

How did the NPC vote?

A group of 24 pro-democracy Hong Kong activists - some of whom are in exile - have called on the European Union not to ratify its investment agreement with China in light of the changes.

The decision also said that the Legislative Council will be composed of 90 members in each term, Xinhua said. Meanwhile, a vetting mechanism will be set up to ensure the city's lawmaking body is run by what the government describes as "patriots".

The turbulence in Hong Kong is why Beijing enacted the national security law in HKSAR previous year, and made the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" a prerequisite in electing the city's future administrators and members of local legislatures.

Protesters fought pitched street battles with the police for weeks in opposition to the increased powers granted to Beijing. Under that law, 47 former legislators and other pro-democracy figures have been arrested on subversion charges that carry a possible maximum penalty of life in prison.

Without political stability and the participation of patriots familiar with State affairs and having a global vision in the SAR's administration, Hong Kong can not bring greater benefits to either its residents or foreign investors.

The move is a "setback" for Hong Kong's progress on democratic development since 1997, said Bernard Chan, a top advisor to city leader Carrie Lam, this week.

More news: Get vaccinated, ex-presidents except Trump urge Americans

"It is natural and essential to require people vested with governing powers to be patriotic, which is also part and parcel of basic political ethics and a principle that applies everywhere in the world".

What does the Hong Kong election reform law change?

Following the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, the National People's Congress ratified the measure by a near-unanimous vote Thursday.

US State Department says US will not pull any punches in discussing areas of disagreement with China.

Yet over the past years, the anti-China, destabilizing forces and radical localists in Hong Kong have manipulated the electoral system to enter the governance structure of the HKSAR, pushed for their secessionist agenda, repeatedly challenged the central government's authority.

"It's a pity that we today have probably gone back to where we were in the early days after the handover", Chan told public broadcaster RTHK. Those moves have crossed the bottom line of "one country, two systems".

Raab made similar statements to the 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) - which started on 22 February and runs until 22 March - where he urged the global body to conduct an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters the objective of the changes was to "adhere to and improve" the one country, two systems principle agreed for Hong Kong at the handover.

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