China’s parliament voted Thursday for radical changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system, including powers to veto candidates, as Beijing moves to guarantee that only “patriots” run the city following huge pro-democracy rallies.
Beijing has acted staunchly to demolish Hong Kong limited democratic pillars after colossal and sometimes violent protests coursed through the financial hub in 2019.
Furthermore, the Communist Party leadership imposed a national security law on Hong Kong that has since been weaponized against the democracy movement, at last year’s meeting of the National People’s Congress.
On Thursday, only one member of the 2,896-strong National People’s Congress refrained in the vote. To which critics say will hammer another nail in the coffin of Hong Kong’s democracy movement. The decision aims to place responsibility for running the city in the hands of “patriots governing Hong Kong ”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters after the vote.
Senior Chineese officials have made clear that loyalty to the Communist Party will be key to deciding if a Hong Konger is a “patriot”.