China’s electoral reform earthquake to shake up Hong Kong politics

China's electoral reform earthquake to shake up Hong Kong politics

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s plan to radically reform Hong Kong’s electoral system, due to be unveiled at a parliamentary session in Beijing starting this week, will shake up the territory’s political scene, according to more a dozen politicians from all walks of life.

Photos of Chinese President Xi Jinping overlook a street before the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Shanghai, China on March 1, 2021. REUTERS / Aly Song

The proposed reform will put additional pressure on pro-democracy activists, who are already the subject of a crackdown on dissent, and has ruffled the feathers of some pro-Beijing loyalists, some of whom could find themselves swept away by a new crop. ambitious. loyalists, the people said.

“It will be an earthquake that will shake local political interests,” said one person briefed on the impending changes.

The measures will be introduced at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber stamp parliament, which begins Friday, according to media reports.

The plan was announced last week by senior Chinese official Xia Baolong, who said Beijing would introduce systemic changes to allow only what he called “patriots” to hold public office in Hong Kong.

In a full transcript of his remarks released this week by pro-Beijing magazine Bauhinia, Xia said Hong Kong’s electoral system must be “designed” to fit the city’s situation and exclude what he called non-patriots, …

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