China approves plan to reform Hong Kong electoral system

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The result? A more socially unstable Hong Kong, with its worldwide status as a key global investment destination and financial center hit hard. The rule will allow a pro-CCP committee to approve or reject candidates for the city's legislature, in yet another blow to the limited civil liberties that have distinguished Hong Kong from mainland China for decades.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC, also said that "for years, anti-China forces seeking to disrupt Hong Kong have been colluding with external forces in an attempt to seize the jurisdiction over Hong Kong..."

Chinese search engine company Baidu Inc is looking to raise at least $3.03bn by selling 95 million shares as books opened on Thursday for its Hong Kong listing, according to a term sheet from the deal's launch seen by Reuters.

NPC members, who are appointed by the Communist Party, routinely endorse party plans by unanimous vote or overwhelming majorities.

Hong Kong is part of China. It should be noted that the proposal gives much weight to the chief executive, enabling her to weed out those unpatriotic Legislative Council candidates and irresponsible ones. He said the changes would "safeguard national security" in the territory and support "prosperity and stability".

How has the United Kingdom reacted?

Britain's foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said the move is "contrary to the promises made by China itself" about Hong Kong.

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Tong believes that this is the last round of reforms from Beijing: "I don't really see how the current pan-democrats can still mount another attack to the system and therefore no need to respond further".

"This can only further undermine confidence and trust in China living up to its worldwide responsibilities and legal obligations, as a leading member of the global community", Mr Raab said in a statement.

In response, China said it will no longer recognise the British National (Overseas) passport, the travel document being offered to Hong Kong residents as a way into the UK. Only by ensuring that the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" is followed can the central government help Hong Kong use its advantages to expand its space for development, promote innovation, make more contributions to the motherland, and deepen its bonds with mainland compatriots.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said earlier this week that the city's government "fully welcomes" changes to the city's electoral system.

The decision states that the EC shall be composed of 1,500 members from the following areas: industrial, commercial and financial sectors; the professions; grassroots, labor, religious and other sectors; LegCo members and representatives of district organizations; Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and representatives of Hong Kong members of related national organizations. 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.

"Beijing wants to exert very tight control", said Emily Lau, a member of the city's Democratic Party and former member of the legislative council.

"What they should do is engage, listen to the voices of Hong Kong people so we can have a dialogue and reach a consensus on how to move forward, instead of just coming down on us like a ton of bricks".

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