Hong Kong Parliament approves radical restructuring …

Hong Kong’s parliament has approved a major long – term electoral change designed to strengthen China’s power over the metropolis.

Citizens will be allowed to directly elect only 20 members of parliament in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Hong Kong, compared to 35 in the past. The number of parliamentary seats will be expanded from 70 to 90, of which 40 will be filled by a committee to select the head of state. The members of the Electoral Commission are elected on September 19, and parliamentary elections are to be held three months later.

The law also creates a new system for examining candidates. Anyone who does not show enough patriotism to China will be banned.

In China, 40 votes were cast in favor and 2 against. After pro-democracy MPs resigned in protest, the pro-Chinese government in Hong Kong faced little opposition in parliament last year.

The United States has condemned the move, saying it undermines Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, political stability and civilian participation. Foreign Minister Anthony Blingen called on officials in Hong Kong and Beijing to release those charged under the most stringent security law and drop the charges.

China argues that electoral changes are intended to remove “loopholes and shortcomings” from the law. It must prevent struggles like 2019 and ensure that the city of 7.5 million people is run only by “patriots”.

This is the most radical electoral reform in the city since 1997, when the United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong to the Communist People’s Republic. According to Western nations, it promised that the metropolis would have autonomous status for another half century, but those promises have now been broken.

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