China set to overhaul Hong Kong’s electoral system

China set to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system
The NPC during last year's meeting. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: China plans to overhaul the electoral system of Hong Kong to ensure “patriots” are in charge, a senior official said.

A draft decision of the electoral system will be discussed at China’s biggest political meeting of the year, which began on Friday in Capital Beijing.

The gathering of lawmakers across the country is called the National People’s Congress (NPC) and runs for a week.

The reforms are expected to give China even more control over how Hong Kong is governed.

It comes as 47 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were charged with “subversion” under a new security law that critics say is being used by China to crush dissent in the city.

The meeting typically happens in early March with nearly 3,000 delegates from all around the country – autonomous regions, representing provinces and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

While in theory it is China’s most powerful institution, in reality it is seen largely as a rubber-stamp parliament.

This means it approves policies and plans that have been decided beforehand by the central government, so we are not likely to see any major surprises.

The annual NPC meeting runs in parallel to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a meeting of the most powerful political advisory body in China. That meeting already began on Thursday, and collectively the gatherings are referred to as the “Two Sessions”.

Zhang Yesui, a spokesman for the NPC, said oate on Thursday that the changes had the constitutional power to “improve” Hong Kong’s system.

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