December 7, 2022

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Beijing could tighten its grip on Hong Kong through electoral reforms

China’s federal government may be willing to ignore international opposition to its repression of Hong Kong because it is said to be weighing additional measures to tighten its grip on the city, an analyst told CNBC on Monday.

Last week, including the media Reuters And South China Morning Post It said Beijing could consider changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system, which could limit pro – democratic politicians and prevent them from running in local elections.

The reports came from Xia Balong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao affairs office of the Chinese State Council. Mandarin Language Report According to the CNBC translation, Hong Kong should be governed by patriots who do not violate the National Security Act or challenge the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

One of the reasons Hong Kong saw China’s opposition movement was that the city’s key institutions were not fully protected by patriots. One way to ensure that only those most loyal to China rule Hong Kong is by improving the city’s electoral system by closing the relevant legal loopholes.

This picture taken on December 19, 2017 shows Chinese (top) and Hong Kong flags hoisted in Hong Kong.

Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Images

John Marrett, a senior analyst with The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, said Beijing had already taken several steps to quell the protests in Hong Kong.

“It is noteworthy that they are making further progress in proposing these electoral reforms, the details of which we have not yet seen,” he told CNBC. “Street Signs Asia“On Monday.

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“But it says something about the fear that political instability and social unrest in the city will re-emerge later, and that it no longer speaks to the international outcry over Hong Kong,” he said.

Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997. The city is governed by a “one country, two systems” policy, which gives it more autonomy than other major Chinese cities, including limited electoral rights.

There is the Hong Kong government Banned at least 12 pro-democracy candidates From running in the city assembly election – this Postponed for one year until September 2021. The government has cited the epidemic as the reason for the delay.

In addition, four opposition lawmakers were ousted from the Hong Kong legislature in November last year – leading others to resign in protest. Reuters report.