Beijing approves laws to require ‘patriotism’ of Hong Kong legislators

Domestic News

Beijing has formalized new election rules for Hong Kong that cut in half the number of directly elected seats in LegCo, the city's parliament, and require all candidates to be vetted for their loyalty to Beijing by a committee.

The National People’s Congress in Beijing as it adopted a resolution to override Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to change the city’s constitution earlier this month. Photo via Xinhua.

Beijing has made sweeping changes to the rules that govern Hong Kong’s elections which will tighten its control over the city. The National People’s Congress Standing Committee voted unanimously to approve the amendments, which:

  • Cut in half the number of directly elected seats in LegCo, Hong Kong’s parliament;
  • Require all candidates to be vetted for their loyalty to Beijing by a committee.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥 Lín Zhèng Yuè’é) defended the changes saying that the vetting process would not screen people out based on their political views, but was aimed at eliminating “non-patriots.”

  • The first vote under the changes, which will elect members to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo), will be held in December.
  • State-owned Xinhua News Agency said, without citing any data, that “staunch support has been expressed by Hong Kong residents,” and that a “democratic electoral system suiting Hong Kong’s legal status and reality has taken shape as a result of the amendments.”

More on the law and its consequences: