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Hong Kong leader hails China’s plan to install ‘patriots’ – Times of India

HONG KONG: Hong KongChina’s leader on Monday praised China’s plan to only guarantee “patriots“Staying in politics, denying this decision was a purge of the opposition.
General manager Carrie Lam ruled out any need to consult the public on the changes, as decreed by Beijing.
Legislation to control all candidates running for office in Hong Kong is currently under discussion by the Chinese parliament and is expected to be passed on Thursday.
China has said only those deemed “patriotic” will be allowed to run.
Critics say radical city overhaul is already limited democratic system will demolish what remains of the pro-democracy opposition and ensure that only loyalists remain, an argument Lam rejected on Monday.
“The improvements to the electoral system are not designed to favor anyone, they are intended to ensure that whoever administers Hong Kong is patriotic,” Lam, a pro-Beijing, told reporters after returning from the rally in Beijing.
“The decision is timely, necessary, legal and constitutional, and the leadership and decision-making power of central authorities is unquestionable.”
Authoritarian China has promised that Hong Kong will retain some degree of autonomy and certain freedoms when it returned from British colonial rule in 1997.
The city has a partially elected legislature and China has also promised to grant residents universal suffrage someday.
Critics had complained for years that freedoms were constantly eroded. Beijing then accelerated the dismantling of the financial center’s democratic pillars in response to huge and sometimes violent democratic rallies that crippled the city throughout 2019.
Hong Kong was set to hold direct elections for half of the seats in the city’s legislature last summer, but delayed the polls by a year, citing the coronavirus.
On Monday, Lam hinted that a further delay was likely given the sweeping changes Beijing is planning.
“We are not in a position to tell you now whether the September elections can go as planned,” she said, adding that the priority was to implement the changes that Beijing would decide first.
She said her government would launch an “intensive” campaign to explain the changes.
But she said there was no need for a “so-called extended public consultation”, arguing that the transformation of Hong Kong’s political system was “urgent” and that it was led by the central government.
Hong Kong was never a democracy – which fueled protests and resentment in the territory against Beijing.
But he maintained a certain choice, allowing a fierce opposition to contest some local elections and maintain a minority presence.
When Hong Kong people were allowed to vote, they tended to dismiss a high number of candidates calling for greater democracy.
In recent years, authorities have stepped up the disqualification of politicians serving in the city’s semi-elected legislature or running as candidates, on the basis of their political views.
Beijing also imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong last year, quelling protests and crushing pro-democracy opposition.
Many of the city’s most prominent Democratic activists have since been arrested, jailed or fled abroad.

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