China Parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a controversial draft plan that would increase Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong’s electoral system, which has drawn criticism from the United States.
The “patriots who govern Hong Kong” is a decision that would allow the pro-Beijing committee to approve some candidates it deems sufficiently “patriotic”, according to BBC. The report said that the vote was 2,895 to none, with one abstention.
According to the Associated Press, President Xi Jinping and other party leaders were looking at the delegates voting electronically. The next step is a formal bill that could be implemented in the city in a few months, according to reports.
Earlier this month, State Department spokesman Ned Price described the electoral changes as “a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Hong Kong freedoms, and the democratic process, limiting participation, limiting democratic representation, and stifling political debate in order to challenge Hong Kong.” A clear will of the people. “
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday that the United States will continue to take action against “flagrant violations of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong,” according to Financial times.
Beijing denied the claim and said the plan was vital to boosting stability in the city.
Reuters mentioned , “The changes eliminate virtually any possibility for the opposition to affect the election outcome in the former British colony.”
Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam said earlier this week that the city government “fully welcomes” the changes to the city’s electoral system.
“There are gaps in the electoral systems, and there are also flaws in the systems in Hong Kong,” Lam said after returning from the National People’s Congress in Beijing. “I fully understand that this is not an issue that can be fully addressed by the government.”
“I am happy that the central authorities have exercised their constitutional powers again to help address this problem in Hong Kong,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report