Updated Mar 11, 2021 - World

China passes law to control Hong Kong elections

 China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Premier Li Keqiang are applauded by delegates in the Beijing Parliament on March 11
China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Premier Li Keqiang are applauded by delegates, including former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa (top C), at the Congress in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

China's legislature on Thursday passed a resolution called the "patriots governing Hong Kong," in a move to overhaul the city's elections.

Why it matters: The action effectively gives the Chinese Communist Party control of the Asian financial hub's elections, reducing democratic representation and allowing a "pro-Beijing panel to vet 'patriotic' candidates," the BBC notes.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress Wednesday that the Biden administration would "speak out and take action against egregious violations of democracy and human rights in Hong Kong."
  • Blinken vowed to "follow through on sanctions"‚ÄČagainst "those responsible for committing repressive acts" in the former British colony.

By the numbers: Lawmakers in Beijing voted 2895-zero for the Hong Kong resolution, with one abstention.

What to watch: President Biden is meeting with the leaders of Japan, Australia and India in a virtual summit of the so-called "Quad" this Friday, as part of efforts to counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

  • Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan will meet with two top China officials next week in Anchorage, Alaska, in the first in-person meeting between senior U.S. and China officials since Biden took office.

Go deeper: Cyber, human rights expected to top U.S.-China summit

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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