Mar 30, 2021 - World

China's government passes Hong Kong "patriot" election law

A person walks past the flags of China, top, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, China, on Monday
The flags of China, top, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region outside the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong on Monday. Photo: Xinhua News Agency reported. Photographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg via Getty Images

China's government on Tuesday passed a new law overhauling Hong Kong's electoral system, which is designed to ensure only "patriotic" figures can run for positions of power.

Why it matters: Critics argue the law effectively marks the end of democracy in the Asian financial hub as it gives the ruling Chinese Communist Party control of elections, with all opposition removed from the legislature, per the BBC.

Details: "In the new make-up, the legislature will be expanded to 90 seats, and only 20 will be elected by the public," AP reports.

  • Before the law was enacted, 35 lawmakers of of the 70-seat legislature were directly elected.

What to watch: Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed after the changes were proposed earlier this month to "follow through on sanctions"‚ÄČagainst "those responsible for committing repressive acts" in the former British colony, which previously enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.

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