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As China's national legislature plans to rewrite election rules in Hong Kong to ensure that the city is run by 'patriots', the most lingering question of this move is over the concern that Beijing might be rejecting the 'one country two systems' made to Hong Kong in 1997.
According to Taiwan Times, China's National People's Congress (NPC) is expected to approve the reform of Hong Kong's electoral system, months after the draconian national security law was imposed last year.
Taiwan Times says that the decision is an assault on the democratic system of the former British colony and will cast a shadow over the delayed legislative council elections here, that were earlier scheduled to take place last September.
Since then, China has earlier indicated that it intends to undermine the authority of Hong Kong's local government, as the changes would strip the voting rights of several lower-level district councilors, many of whom are pro-democracy supporters.
In the name of bringing reforms to the city's electoral system, China has attacked the region's autonomy and freedoms - and in turn the democratic process. It will further limit the participation of people who are 'patriots', redcue democratic representation, and stifle political debate in order to defy the clear will of the people of Hong Kong to deny their voice being heard in their own government.
The process will also further concentrate power in the hands of the ruling Communist Party and decimate the political hopes of the territory's already beleaguered opposition for years to come, writes Taiwan Times.
However, China justifies the process by maintaining that this arrangement was in line with the stipulations and principles of the Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and that it will ensure the steady practice of "one country, two systems", and help maintain long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Beijing was perturbed by violent anti-government protests in 2019 and has imposed the national security law to take action against those who protested against the government.
These actions have raised fears among the people was rejecting the 'one country, two systems' concept which the city was promised when it was transferred from British to Chinese control in 1997, says Taiwan Times. The law remains China's most aggressive assault on Hong Kong's freedom till now.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Thu, March 18 2021. 09:21 IST