Asian Insider

Sweeping changes to HK's electoral system expected

Beijing tightening legal loopholes before poll; more pan-democrats face disqualification

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Xia Baolong addressing a forum in Beijing yesterday. Mr Xia said Hong Kong's electoral system must be improved under the leadership of the central government.
Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Xia Baolong addressing a forum in Beijing yesterday. Mr Xia said Hong Kong's electoral system must be improved under the leadership of the central government.PHOTO: XINHUA

The writing was on the wall for sweeping changes to Hong Kong's electoral system, with Beijing moving to tighten legal loopholes before the next chief executive race next year to ensure only patriots govern the territory.

Political watchers said the clearest sign came yesterday when the senior Beijing official handling Hong Kong and Macau affairs laid the ground rules for who can be office holders, weeks after senior officials brought up reforms to the system.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2021, with the headline 'Sweeping changes to HK's electoral system expected '. Subscribe