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Beijing plans to change groups to select Hong Kong leaders



People familiar with the matter said that the Chinese leader plans to curb the influence of the Hong Kong opposition on the institutions that select Hong Kong senior officials, remove them from the seats of pro-democracy politicians, and hand them over to pro-Beijing loyal supporters.

People familiar with the matter said that at the annual legislative session in March, Chinese legislators are expected to vote on the pick of the 1,200-member committee.

They said the amendment would greatly reduce or possibly eliminate the 117 seats allocated to Hong Kong District Councillors. Hong Kong District Councillors are now led by opposition groups. People familiar with the matter said these seats will be allocated to some of the more than 200 Hong Kong residents of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body.

The plan is part of a comprehensive reform that Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong Affairs Office of the Beijing Office, predicted in a speech on Monday. In his speech, Xia Baolong said that Hong Kong’s executive, legislative and judicial organs must be composed of “true patriots.”

; In his first public speech after taking office in early 2020, Mr. Xia referred to anyone who opposes the Chinese or Hong Kong government as “saboteurs,” and these people should no longer exert influence in the future.

Mr. Xia did not specify any proposed election changes, but people familiar with the matter said that the details of the bill are being finalized before the opening of the Chinese legislature, the National People’s Congress, on March 5. Carrie Lam, the chief executive with low public support, did not disclose whether she intends to serve a second five-year term next year.


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