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HONG KONG’S first polls since electoral reform was implemented in March were welcomed as a major step towards advancing democracy in the Chinese special autonomous region today.
Some 364 people were elected to an election committee that will select Hong Kong’s next chief executive and some of the legislature, according to today’s polling results.
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong SAR said that the elections “demonstrated the progressiveness and superiority of the revamped electoral system, and marked a major step forward in advancing democracy with Hong Kong characteristics.”
The vote was the first to be held under new rules that ensure that opponents to unity with China are unable to stand as candidates, which has led to derision from some quarters.
But Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam insisted that the process was democratic, saying that no other government or country would allow candidates “whose mission is to undermine the national interest or national security.”
Hong Kong was plagued by violent anti-China protests in 2018, which saw protesters calling for a return to British colonial rule and intervention by then US president Donald Trump.
Many of the leading figures in the opposition movement, including Joshua Wong, have longstanding connections to regime-change proponents in the US government.
A number of their organisations, including the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, were set up and bankrolled by the National Endowment for Democracy, established in 1983 to do “what was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
Ms Lam said the elections were “of great significance in upholding China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and ensuring the steady and sustained implementation of ‘one country, two systems’.”
The new election committee will serve a five-year term.
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