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Changes In Hong Kong’s Electoral System

Changes In Hong Kong’s Electoral system:

China has made changes in Hong Kong’s electoral system.

  • The measures are part of China’s efforts to consolidate its authoritarian grip over the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) following the imposition of national security law in June 2020.

The New Electoral System:

  • Increased Membership of the Legislative Council:
    • The number of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (HKLC) members will be increased to 90, with the additional members also nominated, thereby reducing the share of elected representatives.
    • Currently, only half of the 70 members of HKLC are directly elected and the rest are nominated.
  • Expansion of Election Committee:
    • The Election Committee (Hong Kong electoral college) has been expanded to include Beijing-nominated members.
    • The Election Committee, as previously, will be responsible for electing the Chief Executive, and will also choose some of the members of HKLC.
  • New Candidate Qualification:
    • The selection of “patriots” will be ensured by the setting up of a new candidate qualification review committee.
  • Implications:
    • The change will give Beijing-appointed politicians a greater say in running the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), marking the biggest change since the handover in 1997.
    • An increased number of pro-Beijing officials would weaken the power of the opposition to influence the city’s leadership.
    • It will erode the political freedoms that distinguished Hong Kong from the mainland under the “one country, two systems” model.
  • The implication for India:
    • Hong Kong is a destination for the re-export of Indian goods to the global market.
    • Hong Kong is the fourth largest export market for India.
    • India is of the view that Hong Kong can play an important role in strengthening ties with China, as it is considered a gateway to China.
    • Thus, global tensions due to political unrest in Hong Kong carry consequences for India’s trade with the rest of the world, as well as with China.