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How Hong Kong’s ‘Patriots Solely’ Elections Bolster Beijing’s Grip

Just a few of all of the candidates working this 12 months have described themselves as “pro-democracy,” and so they share one factor in widespread: They observe Beijing’s crimson strains.

They’ve averted the type of political stances that might result in their disqualification and even imprisonment, resembling calling for independence for Hong Kong or international sanctions in opposition to Hong Kong officers.

In Hong Kong’s new electoral panorama, the absence of the mainstream opposition has resulted in an odd political twist: Such exterior candidates are being given some assist by Beijing’s representatives and allies, who would in regular circumstances be their rivals. However the help is restricted to serving to them move the rigorous nomination course of to get on the poll, to not profitable votes on Election Day.

One pro-democracy candidate, Wong Sing-chi, mentioned he believed it was essential to combat for democracy by pursuing workplace, even when the system was flawed. If elected, he mentioned, he would name for an amnesty for nonviolent protesters who’ve been sentenced to jail and a scaling again of the usage of a nationwide safety legislation that has quashed dissent.

Mr. Wong, a former member of the Democratic Get together, mentioned he was requested twice this 12 months by the Liaison Workplace of the Central Individuals’s Authorities, Beijing’s more and more assertive arm within the metropolis, about whether or not he would run. However he mentioned he made the choice to run on his personal. After he did so, he was given a strong enhance by Lo Man-tuen, a distinguished pro-Beijing voice on the election committee, who helped him safe sufficient nominations from the physique to run.

“I’m completely not their cup of tea, however additionally they need me to run so there might be another voices,” mentioned Mr. Wong.

Adrian Lau, who gained a seat on the district councils throughout a pro-democracy wave in 2019, mentioned he was working for the legislative council as a result of some voters didn’t place confidence in pro-Beijing politicians.

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