China’s ruthless attempts to stamp out all political dissent in Hong Kong took another step forward on Tuesday. According to The Guardian, Beijing has directly imposed new restrictions on the city’s legislature by slashing the number of directly elected seats and bringing in a new vetting process for would-be Hong Kong lawmakers to make sure they are “patriots.” Under the new law, Hong Kong’s legislature will be expanded from 70 to 90 seats—but only 20 of those seats will be directly elected. The remaining 70 lawmakers will be put in place by committees and groups that have traditionally been loyal to Beijing. All candidates will be investigated by national security officers and police before they take up their new roles in order to guarantee their loyalty to mainland China. The new restrictions will make it effectively impossible for any candidates deemed to be critical of Beijing to make it into official positions of power.
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