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China People's Congress

China approves Hong Kong election overhaul bill

Beijing-controlled committee will have authority over legislative candidates

Police officers raise China's and Hong Kong's flags at a ceremony in Hong Kong on Thursday. The National People's Congress approved the electoral system proposal almost unanimously.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China's top decision-making body passed a resolution on Thursday to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system, moving forward with a dramatic plan that is expected to empower a Beijing-controlled committee to vet candidates for the city's legislature and effectively remove opposition voices.

Touted by Chinese officials as an "improved democratic electoral system with Hong Kong characteristics," the proposal was endorsed almost unanimously by the rubber-stamp National People's Congress in Beijing on the final day of its annual session. A total of 2,895 delegates voted in favor of the bill, while no one voted against it. One delegate abstained.

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