China sticks to election framework

BEIJING: China’s legislature Thursday indicated that it would not back down on its proposed electoral reform package for Hong Kong, despite the proposal being rejected by the city’s lawmakers. “The direction towards universal suffrage and the legal principles laid down in the decision of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, must continue to be upheld in future efforts to pursue universal suffrage,” the official Xinhua news agency reported.

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“The decision shall continue to serve as the constitutional ground for Hong Kong in the future as it enforces universal suffrage in the chief executive election, and its legal force is unquestionable.” The statement shows the Chinese government will not revise the electoral reform framework, despite fervent opposition from pro-democracy activists who staged mass street rallies in Hong Kong late last year.