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China's Xinhua News Agency reporting that the National People's Congress (NPC)is planning to proceed with controversial changes to Hong Kong's electoral system that would see pro-democracy groups and local business interests removed from the 1,200-strong committee that decides on Hong Kong's chief executive.

  • The annual meeting of the 13th NPC gets underway tomorrow in Beijing as part of the important 'two sessions' events and the schedule for the multi-day event can be found on Xinhua's website here.
  • Former US consul general to Hong Kong and Macau Kurt Tong, speaking to Bloomberg, said the actions were likely to lead to Congressional retaliation against Beijing in the form of sanctions, a statement of condemnation, or other actions.
  • The proposed changes, intended to ensure those Beijing calls '"patriots" are on the committee as opposed to "anti-China figures and some backed by Western forces", were announced in February but it was not clear until now whether the NPC would approve the proposed changes immediately.