Pro-Beijing committee to elect some Hong Kong legislators

China to Resolutely Guard Against Foreign Meddling in Affairs of Hong Kong, Macao – Report

China to Resolutely Guard Against Foreign Meddling in Affairs of Hong Kong, Macao – Report

China advanced sweeping plans to curb the role of opposition activists in Hong Kong elections, with local media reports saying a vote for the city's legislature would be delayed another year to September 2022.

Within Hong Kong, the crackdown continued with the arrest on Sunday of 47 former lawmakers and activists charged with "conspiracy to commit subversion", which carries a possible life sentence.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and senior leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) attended Friday's opening session where Premier Li read a 35-page work report, outlining the achievement of his government in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, which broke out in Wuhan before turning into a pandemic and the eradication of absolute poverty in the country.

Deng said, "A patriot is one who respects the Chinese nation, sincerely supports the motherland's resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong and wishes not to impair Hong Kong's prosperity and stability".

For the first time in memory, Li a year ago gave no annual target for the world's second-largest economy, citing the "great uncertainty" of the pandemic.

Zhang Yesui, a spokesman for the National People's Congress, said on Thursday it had the constitutional power to "improve" Hong Kong's system and a draft decision would be discussed during the annual parliamentary session which opens on Friday.

Premier Li Keqiang addressed thousands of delegates in the Great Hall of the People.

The announcement is a reputational blow for Hong Kong and comes as Beijing ramps up its bid to quash dissent after pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

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With the 47 remanded in custody, almost all of Hong Kong's most prominent pro-democracy figures will now be in jail or in self-exile overseas amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

"To tackle the climate crisis, China needs to bring its emission growth to a much slower level, and to flatten the emission curve early in the upcoming five-year period", he said.

"There's still no end in sight for China's coal plant construction boom", Greenpeace's Li said.

The Western world has offered support, with Canada announcing on February 5 - days after a similar British initiative - that Hong Kong residents could apply for work permits that could lead to permanent residency.

Li traditionally uses the lengthy speech to reveal the growth target.

That's up from 1.3 trillion yuan ($180 billion) a year ago representing a 6.6% boost, the lowest percentage increase in at least two decades.

Li made no direct mention of brittle ties with the United States, China's trading partner and geopolitical rival, with all eyes now on how the relationship may evolve under new U.S. leader Joe Biden.

Planned or potential legislation includes a proposed revision to wildlife protection laws that would permanently ban eating most wildlife, amid the belief that the pandemic came from an animal host.

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