Hong Kong asserts control of its political future

By voting down a Beijing-backed electoral bill, Hong Kong is telegraphing an unambiguous message: the city wants to control its own political process.

In a milestone parliamentary vote that will shape the political future of Hong Kong, 28 lawmakers rejected a Beijing-backed electoral reform bill on Thursday, delivering a clear “No” to the central government.

Despite a lengthy ten-hour debate commencing from Wednesday, the outcome of the vote was seen by some as a foregone conclusion, as each of the legislature's 27 pro-democracy lawmakers has long vowed to vote down the bill, arguing it did not represent “true democracy”.

Their stance made it difficult for the bill to muster the support of at least two thirds of the 70 lawmakers in the Legislative Council Legco needed to pass...

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