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World NewsHong Kong legislative council election reveals city's 'new politics'

Hong Kong legislative council election reveals city’s ‘new politics’

Hong Kong’s first legislative election since Beijing overhauled the city’s electoral course of marks the start of a “new politics” within the metropolis, an analyst instructed CNBC.

“We have to wait to see the final results before we know that for certain, but it does look like the pro-establishment candidates — who are focusing more on livelihood issues, social issues — are going to dominate the legislature,” Tim Summers, senior consulting fellow at Chatham House, instructed CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.

Such points vary from housing and poverty to the atmosphere, mentioned Summers, who added that “we’ll still see a fair amount of contestation and debate about many of the livelihood issues that Hong Kong is facing.”

People enter a polling station to solid their ballots through the Legislative Council election on December 19, 2021 in Hong Kong, China.

Cheng Yongnuo | China News Service | Getty Images

Lau Siu-Kai, vice-president of Beijing-based suppose tank the China Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, echoed these sentiments. He mentioned the brand new legislature will concentrate on “practical matters” just like the city’s housing scarcity, climbing real-estate costs, and earnings equality.

Political outlook

Summers mentioned he doesn’t count on a lot progress on political reform following the elections, however that is “part of the plan” from Beijing’s perspective.

“They saw a much greater radicalization of Hong Kong politics over the last five or six years … They wanted to cut that off … after the massive social movements, often violent movements of 2019,” Summers mentioned.

Voter turnout falls

Voter turnout fell to a record low of 30.2% in Sunday’s polls, according to Hong Kong’s Electoral Affairs Commission, in contrast with about 58% within the final election in 2016. This yr’s electoral overhaul meant there could be fewer straight elected representatives and extra Beijing-approved officers.

Under the brand new electoral system, the whole variety of seats within the legislature has been elevated from 70 to 90. But the variety of straight elected representatives has shrunk. Previously, half the Council’s representatives have been straight elected by common Hong Kongers. Under the brand new guidelines, about a fifth of them will be.

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The election had been dubbed a “patriots only” one, with leaders in Beijing and Hong Kong overtly saying the brand new system is designed to make sure that solely “patriots” hold office in Hong Kong. They have to this point rejected exterior criticism of the electoral modifications, characterizing the remarks as fruitless interference in domestic affairs.

Still, Lau mentioned Hong Kong stays “a very attractive place for foreign investors.”

That’s significantly so at a time when many Chinese companies that commerce within the United States are beneath stress from Beijing to delist from markets stateside and checklist nearer to house in Hong Kong, Lau instructed CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”

Chinese ride-hailing big Didi mentioned earlier this month that it’ll begin delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and make plans to checklist in Hong Kong as a substitute.

— CNBC’s Vivian Kam contributed to this report.


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