Billionaires and bankers to pick Hong Kong lawmakers

A Hong Kong government’s vetting committee makes 15 new appointments to the powerful Election Committee, which will choose 40 members of the 90-member Legislative Council. Meanwhile, China imposes fresh sanctions against US citizens in response to US sanctions against people involved in repression in Hong Kong.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Millionaires, bankers and the head of a pro-Beijing teachers’ union are the newest members of Hong Kong’s powerful new Election Committee.

Under Hong Kong’s new “patriotic” election law, this body will appoint 40 of the 90 members of the Autonomous Region’s Legislative Council (LegCo), the local parliament.

A vetting committee chaired by Hong Kong’s number two official, Chief Secretary John Lee, made the 15 appointments, which include HSBC Asia Pacific CEO Peter Wong, billionaire Pan Su-tong (to represent grassroots associations), and Apple supplier Biel Crystal Manufactory’s founder Yeung Kin-man.

Wong Kwan-yu, head of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, was appointed as a representative for the education subsector even though his labour organisation is not as large as the city’s pro-democracy teachers’ union.

The 15 new ex-officio members will join the 1,500-strong Election Committee, whose elected members will be selected in September.

Under Hong Kong’s new election law, adopted back in March, regular voters will be able to elect 20 LegCo members, whilst 30 members will be picked by representatives of the professional subsectors strictly linked to the establishment.

It is clear that the authorities want a parliament in which pro-Beijing forces have an overwhelming majority.

Meanwhile, China yesterday imposed new sanctions against US citizens in response to US sanctions against people linked to the repression in Hong Kong.

The list includes former Trump Administration Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Human Rights Watch’s China Chief Sophie Richardson.

The measure comes on the eve of the US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's trip to China.