Peace and Freedom

HONG KONGWed Jan 7, 2015 2:47am EST

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam addresses a Legislative Council on a political reform consultation in Hong Kong January 7, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam addresses a Legislative Council on a political reform consultation in Hong Kong January 7, 2015.  Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

(Reuters) – The Hong Kong government on Wednesday cemented its support for China’s plan to pre-screen candidates for the city’s 2017 leadership election, just weeks after authorities cleared the streets of protesters pushing for greater democracy.

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, in an address to lawmakers, framed the debate about Hong Kong’s future as one about how an existing, Beijing-approved election nominating committee will operate rather than whether the committee should continue to exist.

“Constitutional development must be built on the basis of the Basic Law and the decision of (China’s) NPCSC (National People’s Congress Standing Committee), otherwise it would only be futile and impractical and the aim of universal suffrage for the CE (Chief…

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