``The National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) - China's top legislative committee - decided that the city's next chief executive will be elected by popular vote in 2017, but only after each candidate is approved by a majority of a 1,200-member election committee.


Analysts argue that the move will effectively limit the selection of candidates to pro-Beijing figures and dash hopes for real democratic elections in the special administrative region and former British colony.


According to Daly, Beijing's decision also reflects the Chinese leadership's belief that only the Communist Party "can provide the economic and social stability required for China's continued development," At his press conference explaining the move, the NPCSC's deputy general secretary, Li Fei, contrasted the stability provided by the Communist Party with the "chaos" he said would ensue if democracy activists had their way. He framed the decision as a defense of Hong Kong's prosperity.

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