Beijing amended Annex I and II of Hong Kong’s Basic law on Tuesday, restricting the city’s democracy. The 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress passed the amendments unanimously, meaning candidates will be vetted and fewer legislative seats will be voted for by the public. Click here for full coverage.

Photo: Lukas Messmer/HKFP.

Full text of the new legal provisions:

Annex IMethod for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

(Adopted at the Third Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress on 4 April 1990, amended, as approved at the Sixteenth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on 28 August 2010, and amended at the Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on 30 March 2021)

1. The Chief Executive shall be elected in accordance with this Law by an Election Committee which is broadly representative, suited to the actual situation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and represents the overall interests of society, and shall be appointed by the Central People’s Government.

2. The Election Committee shall be composed of 1,500 members from the following sectors:

First Sector: Industrial, commercial and financial sectors.300
Second Sector: The professions.300
Third Sector: Grassroots, labour, religious and other sectors.300
Fourth Sector: Members of the Legislative Council, representatives of district organisations and other organisations.300
Fifth Sector: HKSAR deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC), HKSAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and representatives of Hong Kong members of relevant national organisations.300

Members of the Election Committee must be permanent residents of the HKSAR.

The term of office of the Election Committee shall be five years.

3. The delimitation of and the number of seats allocated to each sector of the Election Committee are as follows:

The First Sector shall be composed of the following 18 subsectors:

Industrial (first)17
Industrial (second)17
Textiles and garment17
Commercial (first)17
Commercial (second)17
Commercial (third)17
Finance17
Financial services17
Insurance17
Real estate and construction17
Transport17
Import and export17
Tourism17
Hotel16
Catering16
Wholesale and retail17
Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong15
Small and medium enterprises15

The Second Sector shall be composed of the following 10 subsectors:

Technology and innovation30
Engineering30
Architectural, surveying, planning and landscape30
Accountancy30
Legal30
Education30
Sports, performing arts, culture and publication30
Medical and health services30
Chinese medicine30
Social welfare30

The Third Sector shall be composed of the following five subsectors:

Agriculture and fisheries60
Labour60
Grassroots associations60
Associations of Chinese fellow townsmen60
Religious60

The Fourth Sector shall be composed of the following five subsectors:

Members of the Legislative Council90
Heung Yee Kuk27
Representatives of members of Area Committees, District Fight Crime Committees, and District Fire Safety Committees of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.76
Representatives of members of Area Committees, District Fight Crime Committees, and District Fire Safety Committees of the New Territories.     80
Representatives of associations of Hong Kong residents in the Mainland.27

The Fifth Sector shall be composed of the following two subsectors:

HKSAR deputies to the NPC and HKSAR members of the CPPCC National Committee.190
Representatives of Hong Kong members of relevant national organisations.110

4. The Election Committee shall be constituted in the following manner:

  • HKSAR deputies to the NPC, HKSAR members of the CPPCC National Committee, Hong Kong members of the Committee for the Basic Law of the HKSAR under the NPC Standing Committee, members of the Legislative Council, university presidents or chairpersons of the board of governors or the council of universities, and responsible persons of statutory bodies, advisory bodies and relevant associations of the subsectors of engineering (15), architectural, surveying, planning and landscape (15), education (5), medical and health services (15) and social welfare (15) shall be Election Committee members of the corresponding subsectors.

An HKSAR deputy to the NPC or an HKSAR member of the CPPCC National Committee may choose to register as an Election Committee member in a subsector other than one in the Fifth Sector with which he or she has a substantial connection. If an HKSAR deputy to the NPC or an HKSAR member of the CPPCC National Committee is registered as an Election Committee member in a subsector other than one in the Fifth Sector, his or her seat shall be counted as one in that subsector and the number of members to be returned by that subsector in accordance with paragraph (3) of this subsection shall be reduced accordingly. After the registration of HKSAR deputies to the NPC and HKSAR members of the CPPCC National Committee as Election Committee members of the relevant subsectors, the number of members to be returned by those subsectors in accordance with paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) of this subsection, as determined by the provision in this sub-paragraph, shall remain unchanged within the term of office of the Election Committee.


Election Committee members of the religious subsector shall be nominated;

15 members of the technology and innovation subsector shall be nominated from among Hong Kong academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering;

15 members of the accountancy subsector shall be nominated from among Hong Kong Accounting Advisors appointed by the Ministry of Finance;

9 members of the legal subsector shall be nominated from among Hong Kong members of the Council of the China Law Society;

15 members of the sports, performing arts, culture and publication subsector shall be nominated respectively by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Hong Kong Member Association and Hong Kong Publishing Federation;

15 members of the Chinese medicine subsector shall be nominated from among Hong Kong members of the Council of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies; and The 27 members of the subsector of representatives of associations of Hong Kong residents in the Mainland shall be nominated by such associations.

(3) Election Committee members of a subsector, except for those specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, shall be elected by eligible corporate voters for the corresponding subsector. Eligible corporate voters for subsectors shall be composed of institutions, organisations, associations or enterprises which are representative and specified by law. Unless specified in the electoral law of the HKSAR, an association or enterprise may become a corporate voter for a subsector only if it has been operating for not less than three years after acquiring relevant qualifications for that subsector. Election Committee members of subsectors — the Heung Yee Kuk, representatives of members of Area Committees, District Fight Crime Committees, and District Fire Safety Committees of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and representatives of members of Area Committees, District Fight Crime Committees, and District Fire Safety Committees of the New Territories in the Fourth Sector and representatives of Hong Kong members of relevant national organisations in the Fifth Sector may be elected by individual voters. A candidate for Election Committee member of a subsector shall be nominated by five voters for the subsector. The number of candidates each voter for a subsector may nominate shall not exceed the number of seats allocated to the subsector. Voters for a subsector of the Election Committee shall elect Election Committee members of that subsector from the list of nominations by secret ballot.

The specific method for returning the Election Committee members referred to in the preceding subsection, including the definition of statutory bodies, advisory bodies, relevant associations and eligible corporate voters for relevant subsectors, the method for nomination of candidates and the method for voting shall be prescribed by the electoral law of the HKSAR.

  • There shall be a system of conveners for the Election Committee. The conveners shall be responsible for convening meetings of the Election Committee as necessary and handle relevant matters. A chief convener shall be an Election Committee member who holds an office of state leadership. The chief convener shall designate a number of conveners for each sector of the Election Committee.
  • A candidate for the office of Chief Executive shall be nominated by not less than 188 members of the Election Committee, with not less than 15 members from each of the five sectors. Each Election Committee member may nominate one candidate only.
  • The Election Committee shall elect the Chief Executive designate from the list of nominations by secret ballot on a one-person-one-vote basis. The Chief Executive designate must obtain more than 750 votes. The specific election method shall be prescribed by the electoral law of the HKSAR.
  • The Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR shall be responsible for reviewing and confirming the eligibility of candidates for Election Committee members and for the office of Chief Executive. The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR shall, on the basis of the review by the department for safeguarding national security of the Police Force of the HKSAR, make findings as to whether a candidate for Election Committee member or for the office of Chief Executive meets the legal requirements and conditions of upholding the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swearing allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and issue an opinion to the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR in respect of a candidate who fails to meet such legal requirements and conditions.

No legal proceedings may be instituted in respect of a decision made by the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR on the eligibility of a candidate for Election Committee member or for the office of Chief Executive pursuant to the opinion of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR.

  • The HKSAR shall, in accordance with the law, take measures against acts of manipulating or undermining election.
  • The NPC Standing Committee exercises in accordance with the law the power to amend this Method. Prior to making any amendment, the NPC Standing Committee shall solicit views of various sectors of Hong Kong by appropriate means.
  • The term of office of the Election Committee constituted under the Method previously in force shall terminate upon the commencement of term of office of the Election Committee constituted under this Method.
  • This Method shall come into force on 31 March 2021. Annex I and its amendment previously in force shall cease to apply.

Annex IIMethod for the Formation of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Its Voting Procedures

(Adopted at the Third Session of the Seventh National People’s Congress on 4 April 1990, amended, as recorded at the Sixteenth Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on 28 August 2010, and amended at the Twenty-Seventh Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on 30 March 2021)

  1. The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) shall be composed of 90 members for each term. The composition of the Legislative Council shall be as follows:
Members returned by the Election Committee.40
Members returned by functional constituencies.30
Members returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections.20

The above-mentioned Election Committee refers to the one provided for in Annex I to this Law.

Candidates for members of the Legislative Council returned by the Election Committee shall be nominated by at least 10 but no more than 20 members of the Election Committee, with at least 2 but no more than 4 members from each sector. Any eligible voter in an election of the Legislative Council may be nominated as a candidate. Each Election Committee member may nominate one candidate only.

The Election Committee shall elect members of the Legislative Council from the list of nominations by secret ballot. A ballot paper is valid only if the number of candidates voted for is equal to the number of members of the Legislative Council to be returned. The 40 candidates who obtain the highest numbers of votes shall be elected.

There shall be 28 functional constituencies for election of members of the Legislative Council:

  1. Agriculture and fisheries
  2. Heung Yee Kuk
  3. Industrial (first)
  4. Industrial (second)
  5. Textiles and garment
  6. Commercial (first)
  7. Commercial (second)
  8. Commercial (third)
  9. Finance
  10. Financial services
  11. Insurance
  12. Real estate and construction
  13. Transport
  14. Import and export
  15. Tourism
  16. Catering
  17. Wholesale and retail
  18. Technology and innovation
  19. Engineering
  20. Architectural, surveying, planning and landscape
  21. Accountancy
  22. Legal
  23. Education
  24. Sports, performing arts, culture and publication
  25. Medical and health services
  26. Social welfare
  27. Labour
  28. HKSAR deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC), HKSAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and representatives of relevant national organisations

Three members shall be returned by the labour functional constituency, and one member shall be returned by each of the other functional constituencies.

Members of the Legislative Council returned by the following functional constituencies shall be elected by individual voters:

  • Heung Yee Kuk
  • Engineering
  • Architectural, surveying, planning and landscape
  • Accountancy
  • Legal
  • Education
  • Medical and health services
  • Social welfare
  • HKSAR deputies to the NPC, HKSAR members of the CPPCC
  • National Committee and representatives of relevant national organisations

Members of the Legislative Council returned by the other functional constituencies shall be elected by eligible corporate voters. Eligible corporate voters for functional constituencies shall be composed of institutions, organisations, associations or enterprises which are representative and specified by law. Unless specified in the electoral law of the HKSAR, an association or enterprise may become a corporate voter for a functional constituency only if it has been operating for not less than three years after acquiring relevant qualifications for that functional constituency.

A candidate for a functional constituency shall be nominated by at least 10 but no more than 20 voters for the functional constituency as well as at least 2 but no more than 4 members from each sector of the Election Committee. Each Election Committee member may nominate one candidate only for the election of members of the Legislative Council returned by functional constituencies.

Voters for a functional constituency shall elect Legislative Council member for that functional constituency from the list of nominations by secret ballot.

The delimitation of corporate bodies and the definition of eligible corporate voters for functional constituencies, and the election method shall be prescribed by the electoral law of the HKSAR.

4. There shall be 10 geographical constituencies for returning members of the Legislative Council through direct elections. Two members shall be returned by each geographical constituency.

A candidate for a geographical constituency shall be nominated by at least 100 but no more than 200 voters for the geographical constituency as well as at least 2 but no more than 4 members from each sector of the Election Committee. Each Election Committee member may nominate one candidate only for direct election of members of the Legislative Council returned by geographical constituencies.

For each geographical constituency, a voter may vote for one candidate on the list of nominations by secret ballot. The two candidates who obtain the highest numbers of votes shall be elected.

The delineation of geographical constituencies and the voting method shall be prescribed by the electoral law of the HKSAR.

  • The Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR shall be responsible for reviewing and confirming the eligibility of candidates for members of the Legislative Council. The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR shall, on the basis of the review by the department for safeguarding national security of the Police Force of the HKSAR, make findings as to whether a candidate for member of the Legislative Council meets the legal requirements and conditions of upholding the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swearing allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and issue an opinion to the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR in respect of a candidate who fails to meet such legal requirements and conditions.

No legal proceedings may be instituted in respect of a decision made by the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee of the HKSAR on the eligibility of a candidate for member of the Legislative Council pursuant to the opinion of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR.

  • The HKSAR shall, in accordance with the law, take measures against acts of manipulating or undermining election.
  • Unless otherwise provided for in this Law, the Legislative Council shall adopt the following procedures for voting on bills and motions: The passage of bills introduced by the government shall require a simple majority of votes of the members of the Legislative Council present.

The passage of motions, bills or amendments to government bills introduced by individual members of the Legislative Council shall require a simple majority of votes of each of the two groups of members present, i.e. members returned by the Election Committee, and those returned by functional constituencies and by geographical constituencies through direct elections.

  • The NPC Standing Committee exercises in accordance with the law the power to amend this Method and the procedures for voting on bills and motions. Prior to making any amendment, the NPC Standing Committee shall solicit views of various sectors of Hong Kong by appropriate means.
  • This Method and the procedures for voting on bills and motions shall come into force on 31 March 2021. Annex II and its amendment previously in force shall cease to apply.

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