The Chinese emblem has replaced Hong Kong’s bauhinia insignia in the main chamber of the city’s legislature, according to images shared by CitizenNews.
The move, ahead of Sunday’s “patriots only” legislative election, is in line with the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, which states that it must be displayed for the swearing-in of officials.
The oath-taking ceremony for new lawmakers is set to take place early next year.
The legislature was unable to comment when asked by HKFP whether the change was permanent, but NowTV reported that the change was only for the oath-taking ceremony.
HKFP’s reporter was unable to access the chamber on Friday.
However the chamber is to undergo an expansion to accommodate 20 extra lawmakers destined to sit in the newly-expanded legislature. Although more lawmakers will be sworn in, democratic representation was reduced by around half following the Beijing-led overhaul of the system in May.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she herself, for the first time, will preside over the swearing-in ceremony.
In October, the Chinese emblem appeared alongside the Hong Kong emblem on government websites, including on the website for the Legislative Council.
The Hong Kong emblem shrank in size by around a quarter on computer screens.
On July 1, 2019, the Hong Kong emblem – which has traditionally sat above the president’s chair – was defaced by pro-democracy protesters who stormed the legislative complex.
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