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China has the right to 'step in' to Hong Kong election, top official says

China has the right to 'step in' to Hong Kong election, top official says
- Under laws governing the former British colony since its return to Chinese rule in 1997, autonomous Hong Kong has the right to choose its chief executive via a 1,200-strong election committee stacked with Beijing loyalists. The committee is due to vote at the end of this month to decide between two former officials and a retired judge to lead the freewheeling city of 7.3 million people. But the independence of the election has been questioned, with several election committee members telling media they had received phone calls from people with ties to the Chinese government trying to influence their votes.