Freedom in the World
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Hong Kong *
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
A record 150,000 people attended a candlelight vigil in June 2009 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the massacre in which Chinese security forces crushed prodemocracy protests in Beijing and other cities. In November, the Hong Kong government proposed reforms to the electoral system. The plan included expansions of the legislature and the election committee that chooses the chief executive, but would largely preserve the existing semidemocratic system. Separately, Beijing’s growing influence over Hong Kong’s media landscape and immigration policies was evident during the year.
Beijing’s growing influence over Hong Kong’s media landscape and immigration policies remained evident during 2009. However, partly in response to comments by Tsang in which he downplayed the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, a record turnout of 150,000 people joined an annual candlelight vigil in June to commemorate the incident, in which Chinese security forces had crushed prodemocracy protests in Beijing and other cities. Public events marking the anniversary were not permitted in the rest of China.
Hong Kong’s Basic Law calls for the election of a chief executive and a unicameral Legislative Council (Legco). The chief executive is elected by an 800-member committee: some 200,000 “functional constituency” voters—representatives of various elite business and social sectors, many with close ties to Beijing—elect 600 members, and the remaining 200 consist of Legco members, Hong Kong delegates to the NPC, religious representatives, and 41 members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a mainland advisory body. The chief executive serves a five-year term.