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Protests As China Rules Out Open HK Elections
China's legislature has ruled out allowing open nominations in elections for Hong Kong's chief executive.
The decision, approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's rubber-stamp parliament, sparked immediate protests in the Asian financial hub.
Hundreds demonstrated outside the city's legislature late on Sunday, chanting "No to fake democracy."
The pro-democracy group Occupy Central also vowed to take over the city's financial district, although did not specify when.
The election, due in 2017, will be the first in which Hong Kong's chief executive will be directly chosen by voters.
But the ruling dictates that all candidates must receive the backing of more than half the members of a special nominating body before going to voters.
Democracy activists in Hong Kong say voters should be allowed to choose their chief executive from an open list of candidates.
Activists say the committee will be beholden to Chinese leaders, warning that any opponents of Beijing will be excluded.
They say Beijing has not kept its promise that the chief executive would be chosen by "universal suffrage" in the next election.
Occupy Central said: "The framework stifles genuine universal suffrage and renders the second-round constitutional reform consultation by the HKSAR government a farce."
Pro-Beijing activists held their own march in the territory two weeks ago, denouncing Occupy Central as dangerous to stability.
Beijing has warned against protests and insisted it has the right to decide how Hong Kong's government is run.