China confirms overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system

China's parliament approved on Thursday a draft decision to change Hong Kong's electoral system.

This will introduce a vetting system to screen politicians for their loyalty to Beijing and is another effort to tighten the screws and consolidate its grip over the global financial hub.

China's legislators gathered in the Great Hall of the People burst into applause when the vote came in 2,895 to 0, with one abstention.

In a separate statement, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam pledged her "staunch support" and expressed "sincere gratitude."

The new changes virtually eliminate any possibility of the opposition affecting the outcome of Hong Kong's elections.

Analysts say that the blanket requirement for "patriotism" raises the risk that politicians will compete over who is more loyal to Beijing, rather than on the best better ideas for governing the city.

The new measures follow last year's sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing that has seen democratic politicians and activists sent to jail or pushed into self-exile.