As expected, the Chinese government on Sunday adopted a tough stance on Hong Kong, with the National People's Congress Standing Committee issuing a Decision that designates a Beijing-controlled body as a "broadly representative" committee that will nominate candidates for chief executive in one-person, one-vote elections in 2017.

This bare-knuckles approach is in line with an assertive foreign policy and a continuing crackdown on dissent on the mainland.

The nominating committee's role is to ensure that a candidate must be "a person who loves the country and loves Hong Kong." The decision indicated that, contrary to previous suggestions, the electoral system won't be reformed after 2017.