By ALICE FUNG and ZEN SOO
HONG KONG (AP) — Select Hong Kong residents are voting for members of the Election Committee that will choose the city’s leader in the first polls following reforms meant to ensure candidates with Beijing loyalty. In May, the legislature amended Hong Kong’s electoral laws to ensure that only “patriots” – people who are loyal to China and the semi-autonomous territory – will rule the city. The changes are part of a broad crackdown on Hong Kong civil society following mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. Authorities have tightened control over the city with a sweeping national security law imposed by China’s Communist Party that effectively criminalized opposition to the government. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam called the polls meaningful because they guarantee that only patriots can take office.