Hong Kong's sole representative to the Standing Committee of the NPC, Tam Yiu-chung, said police officers and the committee - which is chaired by the chief executive will first put candidates under the microscope to see if they fit the description of a “patriot.”

“They will determine if the candidates can really uphold the city’s Basic Law and bear allegiance to the HKSAR,” he said.

Those who pass the screening can then be vetted by the qualification review committee to see if they can run in the elections.

For candidates running for a Legco seat, besides getting the nod from the national security departments and the qualification review committee, they will also have to be nominated by members of the Election Committee, obtaining two to four nominations from each of the five sectors of the committee.

Tam stressed that the new system is needed to ensure that people who seek to "ruin Hong Kong" are kept out of the territory's political system.