Beijing allows Hong Kong to elect its leader by 2017

Beijing will allow Hong Kong to directly elect its leader by 2017 and all its lawmakers by 2020, the territory's chief executive said Saturday. Donald Tsang said the move was a "most important step" in the former British colony's political future. The government in Beijing has been debating Hong Kong's political development and had been expected to announce its decision later Saturday on a timetable for allowing direct elections. Tsang, however, announced the decision during a televised press conference early Saturday.