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Millions of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong to promote democracy in 2019. The world looked on, astonished and impressed. Now, it looks on in despair: Beijing has imposed a hard-line national security law on the city, bypassing both public consultation and the local legislative process to go after protesters accused of “colluding with foreign forces,” advocating “separatism,” or merely damaging the city’s “premises and facilities.” A struggle for public order has been redefined as a national security crackdown.

China’s “one country, two systems” model—initiated with Hong Kong’s handover in 1997—sought to return the freewheeling

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