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'Hong Kong is in a state of shock': New law is China's latest show of strength

Shashank Bengali, Alice Su and David Pierson, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

The law also likely erases whatever hope was left for Taiwan embracing a return to China under the "one country, two systems" arrangement that supposedly protected Hong Kong's autonomy under Chinese rule. Taiwan politicians have condemned the security law.

"The firewall between Hong Kong and China's draconian laws and institutions is being removed. The Chinese government wants to burn the people of Hong Kong," said Eric Lai, spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front, a coalition that helped organize many of last year's major marches.

Lai vowed that demonstrations would continue but gave no details of when they might be organized. Hong Kong authorities have banned public gatherings of more than eight people until at least June 4 as a social distancing measure.

But many said the protesters would not give up easily -- foreshadowing another long, bitter, violent summer.

"People are more frustrated now but more angry," said Charles Mok, an opposition lawmaker. "Some will leave. Those who can't leave, will they give up? Not so easily. That is the one lesson learned over the last 12 months. No one can change that."


(Su reported from Shanghai, and Bengali and Pierson from Singapore.)

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