You may see it as Hong Kong’s second return to China or the betrayal of the principles behind the city’s handover from the United Kingdom in 1997, a killing of the goose that laid the golden eggs or the end of Hong Kong altogether. Whatever expression you choose, after decades of holding Hong Kong gingerly in its palm, China finally closed its fist on July 1 with a new security law that threatens what little remains of Hong Kong’s raison d’être as an offshore financial center. The whole point of Hong Kong is to be a place where people can do business in China without being subject to Chinese law. The security law brings Hong Kong into the cold. That may make Beijing more confident in its ability to impose its will on the territory and its people, but it makes Hong Kongers themselves more vulnerable—and their city less viable.
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