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The campaign for Hong Kong’s freedoms has a new base: Britain

London calling.
  • Annabelle Timsit
By Annabelle Timsit

Geopolitics reporter

Published Last updated on

In 1996, one year before Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China, prime minister John Major made a promise to the colony.

“Hong Kong will never have to walk alone,” he said, adding that if China ever breached its obligations under an agreement it signed with Britain in 1984, “we would mobilize the international community and pursue every legal and other avenue available to us.”

A quarter of a century later, Britain’s promise to stand up for Hong Kong is being tested. On this year’s handover anniversary, Beijing imposed a security law in Hong Kong that criminalizes secession, terrorism, subversion of state power, and foreign collusion, exposing millions of anti-government protesters to arrest for acts as simple as voting or waving a flag.

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