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BERLIN OF THE EAST

“We are all Hong Kongers”: How the Hong Kong protest movement became the world’s fight

Hong Kongers' dramatic and persistent protest movement has taken the city's narrative mainstream and captured the attention of the world.
Hoi Chan for Quartz
  • Mary Hui
By Mary Hui

Reporter

Published

Back in the days of the Cold War, Hong Kong was known as “Berlin of the East,” a nod to the city’s status as a bastion of freedom and a bulwark against the spread of Chinese Communism in the region.

Today, as a new Cold War takes hold between the US and China, Hong Kong is again being compared to the German city.

A new, sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing is taking hold, and what remain of Hong Kong’s formerly robust liberties are being systematically dismantled. At stake is whether Hong Kong goes the way of East Berlin—completely taken over by a Communist dictatorship—or holds out, like West Berlin, as a free, if isolated, enclave in the shadow of an authoritarian power.

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