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Hong Kong’s Election Lights the Fuse for Another Wave of Unrest

Evan Rees
Asia-Pacific Analyst, Stratfor
Jun 9, 2020 | 19:38 GMT
Pro-democracy protesters shine the flashlights on their cellphones as they take part in a rally in Hong Kong on June 9, 2020.

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong shine the flashlights on their cellphones as they take part in a rally on June 9, 2020, marking the one-year anniversary of the massive demonstrations against Hong Kong's extradition bill. 

(Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

A year after the city's extradition bill prompted more than a million people to take to the streets in June 2019, marking a watershed moment in last year's protests, Hong Kong's political crisis is heating up once again. The next three months in Hong Kong will see protests kick back into high gear as pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps focus on winning Legislative Council elections planned for September. The central government in mainland China will fast-track its controversial national security laws ahead of the polls to increase control over protestors and politicians, while the regional Hong Kong government will work to fulfill its side of the legislation. The White House, meanwhile, will pressure China to ease back on its encroachment in Hong Kong by possibly stripping away the city's special tariff treatment, but will weigh carefully whether to escalate further to financial measures that would cripple Hong Kong's status as a business hub...

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