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Congress Needs to Show the Hong Kong Protesters It’s on Their Side

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It’s not often that Congress is lobbied by tens of thousands of marchers in a foreign city who wave American flags and sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” while demanding action on a specific piece of legislation. But that’s pretty much what happened last weekend in Hong Kong, where a mass pro-democracy movement, after 13 consecutive weeks of demonstrations, has grown savvy about the challenge it faces in seeking concessions from the Communist regime in Beijing.
Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has belatedly withdrawn the extradition legislation that prompted the initial protests. But her boss, Chinese President Xi Jinping, reportedly has taken a hard line against conceding to the protesters’ more substantive demands, including free elections for the territory’s government — something that Beijing promised when it took over the former British colony in 1997. Instead, the regime is accusing the mostly peaceful demonstrators of employing “terrorism” and has threatened a massive crackdown, either by Hong Kong’s police or by mainland troops.

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