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The national security law China imposed on Hong Kong a year ago Wednesday was much more than a piece of legislation: It showed Beijing was now running the show in the former British colony.

The measure — enacted with immediate effect, and without public debate — has radically transformed the political and legal landscape of a financial center long known for its consistent application of the law. From scrubbing school curriculums to censoring films to denying some suspects the right to jury trials, the broad use of the legislation has left many people guessing about China’s new red lines.

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