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China’s new national security law, enacted last week by the National People’s Congress, the country’s parliament, is worrying on several levels, both because of what it says and because of what is left ambiguous.

To soothe local worries, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, described the new law as little more than a “declaration of principles” that is “a blueprint for overall national security.” Similarly, one of his predecessors, Elsie Leung, called it “framework legislation.”

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