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The Chinese government has emerged from the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak confident and ready to assert itself ever more vigorously at home and abroad. There is no sign of self-doubt or concern about its role in creating the worst crisis the world has faced in generations. The decision to convene the National People’s Congress (NPC), the annual meeting of parliament that was delayed two months because of the coronavirus, is one sign of Beijing’s confidence.

Even more revealing is the decision by the NPC to adopt new national security legislation for Hong Kong, a bill that bypasses the city’s legislature and eviscerates the concept of “one country, two systems” that was designed to safeguard its independence upon its return to the mainland.

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