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The mass resignation of pandemocratic legislators protesting against the disqualification of four of their number takes Hong Kong back 23 years, to the handover of the British colony to China and an appointed legislature boycotted by the democrats in 1997-1998.

In the more than two decades since then, the pro-democracy forces have been a thorn in the side of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administration and of the Chinese government as they kept winning a majority of the votes while reaping only a minority of the seats. Still, their numbers grew and, in 2016, they won 30 of the 70 seats.

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