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Opinion

2020 look ahead: The political stakes go up in Hong Kong

With legislative election in focus, Beijing may finally replace Carrie Lam

| Hong Kong, Macao
Carrie Lam sided with the police too early.   © Reuters

Hong Kong was enveloped in conflict in a way the city had not seen in half a century during 2019. Despite outward signs of a cooling off in the political temperature since late November, the coming year is set to bring more confrontation, with even more at stake as the city elects a new legislature and perhaps replaces its chief executive too.

While antigovernment protests have subsided in number and severity in recent weeks, they are bound to continue. Sporadic protests, with occasional violence, have become a new normal. Their focus has become the Chinese authorities and alleged abuses by Hong Kong police rather than the original target of a government proposal, since withdrawn, to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to the mainland.

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