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China's assault on Hong Kong's freedoms threatens city's global role

Journalist's de facto expulsion sends shivers through media, finance and business communities

| Hong Kong, Macau

Since assuming sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997 -- and particularly since the "umbrella movement" pro-democracy protests four years ago -- China's Communist rulers have been moving steadily but unmistakably to assert total control over the former British colony, imposing their concept of "one country" at the expense of the promise of "two systems."

The Hong Kong government's decision in early October to effectively expel a senior Financial Times journalist on seven days` notice by refusing to extend his visa was unprecedented and marked the latest step in Beijing's concerted effort to erode Hong Kong's freedoms.

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