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Opinion

Hong Kong's new 'Basic Law' is that whatever China says, goes

Judges alone cannot protect territory from Beijing's heavy-handed interventions

| Hong Kong

Ben Bland is a Research Fellow at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. He is the author of "Generation HK: Seeking Identity in China's Shadow."

On July 1 last year, pro-democracy protesters broke into Hong Kong's Legislative Council and symbolically defiled the chamber, tearing up a copy of the Chinese territory's vaunted Basic Law. It was more than an expression of anger and defiance. They were sending a message that the promise of democracy, autonomy and freedom contained in Hong Kong's mini-constitution, as the Basic Law is often called, was empty.

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