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At tense Hong Kong Book Fair, buyers snap up political titles

Some authors and sellers withdraw items, fearing China-imposed security law

HONG KONG -- The weeklong Hong Kong Book Fair closed on Tuesday after attracting far fewer people than last time, but books deemed politically sensitive won wide support from ordinary citizens who attended.

The event, a major book exhibit in the Chinese-speaking world, once was regarded as a symbol of publishing freedom in the territory under the "one country, two systems" arrangement. But this year's fair was the first held under the national security law imposed by Beijing in June 2020. Attendance sank to an estimated 830,000 from 1 million two years ago, with last year's edition canceled due to the pandemic.

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