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China retreats from 50-year pledge of Hong Kong autonomy

Deng's compromise served economic needs that no longer apply for Beijing

BEIJING -- China passed national security legislation governing Hong Kong on Tuesday, jeopardizing the "one country, two systems" policy that was supposed to last another 27 years. 

The arrangement was hatched nearly four decades ago by Deng Xiaoping, then China's paramount leader. It suited the economic ambitions of Beijing, which was eager to develop its country by learning from the territory's capitalist system. But with China having become an economic super power, that dynamic no longer applies now.

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