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Hong Kong shows China it can tame separatists under status quo

Island pushes political stability as alternative to tough national security bill

Pro-independence protesters demonstrate outside police headquarters in Hong Kong on July 21.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- By moving to outlaw a separatist political party under the territory's extant rules, Hong Kong looks to ward off Beijing's push for the island to enact unpopular national security controls.

Local authorities proposed a ban last month against the Hong Kong National Party, a pro-independence party formed in 2016. The territory invoked the "Societies Ordinance," a law enacted during the British colonial era to prohibit the operations of criminal syndicates and other groups "in the interests of national security."

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