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Chinese President Xi Jinping poised to vote on a national security bill in May: For many, the controversial law is a sign of Beijing's irrevocably tightening control over the territory of Hong Kong.   © Reuters
The Big Story

Despair and defiance as Hong Kong mounts its last stand

New national security law all but ends the city's autonomy

MICHELLE CHAN, Nikkei Asian Review staff writer | Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- The last days of May were just another weekend in downtown Hong Kong. Alan, a 20-year-old university student, helped to build barricades from trash cans and bricks dug up from pedestrian streets nearby. He was calm as he used a pair of binoculars to monitor the waiting riot police, alerting the crowd with improvised hand signals as the line advanced. As clouds of tear gas swirled, the black-clad protesters retreated, chanting, "Free Hong Kong!"

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