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The Monitor's View Hong Kong’s lessons in coping with China

A Feb. 8 riot and police crackdown in Hong Kong reveals the harsher hand of China but also a dilemma for the territory on how to deal with Beijing’s fear of dissent. The world must watch how Hong Kong decides.

Under “core” leader Xi Jinping, says scholar Minxin Pei, China is now “gripped by fear in a way it has not been since the era of Mao Zedong.” Dr. Pei cites the government’s heavy crackdown since 2012 on human rights activists, corrupt officials, intellectuals, and even investors. While it is easy for the world to bemoan the fears of the Chinese Communist Party for its very survival, the question is how to react. Should China’s rulers be punished or persuaded to change course?

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