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Opinion
Noah Feldman

China Slaps Hong Kong, Taiwan Reels

The message China’s leaders sent when they announced that they would have to approve any future elected leaders of Hong Kong should be heard loud and clear -- not as much in Hong Kong as in Taiwan, where it really matters.
Not fans of China's message to Hong Kong. 
Not fans of China's message to Hong Kong. 

The message China's leaders sent when they announced that they would have to approve any future elected leaders of Hong Kong should be heard loud and clear -- not as much in Hong Kong as in Taiwan, where it really matters, and throughout the region.

Hong Kong isn't just a unique entity within China, governed in theory by the principle of "one country, two systems." It's also a model of what Taiwan could expect if Chinese hegemony over the island it claims as its own were to become greater. China's message to Hong Kong puts Taiwanese democrats in a difficult strategic bind in their attempt to assure their future. It also has consequences for American efforts to engage Asian allies who are growing economically closer to China each passing day.