So much for the West's warnings -- China's going to do what China's going to do

Chinese President Xi Jinping votes on a proposal to draft a security law on Hong Kong during the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on May 28, 2020.

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(CNN)China is going to do what China is going to do.

Its decision to impose a draconian new security law in Hong Kong marks the culmination of a multi-generational crusade to reassert full control over the former British colony. This is a watershed in international relations, proof that Beijing is now sufficiently confident of its own power to accept the global consequences.
Washington and Brussels had warned China that going ahead could trigger grave diplomatic and economic repercussions. Hong Kong could lose its trade benefits with the US, for example (though US threats may have been undermined by President Donald Trump's reported assurances that he didn't really care what Chinese President Xi Jinping did in Hong Kong or in Xinjiang, so long as his trade deal went through.) In any case, Beijing was not deterred by the prospect of complications for its big firms like Huawei, or of losing lucrative foreign investments.
    Xi isn't suddenly embarking on expansionist foreign policy (though Taiwan may be right to fret). China has always seen Hong Kong as a purely internal political matter. In the end, its colonial humiliation in the Opium Wars, which saw it cede Hong Kong to the British Empire, meant more than the fast-fading 'one country, two systems' formula agreed in 1997 when the territory was returned.
    But his increasingly assertive moves -- from the South China Sea to the Indian border -- show that Xi is more committed than ever to his legacy project of the "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation." And the epochal stakes of that quest mean the West's condemnations are unlikely to ring very loudly in Beijing.

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