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Nathan Law. Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong, announced on July 2 that he had fled the city.

Why it matters: Law's departure represents the dire situation for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong — and the hope they still have to continue their fight from afar.

What he's saying: Law spoke with Axios over the phone on July 3 about how he views the future of international advocacy, given the new security law's prohibitions.

On his decision to leave:

"For me it was definitely a tough choice. When you decide to leave, you commit to something that the Communist Party will definitely target. Doing international advocacy work means that I may have to risk that I will not be able to go back for years, and leave behind my family and my cat and all the connections I've built for the past two decades."

On the future of the pro-democracy movement:

"The Hong Kong movement is pretty much alive. If you look at the turnout rate of the rally on the very first day of the implementation of the national security law, the first of July, there were more than 100,000 people marching down the street regardless of the huge risk of being imprisoned for years. You can see the bravery and the tenacity inside the movement. I think we still have some grassroots and street movement. ... Even though the future is bleak, but we could see hope from the people that they are fearless."

On how the world should respond:

"We should join hands. We should form a coordinated alliance, a united front to contain the expansion of authoritarianism from China. And the world should have an agreement that we place human rights over business interests for the sake of our values, for the sake of democracy."

Go deeper: With new security law, China outlaws global activism

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2020 - World

As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Taiwan's success in fighting the coronavirus, along with high-profile U.S. support in recent months, has raised the nation's profile on the international stage. But Beijing views this new prominence as a serious provocation.

Why it matters: Military conflict between China and Taiwan could embroil not just Asia but also the U.S. and other outside players in a larger conflagration.

1 hour ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained for fraud

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.