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A conservative Italian lawmaker is calling out China's Communist Party.
Matteo Salvini, head of Italy's largest populist party and formerly the country's deputy prime minister, took part in a July 2 protest at the Chinese embassy in Rome.
The protest was a sign of solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, as the communist government in mainland China seeks to tighten control over the region using a new so-called security law.
The Chinese embassy fired back, accusing the Italian protesters of hypocrisy for wanting law and order in Italy while opposing heightened communist control in Hong Kong.
Salvini told the press he is not afraid of any threats from the Chinese diplomats.
Massive, pro-democracy protests raged in Hong Kong last year, voicing concerns about increased communist control, police brutality and a bill that would have extradited Hong Kongers to mainland China for trial.
The extradition bill was canned. But protests continued, and pro-democracy candidates won a sweeping victory in local council elections last November.
But now — due to Beijing's security law — freedom in Hong Kong may be coming to an end as the government is prosecuting citizens for alleged terrorism and sedition; former protest leaders are stepping down or going into hiding; and pro-democracy books are getting removed from public libraries.