Pity the world’s struggling despots. Just when everything seemed to be going their way, life got messy.
China appeared poised to tighten its grip on Hong Kong last summer with the infamous extradition bill. That hasn’t quite panned out. Not only have the protesters kept their movement alive in the face of relentless hostility from Beijing; they humiliated the Chinese Communist Party in local elections in November by taking majorities in 17 out of 18 district councils. Meanwhile in Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, whose re-election prospects seemed doubtful last summer, swept to a landslide victory Saturday as voters embraced her party’s determination to defend Taiwanese freedom from an increasingly menacing mainland.
In Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro’s thuggish regime had enjoyed some success in repressing Juan Guaidó, who is recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela by more than 60 countries. But last week regime pressure failed to keep the National Assembly in line and 100 of its 167 members defied Mr. Maduro to support Mr. Guaidó’s re-election as the assembly’s president.
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