”Modern-day China has emerged as the most powerful authoritarian state in history and the major challenger to the liberal world,” concluded a detailed appraisal issued at the annual Halifax Security Forum, which was conducted virtually this year.

But perhaps the harsher assessment of the “China Handbook” was that the world’s democracies need a plan: “The challenge is no longer about trying to cooperate with a rising China governed by autocrats,” the assessment said. “The real China challenge for the world’s democracies is how to cooperate effectively with each other.”…

Nowhere was the level of urgency more acute than in Hong Kong, where China’s crackdown is seen as a test of the resolve of democratic nations to check Beijing’s efforts to undermine democracy.

“We are sort of disappearing before the world’s eyes,” said Emily Lau, who was a legislator in the formerly British-administered territory, in a video appearance. “What is disappearing? Our freedom. Our personal safety. The rule of law.”