China has only tough choices as it looks to end more than two months of pro-democracy protests in its semi-automous southern city of Hong Kong.
The protesters have shown no signs of backing down, despite increasingly violent confrontations in which Hong Kong’s police have regularly fired tear gas and rubber bullets. The wait-and-see approach is similar to how it approached the 2014 pro-democracy “Umbrella Movement” in Hong Kong.
The 2014 events saw protesters occupy parts of the city for more than two months but faded away without winning concessions from Beijing after key leaders were arrested. But this may not be enough. By waiting, it risks further embarrassment for a government led by Chinese President Xi Jinping that tolerates no dissent.
“The protests in Hong Kong are a serious loss of face for Beijing, and presents a key political and strategic dilemma for the Chinese authorities — do we intervene, when, and how,” Michael Raksa, assistant professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told AFP.
Last updated on 06/08/2019