In recent weeks, the protests in Hong Kong have come into the limelight. According to MSM these protests are the expression of a “pro-democratic” movement in the city, which is actually substantiated by no evidence whatsoever.
The protesters’ demands include a complete withdrawal of the now-suspended extradition bill, for protests not to be characterized as “riots”, for an independent investigation into police behavior and for an unconditional release of all arrested protesters. They have also called for a disbanding of the legislature and the implementation of universal suffrage.
The legislature filling its resignation, and Chief Executive Carrie Lam especially, and universal suffrage doesn’t mean they’re fighting for democracy. Since, MSM are perpetuating the actions of a small group that stormed the Legislative Council building, defaced the Hong Kong emblem and waved a British Hong Kong flag. According to reports, that’s what “pro-democracy” means – being under Britain and having a placeholder elected official who carries out all orders that come from above.
Naturally, the entire situation is quite controversial, with the US expressing concerns over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carrying out an “intervention” within China’s own territory, specifically doing what it constantly accuses China and Russia of doing – meddling into other countries’ internal affairs.
Meanwhile, in repeated Chinese Foreign Ministry briefings, spokesperson Hua Chunying accused specific and unmentioned US and EU actors attempting to orchestrate the protests. She even said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had forgotten he was no longer director of CIA, and claimed that the US having created the “pro-democracy” protests.
The other part of the US picture is US President Donald Trump and his position that goes completely contrary to his administration’s. He called the protests “riots,” and said that he hoped China could handle it, since Hong Kong is part of China, which Hua Chunying praised.
She further said that civil servants taking to the streets to join the protests was nothing but a “malicious rumor.”
Regardless, Bloomberg, as a very bright example of MSM perpetuation of narrative, published a report on August 1st, providing a look into “Hong Kong’s Nightmare Scenario” – being “invaded” by Chinese troops.
Bloomberg admits that a military intervention appeared unlikely, but one unnamed bank flagged it as a risk.
Over 22 years, Chinese troops have been positioned into Hong Kong, which isn’t exactly unnatural, after all, it’s part of the country. They’ve taken minimal, if at all any role throughout the years.
“Should that change, the implications for both Hong Kong and China would be enormous.”
A possible scenario, that the outlet considers is a repeat of the Tiananmen Square protest crackdown in Beijing in 1989. If that were to happen, the US may withdraw special trade privileges from Hong Kong.
Analysts cited by Bloomberg expressed concern that even a smaller scale intervention may cause property prices to plummet, and international companies could reconsider their presence in the city.
China would further potentially face more sanctions from the US and the EU, “an emboldened pro-independence movement in Taiwan and increased financial risks for companies that rely on Hong Kong as a gateway to international investors”
All the while the US-China trade war is on-going.
According to the same analysts, a scenario of any military intervention was unlikely – it would potentially be warranted by protesters managing to overwhelm the local police force and risking that China’s control of the territory slips.
“Beijing is unlikely to use the PLA to quell the protests until it feels it has exhausted all other levers at its disposal,” said Euan Graham, a former Asia analyst at the U.K.’s foreign office. “However much Xi Jinping fears chaos within China’s borders and that the use of the PLA is legitimate in his eyes, above all he does not want to have the stain of another Tiananmen massacre.”
Hong Kong authorities maintain that they have the capability to maintain public order and China need not interfere. But, regardless – a scenario in which a group of “pro-democracy” protesters cross some of the three lines set out by China, the outcome may be questionable:
“No harm to national security, no challenge to the central government’s authority and no using Hong Kong as a base to undermine China.”
On July 24th, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian reminded that Hong Kong has a clause in its charter that allows to request assistance from the PLA.
“The behavior of some radical demonstrators, challenging the authority of the central government and touching the bottom line of the principle of ‘one country, two systems,’ is absolutely intolerable,” Wu said. “The Pearl of the Orient is not to be defiled.”
However, a PLA intervention appears to still be unnecessary, despite the protests ramping up with unknown masked men assault protesters, protesters themselves assaulting the Chinese Liaison office, and an unknown car even shooting fireworks at protesters.
James Tien, a businessman and former lawmaker, said the situation has yet to reach a level that would warrant PLA intervention.
“It’s highly unlikely that Beijing would do that right now, because after all our police have the upper hand,” Tien said. “They’re the ones with the tear gas and the rubber bullets, which are giving the protesters a tough time.”
In conclusion, it appears that there are two likely scenarios that would lead to interference by the PLA:
- In response to a takeover of the city’s main government institutions by extremists;
- If there is really evidence of foreign actors attempting to “steal” Hong Kong away from Chinese control.
If the PLA does intervene, this may mean the end of Hong Kong in its current iteration, which could, in turn, lead to major financial loss to China, something it likely is not keen on, in view of the recently increased tariffs by Donald Trump.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Chinese Military Garrison In Hong Kong Sends Warning To Rioters
- In Video: Hong Kong Rioters Use Lasers To Disrupt Facial Recognition Cameras
- “The July Crisis” – For The First Time, Beijing Will Officially Respond To Hong Kong Protests