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Can The People’s Liberation Army Really “Intervene” in Hong Kong?

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Can The People's Liberation Army Really "Intervene" in Hong Kong?

Members of a Chinese military honor guard march during a welcome ceremony. DoD photo

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:

  1. In response to a takeover of the city’s main government institutions by extremists;
  2. 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.

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  • verner

    of course they it can and of course it should!

    • King_GeorgXIII

      They dont want to they just wait to be asked by Hong Kong!

      • viktor ziv

        China should form national guard, like USA has, and send the guard to solve the situation, like USA did.

        • Katherine Mulholland

          It’s only the USA that’s needs a special army (the National Guard) to keep its own people under control.

    • jm74

      take the “it” out after “they” and insert “they” after “course”; now it makes sense. Thanks for correcting my error on another post.

  • Barba_Papa

    So we now have the reverse narrative of the MSM? If a pro-democarcy movement happens in the West its just dirty populists with a healthy sprinkling of Russian interference, but if it happens elsewhere its heroic democrats fighting for freedom. Whereas on the alternative media its the complete reverse. When it happens in the west its the heroic masses rising up against the corporatist elite, add Jews for additional elite seasoning. If it happens in places like Russia, China, Venezuela or Iran its a Western sponsored color revolution.

    Doesn’t both narratives strike anyone as kinda ridiculous? Why is it so hard to admit that the people of Hong Kong want less interference by Beijing in their daily lives? Just because Beijing is part of the socalled Axis of Resistance the sun doesn’t shine out of Xi Jinping’s arse.

    Now feel free to accuse me of being a Hasbara troll as I collect my 30 shekels of silver.

    • Katherine Mulholland

      I take your point about media bias but all is not equal in reality. Movements in the west are rarely pro democracy, they are more likely to be anti-war, equal rights or for better wages, and rarely if ever have Russian interference. The case is certainly not the same throughout the Middle East, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, numerous countries in Africa, South America and Hong Kong where there is copious evidence of not just interference to cause so called colour revolutions, but often outright war by America and its allies and mercenaries.

      You mention what the people of Hong Kong want. I don’t see ‘the people’ in the demonstrations, I see a certain demographic – disaffected youth which is no surprise given the high unemployment, low wages and costs of accommodation. Easy to stir up, and easy to use to foment a backlash by the police or military that can be used against the government.

      On the other hand a real peoples movement will include families, older citizens, unions, strikes, sit-ins and so much more initiated by all the people as happened successfully in Iceland and Ireland.

  • Rhodium 10

    Pussy Hong Kong police are unable to stop riots…we have seen how a few white shirts expel riots easily under panic….therefore if China enter in HK…surely we wouldnt see black shirts in the streets..but many people with China red flags!…

    • Pavel Pavlovich

      Legacy of the colonial rule of United Shitdom.
      A change in the authorities is in order.
      A mild form of martial law might just be enough.

  • klove and light

    99% of all dope (opium-heroin)sells world wide are traded through the hong kong Banks controlled by the british to this day.