The city is seeing new levels of violence. The authorities created this mess – how can it be ended?
The memories of the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square’s pro-democracy protests 30 years ago are sharpening. Hong Kong is heading down the path of no return, warns Carrie Lam, its chief executive. Beijing’s rhetoric is more threatening still, with an official warning of “terrorism” in the city. China’s state media has shown paramilitary police troop carriers apparently massing in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong.
Ten weeks after the protests began in reaction to the anti-extradition bill, the impact is growing, the mood is turning uglier and violence is spiralling. For now, Beijing’s intent still seems to be intimidation, not direct action. Brute force by the People’s Liberation Army or mainland paramilitaries is likely to be its last resort. But hardline language, harsh policing, attacks by thugs and punitive charges have not exhausted activists. They have only inflamed matters.
Link : The Guardian view on Hong Kong: on the brink | Editorial