The only way forward is to stop posturing and begin a dialogue
In Hong Kong, China’s leaders are confronted by an old truth, familiar to more securely established governments, that with power comes responsibility. There is no doubt Beijing has the brute strength to crush pro-democracy protests in Britain’s former colony. Equally, there is no doubt it would be irresponsible and self-defeating to do so.
Satellite images of motorised units of China’s People’s Armed police holding drills across the border in Shenzhen last week have heightened a sense of foreboding among demonstrators, who have nevertheless been on the streets again this weekend. This threatening build-up is accompanied by shrill warnings of grave consequences from officials and state media.