Tiananmen Redux? Troops Amass on Hong Kong Border With China as Protests Escalate
Conservative member of the British Parliament Daniel Hannan tweeted an ominous video from Hong Kong:
It's not like the world can dismiss this show of force as simply an exercise in power politics by China. They've shot down unarmed protesters in the streets before.
And you can bet the protesters in Hong Kong know this.
Just to drive the point home, China released a video of the troop carriers moving to the border:
For the second straight day, one of the busiest international airports in the world was brought to a near standstill by protesters. And the city's pro-Beijing mayor was warning that the protests were pushing Hong Kong toward the "brink of no return."
In her first public appearance since demonstrators succeeded in shutting down the city's international airport on Monday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said it could take a "long time for Hong Kong to recover," but she insisted that the authorities were still capable of managing the situation.
"The only thing we have to do is to go against violence, and rebuild the city," said Lam.
By Tuesday afternoon, thousands of protesters were once again occupying Hong Kong's airport, where they sang, chanted and waved placards. A day before
According to the airport's website, a handful of flights departed after midnight. hundreds of passengers were left stranded after all departing flights and more than 70 arriving flights were canceled Monday, amid chaotic scenes inside the airport as thousands of demonstrators descended on the main terminal.
The protesters are demonstrating against a bill that would allow citizens of Hong Kong to be extradited to China for some crimes. This is a direct attack on Hong Kong's special status within China, and the Communist leadership fully realized it when they proposed it. Little by little, the protesters are seeing Beijing stifle the freedoms that citizens of Hong Kong were guaranteed when Great Britain returned the territory to China in 1997. Beijing underestimates their resolve at their peril. That much has been made clear by the protesters themselves.
Today, this chant is heard everywhere on the streets: “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.” When Edward Leung invented this rallying cry three years ago, the cause of “revolution” – whatever he meant it to mean – did not resonate. It gains traction now, not because the likelihood of its success is any greater or any less unrealistic, but because recent responses by our government have made it clear that what protesters (and I believe the rest of Hong Kong) have demanded, namely democracy, autonomy, and above all, good government, will never come to be unless and until the current political order is turned on its head.
The problem for the protesters is that to "turn the political order on its head," there will almost certainly be a lot of blood in the streets before that happens.
Perhaps, too much blood to bear.