With Troop Buildup, China Sends a Stark Warning to Hong Kong

An exercise by the People’s Armed Police on Hong Kong’s border signaled Beijing’s willingness to intervene to end any serious threat to sovereignty.

Comments: 228

  1. It's glaringly apparent to me now that the Hong Kong protesters, who smartly remained peaceful for a time have been infiltrated by mainland China trouble makers starting with the intrusion into the government building all in an effort to instigate violence as an excuse to accelerate their takeover of Hong Kong. I believe Trump may know about the plan by virtue of his appeal to be humane, which in itself indicates he knows the future outcome as planned by Xi.

  2. @PATRICK. I believe also, that Elvis Presley is well and alive, and he has a hand in the shaping of today's Trumpist celebs such as Kayene West.

  3. @PATRICK One of two things is possi le actually; 1) this is a long game played by China to force intervention and closer mainland oversight or 2) real idiots trying to get something but actually causing the exact opposite of Chinese intervention and closer mainland oversight. Either way, it's bad for Hong Kong. If it's the latter, and being here I sadly thing it is, people should take a deep breath and think about the consequences.

  4. @PATRICK Here's a clue for you; a couple of weeks ago, I had been thinking quite a bit that the protestors in Hong Kong should have been fleeing the city nation instead of enduring future danger. The Protestors were led to inhibit air travel out of Hong Kong. Do you understand?

  5. What would the United States do if Texas decided to operate outside of the laws of the United States? Would we say "no problem, do what you want." The British Empire took control of Hong Kong from China in 1842 by coercion and ceded it back to China in 1947. I find it difficult to stand against China, especially taking into the account that the Chinese tend to think in much longer terms than we do. I pray China will continue to think long term and continue to "sell itself" to the residents of Hong Kong. The people of mainland China could learn a lot from the people of mainland China and the reverse is also true.

  6. @SBanicki: "The people of mainland China could learn a lot from the people of mainland China and the reverse is also true." ?

  7. @SBanicki The China of the past isn't the same Chinese government in Beijing today. People are throwing "China" around like they are all one and the same because of their myopic view of history. Did you know that the official name of Taiwan is the "Republic of China?" I wonder why that is... Your Texas v. the U.S. to Hong Kong v. China is elementary at best... they are no where near the same thing. I think it would be more comparable if the U.S. were an authoritarian dictatorship trying to assert theirselves over democratic Texas. But that is not the case, is it? You are trying to compare apples to oranges.

  8. Well, Trump tries hard to be authoritarian and it's seems he has a number of followers who would go along. I am not one of them.

  9. Many in China sympathized with the Tiananmen students; they definitely don't feel the same way about the Hong protestors. Mainlanders see them as privileged people who think they should live by a different set of laws than the rest of China. And, Beijing sees them as separatists. Hong Kong is one of my favorite places to visit. I am very concerned that the city and its people will be crushed. Beijing will not hesitate if provoked. That provocation could come from a very small subset of the protestors, as those who became violent at the airport, or it could result from covert actions by the intelligence service of a foreign power who would gain from disturbances in China, a foreign power who would like to see China weakened. Anyone want to guess who that might be? The international community should NOT be encouraging the Hong Kong protestors. It is not a symmetric struggle. It will lead to a bloodbath and the destruction of a beautiful city. Time for the HK protesters to regroup and develop a strategy that can work.

  10. OR, the covert actions could be coming from other regional separatists like Taiwan’s Progressive Party and its presidential leader, who is up for re-election in a few months time. A military crush in HK would make a perfect case in point for their advocacy for Taiwan independence, which is to have a complete severance with Chinese mainland, culturally, linguistically, historically, and even economically, if they could help it!

  11. @ShenBowen Good observation. I assume you and GL have access to foreign language news that cover the protest more broadly and not just US and UK’s one sided narrative. The goal of the protest is never about democracy, human rights, etc., Libya and Egypt would be Singapore if that’s true. Foreign elements are using easily enraged students to damage Hong Kong for their own gain.

  12. @AmateurHistorian I get the line of thinking, but help us understand which foreigners specifically would benefit from this unrest? As I see it, only the world spoilers of freedom like China, Russia, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuala could see a benefit in China crushing the movement.

  13. “More nationalistic voices have brushed aside such fretting, noting that China is a much stronger and diplomatically confident nation than the one that endured ... Tiananmen.” Time to weaken China, then. We must stop buying goods produced in mainland China, as much as possible. Economic power should be leveraged in a way that agrees with our values. Economic power is the only thing that can limit China's bad behavior.

  14. @Justin Koenig. Economic power should be leveraged in a way that agrees with our values. Economic power is the only thing that can limit US's bad behaviors, in denying climate change, facilitating gun violence, permitting police brutality against racial minorities, ruling for and by the 1%, etc.

  15. @Fanling, I agree, and I recommended your comment. The problem for you is that Americans have more buying power than the Chinese do.

  16. @Fanling You do realize that China’s one percent is ridiculously wealthy and well connected to the state? And China’s police brutality against minorities is well known. We have much in common.

  17. While the central government exercises control it is by no means large enough or powerful enough to overcome the ultimate will of the people and therein lies the rub. If enough people, and remember that the military is drawn from the people, become disenchanted with the central government they could pull it down. When I think of that possibility I see the possibility of a reverse Russian revolution—one that does not start because of too little power by the proletariat but one that begins because of too much power by the proletariat created as a result of suppressed human rights. Rather than being starved of wealth the proletariat is being starved of human rights. So the central government is riding a slippery slope and we all know about slippery slopes—one misstep can lead to a collision course.

  18. A few observations of mine: China is an overall conservative country, in a way resembles how the United States tilts right comparing to Europe. China is also surfing on a populist wave that’s started by but grows increasingly out of control of the government. Western democracy is marked as elitist and has been marginalized by the mass. I believe China will not triumph in the competition with America but it will surely mark the end of an age we’ve been used to for decades, wether for good or not.

  19. I am in full support of voicing your concerns by protesting on the street. But it's not either "my way or high way". The protesters have five demands, and ask all of them to be met without backing up, including not to charge and prosecute those violent and lawless ones who unlawfully tied and beat a mainland reporter. Thinking at the Hong Kong's government's point of view, if they let protesters get what they want, get away with violating Hong Kong's law and order and set an example for this, then protesters can hold Hong Kong government hostage and demand whatever in the future. In my view, both sides need to calm down, and try to create a meaningful dialogue on this issue (if there's a third party mediator, that'd be the best), discuss what can and cannot be accomplished following Hong Kong's law.

  20. The demonstrations in Hong Kong have been relatively controlled and tame by demonstrators. The author of a recent opinion article asked the question “Can Hong Kong Avoid Becoming Tiananmen?” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/17/opinion/sunday/hong-kong-china.html The demonstrations in Tiananmen Square became a momentous event only when the Chinese army entered the square and the result was much violence and deaths. But I believe that should the Chinese army enter Hong Kong, the situation will be many times more violent and worse than what happened in Tiananmen Square. In Tiananmen Square, once the Chinese army entered, the students and others left the Square. In Hong Kong, should the Chinese army enter the territory, there will be no place to go … Hong Kong is a small place … there will be substantial violence and a large number of casualties … this is also because the young of Hong Kong are prepared to die for to support liberty and democracy at all costs. But Beijing does not/will not accept this. Prepare for the worst.

  21. The resolve and unity of Hong Kong people is astonishing. They are willing to put everything on the line to protect their freedoms. They can only rely on themselves to rescue them from one-party rule, state-run media, and authoritarian police and judicial system. These are nasty people they are dealing with. The Communist Party is doing everything it can to delegitimize HKers demands and make sure the calls for freedom and democracy do not spread to the mainland. The scariest part is that the Communists would rather level HK to dust than to show weakness and bow to its demands.

  22. It's amazing just how dark and depressing human / international relations are even still. The thirst for wealth and power among these so-called government leaders is a threat to us all. It is sad that even in the US, we have empowered such hateful leaders with the ability to destroy our lives.

  23. The Communist Party of China is a totalitarian government with no regard for human rights. They have forcefully assimilated the population of Tibet. They are doing the same in Xinjiang where one million people have been incarcerated in re-education camps. They threaten to invade Taiwan and annex it by force. They claim the entire South China Sea as their sovereign territory and build military bases there. They operate an all pervasive police surveillance state to monitor the personal lives of millions of people. There is no free speech. There is no free press. The internet is censored. Dissidents in foreign countries are kidnapped and disappear. Those who desire freedom in Hong Kong should have no illusions.

  24. @Newfie And yet because they have so much wealth and a large population (i.e. a large commercial market), Hong Kong is just the first step. Next they will aim to break and "incorporate" Taiwan into "One China" and then on to Japanese islands. The world will back off and appease for fear of alienating that market or angering that large military. The government has also been raising a generation of uber-nationalists with more wealth than the previous generations, and a Great Firewall of China to "protect" them from "foreign agents". It's sad that even in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc., that when a group of people from Hong Kong hold a rally for their fellow citizens, a group of PRC-flag wavers show up and taunt then.

  25. @Newfie I can't believe you get the NY Times in Newfoundland.

  26. "One country, two systems" (1C2S) is already looking very shaky. If Beijing sends troops into Hong Kong, it's over. Under-reported so far is the way this must look from Taiwan. For several years, China has been trying to entice Taiwan back into union with China via the 1C2S formulation. The more China cracks down on Hong Kong, the more it tries to co-opt Hong Kong's legal system, dissolve Hong Kong's legal protections, erases Hong Kong's press and self-expression freedoms, the further away any reunification with Taiwan will be.

  27. There is another way of looking at this: In the Opium Wars, China was humiliated by a British armada and forced to import opium from the British East India Company - against its will. Artefacts were looted and imperial palaces were burnt down. Then in 1908, an eight-nation alliance (which included the US) besieged Beijing to quash the nationalist Boxer Rebellion. China was long a victim of foreign interference. The Communist of Party of China doesn't want its citizens to forget the 'Century of Humiliation'. By invoking victimhood among the masses, it is able to better consolidate its hold on power. By alluding to foreign elements trying to undermine China's progress, the party strengthens its case for the current political system. (Of course, the state ignores Mao's disastrous Cultural Revolution which killed millions) Hong Kong, one of the last remnants of the British empire (handed back in 1997), is viewed with mixed feelings. On one hand it is a successful financial centre - the world's third largest - and its port is integral to global supply chains. One the other hand, its status as an ex-colony is a reminder of the humiliation China once faced at the hands of the 'foreign devil'. And so, when the international community warns China against quelling the HK protests, it is perceived as continued interference by the foreign devil who do not respect the sovereignty of the Chinese state. All the more, there will be a bloody crackdown just to prove a point.

  28. @Jack "a bloody crackdown just to prove a point" is barbarous enough. It is just an excuse for a devil's cause.

  29. Whatever the variables being included in Mr. Xi's calculations, the least of his concerns needs be any deteriorating relations with the United States under Trump. And whatever ruffled feathers those minimal intervening variables might generate will easily be dispatched with some flatteringly personal aggrandizement, say a big parade (something at which the Chinese excel) or a nice "lets kiss and make up" love letter,...or better a yet a Trump Shenzhen Bay hotel on the waterfront....say right there in that grove with the circular freeway loop around it between the sports complex and the high rises to the upper left. No problem!

  30. As with so many of the geopolitical problems we are facing today, we can trace this to what was essentially the British “dropping the mic” sometime in the middle of the 20th century. Surely the warning signs were there that the hundred-year lease needed to be renegotiated when Mao was killing millions of his own citizens during the “Great Leap Forward” (aka The Great Chinese Famine). If history is any guide we should all be worried.

  31. Likewise, with 1.7 million protestors on the streets this weekend, the people of Hong Kong are sending a warning to Beijing. Attempting to suppress the people of Hong Kong by force might well turn out to be China's own Vietnam.

  32. @Jack Too geographically small for a quagmire.

  33. Military intervention in Hong Kong will lead to sanctions... the US will be the first and the world will follow. Not because the current administration cares about Hong Kong but more because it's a way to rally the world to cripple China.

  34. Hong Kong's real problem is not the heavily distorted and mis-characterised 'extradition bill' (which isn't much different from its American equivalent; e.g. an inmate in NM being charged with a Federal crime, then 'extradited' to say Washington to be tried under a Federal Statute). And we are talking about common criminals. Hong Kong's real problem is that its unique position, as a global financial hub is declining rapidly. Mainland China, especially the Shenzen region is growing extremely fast and will soon eclipse whatever HK had before. And the clock is ticking; 2047 isn't too far away, when the city island will be fully integrated. And finally, Beijing doesn't need 'to send in the tanks'. They can just close the borders with nothing and nobody getting in or out. It will be over within 24 hours, if not less and rightly so. This entire Hong Kong business is a replay (sequel?prequel?) of a well-worn dog-eared booklet of 'how to stir unrest and

  35. The problem with your analysis is that China has no right of habeas corpus and the judicial system is subservient to the Party. Anyone can be charged as a common criminal if it serves the need of the government.

  36. HK was part of China until 110 years ago, when they lost the Opium war to the western powers who wanted an open market for the millions of opium addicts at the time. China lost badly, the Qing dynasty collapsed, HK was ceded as a Bristish colony for 100 years. Addicts continue to mount (my own grandfather included) even after the founding of the Nationalist government in 1910. When the communists took over in 1949 many addicts were summarily executed (even today, cocaine can get you a death sentence). The war was a shameful chapter of western imperialism, and of the prize to the victor. Today, the world will not tolerate a repeat of the Opium war or Tiananmen. And neither can Xi allow HK to exit China. So Xi has no choice but to use economic pressure rather than the military to contain the unrest. So I am optimistic for HK.

  37. The People Republic of China would loved to annex the Republic of China (Taiwan) and increased his control over Hong Kong. The problem is that their only argument for asking for the support of the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong is by threatening them. Not a good way to win hearts and minds.

  38. @Wilbray Thiffault Before Mao's victory, Taiwan was just an island province, part and parcel of China. It wasn't and would not have become a 'country' without US help. Hong Kong was a British colony, retained by the Brits after the disgraceful opium wars until it was ceded BACK to China in 1997. Both have been part of China historically.

  39. @waldo Get your facts straight. From 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese. In 1945, the Kuomintang took control of it and then proceeded to lose control of the mainland four years later in 1949, and that is when the People's Republic of China was established. So when you say Taiwan was just an island province that was part of China "before Mao's victory," I have to assume you are referring to some time period before 1895.

  40. @waldo So what? What was Taiwan before that? It was a Dutch/Spanish colony before that was overthrown by a random Ming general after the Ming dynasty had already fallen. He dubbed it the Kingdom of Tungning. Then, the Qing defeated him in the laste 1600s, annexed it and controlled it until 1911 when Chiang Kai-shek and KMT overthrew the Qing in the Xinhai Revolution. Mao didn't really start fighting against the KMT until 1927, and when the KMT lost after WWII, its remnants fled to Taiwan. Before all of that, it was populated by aborigines, not Han Chinese. So, why should the PROC get to control Taiwan? It's not really part of China, which is why the Communist government so vociferously insist that it is.

  41. What is now clear is that Trump intends to topple the Chinese Government in Beijing. This is a new Cold War being fought on every front. This is an existential treat to one party rule in China and will be treated as such. What Trump is engaging in is his Maximum Pressure campaign. Does he have the will to risk war in Asia? Does he have any allies in the region? Or will he just fold like he always does thereby emboldening China to reach for all its geopolitical objectives at once. We are rapidly approaching the Cuban middle crisis moment with an unskilled madman with no allies and a skeptical military at the helm. How is it that in a democracy we allow one man who the majority of the country voted against to drag our country to the brink of war and to affect multiple generations of our children? The idea that the United States is a democracy is a joke. The people of the US could learn from the people of Hong Kong that we must rise up against trump the tyrant.

  42. @Michael Dee Perhaps clear to you (are you a Chinese planted robot?) but to very few others. Trump is calling for calm; his economic moves are completely justified by a predatory China that has engaged in legalized theft of intellectual and other property.

  43. @Michael Dee Ironically, it is a joke. We are a Republic. The President is selected by States not popular election by the country as a whole. One may prefer popular election but the Constitution reads otherwise. There is not much hope to amend the Constitution to correct this feature. The small States are unlikely to approve such an amendment and lose the advantage of having two Senators regardless of State population for the Elector count of their State.

  44. @skeptic, no. trump doesn't know what to do. He's neither an evil genius nor a wise Ghandi-like peace advocate. He's a weak idiot with no interest in his actual job. He wants Xi to say nice things about him, and he doesn't particularly care about the whole 'Democracy peaceful protest we the people' silliness. When I watch trump answer questions on this (in front of the helicopter, natch), he sounds exactly like the Charlottesville waffler. There are very fine people on both sides, Xi is smart, trump's not involved, but if he were, he'd fix it in 10 minutes, etc....blah blah, waffle and furrow his brow to make it look like he thinks hard. Out of one side of your mouth, you praise trump for being tough on predatory China. The other side praises trump for not being too tough on China cuz democracy is silly, and Dems are the only real danger, those communists! Whatever drivel comes out of trump's mouth or tweets becomes wisdom to his cult members, even when it completely contradicts what he said yesterday; I've never seen anything like it.

  45. Let's not forget the British too, sent in British troops to suppress the riots in Hong Kong in 1966 and 1967. As Trump realised, the unrest has been going on for over two months; the protests and violence have penetrated many districts in the city, by design. So many police stations were attacked, sometimes with gasoline bombs. I cannot think of any government in the world could survive such riots, without resorting to guns and bullets by the police force for self defense. Miraculously, the Hong Kong Police has not inflicted a single fatality on the protesters and mob, while the protests have gone on for over two months. China, with sovereignty over HKSAR, has the ultimate responsibility to restore law and order in the city. Perhaps it could send in the paramilitary force to back up the local force and station in the city for several weeks, if anarchy does result from the mindless behavior of the rioters. It's up to the protesters, especially the most radical and violent elements, if their senseless behavior would trigger the troop advance. Let's pray it would not come to that. But if it does, it is a force to restore law and order , and would be welcome by the average Hong Kong citizens, who are getting tired and disgusted with the violent protests.

  46. @Peter Those who value security over liberty may initially obtain the former but will ultimately be left with neither.

  47. @Peter We can see where your values lie. More short term money over long term freedom. You are part of what the protestors are protesting against.

  48. Protest cannot go on forever and the government cannot hope that the protest will die down over time. Government should take action to meet some legitimate demands of the people while the protesters should give the government face-saving way to yield. Instead of paying homage to principles, real action must be taken. As many protesters are students, it is advisable for the university chancellors to come up and suggest a moratorium to cool down the situation. This will allow cooler heads to prevail and come up with a solution. Inequality is not mentioned in analysis from Hong Kong but prominently mentioned in outside analysis. This is a global problem. People in Hong Kong should pay attention to this situation and come up with a solution,

  49. This issue is far more complex than the prevailing Western media frame of heroic protesters vs tyrannical government allows. Hong Kong is part of the sovereign territory of China. Its colonial rule since it was taken by the British in the Opium Wars was and remains a source of unresolved humiliation not just for the Chinese government but for most of the Chinese people. A prefect analogy is hard to construct, but imagine if the Soviet Union had somehow occupied San Francisco during the Cold War, smartly turned it into center of trade and finance, and that it had only been returned to the US 20 years ago with all sorts of restrictions on US authority and with a population with many close ties to Russia. Think then if it became a haven for criminals seeking to evade justice in the US (or other countries) by virtue of the absence of a means of legal extradition. Imagine then NGOs heavily or entirely funded by the Russian government agitating against a law establishing extradition between LA and the rest of the country and organizing demonstrations that attacked and vandalized US government buildings, shut down LAX and waving Russian flags. If you want to know how most Americans would react you need only consider the indignation among many Democrats around the supposed effects of Russian troll farms on the 2016 elections and magnify that a hundred fold to appreciate how these demonstrations are viewed by most mainland Chinese.

  50. @Christopher I like your analysis. It is thought provoking but I would like to modify your analogy a bit. What if the citizens of the hypothetical enclave you mentioned experienced a degree of basic human liberty not experienced by their mainland fellow citizens? Regardless of the source of said liberty (historical insult or not) wouldn't the citizens of your hypothetical enclave fight tooth and nail to keep it? Liberty is deep-rooted in human nature. We don't like being told how to think or what to believe or to obey and be silent. It is natural and normal to yearn for freedom of thought, word, and deed. Arguments regarding historical insults and nation-state pride crumble in the face of the basic human yearning for liberty. Maybe, just maybe, that is part of the story? Tyrants understand. It won't end well for the people of HK, I'm afraid.

  51. @Christopher well, in your scenario, the US would have millions upon millions of political prisoners, as China does. Also, China has real obligations when it comes to preserving the legal status quo that they agreed to when the UK handed over Hong Kong. They have been consistently and increasingly encroaching upon the liberal establishment that they are obligated to preserve for a long time. Great Britain isn't the Soviet Union, and there really isn't a relative equivalency between the two scenarios. There are legal solutions that limited extradition could address (for mainland criminals fleeing to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution). This isn't that.

  52. It is so difficult to construct an analogy that you have resorted to one so ludicrous and impossible as to lose all its value. Besides giving yourself away by blaming it all on the Democrats. Ah, the authoritarian mind at work.

  53. We're guessing Xi won't be President-For-Life after all. Warning to Putin and Trump as well. The people's patience wears thin.

  54. Look at Tiananmen Square to peek ahead at what’s about to happen to the good, democracy-loving people of Hong Kong, especially if no democracies help them right now. Perhaps to look at what China is determined will happen to the rest of the world... It is very uncomfortable to say it, because China’s PR machine is so effective, but this is the real China and they are determined to take what they see as their rightful place as the sole world superpower.

  55. @Lilly Where are the UN blue hats? They ought to be there with 100,000 or so.

  56. @Lilly What do established communist regimes do when other countries strive to revolt against capitalist governments? They leave no stone unturned helping them out. Whatever your opinion of communist insurgencies is, do democracies show the same resolution when political liberalization is on the table, like in Hong Kong?

  57. World take note. China’s unconscionably brutal dictatorship is determined to take what it feels is China’s rightful place as world ruler. Hong Kong could be us before we know it. This is world war, whether we wanted it or not and they have already brainwashed their people that we are the bad guys.

  58. @Lilly, What Hongkongers worry, is a future that is already a reality for the Xighurs, with more than 1m of people under 24x7 surveillance like a virtual prison. If Hong Kong does not fight against it now, it'll be too late when the Great Firewall rolls into the city by 2047.

  59. Agreed. (I despair.)

  60. When will the supposed leader of the free world speak in support of a people yearning to breathe free?

  61. @Steve Kay, Trump does not deserve to speak with the might of the WH because he has no credibility whatsoever. Who really cares what he says or thinks, truthfully?

  62. @Steve Kay - About five past never. What I want to know is when the American people will take to their own streets against the petty, tyrannical, would be dictator currently inhabiting the Oval Office. How much will it take to shake us out of our complacency? Kids in cages wasn't enough?

  63. President Xi, always remember that Taiwan is watching.

  64. @Stephen Merritt, I wish Xi had to worry about the Americans watching.

  65. Tremendous journalism and photojournalism -- the umbrella photo says it all.

  66. China, until recent years, had mostly managed to gain credibility as a place where you could do business. The kind of day to day freedom of movement and activity necessary for a market economy amenable to the global business community. Running roughshod over Hong Kong with the PLA or even the “PLA-lite” paramilitary police will, in combination with the existing tariff situation, cause a lot of people to reconsider whether the Chinese are actually interested in a free enough society or whether the government and party is only interested in an iron fisted authoritarianism.

  67. The people of Hong Kong increasingly demands the central government to act and put down this NED backed umbrella revolution that have plunged Hong Kong into turmoil for the past 2 months. The march over the weekend was only participated by 126,000 individuals even though the separatists claimed 1.7 million.

  68. How is the weather in Beijing today??

  69. China sends a stark warning: We’re gonna break heads and bust bodies... OK. So now we know where China stands. A more sympathetic government would sit down and negotiate, endlessly if need be, but China has chosen the authoritarian route. This reflects a very shortsighted viewpoint from a State actor who has run out of options. Protesters, you cannot show your displeasure through peaceful protests anymore. Your efforts thus far have been valiant but it’s time to change tactics. It’s time to hide. Get on your computers. Hack everything China. You must disrupt transportation, infrastructure, and the normal running of government. Hack everything government related. Hack and embarrass your leaders. Change locations, change your IP addresses. Renew your attacks. Disrupt the normal flow. And keep at it. It might take years. But your bodies will be intact and so will your heads. Avoid prison if at all possible. Isolation will kill you. Hack the State for all it’s worth. Hack them into next week. Give them something to respect. Only then will they sit down and talk.

  70. @PC, That won't work in China which has far more resources, manpower, and "hall monitors" than Hong Kong. You obviously have never been to Hong Kong or China. Do take a trip there, join the peaceful protests/march, and you'll get a feel for what it's all about.

  71. I think the main picture is a little misleading. The city skyline isn't Hong Kong--It's Shenzhen. Some people unfamiliar with the area may be confused. The "Hong Kong" border that the caption is referring to are the hills/mountains in the barely visible background. Shenzhen's urban area hugs the border, but Hong Kong's core urban area is buffered by wetland parks, hills/mountains and farmland. I'm also struggling with viewing this as Darth Vader level menacing. Feelings and opinions aside, the protests have disrupted an international airport and businesses, protests have teetered on chaos, the HK police reaction has led to issues...If this was Los Angeles shouldn't Newsom or Trump be considering calling in the National Guard (A federalized paramilitary force with big scary equipment). Also I would like to see the Chinese translation of "Stop...and be saved" because I think its probably no more threatening than "return to your homes and you will not be harmed". I know everyone is ready for Tiananmen 2.0 but to understand this issue you really need to understand the growing cultural tension that has been brewing in the area for at least a decade. Hong Kongers have a history of throwing quasi-racial epitaphs at Mainlanders (one of the elected legislators slurred in her oath for taking office, Publications have referred to the mainlanders as locusts, yada yada) but, you know, the NYT thinks its cute they "reappropriate" the Pepe meme.

  72. @Arthur A march close to my home this Saturday was blatantly xenophobic "mainlanders stay away - Hong Kong for Hong Kongers". The "protests" are a mixed bag of causes, some people even suggest central China government is pushing an agenda. Whatever it's made of, as a first hand witness I can tell you the protests have become toxic.

  73. I truly am touched by the degree to which you give the benefit of the doubt to the totalitarian regime in Beijing and attempt to obfuscate a menacing military buildup that would be obvious to even a small child.

  74. Says a man in DC who “knows” the truth.

  75. A small appendage of it’s own country threatening independence, during a major trade war? What a great time to have a Jester occupy the White House throne.

  76. @Paul Torcello Trump has stood up for the USA more versus China than the last 4 Presidents combined. Sure I prefer a different style, but he has moved the goal posts significantly. Call him a jester if you like, he doesn't care about your style comments. He's results oriented.

  77. @MT Joining the TPP and being active with the global community would have been standing up for the US. Going it alone with no understanding of economics nor history (other than Nazis and White Supremacists), not so brilliant.

  78. @Paul Torcello The Lords of the Rings and King Theoden analogy is kind of apt, I think.

  79. "Terrorist Acts" allow extraordinary actions by a government and that government gets to decide what those acts are. China is doing it here, England did it with the IRA, the US did it after 911. Now New York State is moving to do the same (New York Moves to Classify Killings Fueled by White Supremacy as Domestic Terrorism https://nyti.ms/2ZaVB3K). We would be wise to tread very carefully before signing away the rights of others and labeling them 'terrorists' lest those same laws be corrupted and used against all of us.

  80. @Trob Sadly, you're warning will probably go unheeded, though its sentiment is one for the ages.

  81. As long as leaders are for life they will be scared of Hong Kong movement spreading to Chinese mainland.

  82. Years of American and European greed allowed the Chinese to become so powerful. We provided them all the knowledge they need. Soon Taiwan will be in their crosshairs.

  83. @wyatt Wait, I thought European and American greed delayed China's development by crippling its economy through exploitative trade arrangements and opium trafficking. That's not to overlook Japan's invasion, annexation of Chinese territory and massacres of its civilians. Which is it - we made them too strong or we made them too weak? For some people, it's always America's fault.

  84. @PWR You're talking ancient history.

  85. @Cousineddie Sure, but the point is, those who want to blame America and the west for whatever happens in the world are endlessly inventive in finding a rationale to do it. In that warped world view analytical consistency of cause and effect is not a concern.

  86. Mr. Xi and the Communist party should never be underestimated. In the final analysis of the Hong Kong matter if Mr. Xi determines the Communist Party and its machinery is at risk of falling he will unleash the military with its fullest power to end the uprising. He will be aware of the political, financial and international consequences of his actions but will have decided the risk to maintain the Communist Party and its machinery will be worth it. We see now how as China advances economically and on the world stage Mr. Xi and The Communist Party are continuing to tighten their hold on the country. The situation in Hong Kong now is a harbinger of future clashes Mr. Xi and the Chinese leadership, as well as their successors, will continue to face as the demands for greater freedoms in Hong Kong and mainland China continue. The can here cannot be continually kicked down the road. Freedom will continue to knock on China's door.

  87. @Howard Herman Define 'freedom'. I dare you. But no slogans, no empty catch phrases. The clear, concise definition and interpretation.

  88. @Howard Herman This isn't how it is. This is either a massive headache for Xi. Something he didn't need and the cause of massive instability. Something that will force his hand and accelerate plans that had a 20 year horizon. Or... a pre-calculated gambit to stoke the tension, violence and disruption. Something that will allow China to come in as saviours. I can tell you now, businesses are empty and ordinary people are massively annoyed at the disruption to life. It's costing real jobs and livelihoods. If these protestors really love Hong Kong, they are causing it's death and should be ashamed. If it's a Chinese plot, then your analysis massively underestimates the planning of central government.

  89. @Howard Herman I'd wager Xi would prefer to make political concessions in Hong Kong than in Shanghai, or any other mainland Chinese city. Hong Kong is exceptional, so Chinese leadership can point to it as such and disapprove similar liberalizations in mainland cities. This is the crucial face-saving. Leadership knows that in history, eastern or western, economic development eventually leads to political liberalization, and that the can cannot be kicked down the road forever. Hong Kong is the steam valve for the mainland that allows the CCP to kick the can a little further.

  90. This is precise moment when the world needs to speak in unity against this imminent military action. Ideally, part of this would include major foreign corporations halting their China-based manufacturing operations.

  91. @Andre Hoogeveen When was the last time the United Nations took a strong stand or was a player in international disputes? Can anyone name the current Secretary General?

  92. "The use of force, however, would be fraught with risks for Mr. Xi, who is already juggling economic headwinds and deteriorating relations with the United States under President Trump." Mr Xi will use force to counter the risks he faces from the protestors. And with the USA under President Trump, he is least worried about any negative reactions from that side.

  93. I bet if there is a no deal Brexit, there will be Chinese tanks rolling down the streets of Hong Kong.

  94. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-identity-china-edward-leung.html "A group called Hong Kong Indigenous, in which Mr. Leung was a leading activist, began harassing mainland shoppers in what it called “retake” actions. Hong Kong’s colonial-era flag became a banner of resistance in what at times became an ugly xenophobic campaign against mainlanders, with some Hong Kongers dehumanizing them as “locusts.” " And there you have it. The truth of what these protesters really are and what they are about. Hong Kong's answer to Trump supporters. In the 80s and 90s, Hong Kong was the most prosperous Chinese city and served as China’s window to the outside world. Now it has lost that special status and its GDP has fallen behind neighboring Shenzhen, a former fish village and other major Chinese cities on the mainland. For the longest time Hong Kongers looked down on their mainland cousins as country bumpkins, but as their fortunes stagnated and the mainlanders became the new Beverly Hillbillies they became resentful. Like besieged Trump supporters they fall back on their identity as a source of superiority. For Hong Kongers it’s their British colonial identity. Make Hong Kong great again?

  95. The protests near my home on Saturday were “mainlanders stay away”. Basically “send them back” protests. The protests have become toxic whatever the origins were.

  96. Perhaps the Times would do its readers a service if, when writing about the current disturbances, it reminded them how the police in Hong Kong, then under British colonial rule, dealt with protests - characterised, of course, as «riots» - back in e g, 1967, which left 51 dead and 802 injured (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_1967_leftist_riots). To my mind, quite a contrast with the restraint shown by the Hong Kong police today.... Henri

  97. @mhenriday As your own link explains, what HK was dealing with in 1967 was actual terrorists who planted bombs throughout the city that killed innocent civilians, including a 2 year old and 4 year old child killed by a bomb disguised as a gift placed outside their residence.

  98. Strange Matt, that you didn't notice that the article I referenced - written, by the way, from the standpoint of the British authorities - confirms the fact that the brutal repression on the part of the colonial police began at least a month before any bombs were placed by the protesters. But of course, protesters who wave the US flag and the Union Jack are not to be dealt with, nor regarded by the media in the same manner as those who do not.... Henri

  99. And our mealy-mouthed narcissist of a president waffles about 'very fine people' on both sides because he is, in reality, an incredibly weak man who wants Xi to like him and say good things about him. And brave people in Hong Kong will be sacrificed again, protesting for American style democracy while trump praises the Communists. And then calls Democrats horrible communists to rile up his base, then goes back to whine at Xi some more. But more than anything, trump fantasizes about being the one so powerful that he can have tanks massed in an American city to put down those who protest HIM. How come America isn't good enough for trump supporters anymore??

  100. @deb Trump could care less what Xi thinks of him. If anything, Hong Kong protests and a lack of human rights in China gives Trump a good negotiating lever in trade talks. He also could likely bring the EU along with him. Who knows what is happening behind the scenes? Can you give trump the benefit of the doubt?

  101. @MT Bringing the E.U. on his side assumes that Trump hasn’t alienated U.S.A. traditional allies.

  102. @MT, nope. But you seem willing to. He might be..... Who knows... ...exactly.

  103. Remember, Trump thinks these protesters are bad for his trade deal. Think on that for a bit.

  104. The government of China is authoritarian and has no concept of, nor respect for, human rights or democracy. (I am not speaking about the Chinese people, to be clear, only their form of government.) In addition, their government seems to have little concern with environmental protection and stewardship. That the Chinese government is growing more ascendant as a global power at the same time that the short-sightedness, greed, and ignorance of our own government (namely the Republican party) weakens our own standing in the world should be of great concern. We can't allow the 21st century to be the time in which democracy, equality, and the health of our environment, succumbs to revanchist authoritarian systems.

  105. @Dominic "human rights or democracy" Empty phrases that have lost their meaning long time ago. They can mean anything.

  106. “Hong Kong Can Avoid Becoming Tiananmen”. The aborted Second American “Revolution Against Empire” in 1968 — is coming in a peaceful & globalized “Revolution Against Empire” [du Rivage] Chief Joseph 1877 “Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever." Joseph and his Nez Perce people in Oregon allied with the Lakota people, attempted the survive within the Northwest Territories and Canada. Chief Joseph was finally moved to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington, where he died in 1904. Fighter pilots have a saying that, "speed is life". But, for all the rest of us, "inclusiveness is life" --- and tribalism is death by the oldest lie of empire. Racism is another deadly old lie of empire, as is aggressively fundamentalist religion. Nationalism is a somewhat newer lie of empire, proving particularly deadly in the 20th century. While, economic ideology is the newest, and current, lie of empire (which is causing our economic and environmental collapse). But all the lies and deceptions of "empire-thinking" lead ineluctably to the very same grave --- so choose your empire poison, stupidly. Or choose your inclusiveness, wisely. There are only two levers in the voting booth — one labeled global democracy and the other labeled Global Empire. The ironic and oxymoronic labeling of “Citizens United” by an un-Supreme Court — should accurately have been called “Corporate Power & Money United”.

  107. According to the police official in Shenzhen, Hong Kong people are supposed to "repent and be saved". We've already seen what that looks like in Xinjiang.

  108. I was wondering why the verbiage used regarding the Tiananmen Square massacre was so soft, then I noticed the author is currently in China. With no exact casualty report, the estimates are up to several thousand murdered in when the "People’s Liberation Army to crush[ed] the Tiananmen Square protest movement 30 years ago this summer." The lack of integrity is appalling.

  109. Rise up fallen fighters; Rise and take your stance again. 'Tis he who fight and run away Live to fight another day. -Tacitus, by way of Robert Nesta Marley

  110. How about trading Portland for Hong Kong? Socialism for Democracy? Slavery for freedom? Both sides win win.

  111. No doubt all American war hawks are salivating watching this develop. Disgusting. Power back to the people. Protesters have the right.

  112. Salivating for what ? US only picks fights with puny opponents it can outmaneuver and outgun. Russia and China are the two nations it won’t attack.

  113. Unnoticed by most of the world, China has shifted from communism to fascism over the last 40 years. In truth, there's little difference between the two. Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. (Merriam Webster dictionary) Fascists believe that liberal democracy is obsolete and regard the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state as necessary to prepare a nation for armed conflict and to respond effectively to economic difficulties.[8] Such a state is led by a strong leader—such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the members of the governing fascist party—to forge national unity and maintain a stable and orderly society.[8] Fascism rejects assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and views political violence, war and imperialism as means that can achieve national rejuvenation.[9][10] Fascists advocate a mixed economy, with the principal goal of achieving autarky (national economic self-sufficiency) through protectionist and interventionist economic policies. (Wikipedia)

  114. @PWR, 100% wrong. Authoritarian with totalitarian tendencies and characteristics, yes. This is a single-party state that relies on a modified state-socialist, Maoist political doctrine with heavy does of nationalism. The state still owns or controls large portions of the economy. Fascist? Not even close. Dictionary definitions and Wikipedia are woefully inadequate for this sort of thing.

  115. @Buck Thorn China is not state socialist (whatever that might mean), but crony capitalist. China has not relied on Maoism for two generations(thankfully, because Maoism is murderous, ignorant, ad hoc lunacy), even though the CCP may trot it out to give themselves a false patina of legitimacy. China does meet the definition of a fascist state. Welcome to the 21st Century, Buck.

  116. @Buck Thorn I figured the Wikipedia reference might attract a snide comment. Actually, the Wikipedia entry lifted the quoted paragraph from Blamires, Cyprian, World Fascism: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1, not that I can vouch for that author. In any event, an economy that features billionaire capitalist business owners can hardly call itself Maoist.

  117. The actions of the Communist Chinese and their illegitimate "President For Life" Xi are outrageous and disturb the conscience. As such, since they are such conscientious individuals ready to call out Israel as to any difference of opinion that they may have, I think Representatives Tlaib and Omar should travel to the region to help the people of Hong Kong voice their opposition to what is going on there.

  118. I think we all know how this is going to end.

  119. 8/18 gathering and march, a renewal back to its origin started some two months ago this summer. 1.7m people. All peaceful and no violence. What other excuse can Carrie Lam, HK police and Beijing can conjure to justify rolling in military to Hong Kong? Carrie Lam, the onus is on you to respond to people's demands, the people you're supposed to serve. All I'm waiting for now, is a Nobel Peace prize for the people of Hong Kong, those who join the peaceful march to demand for a better future.

  120. @tiddle Lam does what she can, nothing more and nothing less. The demonstrators on the other hand are coming up with new demands every day, one is fuzzier than the other. This is anarchy, plain and simple.

  121. The military buildup plus labeling the demonstrators terrorists is on mainland TV every day In China, you can not lose face. If Xi backs down, he will unless he has a compelling excuse Justin Koenig recommends boycotting Chinese Goods should this escalate. Indeed, that might, just might, give Xi an escape. Or at least minimize the violence.

  122. If China has any confidence in its form of government, it would let the people of Hong Kong decide whether to stay independent or become part of China. The world must unite and insist that China let Hong Kong people hold a referendum. Any use of force must result in harsh scansion for China.

  123. Surely you jest. The horse left the barn in 1997. I don’t support China but I know that legally HK is China except for some soft, unenforceable provisions for temporary self governance. China believes in its culture. That culture has a distinct and quite different definition of good government and proper judicial systems than Western nations do. They believe in their government and they believe in the necessity at virtually any cost to maintain power by most means available. Brainwashing , economic coercion and ultimately police actions.

  124. @Suburban Cowboy I agree with your post, but only if you take out "I don't support China". Facts are facts, nothing to do with sympathies, or support.

  125. The warning is clear: shut down the protests, or face the unthinkable. But indeed China has matured, which makes it similarly beyond consideration for them. An armed intervention in Hong Kong would not be like the suppression that goes on in the hinterlands, mostly unseen and little reported. It would be recorded on thousands of devices, and broadcast around the world. So, that leaves the internal Hong Kong security apparatus, which has broken the back of unrest before. Can they do it again?

  126. How should the Chinese conduct their own domestic affairs? Do we have an example acceptable to the the US? Hmm I have one; Two days ago three Palestinians were killed in Gaza by IDF, not a peep out of this paper. So I wonder if it would satisfy the editors, Trump, John Bolton et al if the Chinese just used exactly the same tactics, weapons, and force as our stalwart and above reproach ally, Israel?

  127. Cathy Huang (woman quoted at the end of the article) is a great example of how people in mainland China are completely brainwashed.

  128. Next the pacific Islands, Papua, then Australia and Antartica. Then everything on Ghenghis Khans route to western Europe. And the US will be too powerless to stop them .

  129. A mass exodus from HK will be fascinating to behold. Brace for it in Taiwan, Canada, NY and California. Real estate will soar in the ethnic enclaves in Vancouver, Toronto, NorCal, SoCal and Tri-State NY. Real estate will tank in HK.

  130. If you go over to the Guardian, all the comments are pro-china. They seem to be flooding the comment sections. Hundreds. And if you say a word against China over there, the other commentators report you to the algorithm that blocks you. So the Guardian is the first media outlet to have been infiltrated.

  131. @scientella I've noticed the same in the comments section for this article. The names are Western but you can tell by the way the writers frame their statements or arguments. The tone has a "Chinese characteristics" mindset.

  132. @Sonia I just saw a news article that Twitter and Facebook have both uncovered a Chinese disinformation plot regarding the events in Hong Kong. Also, there has been a long standing problem with Chinese trolls on Reddit in nearly every discussion regarding the PRC regime, Hong Kong/Macau, etc. Apparently they prefer to use Chinese living overseas in an effort to try and cover their tracks. Sometimes they will even threaten family members still living in China in an effort to gain leverage and make them spam forums and the comments sections of news websites.

  133. @scientella Also flooding Youtube comments on these protests on a large scale.

  134. 32 years ago, Ronald Reagan stood in Berlin and said "We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace........ Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" We need that kind of leadership on China. If the PRC crushes Hong Kong and the world stands idly by, Taiwan is next. Free Democracies do not attack their neighbors or slaughter protesters. It's time to start advocating for political change in China.

  135. Scott, I can see your point, but.......what can we do if China moves to squash the protest and protestors? Other than all out war, not much.

  136. @Scott 'Free democracies' only attack other countries for no reason, destroy others, occupy yet others, buy/rig 'democratic elections' - shall I continue?

  137. Of the people, by the people, for the people. That is democracy as we understand. By these principles, we feel sympathy for the protesters. However, China is a communist country. We just cannot understand the perspective of people in China. But, the people of HK are more accustomed to Democracy vs Communism.

  138. The deployment of the People's Liberation Army in Shenzhen may have more to do with trying to dispel action inside China rather than focusing on the developments in Hong Kong. The Beijing authorities worst fear would be a movement inside China similar to the one inside Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong have a legitimate right for more autonomy. It was guaranteed to them in the agreement under which Great Britain returned Hong Kong to China. If China will not keep its promise to the people of Hong Kong, how can anyone else trust the authorities in Beijing to keep their word?

  139. I just finished reading "Twelve Days" by Victor Sebestyen, an outstanding book about the 1956 Hungarian revolution. Its description of the internal Kremlin debates regarding intervention is particularly fascinating. In the end, the risk of negative world opinion was outweighed by fears of dissolution of the Soviet Empire if the rebellion wasn't crushed. Also at that time the western powers were preoccupied with other matters (the Suez crisis) and gave only lip service support to the uprising. I wouldn't be surprised if Xi Jinping is thinking about that history.

  140. @Michael Engel Your analogy is false. Hungary in 1956 was a country, albeit in the Soviet sphere of influence, but a country nevertheless. HK on the other hand IS part of China. 'World opinion' has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  141. @waldo You miss my point, which was to assess what Xi might be thinking. As for HK being part of China, in terms of separate administration of one kind or another, that has not been the case since 1842.

  142. My comment is not entirely related to the Hong Kong situation; more to Trump supporters here in the States. I read in another column where an 18- year old attendee at the Iowa’s State Fair said that Trump could win a trade war with China because we have the pork that meets China’s needs and Xi wouldn’t let his people starve, or at least something similar. Looking at the present Chinese military buildup near Hong Kong, thinking of Tiananmen, thinking of Mao and the Cultural Revolution and thinking of other brutal things that have happened over the centuries in China, I very much believe those people that think we could win a trade war with China through a game of attrition are sadly misinformed.

  143. China has a surplus population. Xi is not worried about a reduction.

  144. This does not end well. There is no way to pay off the people here like they did after Tienanmen.

  145. We are trying to limit our purchasing of Chinese goods, far too many human rights violations around the globe including this desire to make Hong Kong less free, less just, more tyrannical. You can too. Buy smarter, buy less, it is better in so many ways.

  146. It's possible that the troops being massed over the border are from the far interior of China, and do not speak the same dialect as is spoken in Hong Kong. That's what some reports said happened at Tiananmen Square--so that the protesters could not "infect" the troops sent to put them down.

  147. The Chinese leadership is riding a tiger, with a population of 1.4 Billion they dare not let this go too long. In the end it will be their internal calculus that determines if the Army goes in, rather than world opinion. China has consistently acted to squash any movement that veers too far outside the approved CCP line. Decades ago it was Tienanmen square, more recently the Uyghur reeducation camps, where there are reports of up to 1.5 million people have been interned. If they allow the Hong Kong independence movement to continue, it could spark similar movements in other parts of the country. I think the leadership is viewing this an a existential threat. They may feel it would be better to deal with world opinion after an intervention, than to risk a revolution.

  148. China's use of its military to warn the Hong Kong protestors is precisely why the suggestion by the NYT Editorial Board, in its "Rethinking America’s Approach to the World" opinion, that the US adopt a foreign policy of relying more on diplomacy rather than on military action won't work. It can only work if your adversaries adopt the same policy.

  149. This article made me think that there is no good ending possible for the people of Honk Kong through walk and protest in the street. China’s leader is not going to follow their demands. If the situation goes on the army will not hesitate to enter and sacrifice Hong Kong to prevent the breath of freedom to spread on all China. Could Honk Kong protesters try another strategy like massive strike and paralyze the economy? It is probably hard from a financial point of view but isn’t the best choice to make ? If the army enters Hong Kong there is no chance for the protesters to stop physical attacks. When you are on strike your physical integrity is better protected.

  150. China is about to get fed up. Hong Kong protestors are being compared to ANTIFA in Chinese media. The storm trooper black look, the masks, the clubs, the random violence against basically anyone as long as they have been accused of being an enemy. They will attack one too many mainlanders, simply for being mainlanders, and the public sentiment in China will be to crush them like a bug. Two weeks at most.

  151. Feels more like a Chinese invasion if they go in with force. How does this not start a war?

  152. China will let Hong Kong people destroy Hong Kong, which would bolster other economic hubs within China. But China will crush any efforts to undermine the Chinese Communist Party.

  153. It is unfortunate that some of the people in Hong Kong do not think they are Chinese who live in the area of Hong Kong due to the historical weakness of the country.

  154. The Chinese brutally suppress any dissent or feeling of self control as an internal matter, but when other countries try to improve the lot of their states by striking down isolationist policies & articles they suddenly raise their hackles, showing their double standards regarding the matter of ones own country.

  155. The People’s Republic had no problem installing The Kim family into power in North Korea which gives you an idea of the value of the people long term.

  156. The central government is assembling Military Police -not regular troops- in Shenzhen only a short distance away from HK. Should the HK government call for them, they are ready to go . They also serve as deterrent to radicals and if it sends a chill down their spine, that's a good thing. The notion that China would stand by and watch a bunch of bandits financed by a vile tycoon destroy the city is ludicrous. Everything China has done in this crisis has been correct and abiding by the Basic Law. There is modern version of the Gang of Four loose in HK and hopefully they get the message. Their collusion with the US or Britain will come back and haunt them. This is not about democracy or free speech from the grounds up, like liberal democrats in America present it, it's a vile attempt at a coup. It's not working.

  157. @Blue Sky White Clouds can you summarize for us what the protestors are asking for and how that threatens the central government? Which vile tycoon are you referring to?

  158. @Blue Sky White Clouds Yes, and can you elaborate on who are the members of this "modern version of the Gang of Four?"

  159. @Blue Sky White Clouds Are you a member of the fifty cent army?

  160. China won’t let the Hong Kong defiance continue. China considers this an internal matter to be handled internally and it will be. Once they go in, it will get ugly really quick. An example will be made.

  161. Tiananmen Square 2.0? China uses brute force to “coax” its citizens into line. Communism can not allow descent, can not allow freedoms, they must have strict control over everyone and everything in order to survive. This will not end well for the protesters. The rest of the world’s leaders will only sit on the sidelines claiming how shocked and appalled they are at what China is doing, but will do absolutely nothing to stop or prevent the coming atrocity. Some world leaders (trump) will actually envy the power Xi has.

  162. An invasion of Hong Kong by China, which sending troops or police in would be, would be the beginning of the end for Chinese prosperity and security as currently set up under Communist Party rule. Crushing a thriving capitalist enclave would send the very strong message to the world that communism and dictatorship comes first, the security of business and capital a very distant second and any type of compromise with freedom, human rights and democracy of no importance at all. Few international companies or governments would continue to see China as a safe bet for investments or partnerships, quickly looking to economically disengage as much as possible from the country. The wealthy and rich in China, who already own a great deal of "escape" property overseas would accelerate plans for their departure, taking their talents and fortunes with them. And Taiwan? The Taiwanese would see that there would never be any hope in joining with China. They would fight to the end against any attempt to subject them to the rule of the dictatorship. China's current riches and stability are built on capitalist wealth and a decent dose of pragmatism. A turn towards full on communist dictatorship, violence and suppression will undoubtedly kill the goose that has been laying the golden eggs for the country for the last several decades. Lets hope that the rulers in Beijing realize this fact.

  163. The protesting crowds remind me of Hong Kong in the summer as Mainland China people come in droves for vacation crowding the streets to shop and to take their children to Disneyland. China should think twice about draconian actions against Hong Kong as this is a place they have never been able to replicate in Mainland China and represents a success for the Chinese. Chinese leaders should be learning from Hong Kong, not trying to squash it.

  164. All remember the indelible image of the lone protester facing a PLA tank in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989...and the slaughter that followed. Sunday, there was the indelible image of a sea of umbrellas shielding more than a million peaceful, self disciplined Hong Kong Chinese citizens out Sunday in the pouring rain demonstrating their preference for Hong Kong's rule of law over mainland China's law of ruler. Meanwhile tanks and troops are massed menacingly outside Hong Kong demonstrating the mainland Chinese Communist Party's preference for law of ruler. Can the mainland CCP now, thirty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, finally show the Chinese people and the world that they have matured, evolved and gained enough wisdom finally to put violent suppression of the Chinese people permanently into the past?

  165. The situation in Hong Kong highlights how much American businesses in China are under the thumb of the Government there. The definition of what constitutes 'nationalization' has been blurred. According to this article, Government officials continue: "...to dangle carrots and sticks at business and cultural leaders..." in order to solidify control over them. There is no greater example of this than the recent reports that accounting firms in Hong Kong have been put into the political vise along with companies like Cathay Pacific. It is reminiscent of how Enron manipulated Arthur Andersen into committing accounting fraud in order to benefit top management of the company. If the Chinese Government can exercise control over the auditors, then it has essentially nationalized whatever company is being audited. Under these circumstances, shareholders should no longer expect unbiased reports from an independent auditing firm.

  166. The US stood idly by in 1956 when the Soviets invaded Hungary and crushed the revolution there. The Chinese paid little cost for what they did at Tienanmen in 1989. While I don't advocate an armed conflict, the West must make it clear to China that there will be a cost to pay if they intervene in Hong Kong as they did in Tienanmen.

  167. China cannot invade Hong Kong, as the territory is already part of China. This is definitely not the West’s business. Any foreign intervention will probably make matters worse.

  168. @Michael what are you talking about? HongKong has always been part of China and will be forever. I know HongKong since 1965 and was there on Business more than 100 times, also having many Friends there, during the British Lease and after 1997. I can assure you that HongKong is totally free, before and after, as free as the US, Maybe more so since the US is ruled by a moron. I dont know why the HongKong Kids go on the street. Adventurers on an dangerous route??Can they expect to determine the Policy of Bejing??The extradiction law, which may be subject to discussion, has been taken back. China has a wise Leadership and is on the way to become a prosperous Nation again, after a Phase of poverty and starvation, whether the US likes it or not. But they donot like interference during this process. Chinas Population is four times bigger than the US and it is not possible to grant full Democracy overnight without a total chaos.The times of Mao & Co. are over. It takes time,but they are on the Right track. Do you want to send troops there, like iraq and Afghanistan and complete the chaos? China/HongKong have to settle the Dispute by diplomatic means. Your views remind me of the times of Joe McCarthy.

  169. @Michael Ah yes, America: World Police.

  170. A leftwing totalitarian state with a 70 year history of murder and brutal oppression ready and willing to crush an unarmed population. Exactly why the Founding Fathers insisted on the Second Amendment.

  171. @EGD No that is not why the "founding fathers" wrote the second amendment. If you actually read the second amendment in it's entirety the second amendment is about creating a well regulated militia in the states. At that time the US leadership did not want a large standing army.

  172. Clearly time for us to send in AOC and Beto. Let them negotiate for justice in China.

  173. Good one! Biden wouldn’t even know which country he had landed in...

  174. @Greg Why not, Trump and his cronies are clearly incapable.

  175. No worries. Donald Trump Jr. along with Eric Trump and Jared Kushner accompanied by Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Pence and Fox and Friends are going to volunteer to go in harms way in American military uniforms to sacrfice themselves for the sake of Hong Kong against the People's Liberation Army, the Central Military Commission National Police, etc. Thank God for Pink Hen Team 13! No collusion! MAGA!

  176. Hong Kong is a prime example for the disgusting and unacceptable economic inequality that ravishes the world. People need to rise against economic inequality.

  177. China appears to be in staging sequence for making their worst mistake since adopting Communism in '49..

  178. The inevitable irreconcilability of the 1997 transfer of sovereignty finally manifests itself. Tragically, this won’t end well.

  179. The vast majority of the citizens of the PRC see HK as a privileged deluded unruly gang of youth in need of discipline. October 1st is the 70th anniversary of the PRC. Xi cannot allow it to be tarnished by violence in HK. HK will be pacified by mid-September. Either by the HK elites recognizing their self-interest and using economic force or, in the event that they fail, by responsible measured military police action originating from Shenzhen and naval arrivals.

  180. China need not send in troops. Just hold up food delivery trucks at the border into HK for a few days. That'll show the ungrateful. HK people's livelihood is tightly tied to the motherland. Hong Kong is tiny compared to the rest of China. Its importance has been dwindling for many years against the first tier Chinese cities. HK rioters should shed their tribal superiority over mainland Chinese & change expectation. Xi & co have much more important items on their agenda than to worry about HK's daily affairs. Beijing delegated HK to the SAR administrators. Now they are watching. It's failure of HK administrators to monitor & reduce the grievances of the younger population. They need to reign in the power of real estate tycoons, tax them heavily to fund relief of poor working class. Make housing affordable. Protesters waving UK & USA flags during the riots shows how desperate they are. So un-moored from Chinese identity. Neither the Brits nor Americans will carry them off to wonderland. Those who could should emigrate. Too bad most cannot. Their 5-point demands are delusional, asking for what is impossible or unnecessary. They are hurting yet clueless about the solution. Taiping rebellion rears its ugly head again. HK government needs to revamp the colonial era schools and teachers. Stop them from brainwashing the kids. Summer holiday is almost over for rioters. If they have any brain don't push to embarrass October 1 celebration. That's a red line.

  181. @Observer Exactly. The mainland also provide HK with freshwater and electricity. If they are willing, they can just cut water supply line and electricity supply line to demonstrate their point. They don't need to send troops. HK will not survive on its own. I wonder who will support HK's fresh water and electricity usage if HK protesters get what they want? Brits?

  182. @Observer - It is time for the communist party to step down. These protest are not only in Hong Kong also happen at various scales throughout China, Tibet, Xingjang, but are often hidden from the press.

  183. @Observer Hong Kong protesters need a tour of U.S. major cities, basic costs, slums and homeless. What are the 5 demands?

  184. If China uses troops to put down the protests in Hong Kong, they world will finally recognize them for what they really are, which is a totalitarian state that refuses to adopt democratic ideals and practices. Resorting to military violence against your own citizens who are simply asserting the right to protest and self determination will not end well in the long run for the despots in Beijing.

  185. Whether Syria, North Korea, Russia or China, the world sees to what extent dictators go to quell decent; they'll murder their own citizens. trump has learned a lot by following in their footsteps. We'll see what the future holds us.

  186. This is not surprising. China has been using brute force to enforce its dictates for generations. This will not end with Hong Kong. Taiwan will be next.

  187. Green army trucks against a new modern skyline. Despite all of its tremendous economic growth and prosperity, it seems that parts of China still haven’t made it out of the mid 20th Century. Perhaps someday China will finally get a leader as caring, sincere and creative as the Chinese people.

  188. @John J. I guess they get rid of all military and national guards in CA because the US military and national guards use the same color.

  189. @John J. This is way more complicated than this. China is huge, and Hong Kong is radically different. The CCP (mainland government) needs to manage these different strands of society. This current crisis is ambiguous since actually, the main beneficiaries will be mainland China rather than Hong Kong. Local people are getting sick of these protestors graffitiing, beating, zip-cording and detaining mainland students, and throwing bricks at the very professional and courteous police. One of two options are apparently happening, it's either idiots making a massive and foolish miscalculation, or the mainland government is subversively trying to increase the speed an effectiveness of mainland control. Both actors will have the same effect, so the smart choice will be to stop this Quixote crusade.

  190. @John J. China is far better today than during the Opium Wars or when American troops besieged Beijing during the 1908 Boxer Rebellion. Chinese are capable of deciding their own destiny. You just focus on limiting gun violence at home and feeding families on food stamps. China may be far from the most free society, but it's not easy lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty in a single generation. Now consider that at least 30% of Americans have not seen an increase in real wages for their respective professions since the 1970s. The middle class in China has only grown from 5% in 2001 to more than 40% today. GDP has multiplied and soon will be larger than America's. Infrastructure there is actually modern if you've actually visited. There is 20,000 km of bullet train tracks. Even the "high speed" trains travel at 300 km/hour. America would've had the money to make these for its people had it not overspent on wars around the globe? China doesn't spend trillions on endless wars in the Middle East or overthrow democratic governments from Iran (1953) to Chile (1973) while preaching 'freedom' and 'human rights'. According to the Buddha, it is better to notice one flaw within oneself than to notice a thousand flaws in others. Just a thought. By the way, the skyline isn't "new" or "modern". Shenzhen and Hong Kong are some of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world, and yes, both are more advanced than Manhattan or what not.

  191. Communism in China has always existed for the sake of its leadership, not its people. It should also not be forgotten that when it comes to matters of law, China was entitled under terms of its lease from the British to resume control over Hong Kong. While it allowed them to continue leading an independent economic life, it made no such promise vis a vis its fundamental right to otherwise, ultimately, govern the country as it saw fit. What we are left with is a central government that is used to having control over its people, seemingly at peace with subjugating them to its will in ways it deems important. While it has introduced reforms to the economic life of its people, allowing increasing private business endeavors and wealth building by its population generally, the rule of a relatively few men, and not of British law, has always been the ultimate force used to manage its destiny. When all is said and done, the Communist Party exists largely for the sake of its own continued power and the personal wealth of its top few hundred families. When it has believed that to be sufficiently threatened, it has not hesitated to intervene to protect its own sinecures. China may be caught between a rock and a hard place with respect to Hong Kong, but ultimately, it has always come down on the side of continued control over its people. Expecting it to change, without getting what it wants, is unrealistic. What that means for the people of Hong Kong remains to be seen.

  192. @Quoth The Raven ... The political leadership of China are not 'Communist' in the spirit of Mao. They're autocrats out to maintain political / police control for their membership's benefit, with trickle down economic rewards to the rest.

  193. @Quoth The Raven These people are not communist, they are dictators or the top percentage of the 1%. It’s the same mostly worldwide. The only reason the word communist is used is to create a bogeyman term for an opposition of a 1% of another dictatorship country!!!

  194. @Gretna Bear The name of their party is Communist, but you're echoing my point, which is that they're in it for power and wealth. Yes, totalitarian autocrats, to be sure.

  195. It would be nice if the Secret Service, the National Guard, and the police departments of Milwaukee and Charlotte would renounce the use of force against any demonstrations that might take place in those two cities -- particularly Charlotte -- during the Democratic and Republican conventions next summer.

  196. @William Verick So if protesters start riots, damage property, assault people, the authorities, having take your proposed vow to "renounce the use of force against any demonstrators" would do, what, exactly? Go away, just watch, offer to "chat" with the factions, what? Is that even a credible suggestion? If so, how would you quell ciivil disorder?

  197. I would expect the U.S. authorities to quell civil disorder in Charlotte the same way the New York Times, the Washington Post and other American media outlets seem to be expecting the Chinese to quell civil disorder in Hong Kong. Whatever that method might be.

  198. Emperor Xi no longer has the mandate of heaven; he is increasingly unable to supply the prosperity and stability that are the expectation of an emperor. The Total Surveillance State was meant to be a bulwark against this day, the hope being that the Chinese people will have internalized the strictures imposed by their "social credit score", and remain a billion docile robots no matter how their circumstances changed for the worse. Millions will soon be outplaced by automation, and with the lack of a safety net, will have nothing to lose. Invading Hong Kong will destroy it and there will be no tidy cover up as in Tienanmen. For as many mainland Chinese who'll take momentary satisfaction in seeing the "rebellion" put down, they must remember, they're next.

  199. Well President Xi finds himself between the rock of democracy and the hard place of free markets--- you can't have one without the other. Yes, China has had some economic success with capitalism lite, but, will never get to the level of Hong Kong's economy without granting their own people more freedom. Although I hope some accomodation can be reached, I fear that President Xi values his hold on power more than advancing the laws of capitalism.

  200. @Amanda Jones Qatar, Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong, #1, 2, 3 and 4 wealthiest place in Asia don’t have democracy. You are confusing form of government with type of economic system. Democracy != capitalism and capitalism is what generates wealth

  201. Re: capitalism lite and Qatar, Singapore, etc as counterpoints to the marriage of democracy and capitalism: A legal system that protects private property is fundamental to the wealth accumulated in these centers of capital, and a legal system that protects private property is counter to totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. They may not be direct democracies or republics, but the interests of the property owning classes is represented in each one. The same cannot be said for PRC, which is why the safest investment for mainland Chinese folks has been overseas — most troubling in middling corrupt officials stealing the hard work of exploited laborers. Just because Xi has found a way to scapegoat this process and cut back on flagrant graft doesn’t mean that the underlying cause is going away. Totalitarian capitalism lite, or capitalist totalitarianism lite, will ultimately be the worst of both worlds, or perhaps the end of all.

  202. @Amanda Jones "the rock of democracy and the hard place of free markets--- you can't have one without the other" This is laughably, demonstrably, and historically false. Worse, it's not even coherent. Americans generally have a terrible understanding of political economy, and it shows

  203. Authoritarians can't stand democracy, the will of the people and freedom. They prefer one-party states, the military, the flag, fear and intimidation. Welcome to Chinese dictatorship.

  204. @Socrates "Authoritarians can't stand democracy, the will of the people and freedom. They prefer one-party states, the military, the flag, fear and intimidation." And that's just the United States.

  205. @Nick Schleppend Not even close. This forum or its equivalent could not exist in China.

  206. @Socrates And, fellow commenters: Let's not exaggerate and consider China's use of force and the USA's use of force against its citizens to be equivalent. Except for unusual and grievous errors in an individual's judgment (I'm recalling the Ohio Nat'l Guard @ Kent State in May 1970), the USA doesn't routinely use deadly force on unarmed demonstrators. After the European settlements in North America (predating the USA) and for some of the uncivilized practices used against Native American Indians (most recently Wounded Knee) and by the NA indians against other NA tribes, the USA history does record lynchings, vigilantism, and terrorist activity. But not on the scale of China's autracy. Our culture is not without fatal mistakes and violations of human rights. But, nothing in our recent North American history remotely resembles the recent Chinese gov't killings and contrived arrests against people including Tibet, ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in its western Xinjiang region, and 1989 Tiananmen Square. Let us work to improve our own behavior and to take necessary steps to reduce "bad behavior" by other powerful gov'ts.

  207. We stand with the protesters as they calmly and courageously demand the justice they deserve.

  208. @moosemaps they do deserve all the justice, and they will try to negotiate some freedom with China - while China, as once Soviet Union given, after the war, Eastern European countries, by the Allies, to bring to them all the unrestricted terror, China will devour and brake Hong Kong. We are in a process of witnessing it. What we can do, is to educate and expose all the Chinese visitors to United States what are the benefits of living in free world, so they will learn to demand the same in mainland China.

  209. We already know (since Tiananmen) that the Chinese government are murderers. The difference this time is that it will be in plain view of the world.

  210. Have there ever been free elections in China where the people had a right to vote for whom their leaders will be since Mao imposed his disastrous dictatorship on China ? If not, then why is Chairman Xi considered the legitimate leader of China and whom really needs to be Liberated by the People's Liberation Army ? Why such niceties in reporting New York Times ? After all you have no problem opening denouncing Trump as a dictator and racists, while never saying anything so strong about the Dictatorship that is China and the millions of people imprisoned for daring to question whether ever aspect of their lives should be directed by the Central Committee.

  211. Hey, remember when Caesar parked his army outside Rome to threaten Pompey? 2000 years and no progress for humanity.

  212. If the Chinese tried to crush protesters in Hong Kong it would dwarf Tiananmen Square in scale. China would have to invade the city.

  213. There was a time when all police forces in Asia would send their trainers for training in riot control to Hong Kong. Hong Kong police was considered the best riot control police force. Since Chinese take over that has changed dramatically for the worse. NY Times coverage clearly shows that were no longer that good. Army as riot control is possible the worst intervention.

  214. Wow. While not surprising, it is surprising. What are they going to do--fire shells into their own people? Roll over their bodies if they won't stop protesting? Where is the BDS movement against China?

  215. A brutal crackdown in HK will please Trump no end. He'll have all sorts of new support for his trade war.

  216. Trump always wary of demonstrations vs him sides with authoritarian leaders like Xi as a fellow dictator he wants our military to shoot toddlers at the border as they threaten his absolute rule. Trump's July 4th rally featured tanks at Trump's insistence as they are the weapon of choice for dictators to suppress dissidents. Trump hates democracy it crams his narcissistic nature to see himself as the unquestioned rule of the world always right about every issue and plotted vs by others .

  217. For many years of my life I have been fascinated by Hong Kong. I am not sure why. I am not asian and I have never been there. I guess it kind of wierd. whenever I meet somone of azn descent I ask them if they have been to Hong Kong and try to see what they can tell me about the place. Again:weird. Well weird or not I feel Hong Kong doesn't belong to China. I feel it is a special place that beongs to the world. So I think it should be free to exist and evolve as it always has. So I stand with the protestors. Easy for me to say. I don't want anyone over there to get hurt. But I am for a free Hong Kong.

  218. When protest broke out in Hong Kong in 1967, UK sent in Royal Marines, killing 51, age from 2 to 52. Queen awarded Royal title to HK police for their bravery in putting down the unrest. The people behind the protest, such as Martin Lee, etc. were first lining up the street, singing "God Save the Queen" when Her Majesty appointed one governors after another.

  219. China’s proclamation of strength and confidence rings a bit hollow when it still censors its own history from 30 years earlier. Is it stronger? Yes. Is the leadership confident? I have my doubts.

  220. Perhaps I am ignorant of complex issues here, but Hong Kong was a fantastically amazing place. I was there in 1983 and again in 1998, just before it was handed back to the Chinese by Britain. It was the only city I’d ever been in that made Manhattan seem provincial. I am so saddened by what it probably will become.

  221. China scares me, the upcoming "biggest economy" and "superpower" is a dictatorship that doesn't respect human rights and liberty.

  222. China is led by an autocrat, whose ideology is identical with Mao . The danger is that Xi JinPing is a stealth Mao, equally ruthless, equally unethical but very clever and cautious. He knows exactly when and how his party will silence the Hong Kong mutiny.He knows that Trump is a paper tiger, and already has Putin under his thumb. I do not expect global repercussions to last more than six months, after and if Xi decides to crush Hong Kong...

  223. As this article went to publication, the authorities in Beijing are carefully infiltrating the protest movements in Hong Kong, and neutralizing those who lead them. The military build up at the stadium is merely a diversion. The real work, which no doubt will include poisoning, assassinations, and other special operations, are going on beneath the surface.

  224. Xi will show his weakness if he has to resort to military force to suppress the demonstrations. I'm not sure he sees it that way, but it will be a failure of leadership in the same way Trump and Netanyahu failed by blocking congressional access to disliked representatives.

  225. I am not a fan of mainland China. China is is too big and too strong to care about world opinion. Therefore, I predict that the people of Hong Kong will sooner or later succumb to the will of the elephant next door.

  226. Let's hope further violence can be averted. Yet, the U.S. historically has its own bloody hands. Back in 1932, WW I military veterans, together with family members and supporters, marched on Washington, D.C., to appeal to the government to accelerate the payment of bonuses promised them for their prior military service. The so-called Bonus Army was later forcefully dispersed by police and Army troops, who were led by such luminaries as Douglas MacArthur and George Patton, employing tanks, cavalry and infantry. Some things change and some things stay the same.

  227. The people of Hong Kong are acting on the guarantee of autonomy that was the promise & the agreement when UK returned Hong Kong to China;anything being said other than this is a lie;Hong Kong is acting for Hong Kong, not for mainland China, but dictators like Xi, kim, putin,trump, need to control everything to satisfy their power;if trump had a conscience & a moral compass, he would tell Xi that Hong Kong is wanting what they were promised & is a viable, global, financial center, so let Hong Kong be because we will all benefit, and I will call off my tariff dogs. Would the person who desperately wants to be a dictator stand up for Hong Kong's freedom? Only if there is something in it for him. In this case, it would make him appear to be a decent, moral leader for once.

  228. @sandra The PRC is making a move to become the next world power, it is about to extend its Navy protection umbrella to the Middle East, the attack in SA over the weekend was a warning shot to MBS from Iran to get on board with what is happening. Fortunately the current world power will be the reigning world power and fully functional when it is destroyed along with all other nation states at the hands of the Kingdom of God.