A cursory reading of the situation is that the Hong Kong people are advocating for the freedoms and liberty of Hong Kong. They are doing that. But it is more than that, as the Chinese government surely sees.
If Hong Kong manages to protect its freedoms, then riots will – eventually – break out in Shanghai and Beijing and everywhere else. The future of all of China depends on crushing the Hong Kong protesters. The Chinese understand this. What they (and nobody) understand is what consequences may come from putting down protesters in a society that (still) has a free press, using soldiers and live ammunition. Tiananmen Square was before Social Media. Those consequences could include enormous economic pain from sanctions and businesses avoiding both countries, and it could readily spark a global recession.
This is a Very Big Deal.
Indeed, I think the only way in which Hong Kong emerges with freedoms intact is if Chinese dissidents simultaneously act in Beijing and Shanghai and elsewhere. Which would mean a complete revolution in China.Published in