What will China’s regime do about Hong Kong protests?

I am not saying that something on a scale of Tienanmen in 1989 may happen but how much do you think China is running out of patience regarding Hong Kong? Do you think that if protests continue will Beijing consider a more aggressive approach against demonstrations, or not and why? Read few comments.

Andrew Nathan, Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

On the one hand, China is reluctant to use force in Hong Kong because of the international condemnation it will cause. And for that reason, as I interpret their statements, they are pressing the Hong Kong police to bring the situation under control. And perhaps this strategy will succeed, because as time goes by such demonstrations tend to lose their energy. But, on the other hand, if the situation does not calm down, at some point China will do whatever it has to do to maintain control of the territory. I just don’t know when that threshold will be reached.

Tim SummersSenior Consulting Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

I certainly think Beijing’s patience is wearing thin, as is that of the Hong Kong government and police force. We are in a negative spiral. Force used so far by the police does not seem to be working, but it is also difficult to see another way this could go. I still think we are not at the stage when Beijing will send in its own security forces.

Clayton DubeDirector of the USC U.S.-China Institute, University of Southern California

There is little for Beijing to gain by mobilizing its military and armed police in and near Hong Kong to take action. That would cement the death of the 1984 one country two systems agreement. Further, it could jeopardize Hong Kong’s utility as a comparatively open place to do business and adjudicate disputes. The problem for Beijing is that it is unwilling to let the Hong Kong government prioritize local interests over central ones. Younger people in Hong Kong are less willing to accept this than their elders have been. With time, positions are hardening and more absolutist lines are being advocated. It is a dangerous time.

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