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Would China risk another Tiananmen in Hong Kong?

49 Comments
By Patrick BAERT with AFP bureaux in Taipei and Hong Kong

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Just look at the various heavy handed tactics / excessive use of force that has been deployed by the "HK police" already, and the lack of accountability of any of these incidents, looks like mainland reinforcements to me.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Yeah, China would do it again.

The conquest of Tibet, the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square Massacre are clear examples of how the Chinese government deals with its opponents.

Communist China's history supports this as highly possible.

The Chinese government will probably send a large number of Hong Kongers to reeducation (brainwashing) camps just as it has done with vast numbers of its Muslim population in the western parts of China.

Would the world turn its back on China for attacking Hong Kong, or would it be business as usual like what happened after the Tiananmen Square Massacre?

Again, history is not so rosy in this area.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I hope not. I really do.

It may be more subtle, planting evidence, smears - anything to discredit the protesters.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

there is no way Taiwan will ever rejoin the crude and brutal dictatorship now ruling China. Sadly China ha s along and much to be respected history but now it is showing all the signs of being another brutal facist regime that cares only to expand the power of its elite. They are a danger to world peace and will face increasing failure if they continue to try to employ 19th century colonial tactics as they are now. Those days are gone forever and I have the greatest respect for the brave people of Hong Kong for standing up for their freedom.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The protesters in Hong Kong is an awesome lot. They use tactics to neutralize teargas, lasers to avoid facial recognition and other modern protest-techniques. I really hope the best for them. In the modern age, China won't be able to cover up their actions so easily.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The protesters in Hong Kong is an awesome lot. They use tactics to neutralize teargas, lasers to avoid facial recognition and other modern protest-techniques. I really hope the best for them. In the modern age, China won't be able to cover up their actions so easily.

Got to admire their resolve and problem solving. Saw footage of them neutralizing smoke bombs by dropping traffic cones on them and pouring water through the tops. Simple but genius.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

“.......the optics of Chinese forces in the streets of Hong Kong in any capacity would still provoke near-global concern and outrage.”

If China does decide to “screw the optics,” what will that mean for the acceptance of continued Chinese immigration to and residence of those who are already in places like Vancouver? Hard decisions will need to be made by people who have gotten too used to not making them. What was it that Confucius said about interesting times?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tiananmen was nothing compared to what they are probably considering. That be would be a real war like. I'd say Tibet, but Tibetans were not so reactive. Hong Kongers won't get tamed. So expect fights like in Korea or Vietnam wars. They will go ahead if Hong Kong does not get international support any time soon. I don't see it coming. Hello ?

 In the modern age, China won't be able to cover up their actions so easily.

They don't need to hide. Nobody reacts anyway "in the modern age".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

World: Would China risk another Tiananmen in Hong Kong?

China: What are you talking about?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

This has gone past protests, these are RIOTS. The HK police have used much more restraint with these rioters that France has with its Yellow Vest rioters, in which 11 have been killed and 4000 wounded, or India with its Kashmir rioters. They have also used much more restraint than the US did with the Jackson State protesters or the Kent State protester in which 6 were killed and 20 wounded.

No nation can tolerate continued rioting and disruption of business. No nation can tolerate rioting in which other citizens are injured and are prevented from carryout their normal activities.

If these rioters want an independent state they should make this clear.

HK was a British colony only by annexing it from China under duress. Furthermore, even under British rule, there were many protests and riots against the British.

Read about the protests and riots against the British when it ruled HK.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

China believes in "might makes right" so sure, they would.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

No nation can tolerate continued rioting and disruption of business. No nation can tolerate rioting in which other citizens are injured and are prevented from carryout their normal activities.

I think that's the idea.

When you have police brutality, triad thugs attacking people on trains, a government beholden to China... the people are not going to sit by, passively. Well, maybe the airport protests.

Treat citizens with contempt and they will start behaving with contempt.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

China would rather keep its people in line and its territorial integrity intact than worry about a year or two of reduced trade with the world. Losing HK or Tibet is for good, while a couple of years less trade is just that. If the rot is allowed to go ahead in HK then the mainland could become a tinderbox. China must stamp out this dissent or the price will be more than they are willing to pay. The end of the USSR came fairly fast and the same could happen to the CCCP if they cant keep order.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I take the crackdown of Tiananmen positively. Without the crackdown, China today was not realized.Arab Spring brought only confusions. For developing countries, bringing democracy in haste will result in failures. Deng Xiaoping was already changing China at that time. It brought a great success to China today. Having said that Hong Kong is already a successful democratic place. Merging to Communist China had a problem from the beginning.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

They are more sophisticated nowadays. Before sending in troops, they would infiltrate the protestors with Chinese agents. Those agents would ratchet up the violence, perhaps burn shops, perhaps even shoot a few people under the guise of being protestors. The violence would get worse until people demanded something be done. This is a tried and tested method, by the way. Worked well in Ukraine. I am sure the Chinese are considering it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I guess an outsider, 3rd party intervention is out of the question.

Very interesting to watch. This sets up a precedent for any future Beijing inspired legislation that restricts rights.

Im trying to figure out what the Hong Kongers end game is; do they just want Lam out, or is this just

desperation manifested by riots because they feel hopeless...or do hope for their own government?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seems more and more militarized police and China getting ready to conduct another Tiennamen and repeat of Tibet while enforcing more Chinese control and less democracy as agreed too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'm sure the unelected despot Xi will uphold the "one country, two systems" agreement. Whereas Tiananmen demonstrators were murdered by being run over with tanks, Xi will murder Hong Kong demonstrators by machine-gunning them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The ruthless red rulers of China are perhaps beginning to realize that their bright future is becoming less certain because the feared bacilli of democratic values and the potent virus of freedom that have already infected Chinese society via Hong Kong. State terror and violence will be unable to eradicate the defiant spirit of Hong Kongers. The world needs to put pressure on the Chinese government ASAP to back off and respect the will of the people before it all turns to tragedy. And btw, where is the "leader of the free world" when we need him?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The PLA are already in HK it seems, wearing HK police uniforms. Protesters are saying in their blogs that many of the HK police they are encountering now cannot speak Cantonese properly and speak with strange accents, not a HK accent. This explains why they have become so brutal of late, they are not from HK.

The protesters are so brave, but I fear for the endgame.

Free Hong Kong now!!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

“the feared bacilli of democratic values and the potent virus of freedom”

As presented here, that implies an unalloyed good. As understood by the self-appointed civilizational guardians of East Asia however, those be fighting words.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

where is the "leader of the free world" when we need him?

The leader of the free world "Angela Merkel" is in Europe dealing with other issues right now.

While traditionally for the past 70 years the leader of the free world has been the leader of America, seeing as how that position has been vacant for the past two years, the world looks to another for leadership. Someday America will again have a leader that they and the world can rely on.

China will ignore the plrea's and demands of the International community and they will eventually crack down unless peaceful demonstrations resume.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Those those of you who speak/read/understand Chinese this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guo_Wengui is a pain in the ass to the Chinese Government. Self-proclaimed activist who himself appears to be instructing from afar the HK protesters on what to do... yet, he himself appears to be as corrupt as those he slanders. He says a lot, some of which makes sense, but when you look at his own situation and ask how he got there, you may be questioning whether he's somewhat hypocritical .

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No the Chinese government will not risk a second Tiananmen not for humanitarian reasons but purely out of economic interest seeing as some global markets wouldn't do bussiness with them anymore and they would lose their number one economic position in the world for which they worked so hard and long to obtain.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

u_s__reamer: "where is the "leader of the free world" when we need him?"

If you're referring to the US, it is busy trying to overthrow the governments of Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea.

Peter14: "While traditionally for the past 70 years the leader of the free world has been the leader of America,"

Do you mean the same nation that invaded Vietnam, Iraq. Do you mean the same nation that has overthrown over twenty foreign government? Do you mean the nation that supplies Israel with weapons to use against Palestinian civilians?   Do you mean the nation that is currently seeking to invade Venezuela, Iran, HK....?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Last word should be North Korea, NOT HK.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Communist China wouldnt even think about crushing Hong Kong citizens, and torturing and killing tens of thousands like they did at Tiananmen square. The free world led by USA and Japan will not stand by and let it happen. Communist China cant hold back an 8 million person army.

Good luck, HK Citizens. Hit those freedom-hating, violent communist police hard!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Japan is a rule based nation, as PM Abe repeatedly said in all kind of international meetings. Japanese people are against the violence and illegal activities in HK, prays HK to return peace and prosperity as soon as possible.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

umbrella:  "Protesters are saying in their blogs that many of the HK police they are encountering now cannot speak Cantonese properly and speak with strange accents, not a HK accent. This explains why they have become so brutal of late, they are not from HK."

Which "Protesters are saying" this? Are you in HK and have you heard how the police speak? How do you know that these protesters are genuine and not paid to blog?

"This explains why they have become so brutal of late," Another explanation might be that the protesters have become RIOTERS damaging private property, public infrastructure, disrupting citizens going in their routines, attacking police with bricks, petrol bombs and anything the rioters can lay their hands on.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

China could get away with it no problem. They know they are intertwined in the global market. Sure, their shares might drop a bit, but markets have short attention spans and memory. They could easily play it off as anagolous to a US state governor calling in national guard after protests and riots. If others really wanted to hurt china, recognize Taiwan (repunlic of china) as a sovereign nation and replace (again) on the UN security council.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I’ve heard that the Chinese have infiltrated the protestors to try to make them look bad.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hong Kong you have to fight for your freedom now or it will be lost forever.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

coskuriToday 04:02 pm JSTTiananmen was nothing compared to what they are probably considering. That be would be a real war like. I'd say Tibet, but Tibetans were not so reactive. Hong Kongers won't get tamed. So expect fights like in Korea or Vietnam wars. They will go ahead if Hong Kong does not get international support any time soon. I don't see it coming. Hello ?

 In the modern age, China won't be able to cover up their actions so easily.

They don't need to hide. Nobody reacts anyway "in the modern age".

It was easy for China to get away with conquering Tibet, look at the geography. I remember seeing the start of the Tiananmen Square massacres on TV. And the world turned its head. And now with the US not being a leader of the fee world, Hong Kongers can't rely on us. It does look like maybe they are starting to use guerilla tactics and this could lead to an exhaustive costly urban guerilla war for the Communist Chinese. That would become not an instant Tiananmen repeat (where 10000+ people were killed in a shorter duration) but a long drawn out affair.

Either way, Hong Kongers - stand up for your rights. Keep fighting! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

starpunk: "now with the US not being a leader of the fee world"

Tell this to all the South/Central American countries that the US has invaded and/or toppled their government. Is this the same leader that invaded Vietnam and Iraq? Is this the same US that has sanctions against 30 other countries? Is this the same US that is wanting to invade NK, Iran, Venezuela? Is this the same US that has proclaimed "America First"? Is this the same US that is threatening the global economy with its trade war?

You see, starpunk, the US cannot hide from its past; it is written in history for those that read.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Of course the US is still the leader of the free world, although you have a lot of socialists that don’t want to see it free.

Tell this to all the South/Central American countries that the US has invaded and/or toppled their government.

And with good reason.

Is this the same leader that invaded Vietnam and Iraq?

No one misses The butcher of Baghdad.

Is this the same US that has sanctions against 30 other countries?

Yes

Is this the same US that is wanting to invade NK, Iran, Venezuela?

No wants to invade any of these countries, don’t know where you get that from. NK and Iran can't have nukes one way or another and if we have to make it as painful as possible, then that is what needs to be done and you don’t need to invade or send in ground troops to achieve this goal, long term.

Is this the same US that has proclaimed "America First"?

Yes

Is this the same US that is threatening the global economy with its trade war?

As you said, America first.

You see, starpunk, the US cannot hide from its past; it is written in history for those that read

Why would we?

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I’ve heard that the Chinese have infiltrated the protestors to try to make them look bad.

Aye.

Wouldn't be surprised if a few have infiltrated various online forums, telling other posters to shut up, stop being stupid, etc.

As for the protests, I wouldn't be surprised if there are agent provocateurs within the crowds. China isn't the only country to do such a thing.

I hope the brave protesters aren't brutalised by the police, or China.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I, too, believed US propaganda and thought the US was the beacon of democracy until I read history. Now, no number of minuses, no amount of propaganda can change the dark, aggressive and warmongering past of the US. This is why many commentators prefer to give one liners rather than debate or rebut the facts of US history. Check the facts I have written and tell me if I am wrong about Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo. About the nations that the US has invaded, about the extraordinary rendition program run by the US for the purpose of torture. History has been written.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Nope, I've linked to conservative newspapers like The Telegraph, amongst others. 

Conservative, not really.

If you knew anything about the ‘foreign press’, you’d know the Telegraph is conservative. It has been slated by some conservatives for turning into a right wing rag.

You claimed the Guardian is neutral on Trump which was an incredibly ignorant claim.

You have no idea about the ‘foreign press’.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Very heavy police violence, smashing people about the head with batons. Firing tear gas and rubber bullets. The police are threatening to arrest people for terrorism which means those arrested could be held for a very long period without being charged.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There is a very high probability that China will launch a Tiananmen style attack on the freedom protesters. There must be a sense among the people of Hong Kong that they must push back on the CCP’s tightening grip before its too late.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Bad times ahead. Xi is too much like Trump to be good for us. They need to control others because of their insecurities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bad times ahead. Xi is too much like Trump to be good for us. They need to control others because of their insecurities.

Xi is a Communist - much closer in ideology to Obama than Trump.

Xi is feeling the heat from the Hong Kong protestors and Trumps hard line in favor of free trade. How is he going to extricate himself from the bind he has found himself in?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Communists are state sponsored terrorists. They do not care about people. We will see a cold blooded massacre and sudden disappearance of the people.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

China today is much stronger militarily and wields more political clout than they did in 1989. That 800-lb Panda Bear can and will do as he pleases and they probably will do a Tiananmen-style attack and impose martial law. soon.

Protests? Protest all you want; that 800-lb Panda Bear will shrug it off. It doesn't care about "world opinion" All the protests in the world haven't helped Tibet; Tibet still remains one of the most repressed countries in the region.

Trade tariffs or sanctions? Trump is doing those things, short of sanctions, yet everyone here opposes anything Trump does or tries.

And btw, where is the "leader of the free world" when we need him?

You're asking the "leader of the free world" to do something?? Well, the UN and West Europe is sitting twiddling their thumbs and not answering. Japan can't do anything because of that restrictive Article 9 first paragraph. So it always seems to default to the U.S. as "leader of the free world."

Every time the U.S. tries to help, the anti-U.S. people here accuses it of being an interferring imperialist aggressor warmonger, and so forth.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Would China risk another Tiananmen in Hong Kong?

Yes. Absolutely. They just don't care about people any more. They only care about the illusion of looking united, and of looking strong. So they'll go to whatever lengths they feel like. I wouldn't be surprised at all if China takes a leaf out of Russia's book, and does to Hong Kong as Russia did to Crimea. As far as China's concerned "you can surrender now, or we can invade and conquer you, and then you get a second chance to surrender. Either way, you're surrendering to us whether you want to or not."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That would become not an instant Tiananmen repeat (where 10000+ people were killed in a shorter duration) but a long drawn out affair. Either way, Hong Kongers - stand up for your rights. Keep fighting! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Inspiring. Hong Kong citizens will feel very reassured that you've analysed the situation and can guarantee their personal safety. Or that you've got your fingers crossed for them. Or something.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Peter14: "While traditionally for the past 70 years the leader of the free world has been the leader of America,"

Do you mean the same nation that invaded Vietnam, Iraq. Do you mean the same nation that has overthrown over twenty foreign government? Do you mean the nation that supplies Israel with weapons to use against Palestinian civilians?   Do you mean the nation that is currently seeking to invade Venezuela, Iran, HK....?

America defended South Korea, it did not invade.

America did invade Iraq under false pretenses.

America may have been responsible for regime change in a number of countries. Not sure on the number and at least some of them needed freeing.

Yes the country that supplies Israel with money and weapons used to kill Palestinians of all ages and both sexes.

As far as I am aware there are no plans to invade any country. Before they do that they assemble other countries for the express purpose of invasion. Like Iraq. The Straits protection fleet they are trying to gather is not an Invasion force.

So if your wondering America? Then yes, wort's and all. America is no longer the leader of the free world and wont be until it gets a proper leader.

China would like the job but free people have no wish to be tied to and led by the Chinese Communist Party.

Which is why China will be as cautious as it can be before choosing to crack down on HK.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Of course the US is still the leader of the free world, although you have a lot of socialists that don’t want to see it free.

Only as far as Trump supporters are concerned. The world makes its own choice on who is a leader to follow and all have indicated that Trump the Chump is not a leader at all, let alone one that other nations want to follow.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Only as far as Trump supporters are concerned. The world makes its own choice on who is a leader to follow and all have indicated that Trump the Chump is not a leader at all, let alone one that other nations want to follow.

To some, that is true, to others not so.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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