The anti-extradition rally turned violent today (it’s after midnight in Hong Kong as I write this). The South China Morning Post (SCMP) published a running blog with imagery of events in Hong Kong on the 13th.
The protest gathered slowly and peacefully in the morning. The apparent trigger for more aggressive action was the arrival around noon of legislators at the Legislative Council building to debate the amendments to the Fugitive Offenses Ordinance and a related ordinance. Then things got nasty and the Hong Kong Police fired more than 150 tear gas canisters to disburse the protesters.
It’s not just anti-extradition that is at stake, and hauling Hong Kong Chinese to mainland China and the tender mercies of the PRC that are at stake. It’s the ‘one country, two systems’ philosophy. The Red Chinese have been trying to woo Taiwan into their orbit using means fair and foul, but THIS shows how the Beijing government handles dissent in “another system”.
Clashes with the riot police went on for about three hours in earnest. Authorities said 21 police officers were injured. Medical officials reported 72 civilians treated for injuries, two people were seriously injured.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang strongly denounced rumors that the People’s Liberation Army will be deployed to clear the streets of Hong Kong.
“I can assure you that it is a groundless rumor designed to mislead the public and incite panic. Such heinous intention must be condemned,” Geng said.
Will Taiwan accept the blandishments of Beijing now? Will they follow Hong Kong into the dragon’s mouth with promises?
International judgment that the principle of “one country, two systems” has failed is coming. And this on the heels of economic woes in the worker’s paradise.
Hong Kong belongs to communist China and the public disorders in Hong Kong are China’s internal affair. The implications of that seem lost or deliberately played down. The central leadership has very limited tolerance for public expressions of dissent. Millions of people in Hong Kong are expected to return to the streets tomorrow.