After nearly two months, the protests in Hong Kong show no sign of letting up, in fact, they are increasing in intensity. China, the player in this conflict with the most power to influence the situation, seems to be acting towards its two primary interests: preserving Chinese public opinion about the CCP’s ability to maintain stability and preserving the supposed territorial integrity of China, which in CCP parlance includes Hong Kong and China.
China has the ability to use force to end these protests at any time that it wishes, however, up to this point it hasn’t allowed the conflict to reach that crescendo. The primary reason is that if China uses force to crush the protests, it abandons the possibility of any future peaceful settlement to reunify with Taiwan. The inverse is also true though if these protests continue and people start to lose their fear of the resolve of the Chinese government to use force, it threatens the legitimacy of the social control in China and could catalyze the gradual end of CCP rule in China. Their aim right now is to try and extricate the country from this conundrum.
The vicious attack on the subway was a deliberate act of provocation designed to make Hong Kong appear as though it is in a state of chaos. The more chaotic Hong Kong appears, the better the Chinese government can be equipped in their response to these protests, especially in using lethal force to disperse peaceful crowds. Taiwanese must remember, in formulating their opinions, that even if the chaos is real and isn’t simply fomented by government-allied triad gangsters who the CCP and the corrupted Hong Kong government have through their blatant negligence been allowed to terrorize Hong Kong for years, then it must be realized that the condition of Hong Kong, the chaos, is completely the fault of the Hong Kong government and their failure to govern. This is not a situation that can be resolved by force. The people of Hong Kong must feel represented by their leadership, and this authoritarian system will never be able to satisfy the people of Hong Kong. If this problem is to be solved, there must be elections with universal suffrage, there must be a democracy, and Carrie Lam must step down, or there will be no true resolution to this conflict and blood will be on their hands.
Staff writer: Ari B