Hong Kong Protests
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China decided to move a new batch of troops into Hong Kong. Officials claim that it is a routine movement of the military. Protests against Beijing are in full swing in Hong Kong. Experts believe that this military movement will be seen as a threat to protesters. Here it must be noted that Hong Kong is a special administrative unit returned to China in 1997. 

In the past few weeks, China has taken a hawkish stance towards the protesters in Hong Kong. Media reports say that China is strengthening its military movements at the Shenzhen border. China has clearly mentioned that it would not follow the “sit and watch” policy in Hong Kong. Protests continue in Hong Kong for more than three months. 

In last year China did not increase the military presence in Hong Kong. However, Thursday’s military movement was exceptional. China’s defense authorities say that China will even go for a greater extent to maintain peace and prosperity in Hong Kong. The military has completed its rotation work with air, land and maritime troops have entered Hong Kong. Experts believe that Hong Kong garrison has 8,000 to 11,000 troops. 

Hong Kong has been facing protests for three months. The protests started after Hong Kong authorities passed an extradition bill. Protesters fear that this bill is an attempt by China to annex Hong Kong in the mainland. The extradition bill has now been suspended. 

Current protests are biggest threat to China since Hong Kong returned to China in 1997. These protests are also a test case for Xi Jinping’s government in China. 

China has condemned these protests. China accuses the USA and Britain on instigating anti-China sentiments in Hong Kong. Chinese authorities say that Western powers are trying to dismantle the sovereignty of China through Hong Kong. China further states that full use of force is possible to control the situation. 

On Tuesday, China slammed the G-7 nations on meddling in China’s internal affairs. Earlier G-7 demanded the Chinese government to avoid violence in Hong Kong. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam also says that her government can impose an emergency to control the situation. Talking to media, she claimed that protests were becoming violent, but her government can control the situation. 

Civil Human Rights Front is going to organize a big protest on Saturday. It is the same group who called for a march attended by millions of people. Saturday’s protest will mark the five years since the Chinese government scrapped universal suffrage for Hong Kong. 

With the rising tensions, it is visible that the situation is getting out of control. Both the protesters and Chinese officials are taking extreme positions. Now the responsibility lies on the Hong Kong government to control the situation in a peaceful manner. Legitimate demands of protesters like inquiry on the use of force against protesters should be addressed by the government. 

Too much dependence on the mainland will make the Hong Kong government a Chinese puppet. Mainland’s interference will pose a threat to the special autonomy enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong. Hong Kong authorities need to start unconditional negotiations with the protesters. 

Meanwhile, the Chinese government should also focus on dealing peacefully with the protesters. Blaming everything on the West will not serve any purpose. China should avoid the use of the military in hong kong. It will further deteriorate the situation. Experts believe that a direct Military-Protesters clash is possible due to enhanced military movements by China. China should avoid using the military against the protesters or else the peaceful protests may turn to a complete freedom struggle. While battling a trade war with the USA, China will be unable to tackle a freedom struggle in Hong Kong. 

Related: Lawyers March in Hong Kong