China's excessive crackdown on Hong Kong would be lose-lose game: local expert
Updated: 2019-08-20 09:23:35 KST
Sunday's rally in Hong Kong may have started and ended as a peaceful march, but demonstrators in their eleventh week of protests that started over a controversial extradition bill, remain as angry and determined as ever.
"I think the general public have been really angered on the lack of real commitment on Hong Kong government and the Beijing government to withdraw completely the draconian bill which would endanger the rule of law in Hong Kong. They were equally angered by the widely perceived police an mafia collusion in Hong Kong. Not to mention, they were really afraid Hong Kong would transform from a hybrid regime to an entirely authoritarian."
According to the organizers, around 1.7 million people participated in the demonstration on Sunday, but police tallied the number far lower at 128-thousand people who initially entered Victoria Park.
The protests began back in June over the controversial extradition bill that was reported as being "dead" by the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
But now, the demonstrations have evolved to focus on five demands based on greater democratic freedoms, including the formal withdrawal of the extradition bill and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality.
Although concerns were mounting that Beijing may use military force to crack down on the movement, Chinese troops, which were seen conducting exercises near Hong Kong, did not intervene in Sunday's protest.
Professor Sing says such intervention is unlikely to take place.
"I think China is well aware of the fact that the whole world is watching including the United States. Donald Trump said should the Chinese gov't use the army to crackdown bloodily in Hong Kong, then there will be no trade deal between U.S. and China. There's also another powerful factor that Hong Kong remains the top spot in internationalizing Reminbi. For internationalizing more than 70 percent of reminbi around the world. Hong Kong, is the top spot in helping to find capital for Chinese companies. Chinese companies have raised more capital from Hong Kong alone in the last 7 years than in mainland China added up altogether.
The expert says it will be a lose-lose game if the Chinese government decides to brutally or excessively crack down on Hong Kong protestors.
The protest's organizer, the Civil Front for Human Rights, has requested permission to hold another protest on August 31st.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.