Can China stop the protests in Hong Kong?

Fear of military intervention : New protests in Hong Kong despite threats from Beijing

Despite open threats from Beijing with military force, there were new protests in Hong Kong on Friday. In the former British colony, which belongs to China as a special administrative region, in the evening (local time), according to initial estimates, more than 10,000 people took to the streets for freedom and democracy. A large number of larger demonstrations are planned for the weekend. It is feared that violent clashes between demonstrators and the police will occur again.

Before new demonstrations began, a state-controlled newspaper in China issued a sharp warning to the protest movement in Hong Kong. "Beijing has not decided to use force to counter the unrest in Hong Kong, but that option is clearly available to Beijing," the Global Times wrote in a comment on Friday. The Chinese ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, made a similar statement on ZDF.

The exercises by the paramilitary police in the city of Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong were "a clear warning" to the rioters. If Hong Kong cannot restore the rule of law on its own to end the unrest, it is imperative that the central government take “direct action” based on the law.

However, the newspaper also stated that the Hong Kong events "would not be a repeat of the political incident of June 4, 1989". On that day, China's leadership brutally suppressed the protests on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, with estimates of the death toll ranging from several hundred to thousands. Today China is "much stronger and more mature", its ability to master complex situations has "improved a lot".

The newspaper published its warning just before new protests were planned in the Chinese Special Administrative Region on Friday evening and over the weekend. China had recently tightened its pace in the Hong Kong crisis and thus sparked international concern. At the same time, the increasing presence of the Chinese military on the border with Hong Kong sparked fears that the situation could escalate.

In the past few days, Chinese state media published videos showing paramilitary units with armored vehicles during exercises in the city of Shenzhen bordering Hong Kong. Satellite images of dozens of these vehicles parked on the grounds of a stadium were shared on social networks. "Global Times" editor-in-chief Hu Xijin had previously spoken of a "clear warning" in this connection on Twitter.

Trump recommends Xi meet protesters

The Chinese ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, said on ZDF on Thursday that the necessary measures had to be taken “to normalize public order and stop the acts of violence”. If that overwhelmed the government in Hong Kong, the central government in Beijing would have to take over tasks, he said.

US President Donald Trump urged China's President Xi Jinping to meet with the protesters in Hong Kong. Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he had no doubt that the "Hong Kong problem" would have a "happy" end if Xi met the demonstrators in person. Trump later told journalists in Morristown, New Jersey, that he was concerned about possible violence by the Chinese side against the demonstrators.

The US president also announced that he would be on the phone with Xi soon. He added, "I would be willing to bet that if he sat down with the protesters, a group of protesters' representatives, he would find a solution within 15 minutes." He knows that this is not Xi's usual practice be. "But I think it wouldn't be a bad idea." Trump said, "If he wants, he can find a solution in a very humane way."

“Very loyal to Beijing”: activist criticizes Bundestag

One of the best-known activists in the Hong Kong protest movement accused Germany of not distancing itself from Beijing in the worsening conflict with China's government. “It looks to me that the German parliament is very loyal to Beijing. I don't understand how Germany, as part of the free world, can cooperate with China in this way if the country does not accept any values ​​of freedom? ", Said activist Joshua Wong of the" Bild "newspaper.

He complained that the federal government was not positioning itself clearly enough against Chinese intervention. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) should "send a clear signal to President Xi (Jinping) not to send any troops to Hong Kong and to give Hong Kong citizens the right to free elections". (mes, dpa, AFP)

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