Long FEared Hong Kong Climactic Conclusion Delayed, For Now


Will start in Hong Kong where the long feared climactic confrontation between protesters and security forces. Seems seems again to have not quite happened. A standoff is ongoing between police and protesters who have occupied Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This particular kill a battle has been one of the most violent of the demonstrations which have beset Hong Kong for the lost several months. Protesters have deployed Molotov cocktails and bows and arrows. Rose against police who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets Stephen. We'll start with the eternal question here. The rapidly becoming eternal question which is is Beijing prepared to wait this out for ever if necessary. I doubt it Now I'm old enough to remember. What Hamden Amnon Tenement Square in nine hundred ninety nine but actually to have been Work I wasn't there but I mean I was working at. The BBC is covering what was happening elsewhere in eastern Europe when we kept close eye on that as well on I remember saying to someone on the third of June nineteen thousand nine. You know this could all end in tears. And of course it was on the night of the third fourth that they sent in the troops Given the kind of system come a communist China has I can't see that they can allow this to go on and and I can see a gradual buildup And the fact that you know the police seemed to have been allowed to act without any any comeback at all I mean there there's been filmed. They don't seem to be worried about in a film was being shot at very point blank range of protesters protesters being beaten. And so they they. They seem to have no No worries about this at all is if there's not gonna be any comeback on them and that suggests a build up to to a point where China may well turn around and say. Well we don't care what the rest of the world says. Hong Kong is part of China and We're GONNA keep it that way. And in which case they could send in troops so I think there is still a buildup guy on I find it very worrying Terry on that subject of the apparent Abandoned with which Hong Kong police are increasingly acting and Steven is quite quite right too pointed out that they they are getting increasingly rough and increasingly indiscriminate and there doesn't appear to be the official restraint on that but to what extent do we overlook the human factor in a situation like this is not to excuse the behavior of Hong Kong police or indeed any police when they exact outside they remitted it but these are people now who are physically and psychologically exhausted. Yes I think if you see reports from in particular the impact on on these students who trapped inside the university tear gas water cannon. You know that it's not it's thirty eight. People were wounded over during Sunday night. So you know lots of people and then you hear from people trying to get the word out there saying yeah exactly that they all. They are exhausted and they've even been some really worrying comments with student saying look. We're we're we're prepared to give our lives in this cause And you know obviously nobody wants that to happen. But you think the you know the more and more that's The protesters feel will literally. They are literally under-siege The the less and less likely they are to to want to stand down and there seems to be no kind of process I mean they put demands food. What they wanted to there seems to be no kind of negotiation and in the meantime in Hong Kong is being is suffering real problems for this? I mean if you look at the economy automate started to contract. The tunnels are closed. Roads are closed. Schools have been closed. And there's even a threat now. The local elections will be cancelled which is probably likely to make the protesters even more cross. Just seem to be situation. That's the is escalating In on the subject of that Esscalation Stephen have we. Are we approaching. Have we past the point. which which often occurs in similar situations at which the the violent starts to feed on itself everybody on both sides kind of lose track of what the protests were about in the first place and especially in Terry quite rightly points out that people have been injured some seriously that becomes a self perpetuating writing thing once people start to think well people have been hurt in this 'cause therefore the cause must be pursued on the fate it does Also given the the the focus of the protests at the moment is coming from students Always rely on the fact that young people think it you know I can go in and they can say things. I you know. I'm prepared to die for this. And so on because they don't believe they will And and similarly here you've got students and again if I can go back to nine hundred. Eighty United Gentlemen those were student protests. And the students who who thought that you know they don't have such life experience they think life can only be better we let protest and we'll get eh And they don't really understand the I think the threat to themselves even when they see all this violence around them is always going to happen to someone else. Thanked is often an element of that that and so they. I think they don't seem to be backing down on the country. They they are getting more violent and as we say the police too. I mean that their actions are reporting reporting one an interesting point that I noted was that a lot of the police have been heard speaking mandarin to each other. As opposed to Cantonese he's which most people speaking Hong Kong so are these police who've been drafted in from mainland China. which is is that kind of the thin end of a wedge? It reminded me of when the summer when there was big demonstrations in In Moscow which didn't go far this of course but there were big demonstrations and the police acting there were often. It's very difficult to find a policeman in Moscow. The WHO from Moscow. They're normally they come in because they they get a better life living there and so they will do as they're told similarly are these Mainland Chinese police who are now in in Hong Kong or who've been living in Hong Kong like the the the the the system that An prepared to to to to to keep it themselves. So you've got there. They're very high stakes on both sides. Terry we did see after a fashion over the weekend. Chinese soldiers deployed in the streets of Hong Kong. This was people's Liberation Army soldiers leaving their barracks to help clean up. Is that just well. I mean there's a number of ways to look at that. It might just have been soldiers leaving their barracks to help clean up It might have been a warning of further escalated or might have been kind of a PR exercise. Yeah I think I probably I tend towards The second of those that you know that they this is a deliberate. We are reminding you that we are here. I mean remember the earlier on in these protests we saw images from China of troops in a big Football Stadium I think was in those those images were it was kind of a big. You know just so you don't forget we are. We're here and although we're trying to make it look like we're just helping you nicely We don't we don't have to play so nice I would. I would think that that is probably Probably one of the main factor to that. I mean I'm just going back to what we were saying. I think we can't forget. The students are not probably analyzing this in geopolitical terms as the role of China. What's the rest of the world's reaction action going to be? They probably just think that they're in the rights. And you know I think to a large extent they are. They say we would like more democracy. And we don't have people extradited to China. We don't entirely he wants to be Run by China and you know maybe we should give them more of the benefit of the downs. You know in the same way that we did to protesters in whether it was eighty. Nine or Chinaman Square you know th. They may get crushed quite literally by geopolitics. But let's give them a shout.

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