The former British colony, which returned to China in 1997, is embroiled in its worst political crisis for decades after two months of increasingly violent protests that have posed one of the gravest populist challenges to Communist Party rulers in Beijing.
The demonstrations, mushrooming up almost daily, saw the defacement of China’s main representative office last weekend, triggering warnings from Beijing this was an attack on China’s sovereignty.
More protests are expected on Saturday with demonstrators outraged at an attack on Sunday at a train station by armed men who police sources say included some with triad backgrounds. Some 45 people were wounded.
The attack last Sunday just reeked of a provocation sponsored by Chinese Communist intelligence operatives — Beijing would love to have a pretext for a military invasion.
One battle is a clash of national narratives, regionally with suspicious neighbors (including Hong Kong) who resist Chinese expansion, globally as the regime’s most potent international adversary, the U.S., squeezes Beijing economically and cajoles it politically. For example, the U.S. threatens China with legal action and economic penalties for its pervasive theft of intellectual property. China has yet to effectively counter that verifiable charge.
Perceived state diplomatic and economic reliability, systemic credibility and cultural prestige are the stakes in this clash.
The second battle is for the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian self-preservation — in blunt terms, communist elites remaining in power.
The crisis continues and Red China is threatening invasion. Stay tuned.
RELATED: Michael Yon’s July 21 dispatch.