Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement has mobilised hundreds of thousands of protesters marching through the streets of China’s financial hub for more than 3 months.
Five years ago, similar demonstrations had managed to gather about 400.000 people.
Nowadays the protest rallies have gathered up to 2 million people.
The civil rights movement started with pacific demonstrations in defiance of proposed extradition bill that would permit sending crime suspects to mainland China for trial.
The mood changed when the activists presented new demands and opted for more belligerent tactics.
The atmosphere turned sour and more volatile. with the invasion of the Hong King Airport and government buildings and destruction of state property.
The disturbing expression of the protests was met with a violent crackdown from Beijing authorities, with demonstrators being jailed and foreign press expelled from the territory.
The Hong Kong “one country and two systems”, which was the principle accorded by the 1997 agreement of the return of the territory from British rule to China, appears to be at risk.
The special statute of civil liberties that Hong Kong’s benefited , in comparison with the rest of the country , is threatened by the new chapter in the a confrontation between the human rights campaigners and China’s regime.
The demands universal suffrage and the right to vote to elect a government for Hong Kong’s 7.5 million people, as asked by the activists ,is an issue that Beijing will not be able to allow, due to the implications that it would have in the rest of the 1,386 billion China’s mainland population.
This is a specially difficult moment for China’s establishment conscious that a brutal crackdown is not a solution to silence the voices of the protesters.
While it gathers troops in the Shenzhen province , at Hong Kong’s border , ready to be sent to suppress the protests, Beijing wants to avoid at all costs a repetition of the June 1989 Tiananmen Massacre .
The present situation is causing concern in China because the Beijing authorities are facing the scenario of a serious economic recession, not only in Hong Kong, but countrywide, as result of current tariff war with the United States.
China cannot afford to permit enhanced democratic freedoms for Hong Kong that would have the serious ripple effect in the mainland of “waking up a dormant dragon” and a new Tiananmen uprising.
However, every time the Hong Kong waving American flag protesters destroy property and resort to vandalism, they are playing in favour of Beijing adopting a tougher tone to suppress the disturbances.
The provocation and unruly action of a protesters minority may be, unwilling or not, thwarting Hong Kong’s future younger generation freedom and autonomy aspirations that go beyond “more than the extradition bill”.