torsdag 29. august 2019

No troops, no concessions, no end in sight for Hong Kong unrest

There has been an almost audible sigh of relief in and outside Hong Kong since last Sunday’s peaceful anti-government protest, when hundreds of thousands of demonstrators braved heavy rain. Hong Kong officials and media commentators have expressed hope that the rally marked a break from more than two months of  increasingly violent demonstrations.

But even assuming that future demonstrations will remain peaceful – rallies planned this weekend may be a good indicator – effective measures to calm Hong Kong’s worst political crisis in decades remain elusive, judging by the actions or lack thereof by the local and mainland authorities.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor responded by promising to “create a platform for dialogue”, but continued to dismiss calls for an independent investigation into police conduct and ruled out a formal withdrawal of the now-defunct extradition bill that sparked the protests.