How will Beijing deal with the indignity of continuing weekly protests in Hong Kong?
So far the central government has taken a ‘wait and see’ stance, not wanting any bloodshed and taking time to gather information on the people and issues behind the unrest.
In the meantime they depend on the Hong Kong police to keep an acceptable level of order.
However there will be repercussions when order is completely restored.
Questions will be asked about the breakdown of information. The Beijing leadership was caught unprepared for the seriousness of the situation. Steps will be taken to better monitor and guide public opinion. People will be quickly reminded that Beijing is still very much in charge.
Ultimately the prosperity of Hong Kong depends on the goodwill of Beijing. Thanks to its support, Hong Kong remains a key gateway for business into and out of China. However Shanghai and Singapore are beginning to take over the shipping business and stock markets on the mainland are attracting the money that used to go to Hong Kong. Without Beijing support Hong Kong will wither until it becomes just another city in China.
Despite international coverage of the riots, on the Chinese mainland there is little information on what is happening in Hong Kong.