Things Could Intensify in Hong Kong Tomorrow

Chinese National Day holiday could usher in 'tipping point'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2014 5:08 AM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2014 7:46 AM CDT
Hong Kong Protesters Dig in Ahead of Key Date
A bus abandoned at a Kowloon protest site is covered in messages from protesters and supporters.   (Michael Quinn)

Pro-democracy protesters continued to block key roads in Hong Kong today, and while the mood has remained peaceful, some expect a showdown with police is looming ahead of tomorrow's Chinese National Day holiday. Workers have the day off, which could make for larger gatherings. Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying—whose resignation protesters are demanding—has called for the protests to end immediately and warned activists that Beijing will never give in to their demands. Ahead of a rumored effort to clear the streets, protesters have stockpiled supplies and built barricades, reports Reuters. More:

  • The "Occupy Central" movement had earlier hinted that tomorrow would mark the start of its protest, but it was launched early after a student rally over the weekend. The National Day fireworks have already been canceled.

  • Analysts believe tomorrow could be a "tipping point" in the protests, and one that could result in a harsh Beijing-ordered crackdown, reports the Atlantic. "There's a sequence of points where things can turn one way or the other," says political scientist Jay Ulfelder. "Will people show up? Once they show up, will more people show up in response? Then you start getting into the state reacting." Ulfelder is the director of the Early Warning Project, which analyzes the risks of mass atrocities.
  • Leung says that despite the city's worst unrest in decades, Hong Kong's police will be able to control the situation without needing to call in China's People's Liberation Army soldiers. "When a problem arises in Hong Kong, our police force should be able to solve it. We don't need to ask to deploy the PLA," he told reporters.
  • Developments in Hong Kong's "Umbrella Revolution" are being watched very closely in Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the island should reunite with the rest of China under the same "One Country, Two Systems" deal as Hong Kong, but Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has rejected the deal and says he supports Hong Kong's demands for "universal suffrage," reports the BBC. In mainland China, meanwhile, censorship has been stepped up and state media have reported only that police have acted to curtail an illegal gathering in Hong Kong, the AP reports.
(Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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