China’s Leaders and Hong Kong’s Protesters Are on a Collision Course

China’s Leaders and Hong Kong’s Protesters Are on a Collision Course
Pro-democracy protesters gather outside the campus of the Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, Nov. 13, 2019 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

“Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown,” Hong Kong’s senior police superintendent, Kong Wing-cheung, told reporters Tuesday, amid a week of citywide paralysis due to strikes and heightened violence. Street clashes between police and protesters turned deadly last week, when a student protester died after falling from a parking garage amid a standoff with police. But the death, the first of a protester after months of antigovernment demonstrations, has only further inspired the pro-democracy movement.

Chinese authorities aren’t budging, though, as the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday restated its refusal to compromise with demonstrators. Hong Kong’s protesters are on a collision course with Beijing, and there’s no off-ramp in sight.

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