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.