Bloomie offers some thoughts today:
A soft approach toward protesters addressing demands for democracy could show dissidents on the mainland that widespread upheaval can bring about political change, something that may imperil the Communist Party’s grip on power. At the same time, sending in Chinese troops to restore order risks an international backlash that may do irreparable harm to the city’s economy with no guarantee of success.
…“It’s not clear that they’ve decided on any approach,” said Ivan Choy, a political scientist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who added that Xi’s government may try to buy time by asking a group of key residents in the city to offer suggestions. “One of the major considerations of the Beijing authorities is they want to have social order restored first, and only after that you will consider some adjustments of the policies.”
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