With the Hong Kong government paralyzed by mass protests, the chances of armed intervention from Beijing, once unthinkable, are rising by the day.
Far from hiding its intent, Beijing has been parading it in full view over the past week. The protesters, initially reviled as mobs, have been rebranded by Chinese officials as criminals and terrorists. The state media has broadcast ominous footage of its anti-riot police, who fall under the command of the People’s Liberation Army, marshaled on the Hong Kong border in Shenzhen.
To be sure, the threats against the protesters are designed to ensure that Beijing never has to carry them through.… Seguir leyendo »
When President Xi Jinping of China took power almost five years ago, he quickly gained control of the commanding heights of the Chinese party-state, taking charge of the military, foreign policy, domestic security and a fearsome anticorruption commission.
In centralizing decision making in his office, Mr. Xi also grabbed hold of something his two immediate predecessors never did during their lengthy stays in office: He placed himself in charge of economic policy.
Mr. Xi’s authoritarian instincts have served him well politically. Chinese leaders from Mao Zedong onward have always had rivals among senior leaders. As he looks ahead to securing a second five-year term at the Communist Party Congress in the fall, Mr.… Seguir leyendo »