The Hong Kong authorities have said they do not anticipate any need for China to send in troops or police to help impose order after weeks of protests, but Beijing has sent signals that a military option is on the table.
Recent videos released by the Hong Kong army garrison and police in the city of Shenzhen across the border show anti-riot personnel training to disperse protesters, in a clear sign that Beijing's patience is wearing thin.
Beijing said yesterday the current chaos that has enveloped Hong Kong is largely the work of "behind-the-scenes masterminds" that have instigated, directed and funded violent protests. A Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office spokesman yesterday gave the sternest warning yet to "violent criminals" and "dirty forces" driving the protests not to mistake its restraint for weakness.
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