News analysis

Sending troops into HK seen as a last resort for Beijing

Experts say military force a consideration only if party or Xi's authority is directly challenged

Chinese servicemen attending a crowd-control exercise on Friday in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong. As protests have grown more violent, Beijing has mustered paramilitary forces in Shenzhen, and its condemnation of Hong Kong's demonstrator
Chinese servicemen attending a crowd-control exercise on Friday in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong. As protests have grown more violent, Beijing has mustered paramilitary forces in Shenzhen, and its condemnation of Hong Kong's demonstrators has also sharpened. PHOTO: REUTERS
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There is no doubt that Chinese leaders are in the grip of an intense debate now, with unrest in Hong Kong escalating.

Should Beijing intervene directly and send in its troops?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 18, 2019, with the headline Sending troops into HK seen as a last resort for Beijing. Subscribe