Hong Kong: What next for China's halfway house?

Protesters marching from Mong Kok on Saturday. The protest movement that started as opposition to an extradition Bill to allow Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to China for trial has turned into a popular revolt.
Protesters marching from Mong Kok on Saturday. The protest movement that started as opposition to an extradition Bill to allow Hong Kong to send criminal suspects to China for trial has turned into a popular revolt.PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

HONG KONG • As Hong Kong police clashed with protesters on July 28, firing tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd in the central business district, Chief Executive Carrie Lam was at a very different event across the city. She was guest of honour at a youth summer camp organised by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Her host was Major-General Chen Daoxiang, a senior Chinese officer in Hong Kong who used another public event on Wednesday - the celebration of the 92nd anniversary of the creation of the PLA - to deliver a clear message: The world's largest army was prepared to put down the protest movement in the city should China's President Xi Jinping give the order.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2019, with the headline 'Hong Kong: What next for China's halfway house?'. Subscribe