Tensions escalate in Hong Kong

Hong Kong protests have only augmented in intensity and escalated in tension over the course of the past two weeks, and the main source of attention has been the city’s universities.

University campuses have been turned into fortresses – castles where protestors holed themselves up, actively standing their ground amidst an unflinching government in response to most of their demands. Over a thousand people have been arrested since the university sieges began on Sunday.

Hong Kong Polytechnic was the last university being occupied by anti-government protestors. Prior, hundreds at the university had barricaded themselves and tried to fight against the barrage of tear gas and water cannons from police, responding with bows, arrows, and gas bombs.

However, these protestors began to dwindle in their numbers: 800 people had left campus by Tuesday night to surrender to the police—including 300 minors. The remainder were slowly forced out or escorted out by guardians, relatives, and teachers.

While city leaders claim that violence “has to stop before meaningful dialogue can begin,” the protestors conversely retort that the violence is the first step to achieving any sort of government acceptance of their demands.

Even though the Senate is taking steps to progress amelioration of Hong Kong’s crisis, China remains adamant against criticism in how it is handling the Hong Kong protests. In fact, the Senate approved the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Tuesday: a bill supporting human rights in Hong Kong. It remains to go to the House to be passed as legislation.

However, China strongly opposes any potential foreign intervention made or supported by Congress through the passage of the bill, citing such measures as “unwarranted interference in [China’s] domestic affairs.

The passage of this bill and its implications will also jeopardize and worsen the US’s relationship with Hong Kong and China, considering how the Yuan recently dropped in exchange value amidst President Trump’s threats of raising tariffs. The bill will also further complicate trade relations between the two countries, and the ultimate consequences are, while vague, likely detrimental to both parties.

Darlon Riviere – Staff Writer

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