Looks like someone's not waiting all that long... More, fighting before anyone even gets around to entering buildings.
Government offered some sort of talks, but no leadership resignation, at the last minute. And the same night, violence breaks out when the numbers on the street are small. Protests are saying it's a mafia hire operation and the police didn't arrest the thugs for hours. Now the protest leadership says talks are off. Granted there have already been warnings against moving into government buildings...
But it will be curious to see how many people find stomach to remain on the street how long. My feeling is Tiananmen went on a lot longer than this, but then HK is also a quite compact and populated area where it may not be so culturally simple to have an armed intervention if the protest were to stay large. It's also a sort of prestige area... Larger scale violence in a prime "international" business district wouldn't look all that great.
Let's face it really, Hong Kong will never really achieve full democracy, there will be pre-chosen candidates as the leadership has stated. The whole point of the 50 years of autonomy is to prepare Hong Kong to be integrated tightly into the mainland as a standard Chinese city and it doesn't make sense to take it even further from the mainland style cities, also the relevance of Hong Kong is declining. China has stated many times that Shanghai will be the "head of the dragon" in the future.
As for the 50 year plan as it were... That might be the going narrative, but I'll withhold judgment on how likely it is to materialize. Economic growth was hardly going to go on at the 1990's rate for even 20 years. Betting on steady domestic growth (and on an international environment that will continually support it) in today's world is something of a leap of faith, as the West has already seen. And China has a lot of internal issues that flare up from many different angles.
It would be surprising just now if the protests were outright successful, yes. But when you say "mainland style cities," what is your point of comparison exactly if Hong Kong is somehow supposed to be guided to get "closer"? Even Beijing, despite its relatively greater share of luxuries and technology, is generally recognized as an environmental mess and a somewhat dastardly managed zoning show (thinking of populations being shuffled around for the Olympics).
I'm sort of struggling here with the idea of Hong Kong somehow physically becoming more like many mid-sized mainland cities... But then the level of English or technology at least in the center of HK really does not
appear comparable... At least, not in the tiny glance at HK I've had, and the news reports seem to back that up. I don't know HK all that well honestly -- but I can't see that being easy to change, nor as something economically profitable to change. Or are you saying it's somehow inevitable that HK can rather, absolutely will
manipulated into a values change simply by being coddled and prodded and smacked around with less preferential treatment when necessary? On that angle... I suppose I'd take a swing at maybe
, but I wouldn't go so far as "let's face it" I guess.
It would also
be pretty surprising if Beijing more seriously worked to tear down some of the particular culture that's made Hong Kong so recognizable as a potential international business area historically. Wouldn't it be so much easier for them to bet on the inequities of capitalism to keep the place basically under wraps. I would expect they'd be quite happy to focus on any voices saying, 'Stop protesting cause you know, it's just bad for business and logistics. Clogs up the streets and keeps the tourists out [we really
mean the billionaires, but sssh.] Calm down and a rising wave will help all ships, just sit tight and trust
I'm dubious that HK is hugely "relevant" to Beijing anyway except as a sort of international image piece and a certain source of income... But then I'm also not clear about how smoothly that could really be reduced