Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement tackles a crucial weekend for its credibility, during which it will once again try to rally the crowds after being criticized for the violence that occurred Tuesday at the airport amid a threat of Chinese intervention .
Beijing shows the muscles
Because Beijing decided to beef up its speech, assimilating to "terrorism" the most violent actions of the movement. China's state-run media even broadcast footage on national television, displaying about 100 military vehicles stationed in Shenzen, less than 30 kilometers from the Hong Kong border. In particular, armored vehicles are lined up near a stadium.
Satellite images show that inside the compound, on the athletics track around the lawn, dozens of troop transport trucks are also present. A demonstration of warning-like forces for protesters, which should be a million Sunday in the streets of Hong Kong.
AFPTV EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: @AFP has captured images of thousands of Chinese personal military parading at a sports stadium across the border from Hong Kong pic.twitter.com/0xlNUZqZdq- AFP news agency (@AFP) August 15, 2019
In this electrical context, the international community is increasing calls for calm, like Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Foreign Affairs in particular or Donald Trump. Usually discreet on the subject, the US president asks his Chinese counterpart to solve the problem "humanly".
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On the spot, the consequences of the movement are felt
And if the diplomatic consequences are not yet clear, the economic consequences are already being felt. In Victoria Bay, the equivalent of the Champs-Élysées district in Hong Kong, the shops are half empty. On the first fifteen days of August, tourism professionals are aware of a decline in reservations of 50% from foreign tourists and Chinese.
Great Britain, Japan or Singapore have warned their nationals who would like to go to Hong Kong.
And then the pictures of the busy airport this week have been around the world. Beijing is also tightening the screw to any company suspected of sympathy for the pro-democracy movement, like the airline Cathay Pacific, whose chief executive Rupert Hogg resigned Friday.
Risk of Sunday clashes
Sunday, the risk of new scuffles is real. The police have given the green light to Sunday's rally in a large park on the island of Hong Kong, but it has banned protesters from parading in the street. This kind of ban has almost always been ignored by protesters in recent weeks and the marches have systematically given rise to clashes with the police.