In Hong Kong, Demonstrators and Officials Are on a Collision Course

Jul 22, 2019 | 22:04 GMT

Protesters clash with police after taking part in an anti-extradition bill on July 22, 2019, in Hong Kong.

HONG KONG, HONG KONG - JULY 22: Protesters clash with police after taking part in an anti-extradition bill in Hong Kong on July 22, 2019 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Pro-democracy protesters have continued weekly rallies on the streets of Hong Kong against a controversial extradition bill since 9 June as the city plunged into crisis after waves of demonstrations and several violent clashes. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam apologized for introducing the bill and recently declared it "dead", however protesters have continued to draw large crowds with demands for Lam's resignation and completely withdraw the bill. (Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)

(Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)


  • Escalating violence raises questions about whether Beijing will eventually intervene, and if it does, how it might do so.
  • A July 21 assault on protesters will further radicalize anti-government protesters. 
  • The attackers may have been trying to goad anti-government protesters into greater violence, thus making them look more radical.

Violence in Hong Kong escalated further July 19-21 as extremists on both sides engaged, or attempted to engage, in attacks. On July 19, police arrested a pro-independence group member and accused him of making the explosive TATP. While protests planned for July 20 and July 21 went off peacefully, after the Civil Human Rights Front rally the evening of July 21 a group of several hundred protesters continued on to the building housing the Beijing government's Liaison Office in western Hong Kong and vandalized the facade with spray paint and eggs. Shortly afterward a mob assaulted anti-government protesters returning home on the opposite side of Hong Kong from the earlier demonstration. Images from the scene shared on social media showed men attacking protesters with wooden rods as they arrived at the Yuen Long railway station. The assault injured dozens, leaving at least one in serious condition. Security in Hong Kong is...

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