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Having lived in Hong Kong (and China) for a long time, I think you're wrong. I doubt very much that protesters will be shot in the streets or anything so drastic, but the city is very close to having the PLA openly deployed to "back up" the HKPF.

FYI, some alleged that mainland policemen are already operating inside the HKPF.

Personally I think the PLA option is a non-starter at the moment. HK for all its bads is still vitally important to the Chinese economy especially during the current trade war with the USA.

> FYI, some alleged that mainland policemen are already operating inside the HKPF.

This is why I said "openly."

Economically, Hong Kong is increasingly irrelevant to China - it's only like the fifth largest city by GDP, and there are 10 more catching up quickly. HK is far more important as a symbol, and if I were Xi Jinping headed into a turbulent global economy with flagging growth at home I wouldn't want it to look like I couldn't control my people.

That said, it's a delicate balancing act. Too little response and you seem weak; too harsh and you draw international condemnation and confirm the worst fear of everyone who is counting on China to join the world order rather than try and upend it.

PLA is different from PAP though although we may just be disagreeing on a technicality.

BTW, HK while definitely not the economic powerhouse it once was, it still has a pretty special place as a truly international city for the PRC government, which is something intangible and cannot be expressed in pure GDP number.

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