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Exactly what I was thinking. China can simply shut down the public transport system next time and that will do it. No violence, no tear gas.

At that point, have they done the protestors' job for them? That would cause massive disruption and would make the authorities savagely unpopular. Maybe if they'd done that at the start, they could have blamed the protestors for making it necessary, but by now, everyone has seen that it's perfectly possible to run the MTR alongside the protests and would blame the authorities for unnecessarily shutting it down.

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