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Hong Kong protesters cannot rely on foreign support

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Subject

The foreign policy dimension of the ongoing protest movement in Hong Kong.

Significance

The protest movement sparked by a bill to allow extradition of fugitives to mainland China continues in Hong Kong, with another 200,000 or more people taking to the streets on July 21. Foreign governments have weighed in on the matter, while Beijing blames ‘foreign forces’ for stirring up the unrest.

Impacts

  • It will be local political dynamics, not the actions of foreign governments, that drive events in Hong Kong.
  • Changes to Hong Kong’s legal status would be disruptive for Western firms, so Western governments will want to avoid making any.
  • Hong Kong is particularly problematic for the China-UK relationship, but London will be unable to apply much pressure.
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