Left: A Chinese military convoy moves towards HK border (Screengrab); Right: A pro-democracy protester waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district | AFPLeft: A Chinese military convoy moves towards HK border (Screengrab); Right: A pro-democracy protester waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district | AFP

Chinese Tanks & American Flags

The world is watching Hong Kong – what had started as a protest against one particular bill has now widened to highlight several other grievances – the autonomy of the people of Hong Kong at its crux.

The increasingly violent protests have plunged the Chinese-ruled territory into its most serious crisis in decades. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is faced with one of his biggest challenges since he came to power in 2012.

Two things, or rather symbols have surfaced in the past couple of days – one is the movement of a huge military convoy near Hong Kong, and the other one is the surfacing o American flags during the protest. The tank, a symbol of China, and the flag, a symbol of the United States suggest the situation in Hong Kong is an extension of a much broader geo-political tension.

The tank a symbol of oppression, is a grim reminder of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, when the Chinese government sent its troops to suppress student protesters.¬† Till date no one is sure of the exact death toll. The PLA’s presence is a symbol of the step China could take, it has in the past.

However, when coming to the point if China would redo the Tiananmen Square incident, analysts say the potentially catastrophic economic and political consequences should deter Beijing. A similar act would ostracize China from the international community, a risk they should not be willing to take, considering China is headed towards ‘economic imperialism’.

While the protests continue, the American flag has crept its way into the protest sites – proudly waving as a symbol of ‘democracy’. However, when the US flag makes it way in foreign soil, one always has to be wary – the symbol of democracy has not fared well for non-American nations. The flag has been an excuse, a guise for other forms of intervention.

Washington is desperate to weaken Beijing’s increasing power (economic, technological, military, and financial). The protests at Hong Kong serves the American interest. Therefore, comes the American flag – the symbol of democracy.

Which symbol will prevail, we cannot say Рneither China nor America cares for the people of Hong Kong, both  nations are looking to increase their own agenda.

Yet again, we arrive at a junction where we need to tip either to the left or to the right – at Aawaaj, we say screw that – we move upward, and may be Hong Kong would be a good start to do that.

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