That Hong Kong protesters are openly beseeching President Trump to "liberate" the city underscores both the depth of their desire and the danger of the situation there.
President Trump cannot encourage the protesters without it being a major loss of face for President Xi. That would only complicate trade talks.
At the same time, the world cannot ignore that the people of Hong Kong want to live in a democracy, not in a fascist oligarchy. The sum of their desires is an outright rejection of rule by #Beijing. While the cries are for autonomy, independence is where this is headed.
For his part, Xi cannot acquiesce to Hong Kong independence, even as he must eventually confront the fact the people of Hong Kong will never accept his authority over their lives. For the sake of his own political survival, President Xi must find a way to end these #protests without losing Hong Kong in the process.
As the Bob Dylan songs asks: "How many years must some people exist before they're allowed to be free?"
That answer is still blowin' in the wind, and that wind is blowing through Hong Kong as well as Beijing.