With the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of #China just days away, #Beijing has doubled the paramilitary police forces in Hong Kong, potentially to quell #protests.
So far, the protesters have avoided confronting the police arm of the People's Liberation Army directly, even as they attack other symbols of Beijing's rule. This is another demonstration of the protesters' tactical sophistication--such forbearance requires more than a little command and control as well as organizational discipline.
This may also explain Beijing's reluctance to deploy the PLA forces already in the city. A well-organized Hong Kong resistance would not be easily quashed merely by suppressing protest activity. Once a crackdown occurs, President Xi likely would not be able to relax it soon, which would be devastating to China's already weakening economy.
Yet Xi cannot hold off forever. If mass protests break out on October 1, the actual anniversary date, Xi would suffer tremendous loss of face. The next 48 hours are likely to be the most dangerous ones yet for Hong Kong.
The constant question: when is the crackdown?