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Una nueva manifestación prohibida en Hong Kong deja 49 detenidos y 16 heridos

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(Elson Li/AP) Asia’s financial capital saw its eighth consecutive weekend of political unrest . On Sunday, Hong Kong’s central business and shopping districts were once more convulsed in chaos, with clouds of tear gas choking the streets and even seeping into residential buildings. A day earlier, tens of thousands of anti-Beijing protesters converged on the town of Yuen Long, a far-flung area close to the border with mainland China, where, the previous weekend, pro-China thugs linked to “triad” gangs attacked protesters with sticks and clubs.

“In recent days, protesters have grown infuriated with Hong Kong’s police and government, which protesters say are doing the bidding of Beijing rather than protecting citizens and their rights,” reported my colleague Shibani Mahtani .

Tensions have only spiked after Hong Kong’s youthful and enterprising protesters filled the city’s streets in mass demonstrations , forcing the local government to suspend a controversial extradition bill that the protesters feared would allow China to further squeeze civil liberties in the former British colony. The protesters continue to call for democratic reform in the territory, reiterating the long-standing demand for universal suffrage that would allow Hong Kongers to directly elect the city’s leader. (The current system, where voters only elect a portion of the city’s legislative assembly, is considered by many to be rigged in Beijing’s favor.)

Truly awesome the way Hong Kongers deal with tear gas. #antiELAB #HongKongProtests #BeWater

— Alex Hofford (@alexhofford) July 28, 2019 With no clear path out of the political crisis, the situation risks escalation. Chinese authorities have hinted at military options to quell the “intolerable” scenes of dissent . Meanwhile, angry and disaffected Hong Kongers are increasingly resorting to more extreme measures.

“Protesters have also become bolder and more provocative against riot police, ripping up bricks from the sidewalks, fashioning shields from metal and wood and setting fires to keep police back,” wrote Mahtani. “At one point Sunday, a protester wearing a full-face gas mask picked up a canister of tear gas that landed at his feet back and threw it back at officers.”

Some analysts watching from afar see in Hong Kong’s unrest a sign of the times. “The Hong Kong ‘two systems’ crisis reflects a broader, global clash not of civilisations but of ideologies, crudely defined – a contest between liberal, democratic laws-based governance and authoritarian, nationalist-populist ‘strongman’ rule,” wrote Simon Tisdall , the Guardian’s foreign affairs commentator, earlier this month. “It is the defining struggle of our age.”

That language resonates all the more given the hardening fault line between China and the United States. The Trump administration, angry at China’s trade practices and convinced of the threat it poses as a rising power, has unleashed an economic war that has led to a profound chill in Sino-American ties. In Washington, a bipartisan anti-China consensus is emerging, bucking the trend of polarization that otherwise shapes American politics.

Leading Senate Democrats urged Trump to “hang tough” with China in trade talks. They are joined even by figures on the far right. When not inveighing against Islam and immigrants, ultranationalist gadfly and former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon is working to revive the Committee on the Present Danger , a hawkish Soviet-era group now recast for a confrontation with China.

Administration officials decry the heavy hand of the Chinese state over its companies and national economy. In Chinese President Xi Jinping, they have a perfect foil — a ruthless autocrat who has only deepened the power of his ruling cabal , ushered in chilling campaigns of repression and leveraged China’s clout to pull smaller countries into its ever-expanding geopolitical orbit.

These are two systems that are incompatible,” Bannon told the New York Times , referring to the United States and China. “One side is going to win, and one side is going to lose. This is the defining event of our time, and 100 years from now, this is what they’re going to remember us for.”

Curiously, in Bannon’s telling — and, more importantly, that of President Trump — the cause for democracy in Hong Kong barely features. Last week, Trump praised Xi for acting “very responsibly” when asked by reporters for his reaction to the developments there. He suggested Hong Kong’s upheaval was a domestic Chinese matter that he was not too “involved” in. It was circumspect rhetoric for a politician who rarely is circumspect.

Of course, as he waves the flag of “America First,” Trump has often let issues of liberal democracy and human rights take a back seat . Hong Kong’s protesters and their sympathizers abroad see a battle over universal rights and political values. But for Trump, it’s likely just a footnote to a cutthroat competition between two great powers.

This video is hurting me

The mama worries young protesters got beaten by police and she wants them to leave.

she is crying “go go” and in the end of the video she said”why our world turn into this?!”

— 巴丢草 Badiucao (@badiucao) July 28, 2019 PostEverything columnist Dan Drezner warned of the dangers of embracing this line of thinking , especially by the Trump White House. “China hawks need to think this new Red scare policy all the way through to the end. If you genuinely believe that China is a peer equal to the United States, that means we are back to bipolarity,” wrote Drezner . “That implies attracting as many allies to the U.S. side as possible, and promoting the U.S. system of governance as a model to others. The Trump administration is, how you say, doing the exact opposite of that.”

After tearing up diplomatic agreements and slapping allies with tariffs , the Trump administration has struggled to persuade European governments to follow its lead in blacklisting Chinese tech companies, one of the major new battlegrounds in a 21st century rivalry .

“America’s friends are choosing to dissociate themselves, believing their interests are better served without American strength,” wrote Kori Schake , a former official in the George W. Bush administration. “It seems the rest of the world is losing faith that the U.S. is a reliable partner, sober and taking others’ interests into account as well as its own.”

Hong Kongers protesting Beijing may take heed, too. They have received little more than cursory statements of support and sympathy from the outside world. The Trump administration, meanwhile, is more preoccupied curbing Chinese influence and investment in the country and restricting the number of ordinary Chinese students who can get visas to study in the United States.

Rather than a stirring defense of democracy, analysts fear Washington is embarking on a grim culture war.

“I lack confidence in the ability of the American body politic, not just the Trump administration, at this point in our political history — especially when there’s so much racism, so much anti-immigration sentiment,” Susan Shirk, who chairs the 21st Century China Center at the University of California at San Diego, told Politico . “It’s kind of bringing out some of the worst impulses.”

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