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Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong would be costly

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Earlier this week, footage surfaced on Chinese internet showing columns of armored vehicles heading south and converging on the city of Shenzhen. The videos seem to suggest that the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, a heavily armed paramilitary unit, is gathering on the Hong Kong border. It is Beijing's latest effort to project its power vis-a-vis the former British colony. The message is clear: We are ready to quell the Hong Kong protests with force.

Threats without impact

A dictatorship is built on the principle of fear. The rulers are scared of the people and in turn see to it that the people are scared of them. China has perfected this system of deterrence. The government has countless ways of reminding citizens that it is able and willing to use force: a phone call from China's domestic intelligence agency to an individual's employer, a ban on leaving the country, or even arbitrary arrest and........

© Deutsche Welle