China’s government is refusing to compromise with pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong as protesters threatened escalated action in the autonomous island region of south China Thursday.
The protesters threatened to block more government buildings and move their occupation into the central government offices. As the demonstration continued, police were seen carrying what appeared to be riot gear, including rubber bullets and tear gas, promising to respond if such a threat were carried out.
In the face of escalating tensions, the Chinese government published a threatening editorial Wednesday in the People’s Daily, warning that if the protest continues, “the consequences will be unimaginable.”
The newspaper, a publication of the Chinese Communist Party, is the same outlet the government used to warn protesters in Tiananmen Square of an impending crackdown 25 years ago.
“By now, a small number of people in Hong Kong are insistent on resistance and provocation, and in the end they will suffer because of it,” the 2014 editorial read. Similarly, in 1989, the government tried to belittle the protestors as “an extremely small number of people with ulterior purposes.”
Previously, it seemed as if the government was planning on waiting for the demonstrations to die down and eventually dissipate. However, China’s National Day Wednesday brought even larger crowds to the protest.
The protesters are demanding that the city’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, step down by midnight tonight, local time (noon EDT).