MANILA - The Chinese government is weighing the use of force in Hong Kong amid continuing unrest in the territory, a Hong Kong law professor said on Wednesday.
China's The Global Times reported on Monday that China's People's Armed Police had assembled in the city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, fueling speculation of a possible intervention in the territory.
University of Hong Kong Associate Professor of Law Puja Kapai said the move was "part of psychological warfare and control to show protesters that they mean business."
"I think the Chinese government is weighing very carefully what the political cost would be of bringing in the army into Hong Kong. I don't think we're quite there yet," Puja said in an exclusive interview with ANC's Market Edge.
Puja, however, added that this development, as well as recent statements by the Chinese government, should not be taken lightly as it shows Beijing is ready to use force "if necessary."
She said the protests' effect on the operations of the Hong Kong airport, which accounts for around 5 percent of the territory's GDP, seems "to have touched a nerve" with authorities.
Despite this, Puja said it was unlikely that the protests would die down.
"I think people have woken and refused to take that," Puja said.
"I think they are now in it for the long game. And they are strategizing how to keep this pressure on."
- With a report from Reuters