Hong Kong is on the brink of a showdown. After nearly three months of protests by the city’s residents, Beijing appears to be losing patience. Last week, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army released videos of its troops massing near Hong Kong’s border – a sign that a crackdown could be on the horizon.
While the United States and Europe have expressed sympathy for the Hong Kong protestors, Russia is instead showing solidarity with China. Like Beijing, Moscow has anxiety about mass protests and often suspects the West of organizing them. Over the past decade, Russia’s and China’s shared opposition to Western democracy promotion efforts has played a major role in bringing the two countries closer together. Should the situation in Hong Kong escalate, the Sino-Russian convergence could gain even greater momentum.