Picture from Wall Street Journal

As the protests in Hong Kong have continued to escalate, despite their primary cause – an extradition treaty bill with mainland China – already having died. It is therefore speculated that these protests have a deep US backing, aimed as the damaging the world’s opinion of China, through the creating of another “Tienanmen Square-type”.

This would be a major PR victory for the US in the Trade War.

Whilst the protesters might have legitimate grievances, the unwillingness to engage with Beijing, and seek a mediated solution, creates the perception, at least in mainland China, that these protesters seek to reject any sort of engagement and solution that would emanate from Beijing.

In the latest escalation of demonstrations, Beijing’s Hong Kong Office noted the protests movement beginning to show sprouts of terrorism, and posed an existential threat to the population.

This followed upon repeated warning by leaders in Beijing, for Washington to not meddle in its affairs.

MintPress News reported as early as June 13 on the heavy involvement of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in supporting the protests. The NED backed the Solidarity Center and National Democratic Institute, two Hong Kong-based NGOs hostile to Beijing, as well as the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM), supplying the three groups with several million dollars in recent years. All three groups are members of the Civil Human Rights Front coalition, commonly cited by Hong Kong media organs such as the South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Free Press as the organizers of the demonstrations.

An array of analysts have argued that the ultimate goal of those behind the scenes coordinating the protests, was to draw the Chinese Army into a direct confrontation with protesters and create a “Tiananmen Square-type” incident. This has as such been described as the desired outcome from a geo-political perspective.

As such, China cannot be faulted for seeing shadows of foreign influence in these protests. It doesn’t help that some protesters, pressing are waving colonial British and US flags, and what began as peaceful protests has now degenerated into riots, a term the demonstrators have challenged.

In addition, the demands of the protesters have grown exponentially over the last few months, with calls for independence from mainland China being the most prominent.