Tensions are escalating in Hong Kong after a defiant demonstration on Oct 1 devolved into violence. Much is at stake for Beijing, which has to balance its priorities for the territory.

Singapore (Oct 7): There was a parallel show of force in China and Hong Kong last week.  On Oct 1, on display in Beijing for China’s National Day celebrations were 15,000 soldiers and an eye-watering parade of weaponry, including the Dong Feng-41 and Dong Feng-17. The former is an intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile with a range that allows it to strike anywhere in the US. The latter, making its public debut, is a hypersonic ballistic missile and thought to be the only kind in the world.

Ahead of the pomp and pageantry, which was on a scale unprecedented in modern Chinese history, Chinese president Xi Jinping spent eight minutes highlighting just how far China had come from 70 years ago, when Mao Zedong declared communist rule on the steps of Tiananmen. “No force can stop the Chinese people and the Chinese nation from forging ahead,” Xi said.

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