But Hong Kong security officials told journalists in a meeting this week that “it won’t happen,” according to the BBC. Locals “can handle” the current situation alone, they say, and they claim there is no indication that mainland forces will actually intervene.

There are 3,000 trained riot police in the 30,000-strong police force, Hong Kong officials say, and they are getting faster at responding to protests and arresting important “main players.”

A senior Hong Kong police officer explained that there is no protocol for a Chinese police intervention and that there has never been joint training between the two forces. In other words, they have never operated together and haven’t even made provisions in case conditions arise that would make joining forces necessary. The Hong Kong security officials also denied protestors’ claims that undercover Chinese police are already secretly working with local police.

But the reassurances that Hong Kong can handle its own problems are not that reassuring, given that some local police have been accused of brutality with protestors and that China is expressing its discontent as well. On Aug. 12, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said, “Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers.”

Chinese officials, meanwhile, are characterizing the demonstrations as “terrorism.”

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