Retired U.S. four-star Gen. Jack Keane said on Tuesday Hong Kong protests have entered a new phase.
“They're outwardly arresting leaders of the demonstration, as best they can determine who they are,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Monday. “That is a sign that the [Chinese Communist Party] is going to begin the crackdown.”
Keane’s comments come as thousands of students on Monday skipped their first day of school to join anti-government protests after a week of violence, in the 13th straight week of demonstrations.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that she has caused “unforgivable havoc” by setting off the political crisis in the city and would quit if she could, according to Reuters.
Lam responded Tuesday by saying she never asked the Chinese government to let her resign.
Keane said although arresting leaders of the protests do in a way “undermine the protest itself,” he doubts the arrests will change the “quality or the quantity of this demonstration.”
The Hong Kong police said last week more than 900 people have been arrested so far, and Keane believes things will get even worse.
“I don't see any end in sight, at least in the near term to this protest, and the more they arrest, I think the more they're going to protest,” he said.