China views the fate of Hong Kong as a purely internal affair. But how its leaders resolve the ongoing confrontation on the streets of the former British colony will determine China's external reputation for years to come.
The world sees two Chinas. One represents all that is hopeful and ambitious about Asia: boundless economic growth, 1.3 billion consumers of tomorrow and Alibabas as far as the eye can see. The other reflects a repressive regime that's more bully than global stakeholder. For a week now, as the shadow of Tiananmen has hung over Hong Kong's protests, that second China has once again dominated the headlines.