Of course you can at any time reduce the Hong Kong protesters to stacks of human rubble.
And of course that would probably be accompanied by vast piles of Hong Kong bricks and mortar rubble.
And of course that would pretty well settle the question of whether 1.3 billion mainlanders are going to be pushed around by a few million island dwelling ex British subjects.
And that would probably make you feel really good.
The feeling might not be long lived however.
Rubble is almost always detrimental to domestic tranquility.
It seems to me as an American who has seen and continues to see in his own country vast twists of political chicanery passed off as good governance, and who has seen that charade consistently accepted by many of his fellow citizens as good governance, (how else can one explain 2001 – 2008?) that there is a less drastic method of settling how the 2017 election is going to be conducted.
Why not add one more candidate for CEO of the City, making the choice for the winner of that office to be from among four rather than three candidates?
And why not let that fourth candidate be chosen by convention of the people of Hong Kong?
That would go partway to giving the protesters what they want want but leave the chances of who wins heavily in favor of the Party.
Maybe partway would be enough.
The downside for the Party would be that the whole thing would become a crapshoot, but it would be pretty much a rigged crapshoot: it appears that many of the residents of Hong Kong seem not to want to make waves and would most likely line up behind the Party’s choices.
It would probably be prudent for the Party to retain the ballot counting function, however.