As China showed with brutal ferocity in 1989, it does not take demonstrations lightly. So when it gives a deadline to the protesters in Tibet and promises 'harsh punishment' for anyone not turning themselves in at a police station, you know they will act and act with terrifying violence.
Knowing that the eyes of the World are upon them, the Government are quick to insist they have not used lethal force to quell the protests although there are claims of over 80 deaths so far.
China has been on a bit of a Public Relations blitz since Deng Xiaoping sent his troops into Tienanmen Square to massacre hundreds of demonstrating students and as its global power grew, it has been feted by various Governments around the World who have diplomatically not mentioned the firing of missiles over Taiwan, the continued military occupation of Tibet or the Amnesty reports of Human Rights violations.
China has managed to keep its more authoritarian side buried from the rest of us but anyone who scratched the surface was able to see just what lay festering beneath.
China may be the planets super power in waiting and an economic powerhouse but the rest of us need to put pressure on the Chinese Government to not do what it is threatening and as this is China's Olympic Year and the spotlight was already shining brightly on this part of Asia, there is its Achilles heel.
As we have seen far too many times with Israel in Palestine, Russia in Chechnya and the Sudanese forces in Darfur, doing nothing just emboldens the aggressors to greater and bigger massacres.