China slams 'terrorist-like actions' by protesters at Hong Kong airport

Marco Green
August 14, 2019

"The police pledge to all citizens of Hong Kong that we will take steps to bring all culprits to justice".

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific said in a statement it had cancelled 272 flights over the past two days, affecting more than 55,000 passengers, while 622 departures and arrivals went ahead. "The Chinese government hopes that once schools reopen for fall semester, the size of the protests will shrink", noted James Meyer, an analyst at Tower Bridge Advisors.

This week Amnesty International said Hong Kong police have violated human rights by using gas, rubber bullets and pepper ball projectiles on the protestors in confined spaces.

The airport occupation has dramatically raised the stakes in the political confrontation that is now in its 10th week.

The protesters adopted the slogan after a woman suffered a serious facial injury that reportedly caused her to lose the vision in one eye at a demonstration that turned violent on Sunday night.

Lam's remarks echoed those of Hong Kong business leaders amid falling share prices and fears of an economic downturn, especially in the property sector. "But we fight for our rights; democracy was promised as part of One country Two systems".

In his comment to reporters, Trump also said that a phone call between senior Chinese and US trade officials on Tuesday had been very productive and his administration had made a decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese imports until mid-December to avoid hurting USA shoppers heading into the Christmas holiday.

Sections of the Hong Kong business elite, concerned at Beijing's encroachment on their interests, had initially supported the protests against the extradition bill but are now calling for an end to the protest movement.

As she spoke, Hong Kong's stock market fell to a seven-month low. "The average monthly salary in Hong Kong is around $HK17,500 ($US2,230), while the average rent for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre is $HK16,500".

While Hong Kong's crucial travel industry suffers major losses, the city's reputation as a well-regulated centre for finance is also taking a hit.

Chinese state media called on Beijing to deal with protests in Hong Kong more decisively.

In a statement later on Tuesday, China's foreign ministry told Washington to stay out of its internal affairs after some US lawmakers, including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, condemned what they called acts of violence by police against protesters in Hong Kong.

In a tweet, Hu Xijun, the editor of China's state-controlled Global Times tabloid - which has vociferously condemned the protests - said the man was a journalist working for the paper.

Hong Kong's Airport Authority said it had obtained an interim injunction against protesters to keep them from returning to disrupt the airport - meaning if they do return they could face arrest or forced removal by police.

In the United States, surveys taken after the violent suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 showed public approval for China dropped dramatically, particularly among people under 30 and has never recovered, the official said, suggesting that Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong is not a good idea.

As Hong Kong's political crisis deepens, China denied a request for two U.S. Navy warships to visit Hong Kong in the coming weeks, officials said.

Trump yesterday said his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troops were gathering across the border. "Everyone should be calm and safe!" he commented.

In one video posted to social media, a policeman is seen frantically drawing his gun at protesters after being attacked with his own truncheon.

Soon after that rally, China begins blaming the protests on what it says is a small group of organisers colluding with Western governments. I hope it works out peacefully. I hope nobody gets hurt.

"I understand the basics of the protest and they've got a point: it's about freedom and democracy and it's incredibly important", said Pete Knox, a 65-year-old Briton on his way to Vietnam.

More than 7 million travellers pass through Hong Kong's airport each year, making it "not an appropriate place of protest", Mak said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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