Hong Kong: flights resume at airport after clashes between protesters and police

Hong Kong's Airport Reopens After Protests But Over 200 Flights Cancelled

Earlier in the day, authorities were forced to cancel all remaining flights as the city's pro-Beijing leader warned that the protesters had pushed events onto a "path of no return".

The airport, one of the world's busiest, blamed demonstrators for halting flights on Monday.

Protesters are demanding that it must nonetheless be withdrawn completely.

When Beijing said this week that it saw the "first signs of terrorism" among Hong Kong's young pro-democracy protesters, it marked an ominous step in a progression of escalating rhetoric.

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.

Last week, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called China a "thuggish regime" for disclosing photographs and personal details of a USA diplomat who met with Hong Kong's student leaders. "Hong Kong is none of your business". "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".

But the protests have led to rising anger from authorities in Beijing, who on Monday described some of the violent demonstrations as "terrorism". The exact trigger for the closure was not clear because protesters occupying the arrivals hall since Friday have been peaceful.

"Now is the time for everyone committed to democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law to stand with the people of Hong Kong", leader of Canada's Conservative Party Andrew Scheer posted on Twitter on August 13.

When Britain's foreign minister calls Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam to voice concern about the protests, China says Britain is "stirring up trouble" in the semi-autonomous city.

Yesterday, state media upped the ante, calling protesters "mobsters", warning they must never be appeased and raising the spectre of mainland security forces intervening. A front-page commentary on the overseas edition of the Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper said on Wednesday Hong Kong had reached a critical juncture. In a social media post in Chinese on Tuesday, the Global Times stated that "if Hong Kong rioters can not read the signal of having armed police gathering in Shenzhen, then they are asking for self-destruction", according to a CNBC translation.

The government of Hong Kong in a statement slammed the actions of the protesters at the airport which they claim resulted in violence and attacks on police.

Scuffles broke out in the evening after an injured man was held by a group of protesters. "We must act now to stop the violence and preserve the stability, peace and prosperity of Hong Kong".

However, even though the Trump administration has made strident and provocative denunciations of Beijing over trade and risky strategic flashpoints such as the South China Sea, it has made no such comments over the Hong Kong protests.

China's People's Armed Police was assembled in Shenzhen for "exercises", the state-backed Global Times newspaper said.

"I think paralysing the airport will be effective in forcing Carrie Lam to respond to us.it can further pressure Hong Kong's economy", said Dorothy Cheng, a 17-year-old protester.

Trump cited USA intelligence as saying that China's government was moving troops to its border with Hong Kong, and urged calm as clashes continued between protesters and authorities in the former British colony.

However, multiple USA officials also told CNN that troop movement near the Hong Kong border is a tactic they expected from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is laying the groundwork, they say, in case intervention is needed. "Everyone should be calm and safe!" he tweeted.

"I very much hope that even after 10 weeks of this going on, the government and President Xi will see the sense in establishing a way of actually bringing people together". U.S. officials told CNN they are waiting to see if he will take the next step and order the Chinese military to begin breaking up protests before reacting. I hope nobody gets hurt.

Fiji Airways says it is closely monitoring the situation in Hong Kong and assessing its impact on their schedule as chaotic scenes on a second consecutive day of massive anti-government protests have paralysed Hong Kong International Airport.



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