UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Hong Kong airport on Monday made the rare decision to cancel all its flights after thousands of pro-democracy protesters invaded the arrivals hall, while Beijing muscled its speech, saying it would their movement “signs of terrorism”.
Authorities said they were working to reopen the airport by Tuesday morning at 6:00 am (22:00 GMT Monday). Hundreds of protesters remained in the arrival hall at night, giving no sign of wanting to leave.
The closure of the eighth busiest international airport in the world (74 million passengers in 2018) was announced at a time when the Chinese central government said it was seeing “signs of terrorism” in the protests in its semi-autonomous region.
These announcements, which occurred 10 minutes apart, mark a new escalation in the political crisis initiated in early June, the most serious in Hong Kong since the surrender of the territory by London to China in 1997.
A senior US government official urged “the parties to refrain from violence.” “It is in the interests of societies when different political views are respected and can express themselves freely and peacefully,” he added.
– “Critical moment” –
“Radical protesters in Hong Kong have repeatedly used extremely dangerous objects to attack police officers, which is already a serious crime and reveals early signs of terrorism,” the spokesman said. Hong Kong and Macao Business Office, Yang Guang.
As if to add to the war of nerves unleashed by the Beijing press, two public media, the People’s Daily and the Global Times, direct emanations of the ruling Communist Party, have broadcast videos supposed to represent armored personnel carriers heading for to Shenzhen, the metropolis on the outskirts of Hong Kong.
Twenty vehicles of the military police “are preparing for large-scale exercises,” said the Global Times.
In a comment posted on the night of Monday to Tuesday, the China News Agency said the future of Hong Kong was at a “critical moment”.
On Monday, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific warned its employees that they could be fired if they supported or participated in “illegal” protests in Hong Kong.
At the airport, some 5,000 protesters, according to the police, had come to pursue a fourth day of peaceful sit-in to educate travelers to their cause.
Some carried placards reading “Hong Kong is not safe” or “Shame on the police”. They accuse the police of resorting to disproportionate violence in order to suppress the rallies.
– “More and more dangerous” –
The mobilization has seen in recent weeks to increase the clashes between police and protesters.
“It’s becoming more and more dangerous, but if we do not continue down the street at this point, our future will be more and more frightening and we will lose our freedoms,” said a 22-year-old woman with the name of family Chan.
The police, during the tenth weekend of mobilization, fired tear gas in the metro and in crowded shopping streets. The protesters responded by throwing bricks at them and tearing them up.
Pro-democracy activists also denounced the infiltration into their ranks of police wearing black T-shirts, a sign of recognition of their movement.
According to the health authorities, 45 people were injured, two of whom are in serious condition. Among them, a wounded woman in the face: images showing her lying on the ground, her face bathed in her blood, have quickly become viral, and have even been plastered under the slogan “an eye for an eye”, calling for new manifestations.
The expression was also painted in Chinese in several areas of the airport, where many demonstrators wore bandages or bandages on their eyes in solidarity with the wounded.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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