Published: Mon, August 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

China official says Hong Kong is at a ‘critical juncture’

China official says Hong Kong is at a ‘critical juncture’

As protesters peacefully demonstrated at the airport for a fourth day, Hong Kong's Airport Authority said the affected flights were the ones that were not checked in by the afternoon of Monday (local time).

The airport authority stopped all check-in procedures and canceled all flights that were not already boarded or en route to Hong Kong International Airport, one of the busiest flight terminals in the world.

Calls for a mass protest at the airport came after police and demonstrators fought pitched battles on the streets across several districts of the city on Sunday.

In the aftermath of the incident, Hong Kong internet users launched an eye for eye action, calling for the public to cripple Hong Kong International Airport, the news outlet reported.

Roads to the airport were congested and auto parks were full, the authority said. "Though people may share different views, it is essential that we all respect each other, our customers and members of the public". The shutdown began at 4 p.m., just as a spokesman for the State Council's highest Hong Kong affairs office in Beijing said protesters showed "signs of terrorism".

Despite this, she has made clear she will not grant the protesters' demands, which include a full withdrawal of the now-suspended extradition bill, direct election of the city's leader and an investigation into police violence.

Tear gas was also deployed in central Hong Kong on both sides of Victoria Harbour, in the Tsim Sha Tsui area on the Kowloon side and in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island.

Scantlebury and her brother, Julian, grew up in Hong Kong but study in the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively.

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"All those who care about Hong Kong's future, must firmly come out and say no to all violent behavior, say no to all violent people".

The Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation expressed "deep regret" over the Chinese regulator's demands and criticized the CAAC for making policies restricting Hong Kong people's legal rights and freedom, and damaging the "one country, two systems" principle by which the city is governed.

Hong Kong has seen nine weeks of protests with no end in sight.

Kong said airport authorities had allowed demonstrators to gather in the arrivals halls - although the protest was not granted a permit from police - but accused the activists of blocking departures.

The protesters staged a second night of "hit-and-run" rallies, splitting into small groups that scattered across the city to set up temporary roadblocks and face off against riot police.

Beijing says criminals and agitators are stirring violence, encouraged by "interfering" foreign powers including Britain. In the working-class Sham Shui Po area, riot police fired volleys of tear gas into a crowd of mainly young protesters.

China, meanwhile, has also targeted the city's corporate giants, demanding flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways suspend staff involved in the demonstrations - a move which also brought pressure on the airline from mainland businesses.

"We hope to provide a safer place for parents and their kids to participate in rallies, and to voice their concerns", said Fion Yim, 35, representative of the organising committee for what was billed as the family protest.

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