Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

'One country, two systems': What's behind the Hong Kong protests

'One country, two systems': What's behind the Hong Kong protests

Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Tuesday after demonstrators blockaded two terminals, the second consecutive day the airport has been targeted in the latest escalation of a 10-week political crisis that has gripped the worldwide finance hub.

Nearly 75 million passengers travelled through Hong Kong Airport in 2018, making it the eighth busiest airport in the world and the fourth busiest in Asia.

A small contingent of fully equipped riot police and elite officers from the Special Tactical Squad fought off the protesters, using pepper spray and batons.

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

The protests began in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland, but quickly evolved into a broader battle to reverse a slide of rights and freedoms in the southern Chinese city.

Analysts in both Hong Kong and mainland China speculated the convoy was a "psychological warfare tactic" meant to build pressure against the protesters, especially those who are pushing for dramatic changes to the Hong Kong system, such as true representative democracy.

The co-sponsor of Cardin's Hong Kong bill, Republican Marco Rubio, has also urged Trump to take a tougher line with China over Hong Kong.

Property developers Henderson Land Development, Cheung Kong Holdings and Sun Hung Kai Holdings also took out newspaper advertisement in support of the government on Wednesday.

The airline over the weekend moved to comply with the demand from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), suspending a pilot arrested during anti-government protests in Hong Kong and firing two airport employees citing misconduct. The Airport Authority said it had obtained a court order to bar people from "unlawfully and willfully" obstructing airport operations.

Protesters are demanding that it must nonetheless be withdrawn completely.

For more than two months, Hong Kong has seen mass protests urging democratic reforms and an investigation into police conduct. Low wages, economic insecurity, the lack of opportunities for young people, unaffordable housing, and threadbare welfare services are all fuelling discontent and anger. "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".

There are creeping fears Beijing is set to make a crackdown on protesters as military forces amass near the border.

Sara Ali Khan and mother Amrita Singh visit Brahma temple in Bangkok
And yesterday, Pooja Entertainment shared photos and video from her birthday celebration from the sets of the film. The actress is shooting with Varun Dhawan for the David Dhawan-directed Coolie No 1 remake in the Thai capital.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime has ramped up its denunciations of protesters. "Sorry", read another protester's sign.

The comment may have been in reference to allegations within Chinese state media that the United States had a "black hand" in the protests.

The People's Daily posted a statement on social media saying the People's Armed Police are in Shenzhen prepared to handle "riots, disturbance, major violence and crime and terrorism-related social security issues".

So will the disruptions sway public opinion on the demonstrations?

Over the past week, signs had appeared that China was stepping up preparations to mobilize mainland forces to quell the weeks-long uprising in Hong Kong.

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

We love and care for Hong Kong.

Trump yesterday said his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troops were gathering across the border.

"Everyone should be calm and safe!" "We'll see what happens".

Trump said the situation in Hong Kong was tricky but he hoped it would work out for everybody, including China, and "for liberty" without anyone getting hurt or killed.

"As I said to Carrie Lam during my call last week, we condemn the violence [and] encourage constructive dialogue to find a peaceful way forward", he said on Twitter. I get reports all day.

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