Published: Mon, August 19, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Crackdown Like "Tiananmen Square" In Hong Kong May Harm Trade Deal

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US President Donald Trump has warned China that carrying out a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters wreck trade talks between the two countries.

Saturday's mostly peaceful protest suggested that it may - though thousands also attended a pro-police counter-rally, and a clearer picture is not likely to emerge until Sunday when a protest is scheduled that could draw tens of thousands.

The couple took that message to streets on Sunday, joining 1.7 million others at a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong's Victoria Park, according to organizers.

Many demonstrators said they are anxious that their freedoms will continue to erode as China's Communist Party-ruled central government keeps flexing its muscle in Hong Kong, the former British colony that was given back to China in 1997 and has since become a global financial hub.

The peaceful march marks the 11th week of protests against Hong Kong's extradition bill.

Police said only that the approved rally in the park reached an estimated 128,000 people, not including those packed into the many surrounding streets.

Congress also has the power to pass legislation affecting Hong Kong's trading status.

A pro-Hong Kong group met outside Vancouver's Chinese Consulate for the second day of protests and they were met with a pro-China gathering as well.

More than 1.7 million people took part in the protests.

Some say the violence has driven the pro-democracy movement into an uncomfortable direction.

"We want to tell Hong Kong citizens: we really care about this society, we care about every citizen, and we are willing to walk you through this darkest time".

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Mr You did not mention any specific politician, but numerous U.S. senators and members of congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have affirmed the United States commitment to human rights and urged Hong Kong's government to end the standoff.

Following weeks of violent clashes with police, a sea of Hong Kong demonstrators defied a police ban and peacefully marched through the streets in one of the biggest rallies the territory has seen so far.

Saturday's rallies began with thousands of teachers marching through torrential rain in support of the largely youth-led protests. And with the ruling Communist Party preparing to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, the crisis in Hong Kong has come at a sensitive time.

The protests have coalesced around five demands, including the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, an investigation of police violence during the protests and exoneration for all those arrested in the demonstrations.

Demonstrators gather at Victoria Park in Hong Kong, Aug. 18, 2019.

Communist Party-ruled mainland China has in turn sharpened its tone towards the dissidents, decrying the "terrorist-like" actions of a violent minority, while state media has broadcast images of military personnel and armored personnel carriers in Shenzhen, across the border from the semi-autonomous city.

Clashes between protesters and police grew more intense last week when demonstrators organized a city-wide strike and stormed Hong Kong International Airport, forcing the cancellation of numerous flights in and out of the world's busiest airport for two days.

The 20-year-old says the inclement weather will not deter them.

A spokesman for China's ceremonial legislature has condemned statements from US lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

"Before, everyone in Hong Kong helped each other, it was very harmonious", he said.

Hogg, who began as chief executive in 2017 and has been leading the airline's three-year transformation plan, said it had been an honour to lead the airline and expressed confidence in the future of Hong Kong as one of Asia's key aviation hubs.

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