Hong Kong police have once again clashed with anti-government protesters as the city enters its 10th week of mass demonstrations and unrest.
Yang Guang, a spokesman for the office in Beijing, delivered a televised address on Monday in which he backed police handling of the protests and said that those who care about the city should come out against violence.
In a statement Monday, Youngspiration, an opposition political party which has been heavily involved in the protests, called for sanctions against Lam and other top officials, echoing demands by others that the global community act on behalf of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.
Police in Hong Kong fired volleys of tear gas Sunday at thousands of pro-democracy protesters who defied warnings from authorities to hit the streets for the tenth weekend in a row.
Protesters were in their fourth consecutive day of protests at the airport, aiming to bring global attention to a movement against police violence and unwanted Chinese influence over Hong Kong that has inflamed the city for 10 weeks. The action "seriously disrupted" the airport's work, the administration said, and led to all flights out of the city being cancelled.
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The increasingly violent protests have plunged the Chinese-ruled territory into its most serious crisis in decades, presenting Chinese leader Xi Jinping with one of his biggest popular challenges since he came to power in 2012.
Protesters filled both arrival and departures terminals of the airport Monday, holding up signs against police violence and chanting, "Dirty cops, return her eye".
The demonstrations have since morphed into a broader bid to reverse a slide in democratic freedoms in the city.
Hong Kong's government says the protests are pushing the city to an extremely unsafe edge.
Shortly afterwards, protesters threw bricks and police began firing tear gas.
As the shutdown announcement spread, protesters tried to leave the airport, a transport hub built on a small island connected to Hong Kong's main city by train and bridge, in fear they would soon be stranded.
Late Friday, China's civil aviation authority issued a swathe of demands to Hong Kong's dominant airline, including barring employees who supported the recent protests from flying to the mainland, and asking the company to submit information about all crew members flying to China for verification and authorization.
The entry of the working class of Hong Kong into the protest movement has not only provoked fears in Beijing but also concerns in Washington and among USA allies amid a resurgence of the class struggle internationally.
Hong Kong local non-profit Civil Rights Observer condemned the police's use of tear gas bombs inside the railway station. The Chinese foreign ministry in Hong Kong declared that those remarks revealed the "dark and twisted side of U.S. psychology".
At the airport, a flight attendant protesting on his day off, who gave only his surname, Lau, to avoid repercussions from his employer, said heavy-handed police tactics had alienated some people. It has also suspended a pilot for "misconduct" after he took part in protests and was charged with rioting.
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