Hong Kong International Airport resumes flights after 2 days of mass disruption

Hong Kong Airport Cancels All Departures As Protesters Squat Inside

The airport's website showed dozens of flights taking off overnight and listed hundreds more which were scheduled to depart throughout Wednesday, although many were delayed.

But two days of protests at the airport have again raised the stakes for the financial hub. Officers with shields pushed back protesters near one of the airport entrances and used pepper spray to break up the crowd.

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

On Aug 1, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison in Hong Kong releases a slick video showing armed troops practising to quell a protest.

The protesters adopted the slogan after a woman suffered a serious facial injury that reportedly caused her to lose the vision in one eye at a demonstration that turned violent on Sunday night.

The closure of the Hong Kong airport added to that pressure.

Other Chinese airlines have offered passengers wanting to avoid Hong Kong a free switch to nearby destinations, such as Guangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen or Zhuhai, with the disruption sending shares in Shenzhen Airport Co Ltd surging. Property tycoon Peter Woo said in a statement on Monday that the protests had already forced the government to shelve the legislation and claimed that some people were using the issue to "purposely stir up trouble".

China's aviation regulator demanded last week that Cathay suspend personnel who engaged in or supported protests in Hong Kong from staffing flights into its airspace.

Businesses are feeling the effects of the unrest, with the stock market falling to its lowest level in seven months. "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".

"Using the sword of the law to stop violence and restore order is overwhelmingly the most important and urgent task for Hong Kong!" it said.

"Concerning to see what's happening in Hong Kong and the worrying pictures of clashes between police & protesters at the airport", Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Twitter.

Chinese state media called on Beijing to deal with protests in Hong Kong more decisively.

China Daily columnist Chen Weihua also noted that "It would be hard to imagine the U.S. reaction if Chinese [diplomats] were meeting leaders of Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter or Never Trump protesters".

The unrest in Hong Kong could also push the U.S. and China even further away from reaching an agreement to end the yearlong trade war. Some 21 countries and regions have issued travel safety alerts for their citizens travelling to Hong Kong, saying protests have become more violent and unpredictable.

However, multiple United States officials also told CNN that troop movement near the Hong Kong border is a tactic they expected from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is laying the groundwork, they say, in case intervention is needed.

Trump yesterday said his intelligence had confirmed Chinese troops were gathering across the border. "Everyone should be calm and safe!" An hour before the tweet he told reporter that he had been on a call "with China" earlier in the day. "We'll see what happens".

The demonstrators are demanding Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam step down and scrap proposed legislation under which some suspects could be sent to mainland China, where critics say they could face torture and unfair or politically charged trials. I hope it works out peacefully.

"I understand the basics of the protest and they've got a point: it's about freedom and democracy and it's incredibly important", said Pete Knox, a 65-year-old Briton on his way to Vietnam.



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