The Hong Kong airport on Wednesday resumed operations after chaos prevailed the previous night as protestors clashed with riot police, BBC reported. Hundreds of flights were either cancelled or suspended on Tuesday as protestors barred passengers from going through the security gates.
United States President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that US intelligence had informed him about the Chinese government moving soldiers to Hong Kong’s border. “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” he tweeted. “Everyone should be calm and safe!” He further added that the situation in the city was tricky but called for it to be resolved “for liberty” without people getting hurt, according to The Guardian.
China has denounced the protests and condemned the attacks by what it has called “violent protestors” on a reporter from Chinese newspaper Global Times, The Guardian reported. China’s Hong Kong and Macao affairs office called the protests “near-terrorist acts”.
The protests had initially started against a bill that would allow extraditions to China.
On Tuesday evening, protestors faced riot police, who were armed pepper spray and batons outside the airport terminal. Demonstrators reportedly overpowered a police official who had forced a female protestor to the ground. Later, the airport authorities said they got a temporary injunction to prevent protestors from disrupting flight services. Officials said that people would be “restrained from attending or participating in any demonstration or protest... in the airport other than in the area designated by the Airport Authority”.
Hong Kong Police hit out at those protesting and said that a large group had “harassed and assaulted a visitor and a journalist”. Five people had been detained, taking the total number of arrests to 600 since the protests began in June, the police said on Wednesday.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, on Tuesday, had said that the city had reached a “dangerous situation” and the violence could potentially send it down “a path of no return”. She also defended the police, claiming they were handling extremely difficult situations. Mass protests have continued in Hong Kong for about 10 weeks now, which started with the scrapping of an extradition bill, but has now turned into a pro-democracy movement.
The Hong Kong protests had initially been organised to oppose a bill that would have allowed extraditions to China. The protests have now evolved into a backlash against the city’s government and its political masters in Beijing. The government has refused to accept any of the protestors’ main demands, which include a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill besides an independent inquiry into the use of excessive police force against the demonstrators. They are also demanding the resignation of the city’s leader Carrie Lam.
Beijing has claimed that criminals and agitators are stirring violence, encouraged by interference from foreign powers including Britain.