Published: Sat, August 17, 2019

Air India flights to and from Hong Kong suspended until further info

Air India flights to and from Hong Kong suspended until further info

China last week also urged the United Kingdom to stop "meddling" and "stirring up trouble", after British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to voice concern about mass anti-government protests that have rocked the city for the past several months.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the ongoing instability, chaos and violence from pro-democracy protests have placed the city on a "path of no return".

Meanwhile, flights at Hong Kong airport resumed on Wednesday morning.

The episodes - broadcast on live television from one of Asia's busiest airports - illustrated protesters' increasing use of violence after weeks of facing off against tear gas, rubber bullets and undercover officers sent into rallies.

Tensions have been high in Hong Kong over a proposed bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China. "We ask for your understanding and forgiveness as young people in Hong Kong continue to fight for freedom and democracy".

Police likened the treatment of the men whom protesters had captured to "torture" and said they had arrested five people.

One man, who was tied up with zip ties, was later revealed to be Fu Guohao, a reporter for Chinese state media outlet the Global Times - though it is not clear if he identified himself.

More than 700 protesters have been arrested since early June, mostly men in their 20s and 30s, but also women, teenagers and septuagenarians.

They were said to be holding identity cards showing they were police officers from mainland China.

Hong Kong police said the officer's life had been "under great danger" and insisted he had only drawn his gun "out of emergency and necessity" and "exercised great restraint". Riot police briefly deployed pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters while they escorted the vehicle away from the departures hall. "Our appeal, as the airline, is to get some level of certainty and for plans to be put in place so that we are able to make proper planning in terms of how we are able to recover our schedule, what additional forms of assistance we can render to our passengers who are affected", SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali said.

"Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?" Protesters also issued an apology to the general public. Earlier this week, the Chinese military stationed tanks in Shenzhen, presumably due to its easy access to Hong Kong-a thinly-veiled warning for protesters to comply or face the consequences.

China's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said it strongly condemned the "near-terrorism criminal actions" in Hong Kong, including what it called a violent attack on a mainland journalist and tourist at the airport.

Hong Kong legal experts say Beijing might be paving the way to use anti-terror laws to restrain the protesters.

The US state department also issued a travel advisory for Hong Kong on Wednesday, alongside its expression of concern over "paramilitary movement" on the border. "But if they think the authority of the Communist party is being challenged they will intervene", he said.

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