Hong Kong protests unleash 'panic and chaos', leader says as airport reopens

Hong Kong protests unleash panic and chaos leader says as

Hong Kong protests unleash ‘panic and chaos’, leader says as airport reopens

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A state of “panic and chaos” exists in Hong Kong, the city’s embattled leader said on Tuesday, defying calls to quit as the stock market tumbled, airlines flagged further flight disruptions and anti-government protesters filled the airport.

Unrest has roiled the former British colony for 10 weeks this summer, as thousands of residents chafe at a perceived erosion of freedoms and autonomy under Chinese rule.

The increasingly violent demonstrations have plunged the Asian financial hub into its most serious crisis in decades, presenting Chinese leader Xi Jinping with one of his biggest challenges since he came to power in 2012.

For a fifth day, protesters occupied the arrivals hall at the airport, shut down in an unprecedented move on Monday that forced hundreds of flight cancellations. Beijing likened the demonstrations in Hong Kong to terrorism.

“Take a minute to look at our city, our home,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a news conference at the government headquarters complex, fortified with 6-foot (1.8m) high water-filled barricades.

“Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?” she added, her voice wavering.

As she spoke, the benchmark Hang Seng index .HIS hit a seven-month low. By lunchtime, it had dropped nearly 2%, dragging down markets across Asia. It has fallen 6% since the protests began in June.

The protests began as opposition to a now-suspended bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China for those facing criminal charges, but have swelled into wider calls for democracy.

Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement enshrining some autonomy for Hong Kong when China took it back from Britain in 1997.

They want Lam to resign. She said she would stay.

“My responsibility goes beyond this particular range of protest,” she said, adding that violence had pushed the territory into a state of “panic and chaos”.

“I, as the chief executive, will be responsible to rebuild the Hong Kong economy, to engage as widely as possible, listen as attentively as possible to my people’s grievances and try to help Hong Kong to move on.”

She did not respond to repeated requests to clarify if she had the power to withdraw the extradition bill to satisfy a key demand by protesters, or if she required Beijing’s approval.

CRITICAL JUNCTURE

On Monday China said the protests had reached a critical juncture, after a weekend of street clashes in which both police and protesters appeared to toughen their resolve.

Police fired tear gas at the black-shirted crowds in districts on Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

Anti-government protesters stand at a barricade made of trolleys during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A senior Chinese official said “sprouts of terrorism” were emerging in Hong Kong, given instances of violent attacks against police officers.

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

Some flights resumed as Hong Kong’s airport reopened on Tuesday, but hundreds remained cancelled.

Airport officials said they aimed to resume normal service in the afternoon, but warned of further protests as the atmosphere at the airport grew more confrontational.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, we are fighting for the future of our home,” read a banner held by some of the hundreds of protesters who had returned to the arrivals hall.

Some passengers challenged protesters over the delays as tempers began to fray, while the demonstrators, employing a Chinese term of encouragement, chanted, “Hong Kong people – add oil!”

Flag carrier Cathay Pacific (0293.HK) urged passengers to postpone non-essential travel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The airline, whose British heritage makes it symbol of Hong Kong’s colonial past, is also in a political bind.

China’s civil aviation regulator demanded it suspend personnel who joined or backed the protests from flights into its airspace, pushing its shares to a 10-year low on Monday and lower still on Tuesday.

Slideshow (41 Images)

The airport closure added to that pressure, though some firms benefited from the chaos.

Shares in Shenzhen Airport Co Ltd (000089.SZ) surged 10%, the maximum allowed on the index, buoyed by potential flight diversions. Flagship carrier Air China (601111.SS) (0753.HK) said it would add capacity on its Beijing-Shenzhen route, as a result of the disruptions. Other Chinese airlines have offered passengers a free switch of destination from Hong Kong to nearby locations such as Guangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen or Zhuhai.

Additional reporting by Felix Tam, Noah Sin, Donny Kwok, Greg Torode and James Pomfret in HONG KONG; Additional reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE and Stella Qiu in BEIJING. Editing by

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Hong Kong protests unleash ‘panic and chaos’, leader says as airport reopens

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A state of “panic and chaos” exists in Hong Kong, the town’s embattled leader mentioned on Tuesday, defying calls to give up as the inventory market tumbled, airways flagged additional flight disruptions and anti-government protesters crammed the airport.

Unrest has roiled the previous British colony for 10 weeks this summer time, as hundreds of residents chafe at a perceived erosion of freedoms and autonomy beneath Chinese language rule.

The more and more violent demonstrations have plunged the Asian monetary hub into its most severe disaster in a long time, presenting Chinese language leader Xi Jinping with one among his largest challenges since he got here to energy in 2012.

For a fifth day, protesters occupied the arrivals corridor on the airport, shut down in an unprecedented transfer on Monday that compelled a whole bunch of flight cancellations. Beijing likened the demonstrations in Hong Kong to terrorism.

“Take a minute to have a look at our metropolis, our house,” Chief Govt Carrie Lam informed a information convention on the authorities headquarters advanced, fortified with 6-foot (1.8m) excessive water-filled barricades.

“Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to items?” she added, her voice wavering.

As she spoke, the benchmark Grasp Seng index .HIS hit a seven-month low. By lunchtime, it had dropped almost 2%, dragging down markets throughout Asia. It has fallen 6% for the reason that protests started in June.

The protests started as opposition to a now-suspended invoice that will have allowed extradition to mainland China for these dealing with prison expenses, however have swelled into wider requires democracy.

Demonstrators say they’re combating the erosion of the “one nation, two techniques” association enshrining some autonomy for Hong Kong when China took it again from Britain in 1997.

They need Lam to resign. She mentioned she would keep.

“My accountability goes past this specific vary of protest,” she mentioned, including that violence had pushed the territory right into a state of “panic and chaos”.

“I, as the chief government, might be accountable to rebuild the Hong Kong economic system, to have interaction as broadly as potential, pay attention as attentively as potential to my folks’s grievances and attempt to assist Hong Kong to maneuver on.”

She didn’t reply to repeated requests to make clear if she had the ability to withdraw the extradition invoice to fulfill a key demand by protesters, or if she required Beijing’s approval.

CRITICAL JUNCTURE

On Monday China mentioned the protests had reached a essential juncture, after a weekend of road clashes during which each police and protesters appeared to toughen their resolve.

Police fired tear gasoline on the black-shirted crowds in districts on Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

Anti-government protesters stand at a barricade fabricated from trolleys throughout an indication at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A senior Chinese language official mentioned “sprouts of terrorism” have been rising in Hong Kong, given cases of violent assaults towards law enforcement officials.

Hong Kong authorized specialists say Beijing could be paving the way in which to make use of anti-terror legal guidelines to restrain the protesters.

Some flights resumed as Hong Kong’s airport reopened on Tuesday, however a whole bunch remained cancelled.

Airport officers mentioned they aimed to renew regular service within the afternoon, however warned of additional protests as the ambiance on the airport grew extra confrontational.

“Sorry for the inconvenience, we’re combating for the way forward for our house,” learn a banner held by a few of the a whole bunch of protesters who had returned to the arrivals corridor.

Some passengers challenged protesters over the delays as tempers started to fray, whereas the demonstrators, using a Chinese language time period of encouragement, chanted, “Hong Kong folks – add oil!”

Flag provider Cathay Pacific (0293.HK) urged passengers to postpone non-essential journey on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The airline, whose British heritage makes it image of Hong Kong’s colonial previous, can also be in a political bind.

China’s civil aviation regulator demanded it droop personnel who joined or backed the protests from flights into its airspace, pushing its shares to a 10-year low on Monday and decrease nonetheless on Tuesday.

Slideshow (41 Photos)

The airport closure added to that stress, although some companies benefited from the chaos.

Shares in Shenzhen Airport Co Ltd (000089.SZ) surged 10%, the utmost allowed on the index, buoyed by potential flight diversions. Flagship provider Air China (601111.SS) (0753.HK) mentioned it could add capability on its Beijing-Shenzhen route, as a results of the disruptions. Different Chinese language airways have provided passengers a free change of vacation spot from Hong Kong to close by areas such as Guangzhou, Macau, Shenzhen or Zhuhai.

Further reporting by Felix Tam, Noah Sin, Donny Kwok, Greg Torode and James Pomfret in HONG KONG; Further reporting by Jamie Freed in SINGAPORE and Stella Qiu in BEIJING. Modifying by

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.
Facts Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/topNews/~3/7ksvjLaQgME/hong-kong-protests-unleash-panic-and-chaos-leader-says-as-airport-reopens-idUSKCN1V2249

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *