Hong Kong Airport Sees Chaos For 2nd Day In A Row As Mass Protests Continue

August 13, 2019

Protesters stage a sit-in protest in the departures area of Hong Kong's international airport on Tuesday.

Protesters severely crippled operations at Hong Kong’s international airport for a second day Tuesday, forcing authorities to cancel all remaining flights out of the city after demonstrators took over the terminals as part of their push for democratic reforms.

After a brief respite early Tuesday during which flights were able to take off and land, the airport authority announced check-in services for departing flights were suspended as of 4:30 p.m. local time. Other departing flights that had completed the process would continue to operate.

It said it did not expect arriving flights to be affected, though dozens of arriving flights were already cancelled. The authority advised the public not to come to the airport, one of the world’s busiest transport hubs.

On Monday, more than 200 flights were cancelled and the airport was effectively shut down with no flights taking off or landing.

Passengers have been forced to seek accommodation in the city while airlines struggle to find other ways to get them to their destinations.

No signs of letting up

The airport protests and their disruption are an escalation of a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony.

Those doubts are fueling the protests, which build on a previous opposition movement that shut down much of the city for seven weeks in 2014 that eventually fizzled out and whose leaders have been imprisoned.

The central government in Beijing ominously characterized the current protest movement as something approaching “terrorism” that posed an “existential threat” to the local citizenry.

Meanwhile, paramilitary police were assembling across the border in the city of Shenzhen for exercises in what some saw as a threat to increase force brought against the mostly young protesters …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

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