After two days of severe delays, the Hong Kong service is restarting. Beijing warns that order in the Special Administrative Region must be restored.
Hong Kong International Airport has obtained an injunction against demonstrators after massive disruption sparks air traffic due to protests.
This is to “prevent persons from unlawfully and intentionally obstructing or disturbing the correct use of the airport,” it said in a statement on Wednesday. Protests or demonstrations were banned on the grounds of the airport except in designated areas.
After most of the protesters went home during the night, about 50 demonstrators were still waiting at the airport on Wednesday, as reported by the Hong Kong newspaper “South China Morning Post”.
Violent clashes with police
Violent clashes with police broke out on Tuesday. Dozens of officers with batons, helmets, and shields entered the activist-occupied airport, which was completely paralyzed for hours because of the blockade.
Police officers entered the airport building to help a man who had been detained for hours by protesters and accused of being an agent from mainland China. Paramedics eventually took the man out of the airport. Police vehicles were attacked and windows smashed in front of the building.
The demonstrators also detained a second man, whom they also accused of working as an agent. They tied him up with cable ties, some protesters tried to beat him.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, wrote on Twitter that the man was a reporter for his newspaper. He was freed by police and taken to hospital.
Protests have been going on for two months
Outrage emanated on Wednesday in China’s state media and social media over the brutal crackdown on the reporter. “The rioters must pay a price for their actions in accordance with the law,” the Global Times quoted Shen Yi, a professor at Fudan University, as saying.
In Hong Kong, massive anti-government protests have been taking place for more than two months, which regularly end in riots. The trigger was a government bill – now on hold – to facilitate the extradition of suspected criminals to China. The protests became a broader movement.
In light of the ongoing anti-government protests in Hong Kong, US President Donald Trump has pointed out that China is currently deploying troops on the border with the metropolis. He was informed of this by the US intelligence services, Trump wrote on Twitter. All parties should remain calm and provide security in this situation, Trump continued.
Shortly before, Trump had told reporters about the tense situation: “I hope no one is hurt. I hope no one is killed.”
Several media outlets had recently reported on an increasing Chinese military presence on the Hong Kong border. Earlier in the week, state media also circulated videos of armored vehicles belonging to paramilitary police on the border in Shenzhen. It was an exercise, it said.
The Chinese government refused to allow two American warships to stay at the port of Hong Kong amid the tense situation in the region, according to the US State Department. The government in Beijing has refused requests to do so, it said.
The two ships were scheduled to stay in Hong Kong “in the next few weeks.” No details were given. The U.S. side referred to the Chinese government for more details. The relationship between the two countries is currently under strain from bitter trade disputes.
China criticizes US interference
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Saturday criticized continued U.S. interference. Hong Kong affairs are exclusively China’s internal affairs. U.S. politicians are neither entitled nor qualified to comment. “Take care of your own affairs,” said spokeswoman Hua Chunying: “Hong Kong doesn’t care about you.”
The former British crown colony of Hong Kong has been governed autonomously as its own territory since its return to China in 1997. Unlike the people of the Communist People’s Republic, Hong Kongers enjoy the freedom of expression, freedom of the press and assembly. Many now see these rights in jeopardy.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also expressed concern. “Things are escalating more and more. That is why we can only appeal for all sides to withdraw,” he said during a visit to New York. “However, it will also remain important for us that the right to freedom of expression is not compromised.”
China’s government had recently issued an increasingly vigorous warning to restore order in the Special Administrative Zone and end the violence.
Hong Kong government condemns violence
Hong Kong’s government condemned the violence of the protesters at Hong Kong airport. These were “appalling acts,” a Hong Kong government spokesman said, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.
The government of the Special Administrative Zone, therefore, issued its “most serious condemnation”. Police will pursue the case and take the suspects to justice. Five men were arrested for illegal assembly, possession of weapons, assaults on the police and sabotage of social peace.