Police and protesters clash at Hong Kong airport

Riot police use pepper spray to disperse anti-extradition bill protesters during a mass demonstration after a woman was shot in the eye, at the Hong Kong international airport, in Hong Kong China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Flights appear to be on schedule at Hong Kong International Airport

Bex Wright/CNN

The Hong Kong International Airport returned to normal operations Wednesday following clashes between protesters and police, according to a Leakblast Reporters there.

Most flights appeared to be running on schedule based on one of the departure boards at the airport and hundreds of travelers were in the departures hall.

According to the Leakblast Reporters, the airport was cleaned up and graffiti was covered up with white sheets of paper.

Bex Wright/CNN
Police scuffle with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong's International Airport on Aug. 13, 2019.

Five people were arrested and two police officers were injured during Tuesday’s protest at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong police said.

In a statement released early Wednesday, police said they condemned the protesters’ actions, calling them “radical and violent acts.”

Police denounced the protesters who they said “detained, harassed and assaulted a visitor and a journalist, inflicting physical and mental harm on them.”

Some background: Police said in a statement the visitor was “assaulted and “besieged” by protesters at the airport. They said protesters blocked ambulances from rendering aid.

Another man was detained and zip-tied to a luggage cart by protesters. He was identified as mainland Chinese reporter Fu Guohao for state-run tabloid newspaper Global Times, according to the outlet’s editor-in-chief.

He was later seen being wheeled out of the airport by first-aid workers.

Pro-democracy protesters and police scuffle at Hong Kong's airport on Aug. 13, 2019.
Pro-democracy protesters and police scuffle at Hong Kong’s airport on Aug. 13, 2019.

The US is monitoring unrest in Hong Kong and encourages “all sides to remain calm, safe, and peaceful,” a senior US administration official said.

“As the President has said, ‘They’re looking for democracy and I think most people want democracy,'” the official said. “Freedoms of expression and assembly are core values that we share with the people of Hong Kong and these freedoms should be protected.”

“The United States firmly rejects the notion that we are sponsoring or inciting the demonstrations,” the official said, echoing Trump’s earlier tweet.

US believes if Chinese intervene, it’s because Hong Kong authorities lost control

The US believes if China were to intervene militarily in the Hong Kong protests it be would likely be because the Chinese had assessed that the Hong Kong authorities have lost control, a senior administration official said.

The official said losing control could be defined as the interference of commercial activity in Hong Kong.

In the US, surveys taken after the violent suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 showed public approval for China dropped dramatically, particularly among people under 30 and that has never recovered, the official explained, indicating that Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong is not a good idea.

If China does intervene militarily in Hong Kong, Congress will explode and there will be a lot of negative consequences, the official said.

Chinese government denies US Navy request to make port visits in Hong Kong during protests

During the unrest in Hong Kong, the US Navy’s requests for two ships to make port visits in the coming weeks have been denied by the Chinese government.

“The Chinese Government denied requests for port visits to Hong Kong by the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks,” according to Commander Nate Christensen, deputy spokesperson, US Pacific Fleet.

The USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17 and USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit next month.

“The US Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue. We refer you to the Chinese Government for further information about why they denied the request,” Christensen said.

UK official offers support to Hong Kong citizens


A senior British Conservative politician has called for Hong Kong citizens to be given full UK nationality as a way to reassure them they are supported by the UK amid ongoing protests.

Parliament member Tom Tugendhat, chair of the UK government’s House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said Tuesday the UK should consider extending “full citizenship rights to the HK Chinese.”

“This should have been done in 1997 and is a wrong that needs correcting,” Tugendhat tweeted.

He said the UK has obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

“Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration the HK Special Autonomous Region has a separate status until 2047 – 50 years after reunification with China. The Basic Law provides the constitutional underpinning of HK’s status. The question now is: what should the world do?,” he tweeted.

How the clashes between police and protesters unfolded

Police secure an airport terminal in Hong Kong after a scuffle with pro-democracy protesters on Aug. 13, 2019.
Police secure an airport terminal in Hong Kong after a scuffle with pro-democracy protesters on Aug. 13, 2019.

Police have come and gone from Hong Kong’s airport after clashes with protesters.

Here’s how the chaos unfolded:

  • Riot and tactical police clashed with protesters outside the airport. Their arrival created a brief window for paramedics to finally evacuate an unconscious man to an ambulance. The man was accused by protesters of being an undercover police officer and detained for several hours.
  • After ambulances left, there were brief clashes between police and protesters as the cops too attempted to leave.
  • Protesters were stymied by barricades they had thrown up themselves at entrances to the airport, thinking police would attempt to clear them from the area. This meant the authorities had a major numerical advantage and they were eventually able to break through the crowd.
  • But not before one police officer was isolated and attacked by protesters, during which he appeared to draw his side arm and point it at them.
  • Tactical officers wearing black without markings were the last to leave, after making several arrests outside the airport and deploying pepper spray multiple times.

Video showed protesters beating an officer. He then pulled a weapon.

Video from tonight’s clashes showed a police officer being assaulted by protesters at the airport.

The video — taken by the Wall Street Journal’s Mike Bird — appeared to show the officer pull a weapon on the protesters to get them to stop.

Watch the video:

At least 4 people detained in clashes

Leakblast reporters witnessed at least four protesters detained and put into police vehicles before being driven away.

All police vehicles that arrived to the airport about an hour ago in tour buses have now left the airport, Leakblast reporters crews on the ground report.

The tactical response unit was the last group of officers to leave the airport after clearing the roads for the larger police buses.

What the chaos at the Hong Kong airport looked like

Chaos unfolded at Hong Kong’s airport late on Tuesday night, when riot police clashed with protesters who flooded the airport to rally against a proposed law, which would have seen people extradited into mainland China’s opaque justice system.

The police have started retreating, but here’s a look at what the unrest looked like at the height of the chaos:

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