Close  

Hong Kong airport struggles to reopen after protests

/ 10:19 AM August 13, 2019
China slams Hong Kong protest violence as 'terrorism'

Pro-democracy protesters gather against the police brutality and the controversial extradition bill at Hong Kong’s international airport on August 12, 2019. – Hong Kong airport authorities cancelled all remaining departing and arriving flights at the major travel hub on August 12, after thousands of protesters entered the arrivals hall to stage a demonstration. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)

HONG KONG — One of the world’s busiest airports was struggling to reopen Tuesday, a day after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators crowded into Hong Kong’s main terminal and forced flight cancellations.

Passengers were checking in for flights with people who were unable to leave on Monday among those crowding the departure hall. About 200 flights had been canceled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Protesters have shown no sign of letting up on their campaign to force Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s administration to respond to their demands. No new violence was reported, although the city is on edge after more than two months of near-daily and increasingly bloody confrontations between protesters and police.

Software engineer Joydeep Chakravarti, whose connecting flight to San Francisco was canceled late Monday, expressed frustration that he was told to leave the airport when he wanted to stay inside the terminal.

“I don’t know what’s out there, so I don’t want to leave. I didn’t make any plans for Hong Kong,” said Chakravarti, who had a carry-on bag with laptop, charger and an extra shirt while the rest of his luggage already was checked in on his Singapore Airlines flight.

A massive traffic jam soon formed on the highway leading back to Hong Kong’s city center.

Some protesters were seen walking toward the airport amid the stifling heat.

The demonstrations that have drawn more than 1 million people at times call for democratic reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory and an independent inquiry into police conduct, with both protesters and police adopting ever-more extreme tactics.

On Monday, the central government in Beijing ominously characterized the protest movement as something approaching “terrorism” that posed an “existential threat” to the population.

Beijing tends to define terrorism broadly, including nonviolent movements opposing government policies on the environment or Tibet.

Hong Kong was promised certain democratic rights when China took over the then-British colony in 1997, but in recent years, some have accused Beijing of steadily eroding their freedoms.  /muf

ADVERTISEMENT

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Flight Cancellations, Hong Kong, Pro-Democracy, Protests
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
business

SMC offers 5-year bonds at 5.55% p.a.

September 20, 2019 09:46 AM

newsinfo

Man kills 2-week-old son in Laguna

September 20, 2019 09:23 AM

opinion

Love and other forms of madness

September 20, 2019 08:30 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.