Police and protesters clash in downtown Hong Kong

Bessie Dean
August 12, 2019

Tear gas was used with little warning not long after several hundred activists who had marched through Tai Po in the north of the territory had barricaded an intersection in the Tai Wai neighbourhood.

Though China has not yet officially declared that it plans to use the PLA's presence in Hong Kong to combat worsening protests, Wednesday's comments appear to be the most explicit reference to Chinese military intervention in the city since its handover.

"I think the situation is getting more and more serious", Jason Wong, chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, said.

Hua was quoted as saying that Britain has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong when asked to comment on the call.

City leader Carrie Lam has warned that the global financial hub is facing an economic crisis worse than either the 2003 SARS outbreak that paralysed Hong Kong or the 2008 financial crisis.

Experts say the crisis is compounding the economic downturn Hong Kong was already experiencing as a result of being caught up in the US-China trade war.

Rumors had been circulating in the city since Tuesday that some mainland Chinese from Fujian Province and Lufeng and Shanwei in Guangdong Province were traveling to Hong Kong to attack the "black-shirt people", apparently referring to anti-extradition bill protesters. One of its pilots was arrested last week.

Chants such as "liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our time" rang out as they filed into escalators alongside commuters and baffled tourists.

It did not deter thousands of demonstrators.

Reuters reporters in Wan Chai saw two petrol bombs thrown, setting small fires on the streets, while tear gas volleys and advancing riot police sent some protesters fleeing. She said she was anxious about escalating violence, but added that "the protesters were just trying to protect themselves against police violence".

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said 22 countries and regions, including the USA, have issued travel warnings for Hong Kong.

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"Though people may share different views, it is essential that we all respect each other, our customers and members of the public", he wrote.

Earlier, a large group of mostly young protesters marched down the middle of Hennessey Road, a main shopping drag in the Causeway Bay area, as a rally was held in nearby Victoria Park.

The State Department confirmed that its diplomat met with activists, but said that USA diplomats regularly meet with government officials, opposition figures, business leaders and more. "To see the population fight for democracy is very important". "We hope to provide a safer place for parents and their kids to participate in rallies, and to voice their concerns".

The authority's move came after some activists called a three-day assembly from Friday in the arrival hall of the airport, without applying for a letter of no objection as required by the police.

There were no reports of flight disruptions.

The protests began about nine weeks ago over a proposed extradition bill between Hong Kong and mainland China and evolved into demands for greater freedoms.

The protests have been condemned by the central government in Beijing.

Cathay also faced pressure online after China's state-run press fuelled a #BoycottCathayPacific hashtag, which trended on Chinese social media.

China also assured it will defend the One Country, Two Systems model in the face of the situation unleashed by radicals in that region.

Last week, the Chinese government slammed Washington after reports emerged that some United States diplomats based in Hong Kong had met with pro-democracy activists.

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