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Hong Kong Airport Resumes Flights as Chinese Tanks on Border Raise Questions About Military Action

HeadlineAug 14, 2019

Flights have resumed at Hong Kong International Airport after it was effectively shut down for two days due to a takeover by pro-democracy protesters. Tuesday saw new clashes between protesters and police forces, with several arrests taking place. Two men who were suspected of being undercover officers from mainland China were beaten by a group of protesters. One of the men turned out to be a reporter for the Communist Party-owned newspaper Global Times.

Some of the protesters apologized Wednesday for the disruption at the airport. A post on a messaging channel that was widely reposted read: “We apologize for our behavior but we are just too scared. Our police shot us, government betrayed us, social institutions failed us. Please help us.”

Hong Kong’s Beijing-aligned Chief Executive Carrie Lam warned Tuesday the protests are “pushing Hong Kong onto a path of no return,” while China condemned the airport demonstrations as “near-terrorist acts.”

Meanwhile, photos showing Chinese military tanks lining up in Shenzhen, near the Hong Kong border, started to spread Tuesday, raising fears of a possible military crackdown. China’s official state newspaper, the People’s Daily, published a statement saying the People’s Armed Police are ready to counteract “riots, disturbance, major violence, and crime- and terrorism-related social security issues.”

On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted, “Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!” Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tweeted in response, “This is not foreign policy.”

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