UPDATE 7-Hong Kong protesters target airport but planes keep flying




* Protesters, riot police converge at airport

* Police, protesters in violent overnight clashes

* China accuses U.S., Britain of fomenting the unrest (Recasts)

By Jessie Pang and Aleksander Solum

HONG KONG, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters blocked roads and public transport links to Hong Kong airport on Sunday in a bid to draw world attention to their fight for democracy for the Chinese-ruled city which is facing its biggest political crisis in decades.

Planes were taking off and landing, with delays, but trains were suspended and approach roads to the airport impassable as protesters erected barricades and overturned trolleys at the airport and in the nearby new town of Tung Chung.

Some passengers were forced to walk the last bit of their journey to the airport by foot, dragging luggage behind them.

The MTR subway station in Tung Chung was closed and demonstrators smashed CCTV cameras and lamps with metal poles and dismantled station turnstiles. Police moved in and made several arrests.

Chek Lap Kok, built around a tiny outlying island in the dying days of British colonial rule, is one of the world's busiest and most efficient airports, reached by a series of bridges which were packed with traffic.

"If we disrupt the airport, more foreigners will read the news about Hong Kong," said one 20-year-old protester, asking not to be named.

Black-clad demonstrators targeted the airport three weeks ago, jamming the terminal in sometimes violent clashes with police and prompting some flights to be cancelled or delayed.

Police said on Sunday protesters hurled iron poles, bricks and rocks on to the railway track near the airport station. By early evening protesters at the airport had left, but protesters in Tung Chung remained.

"We have no idea how to leave. We're stuck," a masked protester said, as others looked for buses and ferries to get back home.

Police and protesters had clashed overnight in some of the most intense violence since unrest erupted more than three months ago over concerns Beijing is eroding the autonomy granted to the territory when it was handed back to China in 1997.

China denies the charge of meddling and says Hong Kong is an internal affair. It has denounced the protests and warned of the damage to the economy.

Tourist numbers have plummeted in recent weeks and international trade fairs cancelled as the territory faces its first recession in a decade.

China is eager to quell the unrest before the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1. It has accused foreign powers, particularly the United States and Britain, of fomenting the unrest.

Several hundred demonstrators also gathered outside the British consulate in central Hong Kong, waving Union Jack flags and chanting "God save the Queen".


SUBWAY VIOLENCE

Parts of the metro system ground to a halt as skirmishes spread to the subway on Saturday, with television showing images of people being beaten as they cowered on the floor behind umbrellas. Police said they arrested 63 people aged between 13 and 36.

Amnesty International said the metro violence should be investigated.

The protests came on the fifth anniversary of China's decision to curtail democratic reforms and rule out universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

The unrest began in mid-June, fuelled by anger over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people in the city to be sent to China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.

But the turmoil has evolved over 13 weeks to become a widespread demand for greater democracy.

Protesters have called for a general strike on Monday, but it was not immediately clear how many people would take part. (Reporting by Twinnie Siu, Marius Zaharia, Farah Master, Ebrahim Harris, Aleksander Solum, Joyce Zhou, Donny Kwok, Yoyo Chow, Kai Pfaffenbach, Danish Siddiqui, Noah Sin and Anne Marie Roantree; Writing by Joe Brock and Nick Macfie Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

COMMENTS

More Related News

LeBron: Rockets
LeBron: Rockets' Morey 'wasn't educated' on China tweet

LeBron James believes Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey ''was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation'' regarding the potential consequences of his actions when he tweeted in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests. In his first public comments

China
China's Xi warns attempts to divide China will end in 'shattered bones'

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Sunday that any attempt to divide China will be crushed, as Beijing faces political challenges in months-long protests in Hong Kong and U.S. criticism over its treatment of Muslim minority groups. "Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones," he told Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in a meeting on Sunday, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV. "And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!" he was quoted as saying.

Hunter Biden Steps Down from Chinese Board as Trump Attacks
Hunter Biden Steps Down from Chinese Board as Trump Attacks

(Bloomberg) -- Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forego all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020.After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest.According to a statement released on his behalf by his lawyer George Mesires, Biden said he'll resign at the end of the month from the management company of a private equity fund that's backed by Chinese state-owned entities. He also pledged that he...

'Be water:' Police swoop as Hong Kong protests shift tactics

Tearing a page out of ancient Chinese military philosophy, black-clad protesters in Hong Kong changed tactics and wreaked havoc by popping up in small groups in multiple locations across the city Sunday, pursued by but also often eluding police who made scores of muscular arrests. Violence spiraled as protests stretched from Sunday afternoon into the night, with police struggling to restore order. Video broadcast on Hong Kong television also showed a masked, black-clad protester dropping a riot officer with a flying high kick, followed by two other protesters who beat the officer on the ground and tried unsuccessfully to snatch his gun.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump
AP FACT CHECK: Trump's shoddy info on Syria, impeachment

President Donald Trump spread shoddy information about Syria, the economy and matters at the heart of the impeachment inquiry against him in a week of caustic rhetoric. TRUMP, on Hunter Biden, whose father is former Vice President Joe Biden, a Trump political rival: "Guy walks in, no experience, no nothing, walks out with $1.5 billion. ... So China gives his son $1.5 billion.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.