Hong Kong braces for airport protest after night of violent clashes

Hong Kong

Hong Kong braces for airport protest

Hong Kong police stormed a shopping mall where pro-democracy activists had taken their protest, chanting "fight for freedom" and "liberate Hong Kong" after activists trashed fittings at the rail station next door.

Tear fas fills the street as protesters continue to battle with police on the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

Maxim's Caterers Limited, which operates the restaurant, is a major food and beverage conglomerate that operates numerous bakeries and restaurants across Hong Kong, notably the Seattle-based coffee chain Starbucks. "That's why I am still calling people to the airport".

A premium logistics center is expected to be set up and put into use in 2023 at Hong Kong International Airport to promote Hong Kong's competitiveness, the financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said Sunday.

Outside, protesters built a barricade across a street near the mall, piled what appeared to be palm fronds on top and set them on fire. Police have used tear gas and water cannons to stifle the thousands of demonstrators, who have repeatedly set up barricades and hurled Molotov cocktails at police in riot gear.

Police fired temporary volleys of tear fuel and rubber bullets within the northern city of Sha Tin late Sunday afternoon, capping a day which noticed hundreds rally peacefully inside a mall earlier than the temper soured.

As night fell, protesters regrouped outside Mong Kok Police Station, a site of multiple stand-offs, where they taunted officers, pointing laser pens into the building and at officers on duty. The violence has hit pockets of Hong Kong at different times over more than three months, allowing life to go on as normal for the vast majority most of the time.

Only people with flight tickets could board.

Protesters are aiming to draw out large crowds next weekend - the fifth anniversary of the start of a previous round of failed democracy protests - and on 1 October, the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.

Their demands have been rejected by both Beijing and Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who on Sunday again vowed to stop the violence. There were violent clashes elsewhere in the city.

Hong Kong has entered the 16th week of protests since June, which was sparked by a now-axed extradition bill that would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to mainland China.

Hong Kong police earlier prevented a new protest targeting the airport.

Police also condemned protesters from Saturday for attacking an officer and attempting to "snatch" his revolver.

Core demands from protesters include an inquiry into the police, an amnesty for those arrested and universal suffrage - all rejected by authorities and Beijing.

Hong Kong is a former British colony which returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

China says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" arrangement and denies meddling. It has accused foreign governments including the U.S. and Britain of inciting the unrest.

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