Hong Kong cancels all flights as protesters disrupt airport

A pro-democracy protester is held by police outside Tsim Sha Tsui Police station during a demonstration

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.

She did not elaborate on what steps her government will take toward reconciliation.

Hong Kong's Airport Authority added that there were "calls online" for a public assembly in the airport on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was very anxious about events in Hong Kong, which has a large Canadian population, and urged Chinese authorities to handle the protests there with tact.

Hong Kong's airport reopened on Tuesday with some flight resumptions but hundreds of others were still canceled, with airlines such as Vietnam Airlines HVN.HM, Jetstar Pacific and Malaysian Airlines advising travelers of rescheduling. Demands quickly escalated for the resignation of Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, an independent investigation into police brutality against demonstrators, and pro-independence reforms.

Tear gas was also deployed in central Hong Kong on both sides of Victoria Harbour, in the Tsim Sha Tsui area on the Kowloon side and in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island.

Authorities had deployed more aggressive tactics during the weekend protests, with riot police videotaped beating demonstrators in subway stations and officers going undercover to infiltrate the group and make arrests. She's the first woman to lead Hong Kong but many view her as Beijing's puppet. "Hong Kong has reached an inflection point where all those who are concerned about Hong Kong's future must say "no" to law breakers and "no" to those engaged in violence".

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Its administrator blamed demonstrators for halting flights on Monday but the exact trigger for the closure was not clear because protesters occupying the arrivals hall for the past five days have been peaceful.

"Yesterday's police operation was ridiculous", said Nicekayla, a 27-year-old retail worker who, like numerous protesters, declined to use her real name for fear of arrest.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong said it has launched an emergency management center in the airport and is keeping close contact with airliners to try to resume operation as soon as possible.

"Violence, no matter if it's using violence or condoning violence, will push Hong Kong down a path of no return, will plunge Hong Kong society into a very worrying and unsafe situation", Lam said. Hong Kong's airport is the eighth busiest by passenger traffic, handling 73 million passengers a year. "We have to come here to protest", Lau said.

Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement that the demonstration "seriously disrupted" airport operations.

Another protester, who identified herself only as Bea, said she took the day off from work to express her outrage because "I feel that I have to do something".

Hours later, two state media outlets ran videos showing armoured personnel and troop carriers purportedly driving to Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong. "I felt like I was walking around and nobody gave us information".

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