Hong Kong descended into violence on Tuesday as pro-democracy demonstrators clashed with police at the airportChina has slammed pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong as no different to ‘terrorists’ after violence broke out at the financial hub’s airport.The Beijing-based Hong Kong Liaison office said such crimes would be severely punished as the international community appealed for calm.
A police officer aims his gun against protesters during the demonstration (Picture: SIPA USA)
An injured man who was suspected by protesters of being a Chinese spy is taken away by paramedics (Picture: AFP)Riot police also clashed with the group, who had been at the airport for five days at a peaceful sit in.
AdvertisementAdvertisementHundreds of flights were cancelled and thousands of travellers were forced to sleep overnight in one of the world’s busiest transport hubs.By Wednesday, flights were returning to normal and airport workers began to clear up the blood and debris from the violence.At the same time, China issued strongly-worded statements from its central government pledging to punish those responsible.
Spokeswoman Xu Luying said: ‘We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions.’She called the two men who had been attacked ‘mainland China compatriots.’
Fu Guohao, reporter of Chinese media Global Times website, is tied by protesters during a mass demonstration at the Hong Kong international airport (Picture: Reuters)Ten weeks of increasingly violent clashes between police and pro-democracy protesters, angered by a perceived erosion of freedoms, have plunged the Asian financial hub into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
On Tuesday, a small group of protesters surrounded two men and beat them as well as clashing with police in riot gear.AdvertisementAdvertisementOne victim was identified as reporter Fu Guphao from China’s state-controlled Global Times newspaper who was tied up during his ordeal.The other man attacked was a resident of Shenzhen, China, visiting Hong Kong, who demonstrators suspected of being a Chinese government spy.
Xu Luying said the actions of the demonstrators ‘seriously damage the international image of Hong Kong and seriously hurt the feelings of a vast number of mainland China compatriots.’
Protesters surround a man carrying a t-shirt baring the words ‘I love police’ (Picture: AP)
Hong Kong pro-democracy.