Protesters throng Hong Kong airport

Protesters throng Hong Kong airport

Hong Kong's protests are hitting its economy, the city's leader Carrie Lam said on Friday, echoing warnings from business leaders including powerful local property developers, as about 1,000 mostly young activists occupied the airport arrivals hall.

Hong Kong has recalled from retirement a police commander who oversaw the response to pro-democracy demonstrations in 2014 to help deal with the latest protests, suggesting a lack of confidence in the current leadership.

Weeks of increasingly violent protests have plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis for decades, posing a serious challenge to China's central government in Beijing.

Protesters throw back tear gas fired by the police in Wong Tai Sin during a general strike in Hong Kong on August 5, 2019. "This is what other countries' diplomats do", she said.

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said 22 countries and regions, including the U.S., have issued travel warnings for Hong Kong. People must support the Hong Kong SAR government and police to restore order, and not be misguided by people like Nancy Pelosi.

"Our democracy is not absolute, we have to fight for it".

What's the economic cost of Hong Kong protests?

The airline has been Hong Kong's flag carrier since the colonial era. One of its pilots was arrested last week.

Hong Kong is a former British colony that is now part of China but enjoys autonomy thanks to the "one country, two systems" approach.

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It did not deter thousands of demonstrators. Officers said 800 canisters were used during protests on Monday alone, and journalists and protesters say many suffered skin irritation and internal injuries as a result.

"We are very angry about the police over arresting our teenagers", she said. Also, the timing and location of protests have been harder to predict as police and protesters escalate actions.

The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in Hong Kong denounced Ortagus' remarks as "blatant slander against China" that had "again exposed U.S. gangster logic". Earlier on Saturday, in two separate protests, small groups of elderly Hong Kongers and families marched near the financial centre's business district. Both marches were peaceful. "We hope to provide a safer place for parents and their kids to participate in rallies, and to voice their concerns". No flight cancelations have been reported.

Young people have been at the forefront of the protests, anxious about China encroaching on Hong Kong's freedoms, but also concerned with issues such as sky-high living costs and what many see as an unfair housing policy favouring the wealthy.

More nebulous demands now include calls for greater democracy, Mrs Lam's resignation and even to keep out mainland tourists.

If the situation in Hong Kong further deteriorates, the central government won't turn a blind eye to the turmoil that the HKSAR government can not handle. "As someone fighting for human rights, I have no trust for Britain at all".

"I don't think that leaking an American diplomat's private information, pictures, names of their children, I don't think that is a formal protest, that is what a thuggish regime would do", Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokesperson, said at a press conference in Washington.

For nine weeks now, anti-government rallies have frequently ended in violent clashes with police - and some would-be visitors are concerned the city may be more unsafe than before.