Sunday 25 August 2019
 
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Thousands of protesters occupied the airport halls.

Hong Kong airport reopens; flights stay disrupted

HONG KONG, 12 days ago

Hong Kong’s airport reopened on Tuesday with some flight resumptions but hundreds of others were still canceled, with airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Malaysian Airlines advising travellers of rescheduling.
 
Hong Kong’s Airport Authority (AA) halted flights to and from the airport on Monday, citing disruption from anti-government demonstrators who had peacefully occupied the arrivals hall since Friday.
 
AA said on Tuesday it was working with its partners to restore normal operations as soon as possible but noted that more protests are planned, a Reuters report said.
 
Increasingly violent protests have plunged the Asian finance hub into its most serious political crisis in decades, posing a challenge to the central government in Beijing.
 
“The AA has noticed that there are calls online for public assembly in the airport this afternoon,” the authority said in a statement. “The AA will work closely with its business partners with a view to gradually resuming normal airport operations as soon as possible.”
 
The airport was the latest focus of protests that began two months ago.
 
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the city’s recovery from protests that have swept the Asian financial hub could take a long time and that she would be responsible for rebuilding its economy “after the violence eases”.
 
Her comments followed serious developments in the growing crisis over the past week. Beijing said on Monday the protests had begun to show “sprouts of terrorism”.
 
As she spoke to reporters, her voice cracking with emotion at one point, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell by more than 1% to its lowest level since Jan. 4. The index was down around 1.5% soon after.
 
She said violence by protesters had pushed Hong Kong into “a state of panic and chaos”.
 
“Hong Kong, as an open, free, very tolerant, economically stable city will see severe wounds ... The recovery may take a long time,” she said.
 
The increasingly violent demonstrations have plunged the Chinese-ruled territory into its most serious crisis in decades, presenting Chinese leader Xi Jinping with one of his biggest challenges since he came to power in 2012.



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