North Korea blasts Nancy Pelosi for support of Hong Kong protests

Galtero Lara
Agosto 14, 2019

The political stand-off in Hong Kong that began with mass protests in early June has now become a significant contributing factor to global financial and economic instability.

Last week, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called China a "thuggish regime" for disclosing photographs and personal details of a US diplomat who met with Hong Kong's student leaders.

The airport's website showed dozens of flights taking off overnight and listed hundreds more which were scheduled to depart throughout Wednesday, although many were delayed.

The protests 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.

The airport occupation has dramatically raised the stakes in the political confrontation that is now in its 10th week.

China's People's Liberation Army already has about 5,000 troops and other personnel stationed at a base in Hong Kong. Police have acknowledged using "decoy" officers, and some protesters over the weekend were seen being arrested by men dressed like demonstrators in black and wearing face masks.

Official state news agency Xinhua warns "violent radicals" are pushing Hong Kong into an "abyss" and says there should be no compromise to their demands. "We condemn all illegal activities and violent behaviour, which seriously undermine the fundamental principle of "One Country Two Systems" as enshrined in the Basic Law".

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flagship airline, listed more than 200 flights as still being cancelled on Tuesday morning.

Protesters are demanding that it must be withdrawn completely. "The average monthly salary in Hong Kong is around $HK17,500 ($US2,230), while the average rent for a one-bedroom flat in the city centre is $HK16,500".

When Beijing said this week that it saw the "first signs of terrorism" among Hong Kong's young pro-democracy protesters, it marked an ominous step in a progression of escalating rhetoric.

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"Concerning to see what's happening in Hong Kong and the worrying pictures of clashes between police & protesters at the airport", Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Twitter. Initially sparked by opposition to a planned law that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, the protests have quickly evolved into a much broader campaign for democratic freedoms, and to stop the growing influence of China's authoritarian rulers in the semi-autonomous city.

So will the disruptions sway public opinion on the demonstrations?

Chinese state media have begun to air increasingly more footage of military vehicles, including armored troop carriers, gathering at Shenzhen, near the Hong Kong border, according to The Guardian.

However, even though the Trump administration has made strident and provocative denunciations of Beijing over trade and risky strategic flashpoints such as the South China Sea, it has made no such comments over the Hong Kong protests.

For the life of him, US President Donald Trump can't explain why critics would associate Washington with Hong Kong's unrest, expressing bewilderment in a tweet just before sounding the alarm about a Chinese invasion of the city.

He said: "Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong".

"He went on to say that "everyone should be calm and safe", in a clear reference to concerns that Beijing may attempt to intervene". An hour before the tweet he told reporter that he had been on a call "with China" earlier in the day.

"It's created to scare off the protesters by saying, 'We view this very seriously'".

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, in a statement issued on Wednesday, also strongly condemned attacks against a reporter from one of China's largest government-backed newspapers and a traveller at the airport by what it said were violent protesters. I hope it works out peacefully.

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