China labels violent protests in Hong Kong as 'terrorism'

Published 15.08.2019 00:25

China reacted furiously yesterday to "terrorist-like" attacks on its citizens by protesters during a second day of mass disruptions at Hong Kong's airport that turned violent.

The actions of Hong Kong protesters who assaulted two Chinese mainland citizens and prevented first aid personnel from reaching them are "no different from the atrocities of terrorists," Beijing's liaison office in Hong Kong said.

Demonstrators occupied areas of Hong Kong International Airport for five days up until Tuesday, leading to hundreds of flights being cancelled. Violent clashes erupted late Tuesday when police were called to rescue a reporter from the Chinese state news outlet the Global Times, who had been attacked by demonstrators, and an undercover officer. The reporter had been tied up and assaulted, and demonstrators prevented first aid personnel from reaching him, the Hong Kong government said.

It was the second time this week that China had sought to frame the protests as "terrorism," part of a pattern of increasingly ominous warnings that have raised fears it may deploy force to quell the unrest. China on Monday said there were signs of "terrorism emerging", as state media published a video of armored personnel carriers driving towards the border with Hong Kong. President Donald Trump added to fears that Beijing may stage a military intervention to end the unrest, saying on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence reports had confirmed Chinese troop movements toward the Hong Kong border. "I hope it works out for everybody including China. I hope it works out peacefully, nobody gets hurt, nobody gets killed," Trump said.

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