Protesters throng Hong Kong airport as property lobby calls for calm

Hundreds of protesters shine laser pointers in giant metaphorical middle finger to Hong Kong police

The diplomat was targeted for meeting with pro-democracy student leaders, including Joshua Wong, in the lobby of one of the city's hotels, as the financial hub enters its tenth week of increasingly violent protests against Beijing's rule. The Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao newspaper, which is linked to China's Communist Party, published a photo of Eadeh meeting with opposition leaders in Hong Kong, along with two other photographs of her.

Pro-democracy protesters demonstrated at Hong Kong's airport Friday even as the city sought to reassure visitors of their welcome despite the increasing levels of violence surrounding the two-month-old protest movement.

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said 22 countries and regions, including the USA, have issued travel warnings for Hong Kong.

"I have visited Washington in the past to talk with U.S. Congress members face to face. In comparison, the talk with the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong right now is nothing special", he wrote in a Facebook post.

Information is strictly censored in China, and many state-media outlets have painted a picture of protesters "destroying" the city - a tactic aimed at fanning public anger against the demonstrators.

While the political crisis gripping Hong Kong kicked off in June over a now-suspended extradition proposal, the movement has since expanded to include broader aims, like calling for greater democracy and challenging Beijing's control over the semiautonomous city.

No specific mention, however, was made of deploying the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which has a garrison in Hong Kong, to quell the unrest, with Zhang cited as saying Beijing remained confident in the Hong Kong government and local police.

People attend a protest in the Western district of Hong Kong on August 4, 2019.

Protesters in Hong Kong are demanding a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill. "We are not rioters, we are a group of Hong Kong people fighting for human rights and freedom", she said.

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In his Facebook post, Wong said he urged the United States to stop exporting tear gas and rubber bullets to Hong Kong police, whose alleged misuse of such crowd-control gear to quell protests has triggered concern from local and worldwide rights groups.

"The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighborhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies", its travel advisory stated.

The groups added that police, in many instances, could have avoided using such aggressive weapons and opted for some less-threatening options.

On Friday, the airport protest appeared peaceful, with no sign in the afternoon of a police presence.

"Wong told The Epoch Times in a recent interview: "[The police] have turned the protest zone into a battlefield. So far, it has generated more than 110,500 signatures.

Why were people so angry about the extradition bill?

"We want the government to withdraw the bill and set up an independent inquiry commission", said Choi.

"[Hong Kong] is a political nuclear bomb", Fong told the Hong Kong bureau of The Epoch Times on August 8. "It can be said that Hong Kong is now facing the most severe situation since its handover", he said. He also suggested that the United States blacklist Hong Kong officials responsible for undermining the city's core values of freedom and democracy, by freezing their assets or denying them entry to the United States.

According to news outlet Radio Free Asia (RFA), a travel agency in Shenzhen said many people in China had recently cancelled their trips to Hong Kong.

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