August 12, 2019

Airport Protesters Leave After Day of Drama: Hong Kong Update
(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong airport authorities canceled remaining flights on Monday after protesters swarmed the main terminal building for a fourth day, the biggest disruption yet to the city’s economy since demonstrations began in early June.Thousands of black-clad protesters occupied the airport on Monday following a weekend of violence that saw police fire tear gas into subway stations and fire rubber bullets at close range. The protests, initially sparked by opposition to a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, have become increasingly violent in recent weeks as demonstrators target public transportation in a bid to force out Carrie Lam, the city’s leader.Key Developments:Thousands of demonstrators occupied the international airport for hours, though most have now leftAll remaining flights canceled until at least Tuesday morningGovernment has urged protesters to leave; police haven’t ruled out using tear gas to disperse themChina said protesters showed signs of “terrorism”Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. shares fell to a 10-year low; global stocks hitAirport Protesters Largely Depart (1:14 a.m.)The vast majority of the thousands of protesters who occupied the airport have now left, picking up their posters and tidying up as they departed. After a day of drama, the airport is largely quiet. Now the question will be how many return later in the morning.Separately, Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times, said on his Weibo account that if the situation in Hong Kong doesn’t improve, he thinks China will intervene. Earlier, the Chinese People’s Armed Police were seen assembling in Shenzhen city ahead of “apparent large-scale exercises," Global Times reported on its website, citing videos it obtained.antiELAB protesters stream out of the Hong Kong airport HongKongProtests 香港 pic.twitter.com/He5Sfal5Ol— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 12, 2019 Another Mass Rally Called for Next Sunday (8:25 p.m.)The Civil Human Rights Front, a group that has organized some of the largest rallies during 10 weeks of protests, announced that it would hold another “mass march” on Sunday, Aug. 18. The group will brief reporters on Tuesday.Police Warn Separate Group Protesting Downtown (8:21 p.m.)Officers warned a separate group of protesters to disperse after they gathered outside the police headquarters in the downtown area of Wan Chai.At one point, a policeman came out to accept a letter from a protester, and both of them shook hands. Still, the crowds continued to linger.Airport Seeks to Reopen on Tuesday Morning (7:40 p.m.)Hong Kong International Airport said the local airport authority is working with airlines to reschedule flights from 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to a statement.Any rescheduling is contingent on the airport resuming operations, which still remains unclear. Thousands of protesters remain inside the airport chanting “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time.”Protesters Start Departing on Foot (7:06 p.m.)The crowd at the airport thinned out as large groups of black-shirted protesters left the airport and began walking en masse down Airport Road, a major artery which didn’t have much traffic headed toward the airport. Most people were headed to Tung Chung -- a neighborhood whose metro station leads back to central areas -- according to video feed from local news outlet Apple Daily.Stranded passengers walking with luggage were also seen on the Apple Daily feed. Amid the exodus, police concluded a marathon hourslong media briefing by saying they had completed road tests of water cannon vehicles that could now be deployed depending on the situation.Government Warns Protesters to Leave Airport (5:43 p.m.)A top Hong Kong official urged demonstrators to head home as concerns grew that police would take action to clear the area.“For the safety of all flights, passengers and people who work in the airport, I urge all the people assembled at the Hong Kong International Airport to leave as soon as possible,” Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan told reporters.It was unclear how many flights were impacted, according to Doris Lai, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong Airport Authority. The airport said in an earlier statement that it was aiming to restore operations as soon as possible.香港 pic.twitter.com/BguBaLJjIN— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 12, 2019 Tear Gas Possible at Airport (5:25 p.m.)Police don’t rule out the possibility of tear gas being deployed at the airport on Monday, deputy police commissioner Tang Ping-keung told reporters gathered at police headquarters in Wan Chai.He said it will be up to the commander at the scene to decide on the appropriate use of force. Police don’t characterize the current protests as “terrorism” and instead see themselves as dealing with radical “rioters,” said another official at the briefing, Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the police’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau.Cathay Pacific Flights Canceled Until Tuesday (5:24 p.m.)Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong’s main airline, said flights departing from the city will be canceled until Tuesday morning, the company said in a travel advisory on its website. Customers should postpone non-essential travel, it said.Shares of the company tumbled to a 10-year low after the news. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index came off its session high and contracts for all three main U.S. equity indexes erased earlier gains.People’s Armed Police Gather: Global Times (4:56 p.m.)China’s state-run Global Times newspaper said on its website that its paramilitary People’s Armed Police have been assembling in Shenzhen, a megacity just across the border between Hong Kong and the mainland, ahead of “apparent large-scale exercises.”“Numerous” armored personnel carriers, trucks and other vehicles of the force were seen heading toward Shezhen over the weekend, it said. The paper, a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party’s flagship mouthpiece, cited videos it obtained.Monday Flights Canceled (4:18 p.m.)Hong Kong’s Airport Authority announced that all departing flights and arrivals not already en route the city have been canceled for the rest of the day.Operations “have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” it said in a statement. “The traffic to the airport is very congested, and the car park spaces at all carparks are already full. Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport.”China says Protesters Show Signs of Terrorism (4:07 p.m.)China stepped up its rhetoric on Monday, with a key mainland official saying protesters have committed serious crimes and showed signs of “terrorism.”Hong Kong has come to a “critical juncture” and all people who care about its future should say no to violence, Yang Guang, a spokesman for its Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, told reporters on Monday.\--With assistance from Fion Li, Justin Chin, Sheryl Tian Tong Lee, Iain Marlow and Jacob Gu.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Shawna Kwan in Hong Kong at wkwan35@bloomberg.net;Jinshan Hong in Hong Kong at jhong214@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Bill Faries, Justin BlumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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