Tanks move in as Hong Kong clashes rage on
RIOT police clashed with pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong again last night as Chinese paramilitary vehicles moved to within three miles of the border.
Armoured troop carriers and tanks were paraded in Shenzhen, south-east China, as Hong Kong’s leader warned rising tension is pushing the former British colony “into an abyss where everything will perish”.
Around 12,000 officers from the Chinese People’s Armed Police Force, tanks, helicopters, and amphibious vehicles gathered for drills.
Separate video also showed military vehicles entering Shenzhen Bay Sports Center, just three miles from Hong Kong.
At the city’s international airport, riot police used pepper spray as they battled masked protesters for a fifth successive day.
Demonstrators mobbed a suspected undercover policeman and zip-tied his hands together before searching his possessions.
They beat a policeman with his own baton before fleeing when he drew his gun.
Police have admitted deploying officers disguised as anti-government protesters during the unrest.
Demonstrators set up a barricade of luggage trolleys at one of the airport’s main security gates then stood up to block passengers who sought to get through.
They chanted: “Stand with Hong Kong, stand for freedom,” and daubed graffiti that included the term “an eye for an eye”.
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam warned of dangerous consequences if the protests continue. “Violence will push Hong Kong down a path of no return,” she said.
“Let’s set aside differences and spend one minute to look at our city and our home.
“Could we bear to push it into an abyss where everything will perish?”
State media branded the protesters “mobsters”, and said “violent radicals” were pushing Hong Kong into the abyss. A Central China TV anchor warned viewers: “When dealing with terrorism, there is no soft hand”
Protests started in June in response to a proposed extradition bill, which has now been suspended. But demonstrators now want greater democracy and action on alleged police brutality.
A woman wears a bloody bandage in tribute to a protester who was shot in the eye by security forces
A convoy of armoured troop carriers move towards the border between mainland China and Hong Kong yesterday, while, right, travellers pick their way through pro-democracy protesters at the airport