Protests can­cel all flights from Hong Kong

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Sophia Yan and Katy Wong in Hong Kong

BEI­JING in­tro­duced the word “ter­ror­ism” to de­scribe the pro-democ­racy protests that yes­ter­day led to the can­cel­la­tion of all flights from Hong Kong in­ter­na­tional air­port.

One of the world’s busiest pas­sen­ger ter­mi­nals and the world’s busiest air cargo port was flooded with demon­stra­tors bran­dish­ing plac­ards and chant­ing slo­gans, as protests en­tered their third month.

“Rad­i­cal pro­test­ers have been fre­quently us­ing ex­tremely dan­ger­ous tools to at­tack the po­lice in re­cent days, con­sti­tut­ing se­ri­ous crim­i­nal acts with sprouts of ter­ror­ism emerg­ing,” said Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Ma­cau Af­fairs Of­fice in Bei­jing, which re­ports to China’s cab­i­net.

Some demon­stra­tors wore eye patches, wav­ing signs read­ing “Hong Kong is not safe”, “Shame on the po­lice” and “An eye for an eye”, show­ing their anger af­ter one per­son thought to have been shot by a bean­bag round in her right eye was ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal.

Vi­o­lence es­ca­lated sig­nif­i­cantly be­tween pro­test­ers and po­lice over the week­end, as of­fi­cers shot tear gas into un­der­ground sub­way sta­tions for the first time since mass demon­stra­tions be­gan in early June. Po­lice have made more than 600 ar­rests in re­cent days.

Pro­test­ers had al­ready oc­cu­pied the air­port for days when more flooded in yes­ter­day. Rail­way sta­tions on the city’s air­port ex­press line were filled with con­fused pas­sen­gers un­able to get to the air­port, many of whom were forced to phone for backup travel plans.

FASH­ION la­bels Givenchy and Coach were among a slew of brands to apol­o­gise in China yes­ter­day for prod­ucts and de­signs that iden­ti­fied Hong Kong and Tai­wan as in­de­pen­dent coun­tries.

Chi­nese “brand ambassador­s” sev­ered ties with Givenchy and Coach over T-shirts that they said had vi­o­lated China’s ter­ri­to­rial sovereignt­y.

Mean­while, Calvin Klein, the footwear com­pany Asics and the skincare brand Fresh apol­o­gised for sim­i­lar ref­er­ences ap­pear­ing on their web­sites.

The brands are the lat­est to get into hot wa­ter in China, which has been more as­sertive in its ter­ri­to­rial claims and in how it ex­pects for­eign com­pa­nies do­ing busi­ness in China to de­scribe them.

Donatella Ver­sace, the artis­tic direc­tor of Ital­ian lux­ury la­bel Ver­sace, apol­o­gised on Sun­day af­ter one of its T-shirts, de­pict­ing the ter­ri­to­ries of Hong Kong and Ma­cau as coun­tries, was crit­i­cised on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia.

Coach’s China am­bas­sador, su­per­model Liu Wen, said on so­cial me­dia site Weibo yes­ter­day that she had sev­ered her en­dorse­ment deal with the New York-based la­bel over a sim­i­lar T-shirt that listed Tai­wan as a coun­try. Bei­jing claims the self-ruled is­land is a rene­gade prov­ince.

“I apol­o­gise to ev­ery­one for the dam­age that I have caused as a re­sult of my less-care­ful choice of brand!” she said in a Weibo post that was “liked” hun­dreds of thou­sands of times.

“I love my moth­er­land, and I stead­fastly safe­guard China’s sovereignt­y.”

Coach said it had found the “se­ri­ous in­ac­cu­racy” in May 2018 and had im­me­di­ately pulled the T-shirts from all its global chan­nels.

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