Protests cancel all flights from 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.