Thousands of pro-democracy protesters entered the main terminal of Hong Kong airport on Monday. It followed pitched battles between the police and pro-democracy activists on the streets the previous day. There is no sign of either party backing down. As a result, the authorities decided to shut down one of the busiest airports in Asia. The cancellation of nearly 200 flights led to a chaotic situation with Travel plans of hundreds of passengers in disarray.

Protesters concluded that the decision to suspend flights would mean the entry of riot police on the scene. That would mean violence. Therefore, a large section of them left the airport.

CNN reports that pro-democracy protesters chose the Hong Kong airport because it would get more coverage on an international platform. It was a Monday and closing down the international hub was a method to interact with a global audience. Moreover, clashes between demonstrators and police are usually on the streets, but this time the venue shifted to the airport.

An official in Beijing feels the protests "showed signs of terrorism."

Police used tear gas to control the crowd

The riot police resorted to firing tear gas in enclosed environments and at close range.

During the melee, one police officer was a victim of a petrol bomb blast that burned his leg. Beijing says these are acts of terrorism and view them seriously. It could crack the whip on Hong Kong and insist the local police use more force to quell the protests.

CNN clarifies that Beijing has the option to deploy the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in the city.

However, it can only do that provided the local government in Hong Kong requests for it. Right now, local officials do not want any such involvement, implying that they can handle the issue on their own. The police brought in a riot control vehicle with water cannon that the territory had never used earlier. Obviously, the intention was to show off its might. The protests are into the 11th week and both sides must exercise restraint to ensure that things do not go out of control.

The city is a major travel destination and unrest can have an adverse effect on tourism

Beijing sees emerging signs of terrorism

According to the Wall Street Journal, thousands of anti-government demonstrators led to the closure of Hong Kong’s airport. It left the passengers stranded Monday, and officials in Beijing interpret these protests as “emerging signs of terrorism.” The airport authority canceled many flights that left passengers helpless.

Protesters occupied the arrival and departure halls where they joined a sit-in. They wanted to highlight the police brutality. Incidentally, the airport is one of the world’s busiest, and the authorities reminded that disruptions of this nature are detrimental to society as a whole. This is because they would affect the economy of the city, especially related to tourism and retail. The police displayed a water cannon to disperse the crowds. Pro-democracy legislators commented that it could pose dangers in a densely populated city like Hong Kong.

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