Flights resume after second night of chaos at Hong Kong airport
Five people were arrested and two police officers were injured during Tuesday's protest at Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong police said.
In a statement released early Wednesday, police said they condemned the protesters' actions, calling them "radical and violent acts."
Police denounced the protesters who they said “detained, harassed and assaulted a visitor and a journalist, inflicting physical and mental harm on them.”
Some background: Police said in a statement the visitor was "assaulted and "besieged" by protesters at the airport. They said protesters blocked ambulances from rendering aid.
Another man was detained and zip-tied to a luggage cart by protesters. He was identified as mainland Chinese reporter Fu Guohao for state-run tabloid newspaper Global Times, according to the outlet's editor-in-chief.
He was later seen being wheeled out of the airport by first-aid workers.
The US is monitoring unrest in Hong Kong and encourages "all sides to remain calm, safe, and peaceful," a senior US administration official said.
"As the President has said, 'They’re looking for democracy and I think most people want democracy,'" the official said. "Freedoms of expression and assembly are core values that we share with the people of Hong Kong and these freedoms should be protected."
"The United States firmly rejects the notion that we are sponsoring or inciting the demonstrations," the official said, echoing Trump's earlier tweet.
The US believes if China were to intervene militarily in the Hong Kong protests it be would likely be because the Chinese had assessed that the Hong Kong authorities have lost control, a senior administration official said.
The official said losing control could be defined as the interference of commercial activity in Hong Kong.
In the US, surveys taken after the violent suppression of protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 showed public approval for China dropped dramatically, particularly among people under 30 and that has never recovered, the official explained, indicating that Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong is not a good idea.
If China does intervene militarily in Hong Kong, Congress will explode and there will be a lot of negative consequences, the official said.
During the unrest in Hong Kong, the US Navy's requests for two ships to make port visits in the coming weeks have been denied by the Chinese government.
“The Chinese Government denied requests for port visits to Hong Kong by the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks,” according to Commander Nate Christensen, deputy spokesperson, US Pacific Fleet.
The USS Green Bay was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17 and USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit next month.
“The US Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue. We refer you to the Chinese Government for further information about why they denied the request,” Christensen said.
UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Tuesday said he is concerned by “what’s happening in Hong Kong and the worrying pictures of clashes between police and protesters at the airport."
“As I said to Carrie Lam during my call last week, we condemn the violence and encourage constructive dialogue to find a peaceful way forward,” Raab tweeted.
Tuesday marked the second day that protesters gathering at Hong Kong's airport prompted flight cancelations.
But the demonstrations have a much longer history: Protests kicked off in earnest in June to oppose to a now-shelved extradition bill.
About the bill: The measure would have would allowed China to extradite Hong Kong citizens. Critics worry China would use the bill to prosecute people for political reasons and that it would erode freedoms people in Hong Kong have. While the bill was suspended in June, Hong Kong's leader has not formally withdrawn it.
Beyond the bill: While the first days of protests were all about the bill, the movement has expanded. Protesters are now demanding an investigation into police brutality and long-running calls for greater democracy and political reform.
President Trump addressed the situation in Hong Kong in a pair of tweets Tuesday.
He said in one tweet that US intelligence says "the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!"
In another tweet, Trump said, "Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?" (Note: It's not clear what Trump is referring to.)