Aug 15 2019 - 09:44
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As Hong Kong braces for protests, Chinese paramilitary holds drills across border

Hong Kong braced on Thursday for more mass demonstrations through the weekend, Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار China,Hong Kong,Hong Kong braced on Thursday for more mass demonstrations through the weekend,
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Hong Kong braced on Thursday for more mass demonstrations through the weekend, as China again warned against foreign interference in the city's escalating crisis and as mainland paramilitary forces conducted exercises just across the border.

 

Western governments, including the United States, have stepped up calls for restraint, following ugly and chaotic scenes at the city's airport this week, which forced the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights and saw protesters set upon two men they suspected of being government sympathizers.

 

The airport, one of the world's busiest, was returning to normal but under tight security after thousands of protesters had jammed its halls on Monday and Tuesday nights, part of a protest movement Beijing has likened to terrorism.

 

Across a bridge linking Hong Kong's rural hinterland with the booming mainland city of Shenzhen, hundreds of members of the paramilitary People's Armed Police conducted exercises at a sports complex in what was widely seen as a warning to protesters in Hong Kong.

 

The police could be seen carrying out crowd-control exercises, and more than 100 dark-painted paramilitary vehicles filled the stadium's parking lots.

 

Chinese state media had first reported on the exercises on Monday, prompting US concerns they could be used to break up the protests. However, several western and Asian diplomats in Hong Kong told Reuters Beijing has little appetite for putting the PAP or the People's Liberation Army onto Hong Kong's streets.

 

Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997, and police tactics have been toughening.

 
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REUTERS
 
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