World

China slams HK airport protesters as 'terrorist-like'

14 August 2019 - 20   - 0

China reacted furiously Wednesday to "terrorist-like" attacks on its citizens by pro-democracy protesters during a second day of mass disruptions at Hong Kong's airport that turned violent.

The rallies, which had paralysed one of the world's busiest travel hubs, ended with ugly clashes on Tuesday night that included protesters beating two men.

The Chinese government immediately seized on the attacks to louden its drumbeat of anger and intimidation against the protesters, who have staged 10 weeks of relentless rallies to demand greater freedoms.

"We express the strongest condemnation of these terrorist-like actions," said Xu Luying, spokeswoman at the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs of the State Council, who called the two men who were beaten "mainland China compatriots."

It was the second time this week that China had sought to frame the protests as "terrorism", part of a pattern of increasingly ominous warnings that have raised fears it may deploy force to quell the unrest.

- Chinese warnings -

China on Monday said there were signs of "terrorism emerging", as state media published a video of armoured personnel carriers driving towards the border with Hong Kong.

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