Police use pepper spray against protesters, Trump says Chinese army deploys "on the border"

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Thousands of protesters occupied Hong Kong airport on 13 August 2019, leading to the cancellation of registration procedures for all scheduled flights in the afternoon. – Kin Cheung / AP / SIPA

Suspension or cancellation of hundreds of flights, clashes between security forces and actors of the mobilization … The airport of Hong Kong knew Tuesday a second day of chaos. The government
local accuses pro-democracy protesters, causing the disturbances generated, to rush the city on a path "no return".

The former British colony is experiencing its worst political crisis since its return to Beijing in 1997. Party in early June the rejection of a Hong Kong bill that intended to authorize extradition to China, the movement has significantly expanded its claims to denounce the decline of freedoms and the interference of Beijing in domestic affairs.

Barricades and the human chain

On the fifth day of an unprecedented mobilization at the airport, protesters often dressed in black – the iconic color of the movement – and for the most part masked this time blocked access to security checkpoints. Protesters erected barricades using baggage trolleys to block access to security zones, before forming a human chain to prevent passing passengers, with whom a few clashes occurred.

On Tuesday evening, police used pepper spray while trying to escort a man evacuated by ambulance from the airport. A van carrying about twenty of them was blocked by a few hundred radical protesters. The police then went out to clear the way, spraying pepper spray and arresting at least two people.

Attempts to "interfere" Washington

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday described the situation in Hong Kong as "very difficult," but said he hoped the crisis could be resolved "peacefully," without anyone being "killed."

US intelligence reports a deployment of the Chinese army "on the border with Hong Kong," he wrote on Twitter, calling "everyone" to "calm."

Washington has already urged Monday "all parties to refrain from violence." The president of the United States had estimated in early August that Beijing had "no need for advice" on the file, adding that this crisis was "between Hong Kong and China because Hong Kong is part of China."

However, the Chinese side is increasingly denouncing attempts to "interfere" Washington, first when Donald Trump said in early July, the protesters were "in search of democracy", then after a meeting between an American diplomat in Hong Kong and pro-democracy activists.

A territory now "on the edge of the abyss"

The mobilization, more and more marked by clashes between radicals and the police, constitutes a new challenge for the central government which said Monday to detect there "signs of terrorism".

On Tuesday, Chinese official media exaggerated and described the protesters as "gangsters", raising the specter of intervention by the security forces. Two public media, the Daily of the people and the Global Times, direct emanations of the Communist Party, have broadcast videos supposed to present armored personnel carriers heading for Shenzhen, a metropolis on the outskirts of Hong Kong. A territory now "on the edge of the abyss", warned, in an interview with the BBC, his last British governor, Chris Patten.

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