Hong Kong braced on Friday for further demonstrations and a “stress test” of the city’s international airport at the weekend, as nearly three months of anti-government protests showed no sign of abating.
Multiple protests are planned for Friday, including a march by accountants to government headquarters and a “Baltic Chain” event where protesters will join hands across different districts in the Chinese territory.
In 1989 an estimated two million people joined arms across three Baltic states in a protest against Soviet Union rule which became known as the Baltic Way or Baltic Chain.
US President Donald Trump on Sunday warned China that carrying out a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters would harm trade talks between the two countries.
“I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it’s another Tiananmen Square,” Trump told reporters in New Jersey. “I think it’s a very hard thing to do if there’s violence.”
Hundreds of flights were cancelled or suspended at Hong Kong’s airport Tuesday as pro-democracy protesters staged a second disruptive sit-in at the sprawling complex, defying warnings from the city’s leader who said they were heading down a “path of no return”.
The crisis, which has seen millions of people take to Hong Kong’s streets, was already the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of the semi-autonomous city since its 1997 handover from Britain.
China’s state-run newspaper People’s Daily today released a video that appears to show military vehicles being mobilised to a mainland city bordering Hong Kong.
The clip captures armoured fighting vehicles entering a ‘service area’ one after another while other military vehicles were travelling on a highway.
The news outlet said the footage had emerged on social media today without commenting on its authenticity.
However, the paper warned that Chinese law gives the country’s People’s Armed Police Force the right to deal with riots, chaos, serious violent incidents, terrorist attacks and other incidents regarding social security.
UPDATE: MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police forcibly detained nearly 700 people attending a protest in Moscow on Saturday to demand free elections, including prominent activist Lyubov Sobol, after authorities warned the demonstration was illegal.
UPDATE (MOSCOW (AP) — Russian group says at least 600 people arrested at unsanctioned election protest in Moscow.Source: Russia protests: Opposition leader Lyubov Sobol detained
UPDATE (Telegraph) Police detained more than 300 demonstrators in Moscow on Saturday as Russian opposition supporters took to the streets in defiance of a formidable security presence, in fresh protests calling for fair elections in the capital next month.
UPDATE MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police detained 194 people in central Moscow during an unauthorized opposition protest on Saturday, independent monitoring group OVD-info reported.
(BBC) Russian opposition leader Lyubov Sobol has been detained ahead of an unauthorised protest in Moscow.
Ms Sobol was in a taxi about to set off for the rally when police officers dragged her into a black van, which swiftly sped off.
Protesters are gathering in the Russian capital after authorities disqualified a number of opposition candidates from standing in local elections.
Russian media reported a few dozen arrests across Moscow.
Protesters are demanding opposition candidates be allowed to run for city council Russian police on Saturday detained hundreds of people outside the Moscow mayor’s office ahead of an election protest demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run for the Moscow city council.
The dispute comes as the Kremlin is struggling with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its own sprawling capital of 12.6 million people.
China publicly addressed the possibility of deploying the Chinese military to contain the public unrest in Hong Kong for the first time on Wednesday, suggesting that soldiers could be sent in at the request of Hong Kong officials.
China’s defence ministry said it is closely following the developments in the former British colony and pointed out that the government of Hong Kong has the legal right to call in Chinese military to maintain social order in the city.
Hong Kong lawmakers accused their own government of colluding with a violent mob of suspected pro-Beijing triads who brutally attacked peaceful protesters Sunday, in the most violent incident since protests began in the city seven weeks ago.
Video footage posted to social media captured the violent scenes as dozens of men dressed in white, most of them masked, set upon passengers in Yuen Long metro station Sunday night following a mass protest.