- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Riot police clashed Tuesday with protesters occupying Hong Kong’s main airport, sending tensions soaring after weeks of demonstrations by pro-democracy advocates.

Police in riot gear could be seen clashing with masked protesters at the airport — which is one of the largest in the world — Tuesday evening local time. Demonstrators, who for a second straight day had largely closed down all flights out of the airport, had barricaded several entrances in an attempt to slow their approach, CNN reported.

The seizure of the massive airport was the demonstrators’ latest move in a campaign sparked by opposition to an extradition bill that many fear would jeopardize the city’s special status politically and economically inside China.

Since Friday, protesters have participated in “sit-ins” at the airport to show their concern that Hong Kong was being absorbed into mainland China.

Demonstrations over the weekend turned violent, and over 700 protesters have been arrested since the protests began in early June.

Photos from the scene Tuesday showed hundreds or protesters using luggage carts to block security entrances and others cutting off access to gates.

The editor of a leading state-backed news outlet in Beijing said on Twitter “It is hoped Hong Kong can restore order by itself. That is the best end.”

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of Global Times, wrote that, “if the development of the situation suggests there is no such hope, Beijing’s intervention will be inevitable. It’s a hard choice, but once it becomes the decision, it will be a firm one.”

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