Amid paralyzing Hong Kong demonstrations, China threatens grave consequences

Amid paralyzing Hong Kong demonstrations, China threatens grave consequences


AMNA NAWAZ: Hong Kong’s airport was shut down
today, occupied by thousands of protesters.
The
authorities in Beijing again struck an ominous
note, comparing the mass protests to terrorism,
and, as
thousands of Chinese security personnel mustered
on Hong Kong’s border, Beijing declared there
should
be, quote, no leniency or mercy for the protesters.
Jonathan Miller of Independent Television
News reports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JONATHAN MILLER, INDEPENDENT TELEVISION NEWS
REPORTER: In air thick with tear gas,
inside an underground station, Hong Kong police
last night resorting to ever harsher tactics.
These
protestors had been attempting to flee.
Across the harbor, outside a Kowloon police
station, a protester was shot in the eye with
a (INAUDIBLE)
from a police shot gun.
Despite wearing protective goggles, her eyeball
was ruptured and there are fears
she could lose her eye.
Earlier in the same location, police fried
tear gas from inside the station.
A battle ensued, as protestors laid
siege.
Then this.
A policeman inside suffered burns to his legs.
Today, an infuriated Beijing lashed out, branding
this terrorism.
The state council, Chinas cabinet,
ratcheting up the ruthlessness of the rhetoric,
leaving no room now to back down.
These were serious and sinister crimes, it
said, protestors reckless.
Things had reached what the spokesman
called a critical juncture.
YANG GUANG, SPOKESMAN, HONG KONG AND MACAU
AFFAIRS OFFICE (through translator):
Such violent crimes must be resolutely cracked
down on, in accordance with the law.
No leniency, no
mercy, we strongly support the Hong Kong police
as they enforce the law strictly to bring
the criminals to
justice as soon as possible.
JONATHAN MILLER: There’s been mounting alarm
in Hong Kong, over whether China might order
military onto the streets.
But today, communist party papers released
footage complete with sinister
soundtrack, showing convoy of people’s armed
police heading to Shenzhen on Hong Kong’s
northern
border.
These paramilitary under command of central
military council headed by President Xi Jinping
himself have been used to put down protest,
often brutally, in other regions.
Growing outrage over police brutality led
to thousands of demonstrators converging today
on Hong Kong
International Airport, one of the busiest
in the world, forcing the total cancellation
of all flights in and out.
It’s the protestors that were brutal today,
the police said, exhibiting weapons they said
were confiscated.
Most Hong Kongers won’t buy that now, the
trust is broken.
There are 28 years still to go before China
can take full control of Hong Kong.
But Beijing looks impatient
to bring the territory under its authoritarian
aegis.
Among Hong Kongers, banks and businesses,
a quiet but rising panic.

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