Hong Kong: As the sit-in rally that protesters staged by occupying the international airport in Hong Kong intensified, the operations at the airport were shut for two straight days. The disrupted air services have severely impacted the global markets resulting in downslide of Asian stock markets. Alongside air services, the effects of the protests are also evident in the internal transport in the city, health services and even the administrative agencies along with air travel.
Hong Kong is known as one of the major centres for trade and finance in the Asian continent. Over the last decade or two, the contribution of Hong Kong in the progress of China is considered to be crucial. The mainland has consistently used Hong Kong’s stature to attract large-scale foreign investment. The pro-democracy protest in such a city, for over two and a half months, is tarnishing China’s image, at the international level.
Two successive days of cessation of international flights has majorly hit the tourism, trade and investment sectors. As the economy of Hong Kong largely depends on these three sectors, a blow to them proves to be a significant setback to the pro-Chinese administration. In a press conference on Tuesday, Administrative chief Carrie Lam said that the city’s business image had been tarnished.
At this time, Lam blamed the protesters for the entire situation and said that they could push Hong Kong “down a path of no return”. “Hong Kong, as an open, free, very tolerant, economically stable city, will see severe wounds,” she said, reiterating the instability in Hong Kong. But she indicated that the action against the protesters would continue, ignoring the issues regarding her resignation and the doubts about her leadership.
While the Hong Kong administration has indicated that the actions will continue, the protesters also have displayed their firm and determined resolve. The protesters, who have shut the airport and rendered the police stations non-functional and other administration, have posed an open challenge to China. One of the videos of the protest features a protestor shouting slogans with a US flag on his shoulder. Later, he is seen singing the US national anthem in the video.
The ruling Chinese regime had published few photographs, accusing the United States’ hand in the protests, which in turn escalated tension between the United States and China. In this scenario, a video showing the US flag and the US national anthem becomes significant.