Over 200 flights were cancelled in Hong Kong on Monday 5 August amid calls for a general strike and demonstrators and mobs continuing to cause unrest in the Asian financial hub.
Hong Kong’s Airport Authority sent out an advisory telling passengers to check with their airlines and “to proceed to the airport only when their seats and flight time have been confirmed”.
Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds in Admiralty near the city’s Central Government Offices and riot police in Kowloon also used tear gas to disperse crowds that barricaded key arteries.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan accused some of trying to ruin Hong Kong, “and completely destroy the livelihood of seven million citizens.” He also warned that the city risks a recession as protests continue.
Messages from the city’s MICE community continue to put a brave face on things with Monica Lee-Müller, HML’s Managing Director, telling CMW in an update on 6 August: “Since a week ago, another large scale annual public fair International Baby/Children Products Expo has concluded with no major incidents. As of today, no international events have been cancelled.”
Protests in Hong Kong, seen as a challenge to Beijing’s authority, are now in their ninth week. Leader Carrie Lam has rejected calls for her resignation but did address the media for the first time in two weeks, warning that Hong Kong was “on the verge of a very dangerous situation”.
“We continue to allow these violent protesters to make use of the [extradition] bill to conceal their ulterior motives,” she said. “Those ulterior motives are going to destroy Hong Kong.”
Police reported a further 80 arrests in addition to the 420 detained since the protests began on 9 June. They also said they had used more than 1,000 tear gas canisters and 160 rubber bullets.
Several lines of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) were suspended for a time, and the Cross-Harbour Tunnel was also blocked and several businesses were reported closed.