Travelers pass through a crowd of protesters at the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 arrival hall on Friday. (Photo: Global Times)
Apart from inciting social conflict in Hong Kong and bowing to Western countries, Hong Kong opposition forces on Friday targeted international passengers to spread their accusations about the government and police, which annoyed passengers and disrupted the airport.
Some 200 protesters in black clothes gathered on the first floor of the arrival area in one of Asia's busiest airports at around 1 pm Friday to join a sit-in protest initiated by a trade union representing Cathay Pacific airline cabin crew.
Protesters wearing masks shouted slogans such as "Free Hong Kong!" and "Hong Kong police knowingly broke the law!" while sitting on the ground of the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 arrival hall. Some people held up signs saying, "Warning, Hong Kong is not safe" in English. One protester even carried a US flag.
The opposition forces claimed the protest was a gathering for the "aviation industry," but the Global Times reporter at the scene found that most of the protesters were young students.
They set up a booth distributing leaflets of their slogans to passengers, but few accepted. Some protesters just gave their leaflets to anyone passing by, which annoyed many passengers.
The protest angered a middle-aged woman from the Chinese mainland, who asked a Hong Kong woman with a flyer on her clothes, "Why do they cover their faces? If they believe they are right, they should just show people their faces!"
The young protesters were so ignorant, and the students were being used, the mainland woman said.
A Hong Kong airport employee said that the protesters' actions did not represent the airport, nor did they represent any airline.
As several previous protests have led to violence, the airport removed the seats and used yellow tape to mark the designated protest area to prevent protesters from blocking passengers.
The protesters later moved to the airport exit and shouted slogans in both Putonghua and English at passengers.
The protesters faked information to confuse passengers, "Welcome to Hong Kong, there will be a Yuen Long shopping festival at 4 pm tomorrow."
However, the truth was that opposition forces have long planned a "revenge protest" in Yuen Long on Saturday and several Hong Kong media believe it will result in severe violence.
Some opposition forces have also designed and distributed online flyers in eight languages on Telegram and half-jokingly called their flyers "Eight-Power Allied Forces," referring to the invading troops of Britain, the US, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Italy and Austria-Hungary in 1900 in Beijing.
Others designed flyers using a quick response code to deceive passengers to scan them using Alipay, according to Hong Kong media.
The protest is scheduled to last until midnight, and some 1,000 protesters gathered at the airport by press time.
During the protest, a pilot and opposition lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho read an open letter claiming that they did not rule out the possibility of taking further action, such as a passive resistance movement, and warned that if the airport cannot operate properly, it would result in severe economic losses.
"Hong Kong airport is Hong Kong's gateway to the world, and is definitely not a show place for some individuals and organizations for their political interests," Qi Qi, an independent market watcher, told the Global Times.
Qi said that aviation industry employees represent the image of Hong Kong, and threatening the Hong Kong government with strikes or creating trouble is not only contrary to professional ethics but also seriously infringes on the rights of Hong Kong people.
A local senior citizen said the protest may turn violent as they were the same group of people who vandalized the entrance of the liaison office of the central government in Hong Kong on Sunday.
In addition to sending "travel warnings" to international visitors, the Hong Kong opposition forces also urged foreign countries to issue official travel alerts to their citizens to prevent them from becoming "victims of violence by mobs and the Hong Kong police," which have been strongly condemned by Hong Kong society.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying slammed such behavior at Friday's press conference. She said Hong Kong opposition forces are provoking external forces to intervene in Hong Kong affairs and exert pressure on the central government and HKSAR government.
Hong Kong opposition forces colluded with Western forces to create a vicious cycle of social conflicts and violence in Hong Kong aimed at using external forces to sway Hong Kong and turn Hong Kong against its motherland, Kennedy Wong Ying-ho, a renowned Hong Kong lawyer and convener of Safeguard HK, Support the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Legislation, told the Global Times.
Western countries are using Hong Kong opposition forces to start a "color revolution" in Hong Kong, trying to make Hong Kong a vassal of Western countries, Wong said.
Since early June, radical Hong Kong forces have incited and participated in a number of riots in the name of opposition to the extradition bill. And in the past few days, they escalated their radical protests from using umbrellas, planks and bricks to corrosive liquids, toxic chemicals and gasoline bombs.
Radical protesters have published their "protest schedule" until August 18 which covers major Hong Kong districts, including Tai Po in the north, Tseung Kwan O in the east, the Hong Kong Island and the financial district of Sheung Wan.
Hong Kong lawmakers and lawyers interviewed by the Global Times all expressed concern that the escalating riots could further paralyze Hong Kong's public transportation and business, result in more bloodshed and severely damage Hong Kong's international image.
It is possible Hong Kong will lose its status as an international financial center and its tourist and investment environment will be severely damaged. Ultimately, the Hong Kong people will have to pay the price, Hong Kong representatives said.
However, they believe that the situation is not yet out of control, and the Hong Kong government and police could restore social order.
"Most Hong Kong residents will eventually recognize the nature of the worsening riots which is to sabotage 'one country, two systems' and damage the stability of Hong Kong, and will say no to violence," Wong said.