The feud between Hong Kong and China continues to grow as over 40,000 pro-democracy protesters overran the Hong Kong Airport on Monday.

The protest took place in the main terminal, which led officials to cancel all the flights except those already en route to the airport.

Protests against the mainland began in June after a bill went through “that would allow suspects to be tried in mainland China.”

Beijing has tried to keep its iron fist around Hong Kong even though China promised “to preserve the city’s relative autonomy until at least 2047.”

The protest disrupted flights, but the people performed it peacefully after a violent weekend. The world witnessed police officers beating protesters with batons. One woman suffered an eye injury after a projectile hit her.

Beijing upped the rhetoric and hyperbole when officials described the acts by protesters as “terrorism” and “deranged.” From The Wall Street Journal:

“Radical Hong Kong protesters have repeatedly used extremely dangerous tools to attack police officers,” a spokesman for the Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office told a news briefing on Monday, according to Chinese state media. “The first signs of terrorism are starting to appear.”

The spokesman, Yang Guang, expressed “intense condemnation” for such “deranged and severe criminal activities committed without regard for the consequences.” Such violence must be severely punished, “without leniency, without mercy,” he said.

Mr. Yang also called on ordinary Hong Kong residents to oppose the violence. “Hong Kong has already reached an important juncture,” he said. “All the people who care about Hong Kong’s future should step firmly forward, and say no to all criminal activities and all violent elements.”

Mr. Yang didn’t indicate that Beijing has any imminent plans to intervene in the unrest. Instead, he reiterated the central government’s firm support for Hong Kong’s police and judiciary in their efforts to “decisively enforce the law” and punish wrongdoers as soon as possible.

Chinese officials say they support the Hong Kong police, but Chinese state media sang a different tune that implied Beijing may take action against the protesters:

On Monday, social-media accounts run by the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily, and other leading state news outlets published footage of Chinese paramilitary forces arriving in the southern city of Shenzhen, which abuts Hong Kong, over the weekend.

The footage, dated Saturday, featured captions describing the columns of armored vehicles and trucks as a detachment from the People’s Armed Police that may have been sent to participate in summer training drills.

The People’s Daily, in a microblog post featuring the footage, cited a Chinese law outlining the armed police’s powers, saying the paramilitary force can be used to deal with “riots, disturbances, severe violent criminal incidents, terrorist attacks and other public security incidents.”

 
 
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