China Demands US Diplomats Stop Meddling in Hong Kong's Affairs

A woman uses a laser pointer beam on policemen as they face off at Sham Shui Po district in Hong Kong Aug 7 2019

Hundreds of people have besieged a police station in Hong Kong.

A number of mass protests are scheduled on the island this weekend, according to Hong Kong's Asia Times.

Cathay also faced pressure online after China's state-run press fuelled a #BoycottCathayPacific hashtag, which trended on Chinese social media.

The move, which marks an escalation in the way China handles companies that appear to support the protests, sends Beijing's strongest warning yet for Hong Kong businesses and their workers to stay out of politics.

Protests have continued in Hong Kong for nine weeks, first over a since-suspended bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China, and later expanding to calls for greater democracy. That sparked concern over potential human rights abuses and unearthed a deep-seated distrust for many in Hong Kong.

In the last two weeks, as the question "is Hong Kong still safe to visit" became popular on travel websites, more than 20 countries raised their travel advisories for Hong Kong, with the USA, United Kingdom and Australia joining earlier this week.

This week China appeared to turn its attention to companies it sees as connected to the protests.

During a general strike last Monday, more than 100 flights were canceled because airline and airport employees were participating in the protest.

Photo Macau is the only Chinese territory where gambling is legal, but it's feeling the heat as protests continue in nearby Hong Kong.

Cathay chairman John Slosar defended his staff.

A Taiwanese bubble tea franchise - Yifang - and a popular Japanese sports drink were also targeted by boycott campaigns.

A White House petition, initiated by Wong in July, calls on the Trump administration to issue an export ban on crowd-control equipment to Hong Kong. The branch was later vandalised, Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS reported.

A State Department official had earlier in the day told AFP representatives of the U.S. government "meet regularly with a wide cross-section of people across Hong Kong and Macau".

Under pressure of a boycott, the firm's mainland China office issued a statement saying it operated separately from the Hong Kong division and upheld China's "one country, two systems" rule.

What's happening at the airport?

Kiwis in Hong Kong should expect road closures and disruptions to public transport as a result of the protests and demonstrations, some of which have turned violent, the ministry added.

Activists waved banners written in different languages denouncing Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's chief executive, and the police, and handed out leaflets with artwork explaining the recent protests.

Authorities are so far tolerating the peaceful rally, which have not overly disrupted passengers. There are as yet no police at the scene. "Thus, we urge the police to also demonstrate the firing of sponge bullets, beanbag bullets and rubber bullet within a five-metre range, or the exposure to expired tear gas, in order to support their claim that their arsenal of weapons is indeed non-lethal", said a spokesperson who gave her name as Natasha Lee.

The rallies, promoted on social media with a mock boarding pass reading "HK to freedom" and "warm pick-up to guests to HK", will be the second time protesters have brought their message to the global travel hub.

Fong said recent USA legislation, under which US authorities could potentially revoke Hong Kong's special trading status, is a powerful measure to indirectly sanction the Beijing regime for its encroachment.

A similar airport protest last month ended peacefully.

Earlier this week, Hong Kong's chief executive, Carrie Lam - who had earlier described the protesters as "rioters" - warned that the city was "on the verge of a very unsafe situation".

"We certainly wouldn't dream of telling them what they have to think about something".