Cathay Pacific CEO Hogg Resigns Amid Hong Kong Protests
17 August, 2019, 15:54
"We are confident that Hong Kong will have a great future".
Battles between police firing tear gas and rubber bullets - and hardcore protesters using rocks, molotovs and slingshots - have since become routine in an worldwide finance hub once renowned for stability.
Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement that enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997. Other protests planned for the weekend do not have police permission.
In one exercise, two groups marched in formation with those in front raising shields as if to protect themselves from projectiles. Officers could be seen drilling inside a sports stadium on Saturday, and dozens of army-green trucks and other vehicles are parked in and outside the facility.
Hong Kong protesters will be joined by demonstrations of support in cities across the world this weekend, including San Francisco and London, as well as cities throughout Canada, Australia, Germany and Taiwan.
An overflow crowd rallied at a public square in the financial district before setting off for Government House, carrying signs that read "Protect the next generation" and umbrellas to ward off intermittent downpours. A separate, pro-government gathering under the slogan "Save Hong Kong" has also been scheduled for Saturday.
Demonstrators gathered at Chater Garden in Central on Saturday morning, just hours after a pro-independence rally at the same park the night before.
Hong Kong's protests were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city.
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On Friday, Cathay Pacific announced the shock resignation of its CEO Rupert Hogg after the carrier was excoriated by Beijing because some staff supported the pro-democracy protests.
Cathay's chairman John Slosar said the recent events had called into question the airline's commitment to flight safety and security and had put its reputation and brand under pressure. "This is regrettable as we have always made safety and security our highest priority", he said.
The demonstrations edged toward confrontation late in the afternoon, with protesters hurling eggs at a pro-Beijing trade union office and then surrounding Mong Kok police station.
However, China's Civil Aviation Administration said this week it would ban Cathay Pacific staff from supporting or participating in "illegal demonstrations" in the region.
Yesterday, Frenchman Alain Robert - who has been dubbed "Spiderman" for his unauthorised ascents of skyscrapers - hung a banner appealing for peace as he scaled the 62- storey Cheung Kong Centre, a landmark Hong Kong building that is the base for property tycoon Li Ka-shing's business empire.
A statement from China's foreign ministry on Thursday said Beijing had noted Mr Trump's comment that Beijing needs to resolve the crisis in Hong Kong on its own.
"The banner is to give joy and smile to the people of Hong Kong", he said as he sat in a taxi about to leave for his climb. It wasn't immediately clear if he would be charged.
Meanwhile the two sides are continuing trade negotiations, with a phone call due within the next two weeks, Navarro said. In the U.S., Trump is facing mounting political pressure and increased costs to consumers.
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