Hong Kong severely limited transportation services to its airport Saturday in an attempt to prevent any demonstrations from taking place there this weekend.
Express trains are running from downtown to the airport with no stops in between.
The only people allowed to enter the terminals are those who have flight tickets.
Authorities are seeking to avoid a second straight weekend of upheaval, after demonstrators last weekend blocked airport approach roads and caused upheaval at train stations.
Hong Kong’s airport was forced to close in August when protesters occupied terminals. China called the behavior “near-terrorist acts” and some protesters later issued an apology.
Earlier this week, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced her government will formally withdraw an extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to face trial in mainland China.
The extradition bill sparked the mass protest movement in June. Since then, however, demonstrators’ goals have expanded to include demands for full democracy. In addition, protesters are now also calling for an independent investigation into accusations of police brutality, the unconditional release of those detained during the protests, an end to labeling of the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leaders.
Many Hong Kong residents fear that the city’s autonomy is disappearing under Beijing’s rule.
China says Hong Kong is an internal affair and has accused the U.S. and Britain of encouraging unrest.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in China that during her visit she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier LI Keqiang and urged them to take a nonviolent approach with the protesters.
“I have advocated that conflicts be resolved without violence and that anything else would be a catastrophe from my point of view,” Merkel said.
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Photo “Hong Kong Airport Protests” by Wpcpey. CC BY-SA 4.0.