'Path of no return' Lam warns as strikes grip HK

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 5, 2019 - Duration: 02:28s

'Path of no return' Lam warns as strikes grip HK

Hong Kong was plunged into fresh chaos on Monday as a general strike followed another weekend of violent protests, paralyzing transport, leading to more than 200 flight cancellations and bringing the city to an unprecedented standstill.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

'Path of no return' Lam warns as strikes grip HK

Hong Kong came to an unprecedented standstill Monday (August 5) morning.

Protests and strikes choked transport across the financial hub, while its only airport canceled more than 200 flights.

It's the latest anti-government campaign by protesters, who are seeking to shut the city down.

Demonstrators occupied several areas across Hong Kong in simultaneous protests.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CARRIE LAM, SAYING: "The great majority of Hong Kong people are now in state of great anxiety." Embattled leader Carrie Lam addressed the media for the first time in two weeks Monday.

Once again - rejecting calls to step down, and warned the protests are putting Hong Kong on a path of no return.

This was the scene overnight in a bustling shopping district on the main island.

Police arrested scores of people as demonstrators moved swiftly across the city late Sunday (August 4) staging flash protests.

That brings the total number of arrests to more than 400 since June 9 - according to police on Monday.

Meanwhile Beijing issued a warning of its own.

China's official news agency said earlier on Sunday, the central government won't sit idly by and let the situation continue.

That warning comes after China's military garrison in Hong Kong released this three-minute video that includes "anti-riot" exercises.

The People's Liberation Army has so far remained inside its barracks in the city, despite the worst crisis to hit Hong Kong since it came under Chinese rule.

There's growing speculation these troops could be unleashed to quell the violence.

But police chiefs in the city insist their forces are capable of maintaining order.

Reuters also reported in July - the commander of the PLA's Hong Kong garrison has assured a U.S. pentagon official that Chinese troops won't interfere.

Rolling protests are still expected.

The black-clad protesters have a list of demands that now goes beyond the extradition bill that initially sparked the crisis.

Including calls for greater democracy, in the Chinese ruled city.

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