Armoured personnel carriers are seen, one after the other, rolling along a Chinese highway.
October 1 will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, a day set to be celebrated with much pomp and ceremony on the mainland. The protesters have posted a series of demands seeking to improve the democratic mechanisms of the former British colony. However, many activists believe this is now under threat.
Hong Kong police meanwhile said they have arrested five people during clashes with pro-democracy protesters at the airport Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. While numerous demonstrations were peaceful, an increasing number have ended in violent clashes with police.
But by the early hours of Wednesday only about 30 protesters remained at the airport and flights began taking off on a more regular basis.
Demonstrators also turned on two men, fuelled by suspicions within their ranks about undercover police or spies.
Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times, identified one of the men as a journalist at the nationalistic Chinese tabloid.
"It's a very tricky situation. I hope nobody gets killed".
The original protest was supposed to take place from last Friday to Sunday, but further crackdown actions by the police to other protestors in the city resulted in a resurgence at the airport on Monday and Tuesday. But instead, his own truncheon was taken from him and he was beaten with it after being rushed into a corner. After nightfall, a new protest outside a police station in the city was dispersed as officers fired tear gas.
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What have authorities said about Tuesday's clashes?Pompeo claimed: "I think the protests are exclusively the responsibility of the people of Hong Kong, and I think they are the ones that are demanding that their government listen to them and hear their voices".
The statement alleged they had "encircled a police officer and snatched his baton", without providing any additional context.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Operations Mak Chin-ho said the men, aged between 17 and 28, were arrested and charged with illegal assembly.
"It is clearly meant to intimidate people in Hong Kong and send a message that if the Hong Kong government can't get things under control, they will intervene", he told FRANCE 24.
Officials in the U.S. viewed events differently.
Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement that enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong when it returned to China in 1997.
She said the US side had repeatedly denied its involvement in the on-going violent incidents in Hong Kong. It urged all sides to refrain from violence.
Chinese military vehicles were seen massing Monday in Shenzhen, just over the border from Hong Kong.
Overnight, protest groups issued online apologies for the violence at the airport, saying they were "scared" and appealed for help.