Hong Kong's International Airport suspended all outgoing flights for a second consecutive day Tuesday as pro-democracy protesters continued to occupy the world's busiest cargo terminal amid calls for the China-controlled territory's CEO to resign.
The Airport Authority had re-opened the airport early Tuesday, but were forced to cancel outbound flights, and warned the public not to travel to the busy regional hub, as demonstrators -- some carrying American flags -- swarmed the terminals amid a tenth-week of protests linked to the territory's "one country, two systems" arrangement with Beijing following the 1997 handover from the United Kingdom. Cathay Pacific, the airport's flag-ship carrier, warned passengers of the "potential for further disruptions at short notice".
"Take a minute to look at our city, our home," Lam told reporters during an emotional news conference Tuesday. "Can we bear to push it into the abyss and see it smashed to pieces?"
"I, as the chief executive, will be responsible to rebuild the Hong Kong economy," she added. "To engage as widely as possible, listen as attentively as possible to my people's grievances and try to help Hong Kong to move on."
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, which has fallen more than 6% since the protests began in late June, slumped a further 2.1% Tuesday to close at a seven month low of 25,536.62 points.
Hong Kong's first and second quarter GDP growth rate held at 0.6% so far this year, but those figures were recorded prior to the intensifying protests in late June.
Furthermore, investment rates in the China-ruled territory contracted 12.1% from last year over the second quarter, official data indicated last month, as tensions from the U.S.-China trade war took their toll on exports, freight volumes and tourist spending.
China's growing irritation with the protests, which have added to the region's economic pressures as it combats the ongoing trade war with the United States, was evidenced by a report suggesting the People's Armed Police have been assembled in the mainland city of Shenzen.
Late Friday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told reporters that the PLA is a "pillar for the city's long-term prosperity and stability,", while its Hong Kong garrison released a video of soldiers drilling with assault rifles, water cannons and armored carriers.
China also labelled the protesters as "terrorists", suggesting either the People's Police, or the People's Liberation Army, could be called in to restore order in the city, which was handed back to China by the United Kingdom in 1997 under a " "one country, two systems" arrangement designed to ensure some form of separation from Beijing rule.