Hong Kong Airways carrier boss quits

Hong Kong Airways carrier boss quits


The boss of the Hong Kong air carrier Cathay Pacific Airways has stepped down, the highest-profile casualty of unrest roiling the former British colony, after Beijing targeted the airline over staff involvement in the ongoing street protests.

The  upheaval comes ahead of a weekend where further protests are planned, including what could be a large gathering on Sunday that could test whether a movement that has enjoyed broad support can retain it.

Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the 'one country, two systems' arrangement that gave  some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it from Britain in 1997.

Police have granted permission for a rally, 'Stand with Hong Kong, Power to the People',  planned in the central business district on Friday but  banned other protests.

The Sunday rally by the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised million-strong marches in June, has only been allowed permission for an assembly at Victoria Park on Hong Kong island, though not a march.

Another march planned in Kowloon's Hung Hom district has also been banned.

Ten weeks of confrontations have plunged Hong Kong into turmoil, and present the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President, Mr.  Xi Jinping, since his coming to power in 2012.

'Any person who endangers the safe operation of the aerodrome or the safety of persons in the aerodrome by act of violence is liable to life imprisonment,' Acting Chief Superintendent Man-pun Yeung told reporters.

Nearly 750 people have been arrested since the protests began in June, and tear gas has frequently been in attempts to disperse protests.

China has likened the increasingly violent protests to terrorism and warned it could use force to quell them, as the U.S. President, Mr.  Donald Trump,  urged Mr. Xi to meet protesters to defuse the tension.

Meanwhile Chinese paramilitary troops have been training this week in Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, in a clear warning to the protesters. Hong Kong police reiterated on Friday that they are capable of maintaining law and order on their own.