Convoy of Armored Chinese Police Vehicles Masses near Hong Kong

A riot police fires tear gas during a confrontation with protesters on Monday Aug. 5 2019. Droves of protesters filled public parks and squares in several Hong Kong districts on Monday in a general strike staged on a weekday to draw more attention to

Flights have resumed at Hong Kong International Airport after it was effectively shut down for two days due to a takeover by pro-democracy protesters.

Hong Kong's mass demonstrations and unrest show no sign of abating, more than two months after they were sparked by a controversial extradition bill that has since been suspended.

A protester walks past an electronic board showing cancelled flights as they gather against the police brutality and the controversial extradition bill at Hong Kong's global airport on August 12, 2019.

Separately, Hong Kong police have also unveiled a water cannon vehicle as a new tool to combat the protests.

The United Nations' human rights chief on Tuesday voiced concern over force used against protesters and called for an impartial probe.

However, it was unclear if the protesters, who have no public leaders and organise via social media, would return to the airport. Riot police clashed briefly with the demonstrators, leading to several injuries and prompting at least one officer to draw a handgun on his assailants.

Cathay Pacific says it will comply with the rules imposed by China, banning staff who supported protests from working on flights to China and through its airspace.

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Mr Mak also defended the use of pepper ball rounds at close range, saying officers made a "split-second" decision to fire on protesters who had tried to flee.

More than 160 flights were cancelled and officials blamed "seriously disrupted" operations.

On Wednesday evening, police and protestors faced off in the residential Sham Shui Po area - around 19 miles east of the airport.

Earlier this week, the central government in Beijing issued an ominous characterization of the protest movement as something approaching "terrorism" - a label it routinely applies to nonviolent protests of government policies on the environment or in minority regions such as Xinjiang and Tibet.

China's tightly-controlled media are sending decidedly mixed signals to Hong Kong about these "exercises".

While China has yet to threaten using the army - as it did against pro-democracy protesters in Beijing in 1989 - recent police exercises across Hong Kong's border with mainland China were a sign of its ability to crush the demonstrations, even at a cost to Hong Kong's reputation as a safe haven for business and worldwide exchange.

Though such blatant - and, frankly, puerile - displays of nationalism might seem surprising coming from rappers who've been busy building an global following, keep in mind that some are reflecting a sentiment that has been growing on the mainland in recent weeks as State media outlets have devoted increasing attention to events in Hong Kong.

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