Daily Management Review

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airlines Calls Prodemocracy Protest Illegal


Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airlines Calls Prodemocracy Protest Illegal
While warning for what it called illegal gathering and protests outside of its offices, the Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways stressed that it had zero tolerance for "violent activities" and it would also not tolerate any of its employees taking part in the protests.
The airlines has been embroiled in the tensions between the Chinese authorities in Beijing and the anti-government protesters whose protests have sometimes been violent. The protests have been ongoing every week end since June and has transformed to become the largest and the longest protests since the island city was handed over to the Chinese by the British in 1997. The protesters are demanding greater autonomy and democracy and less interference form Beijing.
A planned protest around its Cathay City headquarters on Lantau island, next to Hong Kong's international airport, had been banned by the Police, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday. This prompted the airlines to cal the protests illegal.
"Cathay Pacific wishes to emphasise that it fully supports the upholding of the Basic Law and all the rights and freedoms afforded by it," the statement said.
These protests in Hong Kong, which is also recognized as the financial hub of Asia, have also turned out to be the biggest issue for the Communist Party rulers in Beijing ever since 2012 when President Xi Jinping become the head of the country. Chinese government has signaled that force could be used to curb the protests if they turned violent.
The starting point of the protests in middle of June was a controversial and now suspended extradition Bill that was planned to be brought in for the city which would have allowed Chinese authorities to take accused to mainland China to face trials in courts that are controlled by the Communist Party. However since then, the demands for the protesters have become broader with demands for greater democracy according to the "one country, two systems" formula according to the legal provisions of the Basic Law which is used for administering Hong Kong since it was returned to China by the British,
The crossfire between Beijing and the Hong Kong protestors has already hit Cathay as the company is allegedly following a dictate from Beijing that it company should suspend and take action against those employees who get involved in or support the protests.
The possibility the Hong Kong administration potentially invoking emergency powers to bring down the protests has not been ruled out by Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's embattled leader. While claiming that the protests were were becoming more violent and serious, she expressed confidence that it would be possible for the government of the city to handle the crisis. 
A wide range of powers - from changing laws, authorising arrests, detentions and deportations, and censoring the media, would become available to Lam by invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance as can be seen in the legislation on the topic published for public viewing on the website of the government.

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