Anti-government protests and clashes between demonstrators and security forces continued in Hong Kong on Sunday, September 22, marking the 16th consecutive weekend of anti-government protests in the city. Protesters vandalized MTR stations, forcing several to temporarily close. Some demonstrators damaged storefronts of Chinese-linked businesses, blocked roads, set fire to barricades, and threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police. Security forces, for their part, fired tear gas and rubber bullets and arrested several people in cat-and-mouse encounters with the demonstrators.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Similar protests and clashes between demonstrators and security forces are to be expected over the coming weeks. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in Hong Kong during periods of protest activity.
On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.
Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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