Officers in green camouflage stood guard at closed entrances.
Chinese President Xi Jinping knows "repeating a June 4, 1989 Tiananmen-type massacre. would be a disaster for him. his leadership, his people, and certainly for Hong Kong", says Jerome Cohen, faculty director of the U.S. -Asia Law Institute at New York University School of Law and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Video shows scores of military-style vehicles and hundreds of uniformed members of the People's Armed Police Force in riot gear conducting exercises earlier today.
Over 100 paramilitary vehicles, including armored personnel carriers and troop trucks, were seen parked at a stadium in Shenzhen, with troops marching in fatigues.
Under Hong Kong's Basic Law, which governs the "one country, two systems" framework by which the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, China has two options for intervening militarily in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is bracing for more mass demonstrations through the weekend, with the weeks-long crisis escalating after pro-democracy protests forced the cancellation of almost 1,000 flights this week. The demonstrators are demanding expanded political rights and the scrapping of legislation that could have seen criminal suspects sent to mainland China.
The weekly violent clashes with police have been framed by Beijing as totally the fault of the "radical" protesters.
The Asian financial centre, which also has one of the world's busiest ports, was already under intense pressure from the escalating Sino-US trade war and China's biggest economic slowdown in decades.
The pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the largest political party in the legislature, said it believes the stimulus unveiled by the government will help enterprises and citizens weather the emerging economic challenges to a certain degree. Police have denied permission for the march on Sunday, but protesters have ignored such denials in the past.
The protests were sparked by opposition to an extradition bill in Hong Kong which critics feared would bring the territory more under China's control. Those protests, called the "Umbrella Movement", ended without concessions from the Hong Kong government, and several of the movement's leaders were sentenced to prison.
Despite that, the couple managed to get all the way to the Cathay Pacific desk to check-in, but all the staff were gone - presumably evacuated for their safety, she said.
Its editor, Hu Xijin, described it on Twitter as "a clear warning to rioters in Hong Kong".
Protesters occupy the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport during a demonstration.
"I'd be lying if I claimed to be unafraid, but if we give ground, then we would be giving up Hong Kong", Ah Yan said.
On Friday morning, Frenchman Alain Robert, who has been dubbed "spiderman" for his unauthorized climbs of skyscrapers, hung a banner appealing for peace as he scaled the 62-storey Cheung Kong Center, a landmark Hong Kong building that is the base for property tycoon Li Ka-shing's business empire. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called out Hong Kong's police for deploying crowd-control gear against protesters "in ways that are prohibited by worldwide norms and standards".
The banner showed the Chinese and Hong Kong flags over a handshake and a small yellow sun with a smiley face.
Given the situation, the government said it chose to "counter the challenging external and local economic environment", while offering help to local enterprises and citizens.
On Wednesday evening, police with riot shields fired tear gas at demonstrators who had been shining laser pointers at a police station in the Sham Shui Po neighborhood.