Things began to turn violent. | 22 Words

It's been a dark and turbulent couple of months for Hong Kong as the city has been rocked by pro-democracy protests.

And the last 10 weeks, in particular, have seen increasingly violent clashes between protestors and police - airports were forced to suspend hundreds of flights as a result of these protests.

As protestors in Hong Kong remain unwavering and defiant in their beliefs, tensions are beginning to run high across the rest of mid-land China - so high, in fact, that the Chinese military seems to be preparing for the very worst.

And now, terrifying footage has emerged of a huge military vehicle build-up along the border of Hong Kong. Flights remain well and truly grounded, and the overwhelming military presence is making many feel uneasy about what may happen next.

Keep scrolling to see the footage, which only highlights China's growing tensions with the protestors in Hong Kong.

Let me give you a little bit of context...

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Hong Kong is unique from any other Chinese city. It was originally a British Colony until the Chinese handover of 1997. Though it became a part of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong was able to keep its own unique legal system, currency, and borders separate to the rest of the country.

One country, two systems.

In the late 20th century, 3 Chinese territories remained beyond the control of the Chinese Communist Party - Hong Kong being one of them. It was acknowledged that, by imposing China’s political system on 2 colonies, panic and economic mayhem could be caused. Therefore, “one country, two systems" would allow the territories to remain much as they were while keeping their independent legal systems and police forces.

This arrangement is to last for fifty years.

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Until the year 2047, that is. However, throughout the last few years, democracy activists have been growing steadily more and more frustrated and worried about what will happen when the fifty years are up.

Tensions had already boiled over back in 2014.

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All of the frustration and fret led to the so-called "Umbrella Movement of 2014," a series of protests and sit-ins aimed at securing a promise of genuine democracy.

The Umbrella Movement was the largest social movement in Hong Kong's history.

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In response to the originally peaceful protests, police resorted to tear gas and pepper-spray to combat protestors. The Umbrella Movement quickly turned ugly.

In response to this movement, the central authorities stood by their “one country" side of the deal.

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In the years following the movement, several legislators were acquitted for disrespecting China. They went on to change Hong Kong’s constitution to require the passage of a law that would punish people for insulting the national anthem, mirroring a law that China passed in 2017.

But, years on, Hong Kongers are protesting again.

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This year's protests were initially focused on a bill that will make it possible to extradite people from Hong Kong to China, where the Communist Party controls the courts.

Many Hong Kongers fear this bill.

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And some believe that the law would be used by authorities to target political enemies and, more importantly, that it would signify the end of the “one country, two systems" policy.

Though the bill has now been suspended, the protestors are still demanding action.

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Hong Kongers want the complete withdrawal of the proposed extradition bill, unconditional release of arrested protesters, charges against them dropped, and an independent inquiry into the police's violent behavior.

The protests have grown to terrifying new levels.

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Numerous reports of shocking violence from both the protestors and the police have been coming in thick and fast throughout the last few days.

And it wasn't long before Hong Kong Airport was targeted.

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Last Friday, demonstrators arrived at Hong Kong Airport and initiated a peaceful sit-in. They initially staged a mass sit-down, and simply handed out pamphlets about the issue to visitors. However, the peace didn't last long.

Things began to turn violent.

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The following Monday, 3 days into the sit-in and in response to the police brutality experienced over the weekend, protestors changed their tactics.

They brought the airport to a standstill.

Passengers trying to catch their flights tweeted several updates throughout the day, as protestors began blocking them from their retrospective terminals.

Hundreds of flights were subsequently grounded.

By mid-afternoon on Monday, demonstrators had started blocking passengers from checking in and moving through the departures area, prompting the airport authority to suddenly cancel the hundreds of flights coming and going from the airport, which is one of the busiest in the world.

Things turned even uglier as the day progressed.

Things escalated when hundreds of protesters reportedly turned on someone whom they believed to be an undercover police officer. Following this, protestors then tied up a reporter for the Global Times, a Chinese state news outlet, prompting Hong Kong police to launch a rescue operation.

Scenes at the airport became chaotic.

In footage that resembles a bizarre, aviation-themed war film, protestors were seeing using lasers and airport luggage racks as a means of repelling the police.

The violence continued.

Protesters continued to clash with riot police, who attempted to force their way into the airport with pepper spray, leading to the arrests of 5 people, throughout the day.

This chaos went on for days.

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The demonstrations brought flights to a halt for 2 consecutive days, subsequently stranding thousands of visitors trying to enter and leave the city. After last night's chaos, the airport has now resumed most of its flights and is now working on getting the thousands of stranded passengers onto replacement flights.

Though the protestors have now issued an apology to those who were left stranded at the airport.

A group of protestors have apologized to the public for the chaos caused at the city’s airport. The group apologized for clashes on Tuesday, in which police, armed with batons and pepper spray, clashed with thousands of protesters, saying that “after months of prolonged resistance, we are frightened, angry and exhausted. Some of us have become easily agitated and over-reacted last night."

Yet, despite their apology...

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The crisis is far from over. Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader, Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the city had been placed on a “path of no return" after 10 weeks of the disruptive and violent protests.

And the Chinese military are seemingly making their preparations.

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Numbers of reports have been flooding in regarding the Chinese military's preparations to intervene with the unrest in Hong Kong. The Chinese government has previously warned Hong Kong about their movements, and said on Monday that the protests across the city had begun to show “sprouts of terrorism." However, China defines terrorism quite loosely, as it has previously used the term to describe non-violent opposition movements.

Terrifying footage of military vehicles has emerged.

Large numbers of Chinese paramilitary forces are seen in the frightening footage assembling just eighteen miles from Hong Kong in the city of Shenzhen.

People have been describing the military presence as "overwhelming."

And many believe, with China flaunting it's military muscle in this manner, that something catastrophic might well happen.

The military seems to be preparing for something big.

Chinese state media have described the build-up of armed police units, shown in videos gathering at an arena called the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre, as preparations for “apparent large-scale exercises."

Tensions are well and truly at breaking point.

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The messages from Beijing to protesters in Hong Kong are becoming increasingly ominous. Chinese authorities, who recently denounced protests as “terrorist acts," have promised an “iron fist" response to the protestors. In this current climate, we can only hope that the issues growing within the conflicted country can only be resolved peacefully with no further violence or brutality.