'Oppose violence, save Hong Kong': 476000 attend pro-police rally, organisers say

'Oppose violence, save Hong Kong': 476000 attend pro-police rally, organisers say

Cathay Pacific needs new management to "reset confidence" because its commitment to safety and security had been "called into question", company Chairman John Slosar said in a statement.

Hundreds of pro-China demonstrators marched through Sydney on Saturday in response to a growing number of rallies in support of the Hong Kong democracy protests as tensions between the two groups increasingly flare in Australia.

Executives scrambled to reassure authorities that the company has no truck with the demonstrators, vowing to sack any employee who takes part in an "illegal protest". CEO Rupert Hogg will be replaced by Augustus Tang from Monday, and Executive Director Paul Loo will be replaced by Ronald Lam.

China Citic Bank International, a Hong Kong-based unit of the nation's largest state-run conglomerate, sent a message to its workers on Wednesday, saying it was to ensure travel safety, according to media reports.

Cathay Pacific, an emblem of the city, was blindsided last week when China's aviation regulator demanded it suspend staff supporting a movement that has mushroomed from opposition to a legal change in Hong Kong into wider calls for democracy.

"These have been challenging weeks for the airline and it is right that Paul and I take responsibility as leaders of the company", Mr Hogg said in a Cathay statement.

Cathay Pacific's stock price has plummeted this week, hitting a 10 year low.

Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world's busiest, has been closed at times this week in the wake of the massive anti-government protests that have paralyzed one of Asia's key transport hubs.

This week's protests at Hong Kong's worldwide airport led to almost 1,000 flights being cancelled.

"I can tell you we're confident the police have the capability to maintain law and order", Yeung Man-pun, commander of the Kowloon City district, said Friday when asked about the possibility of a deployment of mainland security forces. Tang was previously the head of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), which is owned by Swire Pacific Ltd, as is Cathay.

Supporters of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters gather during a demonstration at Martin Place.

The video shows protesters holding signs that say "Solidarity with the revolt in Hong Kong", "No China extradition", and "Democracy will prevail!"

Having fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the streets, and at one point in a subway station, police are warning that they could get tougher.

Over 1 million people took to the streets, fearing that the city's judicial autonomy would be undermined by a law that would allow anyone passing through Hong Kong to be extradited and trialed in China's courts.

Slosar paid tribute to Hogg and his team in executing the carrier's well-publicised three-year Transformation Programme that has formed the basis for Cathay's recovery and a strong platform for its development.

On Tuesday the airline said it was "deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong".

Meanwhile in Paris around 50 people - Hong Kongers but also Chinese and Taiwanese - demonstrated in support of the protesters in the former British colony, chanting "freedom for Hong Kong" and even "freedom for China".

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