Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, speaks to reporters in Hong Kong on August 14. Leung urged Hong Kong residents to help bring radicals who blocked the airport and attacked a traveler and a reporter to justice (XINHUA)
After protesters storming the Hong Kong International Airport on August 13 assaulted a reporter, scores of Hong Kong residents came to visit the injured journalist at hospital the next day, voicing their support for his bravery and opposition to the escalating violence in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
Fu Guohao, a journalist from Global Times, a Beijing-based newspaper, was seized by a group of masked protesters while covering the situation at the airport on August 13. He was assaulted and detained as protesters flooding the airport refused to let him and first-aid personnel go. He was finally rescued by the police.
During the demonstration, radicals intensified their sit-in to massive blockades, causing chaos at one of the world's busiest airports. Most outbound flights were canceled as the airport terminal was occupied and travelers were prevented from departing.
A video clip showed Fu was besieged by a large group of protesters and later he was tied with his hands behind his head, slumped down on a luggage trolly and closely surrounded by a black-clad crowd.
"I support Hong Kong police. Now you can beat me," he told the black-clad crowd.
The video clip quickly went viral on the Internet and drew condemnation of the violence.
"He said what Hong Kong people want to say. We remained silent for more than two months. People in Hong Kong need a peaceful and stable life, a better Hong Kong," Raymond Lam said.
Lam, 35, brought Fu fruits and mooncakes, the signature traditional dessert for the approaching Chinese Mid-autumn Festival which falls on September 13 this year.
He took leave from work and caught a one-and-half-hour ride to the Princess Margaret Hospital, a general hospital in south Kwai Chung, along with several friends.
"The gifts carry my wish that he recovers soon. I also want to tell him he has the support of so many Hong Kong people," Lam said. "The protesters crossed the line."
Fu Guohao, a journalist from Global Times, a Beijing-based newspaper, leaves Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong on August 14 (XINHUA)
Lam said what the rioters did to Fu that night has trampled the bottom line of civilization and even showed elements of terrorism.
A citizen surnamed Lee wore a T-shirt printed with Fu's words and held a bouquet for him. "I think he is a hero. I am here to show support and I oppose the violent incidents by some young protesters in the name of freedom and democracy."
Many Hong Kong residents gathered outside the hospital, with some holding banners, calling for measures to punish the attackers, oppose violence and safeguard rule of law.
"I think he is a real man and I want to cheer him on," Dicky Yip said.
"We, all Chinese people, should have a backbone like him," the 46-year-old said.
Yip, a tourist guide, said the escalating violence by the radical protesters has hurt Hong Kong's tourism industry. He has received no group tourists since July.
"The radical protesters are ignoring our livelihood. I hope the violence ends as soon as possible, giving us back a prosperous and beautiful Hong Kong," he said.
Fu, discharged from hospital on August 14, still looked pale and weak, with bruises on his face.
"I obeyed all the requirements for residents in Hong Kong and did not do anything illegal or disputable," the 28-year-old said during a brief interview at the hospital, with a bunch of flowers, a gift from visitors, in his hands.
"I should not be treated violently," he said.
"When I said I love Hong Kong at the airport, it was a natural response and I meant it," he added.
Like Fu, a traveler was also assaulted by protesters at the airport. The man fell unconscious and was sent to hospital on August 14.
A spokesperson of the HKSAR Government severely condemned these violent acts on August 14, saying they were outrageous and had overstepped the bottom line of a civilized society.
Hong Kong police will take relentless action to bring the perpetrators to justice, the spokesperson added.
This article was first published on the website of Xinhua News Agency