Violence escalated as protesters in Hong Kong clashed with police during anti-China protests on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Protest organisers wrote on Twitter that one police officer had fired live rounds on protesters, injuring at least one person. Police confirmed to AFP that one protester was injured after they fired a live round.
The protests were expected to overshadow China’s National Day celebrations, which included an extravagant military parade.
In a speech at the 70th-anniversary celebrations, Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about “prosperity and stability” in its special administrative regions.
“While forging ahead, China must adhere to the principle of ‘peaceful reunification and one country, two systems,’ maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, promote peaceful development of cross-Strait ties, and unite the whole Chinese population to continue the fight for full reunification of our motherland,” Xi said.
Police in Hong Kong warned ahead of the protests that they were preparing for violence to escalate.
“The violent acts are one-step closer to acts of terrorism,” said Tse Chun-chung, Chief superintendent of police relations.
Several transit stations were closed ahead of the protests. Video of the protests showed fire and smoke in the city.
On Monday, anti-government protesters formed a human chain, holding signs that read “Thank you for supporting Hong Kong.”
The protests come after violent clashes between protesters and police occurred over the weekend in Hong Kong.