Beijing’s streets of celebration, Hong Kong’s streets of protest

In pictures: China’s 70th celebrations contrast starkly with pro-democracy protests

Performers parade past Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Photograph: EPA/Wu Hong

Performers parade past Tiananmen Square during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Photograph: EPA/Wu Hong

 

President Xi Jinping presided over a grand display of China’s strength in Beijing on Tuesday – declaring that no force could stop the country’s rise – even as concerns grew over the condition of the first protester shot in Hong Kong after almost four months of unrest.

Speaking at the start of a grand parade marking 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, Xi called for stability in Hong Kong, unity among Chinese ethnic groups, and the “complete unification” of the country. Xi delivered the remarks at the site where late Communist Party patriarch Mao Zedong proclaimed the nation’s founding, on October 1st, 1949.

Even before the parade ended, pro-democracy protesters had begun gathering in several neighborhoods around Hong Kong, with crowds at one point growing into the tens of thousands. Some demonstrators lit fires, built barricades, scrawled anti-China graffiti on buildings and clashed with police who fired tear gas and swung clubs to disperse them. An 18-year-old protester was shot in the left shoulder during scuffles with riot police in the northwestern area of Tsuen Wan, police said in a video released on Facebook late Tuesday.

A fire lit by protesters burn in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photo: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
A fire lit by protesters burn in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photo: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
A float featuring Communist heroic figures moves past Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/Wu Hong
A float featuring Communist heroic figures moves past Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/Wu Hong
A fire lit by protesters burn in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
A fire lit by protesters burn in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
Chinese president Xi Jinping emerges from Tiananmen Gate before reviewing troops. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP
Chinese president Xi Jinping emerges from Tiananmen Gate before reviewing troops. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP
Police detain demonstrators in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
Police detain demonstrators in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP
Chinese tank crew members salute during the parade. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Chinese tank crew members salute during the parade. Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Police detain an anti-government protester in Hong Kong. Photograph: AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Police detain an anti-government protester in Hong Kong. Photograph: AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Chinese female militia members march in formation during the parade. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein
Chinese female militia members march in formation during the parade. Photo: Mark Schiefelbein
Hong Kong police advance on protesters during a demonstration in the Sham Shui Po area in Hong Kong. Photograph: May James / AFP
Hong Kong police advance on protesters during a demonstration in the Sham Shui Po area in Hong Kong. Photograph: May James / AFP
Participants marching past Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/Roman Pilipey
Participants marching past Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/Roman Pilipey
A water cannon sprays blue-dye outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg
A water cannon sprays blue-dye outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg
A general view of intercontinental ballistic missiles rolling through Tiananmen Square during the parade marking the 70th anniversary. Photograph: EPA/How hwee Young
A general view of intercontinental ballistic missiles rolling through Tiananmen Square during the parade marking the 70th anniversary. Photograph: EPA/How hwee Young
Demonstrators are shrouded in a cloud of tear gas outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg
Demonstrators are shrouded in a cloud of tear gas outside the central government offices in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg
Performers take part in the parade on Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/How Hwee Young
Performers take part in the parade on Tiananmen Square. Photograph: EPA/How Hwee Young
Protesters react among tear gas fired by police in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP)
Protesters react among tear gas fired by police in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong. Photograph: Isaac Lawrence / AFP)