Hong Kong protesters returned to the streets today as China marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong police fired live ammunition at protesters for the first time since the street protests began 17 weeks ago. One protester was shot in the chest. Police also fired tear gas and water cannons, while protesters were seen throwing Molotov cocktails. This comes as Reuters reports there are now up to 12,000 Chinese troops in Hong Kong — twice as many as when the protests began. Meanwhile in Beijing, China held what has been described as one of the country’s largest military parades ever to mark 70 years since Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. President Xi Jinping spoke earlier today in Tiananmen Square.
President Xi Jinping: “On our journey forward, we must adhere to the principle of peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems,' maintain long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macau, push for peaceful development of cross-strait relationships, unite all Chinese people to continue to work hard for the complete reunification of our nation.”