A pro-democracy protester was shot and at least 30 were arrested as violent clashes rocked Hong Kong streets Tuesday while China celebrated the 70th anniversary of communist rule.
Beijing marked National Day and "national rejuvenation" with a military parade and fireworks, but in Hong Kong tens of thousands of demonstrators held a "national grief" march. Some black-clad protesters clashed with police who fired water cannons and tear gas into the crowd.
Fires burned on Hong Kong streets, many subway stations were closed and many shops were shuttered as police warned residents to remain in their homes.
President Donald Trump lauded Chinese President Xi JinPing but made no mention of Hong Kong in a brief tweet Tuesday: "Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!"
In Hong Kong, video recorded by a student group appeared to show several protesters hurling objects at pursuing riot police. One officer drew his gun and fired, and a protester collapsed as the others fled.
“The so-called National Day is a day for mourning. We are mourning those who sacrificed for democracy in China,” former lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan told the South China Morning Post. “It’s 70 years of suppression. We mourn that, and we also condemn the fact that the Hong Kong government together with Chinese government denied the people of Hong Kong the right to democracy.”
Police Senior Superintendent Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan said police were "saddened" that an 18-year-old man was shot near his left shoulder.
"A large group of rioters attacked police officers," she said. "As an officer felt his life was under serious threat, he fired a round at the assailant to save his own life and his colleagues’ lives."
She added that protesters have been repeatedly warned to stop breaking the law.
"The police force really did not want to see anyone being injured, so we feel very sad about this," she said, adding that "We will strictly enforce the law." (AP)