- The Hong Kong protests escalated Tuesday after activists threw acid on police. Separately, police used live rounds for the first time, reportedly shooting an activist.
- The two incidents were around 12 miles apart, but show an escalation on both sides.
- “Rioters have used corrosive fluid in Tuen Mun area, injuring multiple Police officers,” Hong Kong Police tweeted alongside images of an officer with chemical burns to his skin.
- A man was hit in the chest by a live police round near Hoi Pa Street, according to the South China Morning Post. It’s the first time live rounds have been reported.
- Tuesday is China’s National Day, and the 70th anniversary of China’s Communist Party. It is a major national celebration.
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The Hong Kong protests escalated Tuesday as a protester was shot with a live round for the first time in 17 weeks of demonstrations, while police reported being doused in acid.
The protests — timed to coincide with China’s National Day, and the 70th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party — took on a dark character at multiple clashes around the city.
According to The South China Morning Post, a male protester was shot in the chest by police using live rounds near Hoi Pa Street on Tuesday. It marks the first time live rounds have been used by police during the 17 weeks of protest.
Hong Kong lawmakers James To and Au Nok-hin confirmed to The New York Times the incident was genuine. His condition is not known.
A video posted to Facebook shows a masked protester lying in pain on the ground, purportedly the victim of the gunfire, calling out: “My chest is in pain, take me to the hospital.”
In a separate confrontation, protesters used an acid-like substance on police officers. The Hong Kong Police posted images of their officer’s burns on Twitter.
The account wrote: “Rioters have used corrosive fluid in Tuen Mun area, injuring multiple Police officers and reporters.”
“The Police strongly condemn the violent acts and appeal to members of the public to mind their personal safety.”
—Hong Kong Police Force (@hkpoliceforce) October 1, 2019
The Times also reported that “seven masked men used a Molotov cocktail to burn posters of Xi Jinping outside a Chinese Army barracks” on Tuesday.
The escalation comes at a symbolic time in China.
Tuesday marks 70 years since the Chinese communist party, led by founder Mao Zedong, seized control of the country during a bloody civil war.
The milestone was commemorated by a huge parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, featuring a show of military might from The People’s Liberation Army.
Ministry of Defense spokesman major general Cai Zhijun said last week the parade would be comprised of 15,000 troops, 580 tanks, and 160 fighter aircraft.
At the parade, after weeks of speculation, China finally unveiled the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41, CSS-X-10) missile. It’s believed to be the world’s longest intercontinental weapon, which can strike targets 9,320 miles away.
In a post on Facebook on Saturday, the Hong Kong edition of Chinese state newspaper China Daily warned that Hong Kong “anti-government fanatics” were “baying for blood” ahead of the celebrations.
On Tuesday, protesters in Hong Kong marched 2.5 miles from Causeway Bay to Central, Bloomberg reported. Figo Chan, a leader in the Civil Human Rights Front, said that more than 100,000 protesters marched.
Hong Kong Police on Monday warned that planned protests in the city were expected to be “very, very dangerous” and claimed that hardliners had called on people to murder police and set fire to gas stations.
As Business Insider’s Rosie Perper previously reported, chief superintendent John Tse Chun-Chung gave no evidence to substantiate the claims.
—Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) October 1, 2019