See More on Facebook


Hong Kong police fire tear gas at protesters marching ahead of China’s 70th birthday bash

Clashes between police and protesters continued in Hong Kong for the second day of violence this weekend.

Written by

Updated: September 30, 2019

HONG KONG – Hong Kong police fired tear gas and pepper spray in clashes with protesters on Sunday (Sept 29) as democracy campaigners stepped up their rallies ahead of China’s 70th national day on Tuesday and the city’s leader prepared to make a visit to Beijing for the celebrations.

In the second day of violence this weekend, police fired tear gas at protesters near the upscale Pacific Place mall in Admiralty, in the central business district, and earlier at the Causeway Bay shopping district where the march to the government headquarters began.

The Sogo department store and World Trade Centre shopping malls in Causeway Bay were closed ahead of the march. Organisers had not sought police permission for Sunday’s procession.

Clashes occurred in Causeway Bay, when police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who had thrown bottles and other objects towards them. Some of the protesters were arrested.

The protesters later regrouped and continued on the march to the government complex, located 2.4km away. Many held up umbrellas against the muggy heat as they shouted slogans such as “five demands, not one less”.

Running battles also took place near Pacific Place, with police retreating after firing tear gas. That allowed the protesters to continue on their march westward, with some occupying Harcourt Road, a major highway in Admiralty.

But tensions escalated after protesters tossed Molotov cocktails into the government complex and lobbed rocks and bricks at its windows.

Their actions sent the riot police rushing out of the building to fire tear gas and water cannons, causing mass chaos as protesters ran, though some were pinned to the ground and detained by police.

Within minutes, the road was cleared of protesters, and littered with umbrellas, traffic cones, plastic bottles and even shoes that protesters had abandoned.

Mr Tom Chan, who only had a surgical mask, said he had turned up dressed for a normal protest because he “didn’t think the police would come down so hard”.

“It’s supposed to be a peaceful march. If the government had tried to meet the people’s demands, or even deal with the underlying social issues, we wouldn’t be in this state,” he told The Straits Times.

Some 30 of those arrested were later frogmarched into the government compound where dozens of police vehicles had been waiting.

The street battle was witnessed by dozens of people standing at an overhead bridge leading to the Pacific Place mall, many holding up their mobile phones.

After the chaos, the police were seen arguing with a group calling itself “Protect Our Children” that had wanted to stop the police from making further arrests. Some of the officers were heard retorting back: “If you don’t want them to be arrested then tell them not to throw bricks in the first place.”

As night fell, running street battles continued with police pushing protesters back towards Causeway Bay, the starting point of the march.

Demonstrators left a trail of rubbish fires and barricades in their wake in an attempt to slow the police advance. All along the way, residents shouted abuse at officers.


In a surprise announcement on Sunday, the government said Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who has faced the brunt of the protesters’ ire, will leave for Beijing on Monday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the China’s founding. She will return to Hong Kong on Tuesday night.

Mrs Lam had sent out invitations “requesting the pleasure of your company” at a flag-raising ceremony and National Day reception at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.

The reason for the change in plan was not clarified but the government said Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin Chung would take her place.


Sunday’s rally against the government was part of planned global protests Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement have called a “Global Anti-Totalitarianism March”. Following a call on the Internet, solidarity marches are taking place in at least 64 cities around the world, in countries including the United States, Japan and Malaysia.

In Australia, more than 1,000 black-clad protesters turned up for a rally in central Sydney, some carrying yellow umbrellas and signs reading “Save Hong Kong”. It was one of the city’s largest solidarity marches since the pro-democracy protests began in March, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Singapore Police Force issued a statement last Saturday saying it will not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate the political causes of other countries.

Meanwhile, pro-Beijing supporters in Hong Kong countered Sunday’s planned protests with their own rally near Victoria Harbour, where they sang the Chinese national anthem and waved the national flag, AP reported.

On Saturday night, an approved evening rally to mark the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, which called for universal suffrage, was cut short after small groups of protesters threw Molotov cocktails, bricks and rocks at government buildings. Police responded with tear gas and water cannon, spraying protesters with a blue dye.


Into its 17th weekend, the protests which escalated in June over a now-suspended extradition Bill show no signs of slowing down, with demonstrators now calling for electoral reforms, amid other demands.

In response to calls for universal suffrage at Saturday’s rally, the government said the “one person, one vote” principle for selecting the Chief Executive and electing all members of the Legislative Council is “enshrined as an ultimate aim in the Basic Law” of the territory.

“To achieve this aim, the community needs to engage in dialogues, premised on the legal basis and under a peaceful atmosphere with mutual trust, with a view to narrowing differences and attaining a consensus agreeable to all sides,” it said in a statement.

Besides universal suffrage, the other four key demands of protesters are: complete withdrawal of the extradition Bill; the release of all protesters arrested; removing the label of protests as “riots”; and an independent judge-led inquiry into allegations of police brutality.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


China pledges international pandemic aid

 Producers of medical goods urged to meet demand from affected countries. China has pledged to do its best to offer aid to countries and international organisations affected by COVID-19 to help contain the outbreak, and businesses are being urged to boost production of epidemic prevention materials to meet demand from abroad. The announcement was made at a meeting of the leading group of China’s coronavirus response, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday. Relevant departments and local authorities must step up co-ordination to closely monitor and analyse the quick spread of the outbreak outside China and roll out more targeted measures to prevent the import and export of infection, the group said in a statement. It is important to further

By China Daily
March 13, 2020


Back to work in Beijing, with tough measures in place

 Mandatory quarantine for those coming from overseas; some Wuhan businesses may reopen. As most of China attempts to return to normalcy after an extensive lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the capital Beijing has been carefully trying to strike a balance between having people restart work while also trying to keep out imported infections, and yesterday ordered a mandatory quarantine for all international arrivals. This comes as the Hubei government announced that some businesses in Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre, would gradually be allowed to reopen. On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, his first visit to the city since the outbreak, a sign that the crisis could finally be easing after the government’s toug

By The Straits Times
March 12, 2020


Xi vows victory over coronavirus in Wuhan

President expresses condolences to families of people who died in epidemic. President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak remains the top priority and most important task, even amid the recent positive signs. Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark during his inspection tour in the outbreak’s epicentre, Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. The spread of the novel coronavirus has been basically curbed in Hubei and Wuhan, Xi said, adding that initial success has been made in stabilising the situation and turning the tide in Hubei and Wuhan. Xi encouraged local residents and front-line worke

By China Daily
March 11, 2020


China sets example in fighting virus

Epidemic reveals inadequacies in global governance; Beijing says it’s ready to help. China’s response to novel coronavirus pneumonia has set an example for the world in coping with the contagion and offered experience in advancing global public health governance, officials and experts said. The COVID-19 outbreak has also raised the alarm about global public health security and reminded countries that co-operation and co-ordination are needed to deal with challenges as infectious diseases can rapidly escalate into global emergencies, they said. There is a growing positive momentum in epidemic control nationwide thanks to the “comprehensive, thorough and rigorous” measures that China has taken to contain the virus, they said, noting that the daily

By China Daily
March 10, 2020


More than 800,000 people return Beijing under quarantine

“There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. About 827,000 people who came back to Beijing from outside the city are still in a 14-day quarantine to see if they had been infected with the novel coronavirus, an official said on Friday. “There’s still a risk of an outbreak of the disease with people coming to Beijing from other cities and countries,” Zhang Tongjun, deputy head of a group for prevention and control work in the city’s residential communities, said during an afternoon conference. Z

By China Daily
March 9, 2020


South Korea declares third city as special care zone as cases spike

President Moon receives letter of support from North Korean leader as infected cases cross 6,000. South Korea has declared a third city a “special care zone” to boost its capability to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, with cases nationwide soaring beyond 6,000. The death toll stands at 42, mostly the elderly with underlying health conditions, while 88 people have recovered, including 47 discharged yesterday. The care zone announcement came as the presidential Blue House revealed that South Korean President Moon Jae-in received a letter on Wednesday from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressing support and comfort to the people battling the coronavirus outbreak, adding that he is confident they will “prevail in this fight wit

By The Straits Times
March 6, 2020