Tuesday 22 October 2019

Hong Kong protests spread to Taiwan amid 17th weekend of violent unrest

Crowd control: An activist wearing a Donald Trump mask faces riot police during a protest in Hong Kong. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters
Crowd control: An activist wearing a Donald Trump mask faces riot police during a protest in Hong Kong. Photo: Susana Vera/Reuters

Nicola Smith

Hong Kong police toughened their crowd control measures yesterday, pushing back forcefully with tear gas and water cannons against pro-democracy protesters, as tensions continued to spike ahead of China's National Day celebrations tomorrow.

Hong Kong police toughened their crowd control measures yesterday, pushing back forcefully with tear gas and water cannons against pro-democracy protesters, as tensions continued to spike ahead of China's National Day celebrations tomorrow.

Running street battles with the riot police began in the early afternoon after thousands of demonstrators descended on Hong Kong's central shopping district of Causeway Bay for an unauthorised march.

Violence broke out as protests against Beijing's rule gripped the city for the 17th consecutive weekend, in what began as a movement against a controversial mainland extradition bill but has now morphed into a wider cry for democracy and universal suffrage.

The civil unrest has intensified ahead of the Chinese Communist Party's events to mark the People's Republic of China's 70th anniversary.

"I have no idea what will be the next stage, but what the government is doing now is definitely wrong," said student Winnie Tang (22).

"It affects me, it affects the next generation and others. We need to do something... many of us now understand that we have freedom of speech, and the government can't limit our rights." Multiple arrests were made.

Meanwhile, thousands rallied in Sydney, Australia and Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, to support Hong Kong and kick off a day of global 'anti-totalitarianism' demonstrations.

In Taiwan, a democracy of 23 million which Beijing claims as its own, thousands marched with 'no China' posters and chanted: "Taiwan with Hong Kong, free Hong Kong."

Telegraph.co.uk

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