Hong Kong Protests Explode on 70th Anniversary of Communist China

China’s Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary on Tuesday. But while President Xi Jinping was overseeing a massive military parade in Tiananmen Square, huge protests continued in Hong Kong.

The protests grew increasingly violent Tuesday; police shot an 18-year-old protester (who survived) and more than 30 others were reported wounded. Protests have been ongoing since the summer.

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In 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule, the island of Hong Kong was returned to the mainland under the promise of “one country, two systems”—a plan to keep Hong Kong’s capitalist democracy intact.

Hong Kongers still enjoy a wealth of rights that mainlanders are not afforded—freedom of assembly, a free press, and a free judicial system—but recent encroachments by Beijing into Hong Kong’s independence have driven millions of the island’s residents into the streets.

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