More than 140,000 people from all over the country gathered at Tian’anmen Square in the capital city before sunrise to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Some visitors even arrived as early as 8pm the night before at the city square, hoping to secure the best spot for the best photos.
An estimated 16 million people will be embarking on train travels around the country on October 1 alone, according to numbers released by China Railway.
Over the course of the week, 129 million people would have boarded a train somewhere in the country, the operator added. The national holiday is believed to be the country’s second-largest annual human migration after the Spring Festival.
China’s State Council held a reception at the Great Hall of the People on Sunday, hosted by Party and state leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang and attended by more than 1,200 Chinese and foreign guests.
Noting that this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the country’s reform and opening up policy initiated in 1978, Premier Li said China will firmly uphold rule-based multilateralism and promote opening-up on a higher level.
While safeguarding its own development interest, China will open wider to share development opportunities and progresses with other countries, according to Xinhua citing Li.
‘We will continue to uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and absolutely not tolerate any ‘Taiwan independence’ attempts and activities,’ said Li, while reiterating the policies of ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong and Macao, both special administrative regions.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam echoed Li’s statement in the city’s annual National Day reception today following a flag-raising ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.
As the city celebrates the public holiday, thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the Chinese government – an annual fixture over the past few years.
After the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, differences have deepened between Communist Party leaders in Beijing and a younger generation of democracy advocates in Hong Kong over the past two years.
Chanting ‘Hong Kong is not China’, pro-democracy protesters called for Hong Kong’s independence as they marched on government headquarters today, according to South China Morning Post.
A figure, in the shape of a hand with the colours of the Chinese national flag for fingernails and a ’23’ on its palm with reference to the controversial Article 23 law, is carried by protesters at one of the rallies.
Stating that Hong Kong should enact its own laws to ‘prohibit any acts of treason, secession, sedition, subversion’ against the Chinese government, the so-called ‘Article 23’ national security law is seen as a grave threat to the city’s autonomy.
Pro-democracy advocates were met with Beijing supporters, who were pictured smashing their iPhones in their protests against United States President Donald Trump amid the escalating trade war with China.