The escalations came at a symbolic time in China. Tuesday marks 70 years since the Chinese Communist Party under 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.
A Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman, Maj. Gen. Cai Zhijun, said last week, according to the AP, that the parade would comprise 15,000 troops, 580 pieces of military equipment, and more than 160 fighter aircraft.
At the parade, China after weeks of speculation unveiled the Dongfeng 41 missile, believed to be the world’s longest intercontinental weapon and capable of striking targets 9,320 miles away.
In a post on Facebook on Saturday, the Hong Kong edition of the Chinese state newspaper China Daily said that Hong Kong “anti-government fanatics” were “baying for blood” ahead of the celebrations.
Protesters on Tuesday marched 2 1/2 miles from Causeway Bay to Central, Bloomberg reported. Figo Chan, a leader in the Civil Human Rights Front organizing group, said that more than 100,000 people marched.
The Hong Kong Police Force on Monday said protests planned in the city were expected to be “very, very dangerous” and claimed that hardliners had called on people to kill police and set fire to gas stations. As Business Insider’s Rosie Perper reported, the police’s chief superintendent, John Tse Chun-Chung, gave no evidence to substantiate the claims.