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In photos: China celebrates its 70th as protests escalate

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China marked its National Day with a massive parade through the center of Beijing featuring missiles, tanks and thousands of marching troops, along with tributes to the country’s Communist Party leaders and the striking economic and social developments achieved since the People’s Republic was founded 70 years ago. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, thousands confronted police across the city, the largest number of simultaneous protests since the unrest began in early June over fears that the territory’s freedoms and citizen rights are being eroded.

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Members of a Chinese military honor guard march in Beijing, Oct. 1, 2019, during the celebration to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China. – AP Photo / Ng Han Guan

In Beijing, chief photographer Han Guan Ng orchestrated photo coverage of the parade with photographers Mark Schiefelbein and Andy Wong to document the mass celebration from various advantage points. The parade began early in the morning and continued late into the evening with fireworks over Tiananmen Square.

On the same day, police in Hong Kong shot an 18-year-old protester in the chest at close range, a dramatic escalation in violence as tens of thousands joined anti-government demonstrations across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Hong Kong photographers Vincent Yu and Kin Cheung, who have been covering the unrest since the beginning, were joined by Vincent Thian from Kuala Lumpur, Gemunu Amarasinghe from Bangkok, and Felipe Dana from Barcelona. They teamed up with their video colleagues, constantly feeding their descriptions and images to the desk for the text story.

Taking advantage of Asia photo desk’s wide range of time zones, Tokyo photo editors Toru Takahashi, Shuji Kajiyama and Masayo Yoshida began taking the early parade photos from Beijing while New Delhi photo editors Yirmiyan Arthur and Subramoney Iyer handled images coming from Hong Kong until the late evening while juggling the daily filing of news photos from the massive region.

As the protests started winding down in the early morning hours in Asia, the baton was passed to New York top stories photo editor Alyssa Goodman who put together the Hong Kong gallery for a strong visual presentation.

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