China has been celebrating its victory over Japan in the Second World War with unprecedented solemnity, in a grand ceremony led by its president, prime minister and the five other members of the all-powerful Politburo.
Tense relations between the countries have triggered a rise in nationalism in both, with Beijing decreeing earlier this year that September 3 would henceforth be a day of national commemoration.
State TV showed President Xi Jinping and hundreds of other Chinese citizens paying tribute in the capital at what is known as the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
Doves and balloons were released at the event which was also intended to show China’s desire for world peace.
In Hong Kong however demonstrators scuffled with police outside a venue where the anniversary was being observed.
Protesters have taken to the streets since Beijing ruled out a fully-democratic election of the next leader of the former British colony which returned to China in 1997 with the promise of freedoms and autonomy not permitted on the mainland.