Hong Kong protesters clash with police in shopping centre during Christmas Eve demonstrations

Hong Kong protesters have stormed a shopping centre as part of a Christmas Eve demonstration against their government.

It comes as police officers were filmed on Tuesday hitting protesters with batons as others pushed bystanders back.

Police also deployed water cannon and fired tear gas on nearby streets to block and disperse the protesters.

The anti-government demonstrators had lit fires and setup makeshift barriers to try and keep police vehicles away from large crowds in Kowloon's Tsim Sha Tsui.

Police guide tourists across the road as they prepare for action against protesters during a rally on Christmas Eve in Hong Kong. Credit: AP

Despite the efforts by the protesters, a police water cannon ploughed through the barrier and sprayed liquid on the protesters.

The demonstrations escalated over proposed extradition legislation and then developed rapidly into a sustained anti-government movement pushing for full democracy and other demands have burned through police manpower.

Police have arrested more than 6,000 people since the protests erupted in June, including a large number during a violent siege at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in mid-November.