HK patriots come to the fore
All Chinese are national flag bearers, say web users
A video featuring patriotic people raising the Chinese national flag and singing the national anthem at Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor early Sunday morning, which was recorded by a Global Times reporter, has become a hit on China’s social media, with the topic “Hongkongers raise the national flag again” receiving 430 million views and prompting 99,000 comments as of press time.
Another topic with the hashtag “the Chinese flag has 1.4 billion bearers” also generated hot discussions and was viewed by 680 million times, a clear rebuke of some foreign media reports mocking the low number of patriotic people who showed up at the scene on early Sunday morning.
The scene happened after some protesters in Hong Kong on Saturday pulled down the national flag from its pole and tossed it into the harbor in a move clearly aimed at tarnishing the nation’s dignity.
On Sunday, both the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR strongly criticized the act of insulting the national flag.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government condemned the protesters right away for desecrating the national flag and challenging national sovereignty.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chunying strongly condemned the move and offered HK$1 million ($128,000) to anyone who can provide police with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who threw the national flag into the sea.
According to the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, “A person who desecrates the national flag or national emblem by publicly and willfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it commits an offence and is liable for a conviction to a fine of level 5 and to three years’ imprisonment.”
Anna Chan, a patriotic activist who organized the flag-raising ceremony on Sunday morning, told the Global Times that she got very angry when seeing demonstrators throwing the national flag into the sea.
“Such behavior really hurts our feelings. We’re Hong Kong residents and we are all Chinese. Protecting our flag and national emblem is always our responsibility,” Chung Wah sun, a resident from Yuen Long told the Global Times.
When patriotic Hong Kong residents sang the national anthem during the flag raising, dozens of passengers stood around the venue to witness the moment.
Hong Kong once again was plunged into chaos on Saturday as thousands of demonstrators, for a ninth consecutive weekend, occupied a major downtown shopping district. There were more skirmishes between protesters and local police.
The months-long demonstrations organized by opposition forces have turned the protests into a secessionist campaign, said observers.
Ng Hok Ming, executive chairman of the Guangdong-hong Kong-macau Greater Bay Area Youth Association, told the Global Times at the scene on Sunday, that the protesters’ actions “have triggered our fury and we feel we must do something.” Ng emphasized that the extreme actions of some should not affect the whole image of China, including Hong Kong.
“The Chinese national flag is my pride,” another post on social media, is being followed by 44 million users.