People from all walks of life in Hong Kong have expressed their indignation over the act by some radicals of flinging the Chinese national flag into the sea.
They strongly condemned the act as a flagrant trampling on the national dignity and the principle of “one country, two systems,” calling on the Hong Kong government to hold the perpetrators accountable.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong also strongly condemned the illegal act yesterday.
A video posted online Saturday showed some black-clad radicals scaling a flagpole near Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor, and removing from it the Chinese national flag, while some accomplices used umbrellas to keep the whole act from public view.
With playful laughter, they later flung the flag into the water, according to Hong Kong media.
More than 100 Hong Kong residents, however, gathered spontaneously early yesterday morning at a pier in Harbor City for a Chinese national flag-raising ceremony in a show of support for national unity.
Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, issued three posts on social media to express his “strongest condemnation” of the act.
He also offered a reward of HK$1 million (US$128,000) for those who offer useful information leading to the capture of whoever committed the crime.
Chan Man-ki, founding president of the Small and Medium Law Firms Association of Hong Kong, said the act is punishable by fines and a jail term of three years.
Chan said from storming and vandalizing the Legislative Council building, storming the institution of the Central Government in Hong Kong and defacing the Chinese national emblem, to throwing the national flag into the sea, some radicals have been escalating their behaviors in an attempt to abuse the principle of “one country, two systems” and trample on the national dignity.
Noting that the misdeed of the perpetrators is an outrage and has crossed the bottom line, a statement by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions denounced the “wirepullers” for inciting young people to undermine Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
The New People’s Party also slammed the act as being “lawless” and “an insult and challenge to State sovereignty.”
On Saturday, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents gathered at a park to express their strong opposition to violence and firm support to the police force. At the rally at Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island, many residents wore white T-shirts with slogans like “safeguard the rule of law” and “protect our home,” and held placards that read “I love Hong Kong. Hong Kong is my home.”
Organizers said 90,000 people took part in the event.
Also on Saturday, hundreds of Hong Kong residents gathered outside the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong to protest against the U.S. interference in Hong Kong affairs.