A banner saying “HK IS NOT CHINA” has appeared at the University of Hong Kong less than a week after the same banner at City University was torn down by a mainland student.

The message was posted on the “democracy wall” outside a library on the HKU campus in Pokfulam.

Photo: Anonymous reader.

Signs spelling “Hong Kong is not China” were also held up by football fans during a World Cup qualifier clash between the two sides last week. Fans watching the game at the stadium as well as in more than a dozen off-pitch venues also chanted “We are Hong Kong.”

The messages reflect many Hongkongers’ wish to differentiate themselves from their compatriots in mainland China and proclaim their own identity, amid rising dissatisfaction with Beijing’s rule.

Hong Kong fans. Photo: Apple Daily.

It is not clear who posted the message at HKU.

Last Thursday, a mainland exchange student at City University was filmed altering a banner saying “Hong Kong is not China” to “Hong Kong just a part of China of course.” She broke into tears after having an argument with students who filmed her. The incident stirred a debate about freedom of speech on social media.

【城大即時】本候選內閣記者拍攝到,有數名操普通話的人士,在民主牆上釘上「HONG KONG BELONGS TO CHINA.」。張貼者在標語上寫上的學生證編號為53049896。

Posted by 第三十一屆香港城市大學學生會編輯委員會候選內閣1號烽凌 Crescendo on Friday, November 20, 2015

The next day, a group of mainland students posted a banner saying “Hong Kong belongs to China” on the same wall at City University.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.