Dozens of Hong Kong celebrities with business ties in the mainland have publicly expressed their views on China’s sovereignty after an international tribunal ruled against its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Following the ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Tuesday, celebrities such as Wong Cho-lam, Leanne Li Yanan, William Chan Wai-ting, Yang Ying “Angelababy”, Donnie Yan Ji-dan and Hins Cheung defended China’s claim over the disputed waters by posting an image which reads “China can not lose even one bit of itself” on microblogging platform Weibo.

In clockwise order starting from top left corner: Donnie Yan Ji-dan, Leanne Li Yanan, William Chan Wai-ting, Hins Cheung, Wong Cho-lam and Yang Ying “Angelababy”. Photo: HKFP Remix.

The image, which originated from state newspaper People’s Daily, showed a map of China with the “nine-dash line” – a demarcation indicating Beijing’s claim over the South China Sea. The image also marks Taiwan and Hong Kong as territories under China’s sovereignty.

One version of the poster features a slogan that reads “China’s territorial sovereignty does not need to be arbitrated by other people.”

“This is our home country – not one bit of it can be lost,” said Wong in his Weibo post.

“Fight for every inch of [Chinese] soil, do not give up even one inch of it,” said Li on her microblogging account.

Actress Angelababy said on her Weibo account on Wednesday that she advocates peace but would not compromise on the subject of national sovereignty.

Hong Kong celebrities defended China’s claim over South China Sea on Weibo. Photo: Weibo Screenshot.

Other Hong Kong celebrities such as Jackie Chan and Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin received online criticism from Weibo users for posting pictures unrelated to the ruling, reported Stand News.

“If I love my country, do I have to say it all the time?” said Choi in response to commenters who claimed she was unpatriotic.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.