Two satirical banners containing early quotes from former Chinese leader Mao Zedong calling for democracy have been damaged. The banners had been displayed outside the central government’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong for two months.

The banners stated: “Abolish the one-party dictatorship” and “Introduce democratic government” – as quoted from Mao’s article Order and Statement on the Southern Anhwei Incident, which was published on January 20, 1941. They face the back door of the building in the Sai Wan district.

The words “one-party” were cut out from one banner, making it read “Abolish dictatorship,” whilst the term “democracy” on the other banner was slashed.

Sam Yip Liaison Office Mao Zedong banners
Photo: Sam Yip.

The banners were put up by pro-democracy activist Sam Yip using banner space allocated to lawmaker Au Nok-hin. Yip is a community officer at Au’s Central and Western district office.

Yip had said that they wished to remind the Liaison Office that Mao also suggested abolishing one-party dictatorship and introducing democratic government.

Yip told HKFP that it was rare for pro-democracy camp banners to stay intact for two months, since other banners were often cut up very quickly.

“It represents serious damage to the road to a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced country – guided by Mao Zedong Thought – as stated in the Chinese Communist Party’s Constitution,” Yip joked.

Mao banners
The original banners. Photo: Facebook.

Yip said the police have launched an investigation into the criminal damage. He said on Friday that he would give a statement to the police.

The maximum punishment for criminal damage is ten years behind bars.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.