Chinese patriots in Hong Kong turned the city into a sea of red on Friday, as they unveiled a huge national flag to mark 72 years since the People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949.
Members of pro-Beijing group Chinese Hearts unfurled a large Chinese flag at the piazza outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, blanketing the outdoor staircase adjacent to the Victoria Harbour. They brought a banner that read: “Warmly celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.”
Surrounding the gigantic five-starred flag were volunteers of the group who wore bright red face masks with the words “Chinese dream” printed on them, as they waved smaller versions of the national flag in high spirits.
Founded in February last year, Chinese Hearts has held similar flag displays before to hail the imposition of the Beijing-enacted national security law, as well as in celebration of Hong Kong’s Handover to China.
The National Day festivities included brief performances, with dancers dressed in a pink and white traditional Chinese costume moving rhythmically to a slow Mandarin song.
It comes after police thwarted a four-person pro-democracy protest in Wan Chai as top officials marked National Day at a ceremony.
members of the pro-democracy party League of Social Democrats — including veterans Chan Po-ying and Tsang Kin-shing — marched from Hennessy Road towards the convention centre surrounded by several dozen police officers.
The group called for the release of political prisoners in Hong Kong, including the 47 democrats charged under the national security law in connection with the democrats’ unofficial primary election last July. They also called for democracy in China.
“The second article of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China states that the PRC’s power belongs to the people,” one of their signs read.
Star Ferry Pier
Back over at the Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, another group of flag-waving patriots were seen parading their national pride. A man wearing a red t-shirt with five yellow stars put his thumbs up, while at least seven Chinese flags fluttered in the wind.
Some people were seen taking a selfie with a billboard featuring Cantopop singer Anson Lo from the popular boy band Mirror, that has taken the city by storm, while holding Chinese flags in their hands.
Friday marked the second Chinese National Day since the controversial security legislation was imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing in June 2020.
Thousands of police were deployed around the city, with many wearing protective vests while patrolling after an officer was stabbed and seriously injured on the city’s handover anniversary in July.
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