09/18/2019, 13.52
HONG KONG - CHINA
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No fireworks on National Day, Oct. 1st, no race night at Happy Valley racecourse

by Bernardo Cervellera

The government fears that there could be tensions and incidents due to the growing anti-China sentiment. Planned protests of the anti-extradition movement at the race track aimed at Junius Ho, who congratulated members the of Yuan Long triads for beating up young demonstrators and passers-by.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Hong Kong government announced this morning that there will be no fireworks show on the evening of October 1st to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the People's Republic of China.

In a brief statement the government explained that the decision was taken "in view of the latest situation and having regard to public safety".

Fireworks on October 1st have become a tradition since 1997, when Hong Kong returned to China (photo n. 1). The show, which takes place in Victoria Harbour, attracts hundreds of thousands of people.

The government fears that tensions linked to the anti-extradition protests could lead to incidents.

Moreover, young demonstrators show a growing anti-China attitude, accusing China of dictatorship and Nazism (photo n. 2) in its attempt to stifle the territory’s desire for freedom and democracy.

The cancelled show in Hong Kong might be a setback for Beijing, where President Xi Jinping is preparing to preside over huge celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

For months, thousands of extras and soldiers have been rehearsing, day and night, for October 1st parade.

This is not the first time that fireworks have been cancelled in Hong Kong. It happened in 2014, during the Occupy Central sit-ins, and in 2013 following the Lamma ferry incident in which 38 people died.

Today, the Hong Kong Jockey Club announced the cancellation of all races scheduled tonight, again for security reasons. In recent days, calls have been made for protests at the Happy Valley racecourse.

Tonight, a horse, Hong Kong Bet, owned by pro-China lawmaker Junius Ho, was to compete. Ho was recently accused of collusion with local mafias involved in beating demonstrators and passers-by in Yuen Long on July 21 (photo n. 3).

Junius Ho also sought to have students who protest in schools against the extradition law and for democracy charged and punished.

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