09/23/2019, 13.03
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Protests continue in Hong Kong with vandalism and ‘blasphemy’ against the Chinese flag

by Paul Wang

A 13-year-old girl was arrested. Xinhua calls the show of contempt to the national flag an act of “blasphemy" towards the homeland and the people. Chinazi flags appear. Accusations are made that anti-China and pro-China protesters are paid. Fu Guohao, journalist with the Global Times, is awarded 100,000 yuan.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The 16th  weekend of protests by the anti-extradition movement saw once again invasions of shopping malls in Shatin, Kwai Fong, Sham Shui Po, West Kowloon, the hymn ‘Glory to a Hong Kong’ sung, acts of vandalism, the road to the airport blockaded, brick and Molotov cocktails thrown at police, fires and barricades in Tsing Yi and Mong Kok, not to mention the trampling a Chinese flag, which was smeared and thrown into a river.

For their part, the police have often clashed with the most radical members of the movement, making some arrests, like that of a 13-year-old girl and an old man from the group ‘Protect the children’. The latter includes parents who get involved in clashes trying to separate police and protesters and curb police violence.

In Shatin, protesters took down the Chinese flag from the town hall, dragged it into the New Town Plaza shopping mall and lined up to trample on it. Eventually, it was smeared and then thrown into the Shing Mun River.

In an article condemning the show of contempt towards the national flag, Xinhua called it an act of ‘blasphemy’ towards the homeland and the people.

Since protests broke out months ago, protesters have burnt or desecrated several Chinese flags. A law in Hong Kong criminalises insults to the Chinese flag with a fine of 50,000 HK dollars and three years in prison.

Protesters often display Chinese flags in which the stars are arranged like a swastika, and call it "Chinazi (Nazi China)" (picture 2).

Meanwhile, owners of stores, restaurants and shopping malls are increasingly criticising the vandalism of the radical elements of the movement, which is deeply affecting their business. According to some of them, violent groups are paid to destroy, but no one knows by whom.

On the other hand, members of the anti-extradition movement say that pro-China groups that dare take to the streets with Chinese flags receive up to 2,000 yuan; if they are injured in clashes with opponents, they receive 3,000 yuan.

A Global Times reporter, Fu Guohao, who was attacked by a group of anti-extradition protesters at Hong Kong airport (picture 3), received 100,000 yuan for his "performance".

Fu Guohao was hit and tied up because protesters thought he was a spy or an undercover cop. Wearing a T-shirt in support of Hong Kong police, he said he was a journalist, but refused to present his card and only had a tourist visa, not a work via.

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