Hong Kong Police Updates
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The future of the Hong Kong Olympics as a separate entity from that of mainland China is secure, said Timothy Fok, head of the Games in the region, despite political tensions over his team’s historic achievements last week. brought light.
Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Haughey won a second silver medal in Tokyo on Friday, confirming the Games as the most successful city ever. Screener Cheung Ka-long has won the city’s first gold medal since his 1997 handover from the UK in the foil event.
But the euphoria over their victories quickly became politicized when crowds in the area celebrating Cheung’s gold shouted “We are Hong Kong” over the Chinese national anthem, which was played when he accepted his medal on the podium in Tokyo this week. .
Police launched an investigation and said on Friday that they had arrested a 40-year-old man, who also waved the flag from the colonial era on Hong Kong, for insulting the national anthem.
The display of resistance was a strong reminder of a strong persistent flood of discontent in the Asian financial center, despite Beijing’s reluctance to protest against the government in 2019.
China imposed a strict new security law on Hong Kong last year, with the first person convicted under the legislation, a former waiter who drove a car in a police line last year, nine years in prison on Friday.
But Fok, president of the Hong Kong National Olympic Committee, said he had encouraged athletes to ignore the controversy. There was an understanding in China that Hong Kong had a “separate identity” on the mainland and that there were no plans to integrate the city’s team with that of the larger neighboring country, he said.
“They have [1bn] people, we only have 7m. I am very proud of this new encouragement and success. Sport will be a very important part of the development of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong authorities would like to point out that the collapse did not affect the viability of the city. Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam said last week that arts and culture in the city were “celebrating high tide” and that there was no weakening of people’s freedoms.
The city was promised a high degree of autonomy and freedom of expression after 1997. This autonomy is symbolized by Hong Kong’s right to have its own Olympic Teams, although it was also agreed that China’s national anthem during medal ceremonies for athletes will be played in the area. .
Shushu Chen, a lecturer in sports policy at the University of Birmingham, said the continent had shown significant support for elite sports development in Hong Kong
“I do not think the Chinese government will advocate in the future Olympics that athletes in Hong Kong be integrated under the main flag of the People’s Republic of China,” she said. ‘It will lose Hong Kong’s sense of identity. . . I do not think that is what the Chinese government is trying to do. ”
Tam Yiu-chung, the only Hong Kong delegate to the Permanent Committee of the National People’s Congress, the permanent body of the Chinese parliament, said any change was unlikely under “one country, two systems”, the Chinese government policy that independence of Hong Kong from mainland control since the handover.
Hong Kong’s only other gold medalist, surfer Lee Lai-shan, accepted her medal during the 1996 Games in Atlanta under the British colonial flag of Hong Kong while playing ‘God Save The Queen’.
Cheung, whose parents were both Chinese basketball players in the national league, is a cat lover who regularly posts photos of his family’s American shorthair Zimba. “It means a lot to show the world that we can do it,” he said. “We are not just a city. We can fight for victory. ”
Although Cheung made no political comments after his victory, pro-democracy groups were quick to seize victory. During the protests in 2019, protesters against the government sang their own national anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” in shopping malls. After Cheung’s ceremony, netizens replaced the song with the Chinese national anthem in viral videos showing Cheung on stage in Tokyo.
The pro-Beijing camp in Hong Kong also caused controversy when a lawmaker Nicholas Muk criticized one of the best badminton players in the area for wearing a black T-shirt – a color the protesters preferred in 2019 – without to display the Hong Kong flag.
After Muk accused him of supporting the pro-democracy movement, the player, Angus Ng Ka-Long, wore another shirt to try to calm things down, as he was also attacked by Chinese netizens.
Even though he was the eighth seeded in the men’s singles competition, Ng was beaten by Guatemalan commuter Kevin Cordon, who was in 59th place, and many fans blamed Muk for distracting Ng’s attention.
‘It’s probably not true that there was no impact. I tried hard to calm down and want to focus on the competition, “said Ng after losing. “But how can I completely forget it?”