A small group of government supporters had earlier gathered in Tsim Sha Tsui to raise the flag again following the incident during Saturday's protest.Both the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) and the central government's liaison office in the city strongly condemned the targeting of the national flag.
A spokesperson for the HKMAO said the act seriously violated the law, flagrantly offended national dignity and trampled on the "one country, two systems" principle.It also reiterated Beijing's backing for the police, but unlike previous statements it did not express support for the city's government and chief executive.
The liaison office said the act was "another public provocation against the dignity of the country" - referring to an incident on July 21 when protesters vandalised the national emblem outside the office in Sai Ying Pun.The Hong Kong government also issued a statement condemning the protesters' actions and said those who broke the law would face legal action.
The flag was thrown into the harbour on Saturday afternoon during a ninth consecutive weekend of protests triggered by the now-shelved extradition bill.Leung Chun-ying, the former chief executive of Hong Kong, offered a reward of HK million (S5,494) for anyone who could help police arrest those responsible for the incident.
"The five-starred red flag over Hong Kong symbolises the end of a humiliating era after the opium war, it represents 1.4 billion Chinese people's mutual wish for the return of Hong Kong, as well as the first step to a peaceful unification and the Chinese people's unyielding spirit," he wrote.
"The rioters who threw the flag into the sea … you will be sorry."It is against the law to burn or desecrate the Chinese or Hong Kong flags.On Saturday night a small group of government supporters in Hong Kong gathered at the harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui to raise the national flag again.
The ceremony, involving around a dozen people, was led by Chan Ching-sum, the convenor of Caring Hong Kong Power, a pro-government group founded in 2011.On Sunday morning Leo Chan Manwell, a Tuen Mun district councillor and member of the Federation of Trade Unions, also showed up at the scene to sing the Chinese national anthem under the raised flag with a group of supporters.
A commentary published on Sunday by state news agency Xinhua said the protesters who threw the flag into the harbour had "publicly trampled on national dignity".It described their actions as "an insult to all Chinese people, including Hongkongers, and is an unforgivable crime that needs to be severely punished".In an editorial on Sunday, the Global Times, a tabloid associated with the Communist Party's mouthpiece People's Daily, called for "radicals" to be arrested.
"Since they have committed multiple crimes including assaulting police, property damage and arson, Hong Kong police are within their rights to make arrests," the article said."Even when they cannot make on-site arrests, police can gather evidence and track down the suspects. It may be a lengthy process to bring the thugs to justice but making on-site arrests will be a good deterrent. Police authority will also be restored."
State broadcaster CCTV joined the condemnation of the protesters with a commentary in its prime time news bulletin Xinwen Lianbo, saying that colour revolutions "from the Middle East to North Africa ... have only brought destruction and chaos".Top Searches - Trending Searches - New Articles - Top Articles - Trending Articles - Featured Articles - Top Members
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