Sunday protests in Hong Kong (File photo)
Sunday protests in Hong Kong (File photo)

'Free Hong Kong!': Protestors chant in Mandarin to educate Chinese mainlanders about their plight

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2019 19:20 IST

Hong Kong, July 7 (ANI): Thousands of protesters marched through the streets here on Sunday in a bid to keep up the pressure on the Hong Kong government to withdraw a controversial extradition bill that has triggered series of mass rallies in recent weeks.
The protesters gathered in an enclave near the Tsim Sha Tsui mall, frequently visited by Chinese tourists and connected by a high-speed railway to the mainland, hoping to take their grievances against Beijing directly to its people, The Washington Post reported.
The crowd chanted "free Hong Kong" in Mandarin, the official language in China, rather than the Cantonese of Hong Kong, and handed out Hong Kong newspapers and posters advertising the upheaval in the city over the past weeks.
Some even used Apple's Airdrop service to share photos and demands with nearby Apple devices.
"Our idea is to spread messages to travelers and tourists, especially those from the mainland," said Yoanna, a 17-year-old student who declined to give her last name for fear of retribution.
"We know that mainlanders will support us, but maybe they can't get information on what is going on," she added.
News in China has been highly censored since massive student-led pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.
Chinese Internet users attempting to find information about the recent Hong Kong protests have found their queries blocked, and even songs that refer to events like Hong Kong's handover in 1997 have been removed from music streaming websites.
While the Chinese state media has published stories that show widespread support in Hong Kong for mainland China, which is often completely false.
The march on Sunday was the first to follow the storming and vandalising of Hong Kong's Legislative Council by protesters on the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's 1997 return to the Chinese rule, a move that drew strong condemnation from the Chinese and Hong Kong governments.
In a separate editorial, the state-run China Daily reiterated the principle of "one country, two systems" in Hong Kong -- a formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China -- saying the former British colony is an "inalienable" part of China, and that Hong Kong affairs concern the mainland.
The semi-autonomous state has been shaken by huge demonstrations against a controversial extradition bill which many fear could be used to deport political activists and dissidents to mainland China.
Protesters have claimed that Lam has not yet responded to their demands of entirely scrapping the bill despite multiple protests in recent weeks. (ANI)