When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

MING PAO, THE STANDARD (Hong Kong), LIBERTY TIMES (Taiwan), EPOCH TIMES (USA)

Worldcrunch

HONG KONG – Is Hong Kong nostalgic for British colonial times?

Hundreds of people turned up in front of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong earlier this week to mark China’s National Day.

They were waving red-white-and-blue colonial flags, a gesture meant to drum up support for more democracy in China, according to Liberty Times.

Recent protests in Hong Kong have been awash with the UnionFlag, especially the old colonial standard:)#BritishIsBesttwitter.com/GeorgeMorrall/…

— George Morrall (@GeorgeMorrall) October 3, 2012

This new trend has been observed in recent demonstrations, according to the Hong Kong Standard.

Ever since the 1997 handover of Hong Kong sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, the Civil Human Rights Front NGO has held an annual pro-democracy rally every July 1st. These past years, more and more protesters were carrying British colonial flags.

Colonial Hong Kong flag protest in front of the Liaison Office in Sai Wan. #hk#hkg#chinatwitter.com/Badcanto/statu…

— Badcanto Wordpress (@Badcanto) October 1, 2012

This year has seen more flags than ever, as discontent on the island has soared for a number of reasons: from collusion between business and governmental officials, a growing disparity between the rich and the poor, and human rights and democracy issues.

In recent months, a series of incidents including the mysterious death of Li Wangyang, a Chinese pro-democracy activist and the plan to impose “Chinese patriotic lessons” in Hong Kong’s schools sparked a number of demonstrations.

According to a survey conducted in May by the University of Hong Kong, the resentment towards the Hong Kong government as well as authorities in Beijing has soared to 36% and 32% respectively, the highest since 1997.

Clashes between Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong residents have also aggravated the Hong Kong-China relations. Rich Mainland Chinese flood into Hong Kong to invest in real estate, hiking up property prices to unbelievable heights. Pregnant women from Mainland China cross the border to give birth in Hong Kong’s hospitals, so that their children can obtain the special administration region’s passport. This has contributed to the intensification of resentment against the Chinese.

It’s doubtful that Hong Kong nationals are actually attached to British colonial times. They are just showing their dissatisfaction with Chinese rule. Still, some do explicitly state that they miss the “Good old days.”

Fifteen years after the handover of Hong Kong to China, says the Epoch Times, a US-based Chinese media, “If we lived a happier, freer and more dignified life today than before, would there be so many people cherishing the memory of British rule?!”

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Lockdowns: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest