Hong Kong furious as protest song replaces Chinese national anthem during match | political news

‘Glory to Hong Kong’, adopted during the 2019 mass protests, is almost banned on Chinese territory.

The Hong Kong government has condemned the organizers of a rugby tournament in South Korea after a pro-democracy protest song was played instead of the Chinese national anthem before the territory’s team played a match.

Video shared on social video showed the players looking perplexed as the song, Glory to Hong Kong, was played ahead of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series final instead of the Chinese national anthem.

The Hong Kong government “deeply regrets and opposes the playing of a song closely related to violent protests and the ‘independence movement’ as the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China,” the government said in a statement.

“The national anthem is a symbol of our country. The organizer of the tournament has a duty to ensure that the national anthem gets the respect it deserves,” a government spokesman said.

Written by an anonymous composer, Glory to Hong Kong became an anthem for the pro-democracy movement during protests in 2019, which drew huge crowds but grew increasingly violent as the months went by.

The organizers of the tournament in Incheon, South Korea, apologized and played the Chinese national anthem after the game, which was won by the Hong Kong team.

Hong Kong authorities said they had instructed the city’s rugby union to investigate and express their “serious objection” to tournament organizer Asia Rugby.

In a separate statement, the Hong Kong Rugby Union expressed its “extreme dissatisfaction” with what had happened.

The organization’s preliminary investigation found that the Chinese national anthem had been given to the organizers by the team’s coach, and the protest song had been played by mistake.

“While we accept that this was a case of human error, it was still unacceptable,” the HKRU said.

The Chinese national anthem, March of the Volunteers, is played at international events in which Hong Kong has participated since the British returned the area to China in 1997.

Playing glory for Hong Kong on the territory is now virtually illegal after Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong that human rights groups say has “decimated” dissent. It is also considered illegal under Hong Kong’s sedition law, according to the South China Morning Post.

In September, a harmonica player was arrested playing the tune to a crowd commemorating Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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