Hong Kong police investigate people jeering the Chinese national anthem at screening of gold medal ceremony

Hong Kong police investigate people jeering the Chinese national anthem at screening of gold medal ceremony
·2 min read
Hong Kong crowd boos China national anthem olympic medal ceremony mall
A screengrab showing a crowd jeering as the Chinese national anthem plays while Hong Kong fencer Edgar Cheung is awarding a gold medal in fencing. Asahi Shimbun Company/YouTube
  • People in a Hong Kong mall booed the Chinese national anthem in an Olympics live broadcast.

  • They were watching local fencer Edgar Cheung claim the city's second-ever gold medal.

  • Police are investigating; last year it was made illegal to disrespect the anthem in Hong Kong.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

As Hong Kong fencer Edgar Cheung stepped onto the podium to receive his Olympic gold medal, hundreds of people at a mall in his home city roared with applause as they watched on big screens.

Cheung was claiming Hong Kong's second-ever gold medal, and its first since 1996. The event on Monday drew a huge crowd to the APM Mall in the city's Kwan Tung district.

Then the Chinese national anthem played - even though Hong Kong competes at the Olympics under its own flag, the mainland Chinese anthem is played at medal ceremonies.

In response, people in the crowd started jeering, as seen in this video published by Japan's Asahi newspaper:

"We are Hong Kong! We are Hong Kong!" they chanted soon afterward.

The scene prompted several complaints to police, per local media, which said there were "activists" among the crowd who held flags with pro-independence slogans.

The Hong Kong police told Reuters it was investigating the incident.

The city passed a law in June 2020 making it illegal to insult or disrespect the Chinese anthem, "March of the Volunteers." Perpetrators can be jailed up to three years or fined.

The law was part of a wider push to assert China's hold on the territory, which was a British colony until 1997.

New legislation cracking down on dissent has implemented harsh new penalties, and prompted many opposition figures to give up or to flee.

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