November 23, 2022
HONG KONG – Hong Kong police are investigating three cases of a separatism-related song being presented as the Chinese national anthem at three overseas rugby matches of a Hong Kong team.
In a written reply to China Daily, police said they had taken statements from some members of the Hong Kong Rugby Union on Monday, and picked up related communication records of the union.
Officers from the Hong Kong Police Force’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau were investigating whether there were any breaches of the National Anthem Ordinance, the National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, or any other city laws.
The police stressed that they are highly concerned about the three incidents and are launching a full-scale investigation into them
The police stressed that they are highly concerned about the three incidents and are launching a full-scale investigation into them.
On Nov 13, a song associated with the 2019 social unrest and separatism was played as the Chinese national anthem before the men’s final between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and South Korea in the second leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series in Incheon, South Korea.
Two previous similar incidents have since surfaced. Online video clips posted on a popular sports streaming channel of two Rugby World Cup qualifier matches, one against Portugal in Dubai on Nov 6 and another on July 23 against Tonga, labeled on screen the Chinese national anthem, Yiyongjun Jinxingqu (March of the Volunteers), not by its correct name, but with the name of the separatism-related song.
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said in Bangkok on Saturday that he is “very dissatisfied” with the blunders. It also led to outcries from Hong Kong communities, with many demanding a thorough investigation into the incidents.