Skip to main content

Hong Kongers hold parody Communist rally to protest mainland influence

By Wilfred Chan, CNN
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0204 GMT (1004 HKT)
In a satirical "Communist rally" aimed at mainland Chinese shoppers, about 100 Hong Kongers marched through the city on Sunday wearing Maoist costumes, yelling "love your country, buy Chinese products!" In a satirical "Communist rally" aimed at mainland Chinese shoppers, about 100 Hong Kongers marched through the city on Sunday wearing Maoist costumes, yelling "love your country, buy Chinese products!"
HIDE CAPTION
Hong Kong's parody protest
Hong Kong's parody protest
Hong Kong's parody protest
Hong Kong's parody protest
Hong Kong's parody protest
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 100 Hong Kongers march through the city wearing satirical Maoist costumes
  • Protesters to mainland visitors: It's more 'patriotic' if you stay home
  • "We don't want Hong Kong to turn into another Chinese city," says protester

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Just call it the Fake Leap Forward.

In a satirical "Communist rally" aimed at mainland Chinese shoppers, about 100 Hong Kongers marched through the city on Sunday wearing Maoist costumes, yelling "love your country, buy Chinese products!"

Others held posters of Mao Zedong, branded with the mock-patriotic slogan "Chinese people should drink Chinese milk" -- a dig at the throngs of mainland shoppers who enter Hong Kong to buy its infant formula, which is viewed as safer than Chinese infant formula.

Filled with apparent glee, protesters mockingly bellowed the Chinese national anthem off-key, and thrust Mao's "Little Red Book" into the air.

Hong Kong shocked by journalist stabbing
Hong Kong journalists protest censorship
Thousands march for democracy in Hong Kong

At times, the "parody protest" became rowdy, with police wrestling several protesters to the ground as they attempted to break through police barriers.

VIDEO: Satrical communist rally in Hong Kong

"We're here to protect our freedom"

Protest organizers insisted the rally was meant in good fun.

"My goal with this rally was to show my patriotism," said organizer Barry Ma with a slight smirk. "You can figure out our meaning."

Other protesters were more direct.

"We're here to protect our laws and our freedom," said a man surnamed Kang, in his 40s. "We don't want Hong Kong to turn into another Chinese city."

READ MORE: Hong Kong journalists protest censorship, Beijing influence

Paladin Cheng, 31, said there were "cultural differences" between Hong Kongers and mainlanders.

"Mainlanders cut in line, spit on the streets. We Hong Kongers really can't accept that."

Yet there were signs that not everyone understood the protest. Though many onlookers were smiling or laughing, some pedestrians were confused, thinking that the protesters were actual Communist supporters.

"I thought they were real," gasped one onlooker to his companion.

Western tourists appeared the most bewildered.

We're here to protect our laws and our freedom. We don't want Hong Kong to turn into another Chinese city.
Kang, protester

"I have no idea what's going on," a British visitor told CNN, even as the marchers surrounded him.

Later, a few online commenters remarked that the protesters made Hong Kong look bad.

"They succeeded in nothing but making a mockery of themselves. One keeps wondering how low Hongkongers can go," wrote user "bolshoi" on the South China Morning Post.

Rising tensions

Tensions between mainland Chinese and Hong Kongers have steadily increased in recent years, as more Chinese nationals flood into the former British colony to buy everything from food items to apartment buildings.

READ MORE: Hong Kong protests take aim at 'locust' shoppers from mainland China

Last month, a group of protesters rallied in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, hurling racial slurs at mainlanders and scuffling with police.

Though only 7 million people live in Hong Kong, the city now hosts over 50 million visitors a year, largely from China -- a number that is set to double in the next decade, according to Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Gregory So.

But while some fear China's increasing presence, Hong Kong has also benefited from its mainland ties.

According to So, tourism makes up 4.5% of Hong Kong's economy, and has "contributed a lot in creating job opportunities."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
See CNN's complete coverage on China.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is Xi Jinping a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
July 4, 2014 -- Updated 0631 GMT (1431 HKT)
26-year-old Ji Cheng is the first rider from China to compete for competitive cycling's highest honor.
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
July 4, 2014 -- Updated 0414 GMT (1214 HKT)
Hong Kong's narrow streets were once a dazzling gallery of neon, where banks and even bordellos plied their trade under sizzling tubular signs.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
Three more officials have been given the chop as part of China's anti-corruption drive, including former aides to the retired security chief.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
As thousands of Hong Kongers prepare for an annual protest, voices in China's press warn pro-democracy activism is a bad idea.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 0437 GMT (1237 HKT)
Hong Kongers are demanding the right to directly elect their next leader, setting up a face-off with Beijing.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0656 GMT (1456 HKT)
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Along a winding Chinese mountain road dotted with inns and restaurants is Jinan Orphanage, a place of refuge and site for troubled parents to dump unwanted children.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0836 GMT (1636 HKT)
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout invites Isaac Mao, Han Dongfang, and James Miles to discuss the rise of civil society in China and social media's crucial role.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 0334 GMT (1134 HKT)
Chen Guangbiao wants rich people to give more to charity and he'll do anything to get their attention, including buying lunch for poor New Yorkers.
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Architects are planning to build the future world's tallest towers in China. They're going to come in pretty colors.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1147 GMT (1947 HKT)
Anna Coren visits Yulin's annual dog meat festival. Dogs are part of the daily diet here, with an estimated 10,000 dogs killed for the festival alone.
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 0638 GMT (1438 HKT)
People know little about sex, but are having plenty of it. We take a look at the ramifications of a lack of sex education in China.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 0812 GMT (1612 HKT)
Hong Kongers have reacted angrily to a Chinese government white paper affirming Beijing's control over the territory.
The emphasis on national glory -- rather than purely personal achievement -- is key.
June 16, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
A replica of the Effel Tower in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development located in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province.
What's the Eiffel Tower doing in China? Replica towns of the world's most famous monuments spring up all over China.
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Rapid development hasn't just boosted the economy -- it has opened up vast swathes of the country, says a man who has spent much of his life exploring it.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
The World Cup is apparently making a lot of people "ill" in China.
ADVERTISEMENT