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
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 0654 GMT (1454 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
The massive street rallies that have swept Hong Kong present a major dilemma for China's leadership.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 0707 GMT (1507 HKT)
Chinese wine drinkers need to develop a taste for the cheap stuff, not just premium red wines like Lafite.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0109 GMT (0909 HKT)
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
ADVERTISEMENT