Democrat blasts liaison office over moves to introduce PLA march

Friday, February 09, 2018

Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui has accused the central government of trying to change Hong Kong's culture by putting pressure on uniformed youth groups to switch the way their members march during flag-raising ceremonies, from British style to Chinese.

Sources from several groups told RTHK that Beijing's liaison office did bring up the matter with them at a recent meeting, but they were not being forced to adopt the suggestion.

The Ming Pao newspaper earlier reported that some of the 14 uniformed groups in the city felt the liaison office was attempting to "decolonise them" in preparation for a ceremony at Golden Bauhinia Square next year to mark the 100th anniversary of China's May the Fourth Movement.

All but one of the groups currently adopt a British style of marching, where the arms and feet are moved in a different manner to the style used by mainland troops. 

Hui said in light of the meeting, the Home Affairs Bureau needs to clarify the liaison office's role in the city.

"The Basic Law says very clearly that the Chinese government and the departments under the central government shouldn't be influencing or interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs. And uniformed organisations' marching style is part of Hong Kong's affairs," Hui said.

"It's not foreign affairs, it's not military, and I don't think the Chinese government should have any position on this. Why is it trying to change our culture? Even if it is a British culture we inherited, it's part of Hong Kong's culture."-RTHK