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"I feel the pride of being a Chinese everywhere, the five starred red flag is respected worldwide...Hong Kong is my birthplace and my hometown. China is my country. I love my country, I love my hometown.”
Martial arts star Jackie Chan, a Hong Kong native, has vowed to defend China’s national flag against opposition protesters. His recent declaration on social media site Weibo, and during a TV interview on Tuesday, has become a trending topic on social media in the mainland.
Jackie Chan says he spoke out due to an incident in early August, whereby Hong Kong protesters in Victoria Habour ripped down the Chinese flag and threw it into the sea. In response, Chinese state media outlet CCTV organized a campaign on social media app Weibo, called ‘The Five-Star red flag has 1.4 billion guards’, in reference to the size of the country’s population.
Chan has endorsed the campaign saying to CCTV “I want to express the most basic patriotic emotion as a Hong Kong community member, as a Chinese and as a national flag guard.”
He hit out at opposition protesters who reject their Chinese identity, saying “I’ve visited many countries while our country was rapidly developing in recent years, I feel the pride of being a Chinese everywhere, the five starred red flag is respected worldwide...Hong Kong is my birthplace and my hometown. China is my country. I love my country, I love my hometown.”
Appealing for peace in Hong Kong he pleaded “safety, stability and peace are like fresh air. You never know how precious it is until you lose it...I really hope Hong Kong can return to peace soon.”
Opposition protests are raging in Hong Kong, protesters reject their local authorities who they say are too close to Beijing. On Tuesday, the protesters occupied Hong Kong’s International Airport, U.S. flags were flown inside the building by demonstrators.
Anti-Chinese sentiment has also been prominent among Hong Kong protesters. At the occupation on Tuesday, a masked group attacked a Chinese journalist working for the Global Times. The reporter Fu Guohao was tied up, beaten and had lasers pointed into his eyes, before being taken away in an ambulance.