HK shopping mall increases security after national flag incidents

By Fu Guohao and Chen Qingqing in Hong Kong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/6 13:28:40 Last Updated: 2019/8/6 15:39:57

Chinese national flag raised at the Victoria Harbor on Monday night Photo: Yang Sheng/GT

 A spokesperson for Harbour City, a shopping mall at the Tsim Sha Tsui Pier in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which failed to protect effectively the Chinese national flag from being thrown in the sea twice, told the Global Times on Tuesday that it will increase security. 

"Violence is not the solution, and the national flag must be respected as it represents the dignity of the country," said the spokesperson.

On Tuesday night, the Global Times reporter saw security guards patrolling around the poles.

The Global Times previously sent Harbour City three inquiries regarding what protective measures will be put in place after violent protesters removed the national flag from the pole at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and threw it into the sea. 

On Tuesday morning, some patriotic Hong Kong residents spontaneously came to the flag poles and launched the "Safeguard National Flag" campaign. 

One of them, Raymond Lam, called on the Hong Kong public to help prevent such acts of vandalism if they see the national emblem or the national flag being desecrated. He also demanded Harbour City protect the flag poles and the Home Affairs Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to provide assistance to protect the national flag.

Harbour City's response came after the Global Times inquiry of  why the desecration of national flag has been allowed to take place at the Star Ferry Pier and what precautions it will take to prevent the reprehensible acts from happening again. 

The Five Flag Poles at Harbour City is one of the most famous scenic spots at the Tsim Sha Tsui pier. On Tuesday morning, the Global Times reporter saw large crowds passing by on their way to work or to go shopping. No guardrails have been put in place around the poles and no staff was on duty at the site of the flag poles.

On Saturday after the national flag was removed and dumped into the sea for the first time, the Global Times sent an inquiry to Harbour City and was told that because it was the weekend, it may take five to seven workdays for a response to be issued.

On Monday evening after the national flag was thrown in the water for the second time, Harbour City officials were contacted again. This time the Global Times was told that a reply would be forthcoming at the start of the workday on Tuesday. 

The harbour front shopping area, the flagship property of the Wharf Group, is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese mainland visitors. Its retail volume last year reached HK$37 billion ($4.7 billion), a 24 percent rise compared to a year earlier. The area accounts for 7.7 percent of Hong Kong's entire retail sales.


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