As the Hong Kong team participated in the second leg of the Asian Rugby Seven Series with host South Korea on Sunday, the song linked to the 2019 violent protest ‘Glory to Hong Kong' echoed through the stadium walls in Seoul.
What Happened: Xi Jinping‘s government-controlled Hong Kong administration condemned and demanded a full investigation into the playing of the song rather than China's national anthem – "March of the Volunteers" – which has been played at international events since the city returned from British rule in 1997 to Beijing.
The Hong Kong liberation song, written by an anonymous composer, includes lyrics such as "Break now the dawn, liberate our Hong Kong; In common breath: Revolution of our times."
It is regarded as unlawful under Hong Kong's sedition law and the national security law, which was imposed at the end of the protest in 2020.
Hong Kong government spokesman said the administration, ordering an in-depth investigation, "strongly deplores and opposes the playing of a song closely associated with violent protests and the ‘independence' movement in 2019."
"The national anthem is a symbol of our country. The organizer of the tournament has a duty to ensure that the national anthem receives the respect it warranted," he added.
The tournament organizer blamed the blunder on "human error" by a junior employee.
The government also wrote to the Hong Kong Rugby Union and conveyed its strong objection to Asia Rugby, the governing body of the sport in Asia.
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