The Lethal Song
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Hong Kong called for an investigation after a song associated with the mass protest movement that gripped the semiautonomous city three years ago was played before a rugby game instead of China’s national anthem, the New York Times reported.
The incident occurred earlier this week during a rugby tournament in Incheon, South Korea, which had Hong Kong players competing against the South Korean team. Match organizers were supposed to have played the national anthems of both teams’ countries before the game began.
Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory, shares China’s national anthem, “March of the Volunteers.” But instead, the protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” blared through stadium speakers.
Asia Rugby and the Korea Rugby Union apologized to the governments of Hong Kong and China, saying that incident was a result of “simple human error.”
The Hong Kong Rugby Union addressed the issue and the Chinese anthem was played after Hong Kong won the match.
“Glory to Hong Kong” was composed by a Hong Kong musician – who has remained anonymous – during the pro-democracy movement that paralyzed the city in 2019.
It became the unofficial anthem of the protests and was played live by bands and orchestras during demonstrations.
However, the song disappeared from public events after China passed a controversial national security law in 2020.
The song was banned from schools that year and school administrators were charged with preventing children from playing or singing it.
That year, Hong Kong also approved legislation that made it illegal to disrespect the Chinese anthem and flag. Previously, when the Chinese anthem was sung at sporting events in the city, spectators occasionally booed, turned their backs, or made rude gestures.