Authorities at Harbour City in Hong Kong have failed to respond to three inquiries regarding what protective measures will be put in place after violent opposition protesters twice removed the Chinese national flag from the Five Flag Poles at the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and threw them in the Victoria Harbour.
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 and the national flag being desecrated. He also demanded Harbour City protect the flag poles and for the Home Affairs Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to provide assistance to protect the national flag.
After the group left, the Global Times approached the front desk of Harbour City and asked 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 in the future.
The staff member would only say that relevant authorities will answer the inquirer as soon as possible without giving a further explanation. No information has been received as of press time.
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 first national flag was removed and dumped into the sea, the Global Times sent an inquiry to Harbour City and was told that because it was the weekend, it may take five to seven working days for a response to be issued.
On Monday evening after another national flag was thrown in the water, Harbour City officials were contacted again and asked what protective measures were going to be put in place. This time the Global Times was told that a reply would be forthcoming at the start of the workday on Tuesday. No reply has yet been received.
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 37 billion HK dollars ($4.7 billion), a 24 per cent rise compared to a year earlier. The area accounts for 7.7 per cent of Hong Kong's entire retail sales.