Cartoons mocking Hong Kong police lead to political reaction


Public controversy recently erupted when a Hong Kong secondary school student was suspended for three days after being accused of disrespecting a flag-raising ceremony. Political cartoonist Huang Guan (pen name Takako) has been serializing political cartoons for the Hong Kong Mingbo Daily for over 40 years. He portrayed police officers in riot gear in his caricatures, unsettling police and garnering comments from pro-communist politicians and lawmakers. How did the campus controversy turn into a political controversy?

People accused school officials of punishing students for minor offenses.

Pupils from the secondary school involved told the Epoch Times on October 10 that the school had suspended 14 students for three days for “ignoring the flag-raising ceremony.” Some students were dissatisfied with the school’s action due to insufficient evidence.

The school’s vice-principal said it would likely violate national security laws if “this incident happened anywhere outside”. Students criticized the announcement that they had violated the National Security Law. rice field.

Some parents felt the school’s approach was too strict and were fed up with the behavior.

Zunzi, famous for its satirical political cartoons, posted a cartoon on Ming Pao on October 11th. It depicts a police officer in riot gear arriving at the scene and questioning the principal about the situation. “Some students in class 6A said foul language, some students in class 5C lost their erasers, some students in class 3D found laser pens in their school bags, and some students in class 2A Rebutted a teacher who was allegedly intimidating…” The cartoon continued. Ming Ho’s website until October 12th.

Police contact Ming Pao

Hong Kong Police (Public Relations) Assistant Chan Tung sent a letter to Ming Pao editor-in-chief Lam Chun Yong on October 11, expressing strong concerns about the content of “Zunzi Comics.” In the letter, Zhang pointed out that the caricatures could lead readers to a report on the “Tsuen Wan St. Francis Xavier School Incident,” which Ming Pao reported on the same day, and that the school had called the police. emphasized. A school gate was vandalized, and police classified the incident as criminal damages. The letter also stated that the cartoon had led readers to mistakenly believe that the police would deploy riot police when schools called for help, thus “pressuring and harming principals, teachers and students.” It is said that it will bring about the wrong perception that there is even something. “tarnishes the image of the police” and “undermines police-community cooperation and crime-fighting effectiveness.”

Zunzi said on October 12 that he believed the caricatures were not directed at the police and that schools should strive to consistently guide and guide their students and not handle cases roughly. rice field. Everyday cartoons, like other comments, are just artists making general comments and observations about social conventions.

The editorial department of Ming Pao said it received a letter from the police, thanked them for their input, and provided readers with accurate and reliable news content in a professional manner, and supported columnists in providing professional work. .

Pro-communist politicians vie for loyalty

But after the incident subsided, some pro-communist politicians quickly pointed the finger at Zzunj and even the students. Leung Chun-ying, a former mayor and deputy chairman of the Communist Party (CCP) rubber stamp assembly, said on his Facebook that he reprimanded Zunzi for his choice of topics that have long targeted the CCP and the Hong Kong government. I asked: “Are American police teaching or mentoring students?” Leung also pointed out that Ming Pao hired his Zunzi to draw cartoons for a long time, as well as Apple Daily. . “It’s a big problem,” Mingpao said.

Epoch Times photo
Leung Chunying, former mayor and vice chairman of the Communist Party of China rubber stamp assembly. (Sun-Mingguo/The Epoch Times)

Another member of the pro-communist group, Jofi Zhang Winyang, reprimanded and implicated 14 students for “not only admitting their mistakes but also accepting an interview with Ming Pao.” Students said they refused to attend a rally at the Capitol. A flag was raised[The school] Never raise a flag without warning! Zhang joked that Mingpao has always been known as “secret news,” claiming that pan-democratic media such as the toxic Apple have become dominant. [a derogatory term for Apple Daily] Finished. Chan said these cartoons have a very strong penetrating power. She believes that power should not be taken lightly and that the police are also watching Mingpao.

Zunzi: National Security Law Killed Hong Kong, One Country, Two Systems

When Zunzi held an exhibition in 2018, he said that the establishment of more politically restricted areas by those in power was an attempt to create a chilling effect, one that cartoonists and critics usually described as ” If you don’t “restraint” or do it yourself, “that’s exactly the trap[set by the authorities],” he said, adding that it’s even more necessary to “strengthen” (stand firm) and I believe we need to redouble our efforts to raise objections.

The day after the National Security Law went into effect, he drew a cartoon of a Chinese Communist Party secretary wearing a red apron holding a candy cane and beating a bird out of a cage in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region with a frying pan. In front of multiple cameras. The banner reads “Global Live Broadcast Xi Got Talent Too!” It symbolized the Chinese Communist Party’s insistence on enforcing the national security law, as if to kill Hong Kong and “one country, two systems.”

Creative freedom waned under ‘brave new Hong Kong’

Hong Kong citizens have always enjoyed creative freedom, and political cartoons are one of the symbols of civil society. Political cartoonist Justin Wong Chiutat calculated that 6,000 political cartoons and illustrations were created in Hong Kong after the anti- extradition protests erupted in 2019.

In 2019, when Dzungji took part in anti- extradition protests, he noted that amendments to the Fugitives Ordinance would result in “cultural repression” that, if passed, would pose a “great psychological threat” to Hong Kong’s cultural community. He described the CCP’s judicial system as “terrifying.”

After the Chinese Communist Party forcefully withdrew its national security law in 2020, the Hong Kong government repeatedly suppressed freedom of speech, press and creativity, creating chilling effects on the Chinese Communist Party and attempting to spread white terrorism. . Hong Kong’s street protests and satire have all but disappeared as authorities hunt down dissidents. Many active Hong Kong artists such as Justin Wong Chiu-tat, A Tu, VA Wong Sir and Hong Kong Worker have seen the vacant space in Hong Kong shrink rapidly.

Zunzi has witnessed the changes in Hong Kong society in recent decades. He once said that he would draw his comics until the day no one published them so that he could continue to look for thoughts on politics and current affairs with a smile that everyone knew.

Terrence Tan