Jacky Cheung, known as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Hong Kong (4 famous singers at one time), was recently interviewed on Chinese CCTV media. The little pinks (young ultra-nationalists and pro-government youths) said that he never once mentioned the word “motherland” in his interview but referred only to Hong Kong. He ended up telling the unique slogan of the Hong Kong democracy movement is “add oil to Hong Kong,” which is a homonym to the phrase “Hong Kong fighting.” Jacky Cheung was criticized for this. 

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China, to promote “The Return of Hong Kong,” CCTV-6, under the CCP organ, the State Administration of Broadcasting, Film, and Television, rushed to release a series of short interviews with some of Hong Kong’s famous artists on July 1, including renowned singer Jacky Cheung.

Jacky Cheung wore a simple t-shirt and no makeup and said in the interview: “The past 25 years, Hong Kong has gone through a lot of ups and downs, but because I grew up in this city, I was born and raised here, I still believe in this city. I still hope that the city will become a better city than before”. Finally, Jacky Cheung ended his speech by saying, “Hong Kong, add oil.”

That brief sentence by Cheung was questioned and attacked by some mainland “little pink” troops for being “unpatriotic.” The reason is that during the anti-extradition movement in 2019, the phrase “Hong Kong fighting” was widely used by protesters and has since been considered a forbidden term by Beijing and the Hong Kong government. At this point, Jacky Cheung uttered these words, which are seen as an echo of the protesters’ words.

Some netizens believe that Cheung only mentioned: “Hong Kong” and “25th anniversary” during the entire interview, without saying “motherland,” which is clearly not “patriotic” enough. Others have suggested that Jacky Cheung refers to Hong Kong’s “ups and downs” and appears to be “unsatisfied” with the changes Hong Kong has seen over the past 25 years.

In the face of rising criticism, CCTV’s official website soon deleted the interview with Cheung.

Sound of Hope reports comments from netizens who said: “The online environment is so chaotic right now, if you don’t praise it, you’ll be guilty”; “If you want to criticize, you don’t have the right to free speech, but when you praise, you don’t think it’s worth a dime”; “When everyone claps, you have to arrest those who don’t clap. In the next step, everyone has to kneel. If you just bow your head, you will be arrested”; “Small applause is also a sin!”.

Taiwan’s Liberty Times Net reported that sociologist Li Mingxuan also posted on Facebook, expressing that this incident deeply moved him. He commented: “In the last part of the video which disappeared, Jacky Cheung also said ‘Hong Kong fighting.’ The whole world understands the meaning and weight of these words”. He then paid tribute to Jacky Cheung and encouraged: “I hope those who have a conscience but have not dared to speak out in China also try their best.”

As the incident spread widely in the community, on July 3, Jacky Cheung released a statement through Hong Kong media, saying that he felt he was a “Chinese who loves the country and loves Hong Kong,” which is his basic principle as an artist not to get involved in politics. He was born and raised in Hong Kong.

Cheung said that he witnessed the most golden and glorious time in Hong Kong because of his deep relationship with the region, which, especially in the past few years, has experienced “black violence,” followed by the epidemic, the decline of all industries and the panic of the people. Therefore, Hong Kong’s people need to make more effort.

Jacky Cheung said that he heard the free community say “Beijing fighting,” “Wuhan fighting,” and “Shanghai fighting.” But the saying “Hong Kong fighting” just because some people have used it, just as the black and yellow color which a few people have used as the standard of patriotism and non-patriotism, the phrase “Hong Kong fighting” was appended with a rule as “prohibited language,” and yellow and black became “forbidden color.” Witnessing it, Cheung said, “I personally cannot understand.”

Jacky Cheung added that he hopes the Chinese people will be rational, persuade others with reason, and show the Chinese people’s demeanor to the world.

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