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Chinese students in South Korea harass supporters of Hong Kong protests

By
Elizabeth Shim
Chinese nationals in South Korea are targeting local students for support of the protests in Hong Kong, shown here last month. File Photo by Thomas Maresca/UPI
Chinese nationals in South Korea are targeting local students for support of the protests in Hong Kong, shown here last month. File Photo by Thomas Maresca/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- South Korean university students who support the protesters in Hong Kong are reporting their banners and signs are being taken down.

Student activists who have endorsed pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo their banners have been dismantled by "likely Chinese nationals" on Tuesday.

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Video footage obtained by the paper from a student at Yonsei University, one of the campuses where supporters of Hong Kong protests may have been targeted, shows two "Chinese-speaking" individuals, a man and a woman, taking down a pro-democracy banner.

The South Korean student who filmed the footage asks the man and the woman, who remain unidentified, what they were doing.

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The suspects tell the student that their actions "have nothing to do with Koreans."

"What do you care about Chinese politics?" they said.

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Seoul city police of the Seodaemun district said the suspects were under investigation and could be charged with property damage.

The incident took place at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the Yonsei campus. The banners read "Liberate Hong Kong" and "Free Hong Kong, revolution of our times," according to the report.

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In a separate report, the Chosun Ilbo said more than 50 Chinese exchange students confronted about 10 South Korean students at Hanyang University in Seoul.

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The Chinese group said South Koreans should not "interfere with internal Chinese affairs," and compared South Korean support for the Hong Kong protests to potential Chinese support for North Korea, or Japanese claims to the disputed islet of Dokdo.

To prove their point, the Chinese students began to place sticky notes that read "Long live Kim Jong Un" and "Dokdo is Japan's" on a wall where Hanyang University students had shown support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The protests have grown despite the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that sparked the demonstrations. The morning commute has been disrupted for two days in a row this week, according to The Guardian.

"Hong Kong's government must rely on the police because it does not have the support of the public," The Guardian said in an editorial published Tuesday.

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