Video clips showing a parade of Chinese flag-bearing supercars driving past the planned Hong Kong support march over the weekend are making rounds online, igniting criticism from netizens.
According to BlogTO, social media users called out young Chinese nationalists in Canada after footage showing them arriving at the protest site in Toronto driving expensive sports cars, including Ferraris, McLarens, Porsches and others spread online.
The cars, all waving the Chinese national flag, revved their engines and sound their horns as a show of support to other pro-China/Hong Kong police demonstrators on the streets. Some of the drivers allegedly blurted out insults to the opposing groups.
“Today in Toronto, the pro-China groups are attacking the peaceful Hong Kong protests,” one observer said in a tweet. “The Chinese nationalist shown up in fancy cars and call HKers ‘poor garbage’ also threatens to kill all Hkers.”
Thank you for supporting Hong Kong. But today in Toronto, the pro-China groups are attacking the peaceful Hong Kong protests. The Chinese nationalist shown up in fancy cars and call HKers “poor garbage” also threatens to kill all HKers 留島不留人 pic.twitter.com/1yzNd7yROy
— ForceWithYou (@archielee1w) August 18, 2019
Another Twitter user jokingly described the showcasing of wealth during the time of protest as the “Worst ‘Fast & Furious’ movie ever.”
Worst Fast & Furious movie ever.
— Stephen Punwasi (@StephenPunwasi) August 18, 2019
“And now a fleet of supercars putting their engines on blast. So tacky and obscene,” one Twitter user said.
and now a fleet of supercars putting their engines on blast. so tacky and obscene. pic.twitter.com/B3KILbvOqN
— Gelek • དགེ་ལེགས་ • गेलेक (@GelekB) August 17, 2019
“Mainland Chinese stage counter-protest in Toronto against Hong Kong demonstrators – who are protesting for democracy & rule of law – by driving their ‘patriotic ferraris,’” NPR journalist Frank Langfitt said in his tweet. “Were I writing a satirical novel, I would never have had the imagination to invent this scene.”
Irony. Luxury cars revving in a foreign country while supporting a corrupt communist regime.
The people who have laundered their cash out of China and live freely in Canada are attempting to stomp the freedom of protestors in Toronto. This is unacceptable. #HongKongProtests https://t.co/0p82t2fu45
— Bruce Crown (@brucecrown) August 18, 2019
Similar events also happened at the rally organized in Vancouver where supercars flock to the streets to show support for pro-China demonstrators.
Kevin Huang Yi Shuen, a supporter of Hong Kong and executive director of the non-profit Hua Foundation, described the scene as a big-money “power play” and “a way of showing force.”
Mainland Chinese call young protesters in #Hongkong as “useless teens” – born poor, stay poor, can never afford to buy overpriced properties jerked up by Chinese corruption $. The display of luxury cars in #Vancouver is to emphasize that HKer r the losers n that’s y they protest. https://t.co/txrIjRwD3g pic.twitter.com/bTswA1JdIg
— Badcanto (@Badcanto) August 18, 2019
“It’s not something that I would have recommended,” Huang, who doubted the motorists if what they did helped convince undecided Canadians to support China, was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.
He added that while this display might have impressed some supporters, it still showed an example of “conspicuous consumption,” especially in a city that is currently facing a housing affordability crisis.
“These are people who don’t understand that narrative or the Vancouver community very well,” he continued.
The protest is only one part of a movement happening in other parts of the world where supporters of Hong Kong rally for their cause. It often ends up in a violent clash with opposing groups.
The protests all began after the Hong Kong government proposed a controversial extradition bill in June that would allow people who committed crimes in the region to face trial in mainland China.
One month later, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the public that the “extradition bill is already dead,” but opposing parties did not believe the statement and demanded Lam to resign from her post.