Hundreds have attended the only flag-raising ceremony in Hong Kong marking the National Day of the Republic of China – Taiwan.
As with previous years, the ceremony was held at Tuen Mun’s historic Red House on Tuesday morning, which was tipped for demolition earlier this year following acquisition by a new owner from the mainland.
The Antiquities and Monuments Office declared the building a proposed monument in March, granting it protected status for one year.
The Red House is said to have housed “father of the nation” Sun Yat-sen while he was plotting a revolution against the Qing Dynasty.
Participants at Tuesday’s ceremony included the head of Taiwan’s informal representative office in Hong Kong, as well as Johnny Mak, a Yuen Long district councillor known for his affiliations with the island nation.
Participants sang the Three Principles of the People – the Republic of China anthem – as well as other “patriotic” songs such as Ode to the Republic of China and The Plum Blossom.
Mak told HKFP that he and others were currently negotiating with the new owner of the Red House to buy the historic building and prevent further damage.
“We have given him a proposed price, and are now waiting for him to reply,” he said.
“But he wants to wait until next year, when [the Antiquities and Monuments Office] decides whether it will be listed as a monument permanently.”
Mak added that the land was worth a lot of money, and feared that the new owner would demolish the house if it was not listed as a monument.
Mak and several activists said they will deliver a petition to the Office on Tuesday afternoon, asking the government to increase its conservation efforts to protect the historic building.